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The rural, identity and post-development discourse The rural has been homogenised in so many different kinds of discourses

including those of the nation, films especially Bollywood, and lately even in what is known as post-development. It is a curious thing to note that the rural is so often identified with in terms of identity and therefore nation. The urban always bears a mark of the modern and therefore Westernisation and it seems that for that reason the colonial and later the highly influential Gandhian view that the Indian village is a true microcosm of Indian society continues to hold sway. Here it is important to understand that the orientalist glorification of the village is merely inverted or converted into a chauvinism of a nationalist kind. This kind of a dominant ideology remained unchecked even during the Nehruvian era of state led planning and development through the setting up of basic and heavy industries, and the village was left on its own maybe so that it could continue to retain its essential, pure values. My paper will attempt to locate the acute poverty and lack of development and marginalisation of villages to these essentialising and homogenising ideas associated with villages. To me there seems to an interesting parallel between how even in urban places and indeed even in Delhi there are so many government schools where the medium of instruction is Hindi as if the poor are to bear the burden of preventing the neglect of Indian culture when it is increasingly obvious that English education is so very important for gaining upward mobility and maybe even more so during the age of so-called globalisation which according to some important theorists is more about global American dominance that the celebratory and positive values associated with it.There is increasing evidence that globalisation is rapidly penetrating the villages of India and causing great damage to the folk and other cultural practices. It is also widely acknowledged now that globalisation has also led to an increase in identity politics which as the unfortunate example of the recent Muzaffarnagar riots shows has reached the villages. The village is again being used by post-development now as a traditional space which is positing a heroic struggle against market forces. My paper will also focus on a critique of post-development discourse by showing that it too homogenises and essentialises the rural and therefore contributes to its continued marginalisation.

Rahul Kumar M. Phill Development Practice, Ambedkar University, Delhi