Development and Dispossession in the Narmada Valley
In Development and Dispossession in the Narmada Valley, author Judith Whitehead talks about that aspect... more
In Development and Dispossession in the Narmada Valley, author Judith Whitehead talks about that aspect of the Sardar Sarovar Project that, though crucial, has not been fully appreciated. The concept of accumulation by dispossession, she argues, is a core feature of any large-scale infrastructural and industrial project. Accumulation by dispossession is a Marxist concept that refers to the process by which assets or resources earlier held in common are privatized and transformed into commodities, leading to class polarization. In this book, Whitehead recounts her experiences during her field research in the submerging villages of Gujarat, and highlights the impact and extent of this aspect of the project. Focusing exclusively on the later phases of the anti-dam movement and its decline and demise in Gujarat, Whitehead attempts to offer a retrospective analysis of the relations between the Narmada Bachao Andolan, Gujarat civil society, displaced adivasis in Gujarat, and the state government. Through her analysis, she hopes to provide an insight into what could have been done differently in the face of state repression, and at the same time suggest practical alternatives for such future movements in other parts of the subcontinent and the world.