4 ON NEW SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND “THE REINVENTION OF INDIA” Alf Gunvald Nilsen Int !du"ti!

n On January 26, 2003, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM ! an "n#ia$ %i#e net%or& of social movements $ launche# the Desh Bachao, Desh Banao Abhiyan ('('(A, )ave the Nation, (uil# the Nation *ampai+n in Plachima#a in ,erala- After a t%o$month lon+ march, the campai+n en#e# in Ayo#hya in .ttar Pra#esh %here a National People’s A+en#a %as #eclare#- /he campai+n ! inclu#in+ the location of its 0e+innin+ an# conclusion an# the a+en#a that %as #eclare# ! is very tellin+ in terms of the convulsions that are currently transformin+ "n#ian society- /he National People’s A+en#a (NPA starts as follo%s1
/he A0hiyan %as launche# on January 26, 2003, from Plachima#a ('ist- Pala&&a# in

,erala, %ith a protest a+ainst the *oca$*ola factory as a sym0ol of the stru++le a+ainst 2lo0alisation- 3or over t%o months, the A0hiyan traverse# throu+h 45 states, participatin+ in over 360 lar+e rallies an# hol#in+ meetin+s an# #iscussions %ith activists an# or+anisations- "t conclu#e# at Ayo#hya on March 30 th 2003, %ith a call for reli+ious tolerance, secularism, opposition to the political$economic policy %hich lea#s to the #ominance of 2lo0al *apital as also a #etermination to strive for a 7ust an# sustaina0le alternative mo#el of #evelopment (NAPM, 20031 4 -

8aunchin+ the '('(A in Plachima#a, ,erala, %here *oca *ola’s rava+in+ of +roun# %ater resources constitutes a +rave testimony to the social conse9uences of neoli0eral restructurin+ an# conclu#in+ in Ayo#hya, the infamous site of the #emolition of the (a0ri Mas7i# in 4552 an# conse9uent out0rea&s of communal po+roms is nothin+ short of an e:plicit sym0olic positionin+ of the NAPM’s stru++le to ;save< an# ;0uil#< the nation s9uarely at the centre of the transformative con7uncture %hich *or0ri#+e an# =arriss have referre# to as >the reinvention of "n#ia’"n#ia, %rite *or0ri#+e an# =arriss (20001 :vi , >%as the su07ect of a particular, very #eli0erate act of invention’ in %hich a nation$0uil#in+ pro7ect %as crafte# for the soon$to$0e soverei+n an# in#epen#ent state 0y influential lea#ers of the nationalist movement4- /his invention %as characteri?e# 0y the ma&in+ of >a template for the invention of mo#ern "n#ia’ %hich consiste# of four >mytholo+ies of rule’ ! #emocracy, fe#eralism, socialism, an# secularism ! %hich provi#e# the national pro7ect of state$le#
1

"n#ee#, *or0ri#+e an# =arriss (20001 :vii

are referrin+ #irectly to the ’+roup of #ominantly upper$caste

"n#ians, many of %hom ha# 0een e#ucate# in @n+lish, most of them men’ %ho constitute# the *onstituent Assem0ly of 'ecem0er 45A6-

2 capitalist #evelopment %ith i#eolo+ical le+itimacy (i0i#1 24$22B see also *or0ri#+e, 4556 - (y the 4550s, the protracte# unma&in+ of this pro7ect ! stretchin+, accor#in+ to *or0ri#+e an# =arriss (20001 *hapters A an# 6 , 0ac& to the mi#$4560s ! ha# en+en#ere# ne% an# >vi+orous attempts to re$ima+ine the country, its economy an# society’ (i0i#1 :viii - .nli&e the invention of "n#ia on the eve of the Ca7, this is not a >consi#ere# process’ 0ut a process of >stru++le an# ne+otiation’ %hich has emer+e# from >the failin+s of the mo#erni?in+ mission of the Nehruvian state’ (i0i#- :viii , an# %hich is characterise# 0y a particular social fiel# of force- On the one han#, there are the >elite revolts’ of neoli0eral restructurin+ an# =in#u communalism, 0oth of %hich reflect an# are vehicles for the interests an# aspirations especially of the mi##le class an# hi+her$caste "n#ians (i0i#-1 :i: - On the other han#, there are multiple forms of >su0altern politics’ %hich represent >another lon+ history, that of resistance to the esta0lishe# or#er 0y those %ho have 0een the o07ects of oppression’ (i0i#1 :i: - /he forms of su0altern politics that *or0ri#+e an# =arriss sin+le out for scrutiny ran+e from %hat they call >empo%erment from %ithout’ ! i-e- constitutional provisions for 7o0 reservations, reservations of e#ucational places an# seats in political assem0lies, an# +enerally the e:tension of the franchise to #alits an# a#ivasis ! to >empo%erment from %ithin’ ! i-e- a ran+e of ne% social movements (N)Ms an# political parties that have recently emer+e# from these mar+inalise# communities, an# their increase# participation in electoral politics 2/he focal point of this article is precisely the role of N)Ms in the >reinvention of "n#ia’, an# in particular, the %ay in %hich their politics are analy?e# an# represente# in aca#emic perspectives3- " focus on t%o &ey areas1 firstly, the assertion that "n#ia’s N)Ms represent voices of ;otherness< emanatin+ from 0eyon# the postcolonial #evelopment pro7ect an# articulatin+ a re7ection of this pro7ect, an# secon#ly, the ar+ument that N)Ms in "n#ia are most li&ely to have a positive impact upon the situation of mar+inalise# su0altern +roups if they see& empo%erment throu+h the li0eral #emocratic state- /he #iscussion is carrie# out in li+ht of empirical #ata from my o%n research on the character
2

3or relate# ar+uments, see Da#av (2000 , Jaffrelot (2000, 2003 , *or0ri#+e (2000 , Earshney (2000 , 3uller

an# =arriss (2004 , 3ran&el (2006 , *or0ri#+e, Filliams, )rivastava an# Eeron (2006 an# ,avira7 (2000 3

" %ant to note from the outset that " use the term ne% social movements strictly in a temporal sense to refer

to movements that emer+e# from the late 4560s on%ar#s- Attempts to #ra% fine lines 0et%een ol# an# ne% in social movement research is ar+ua0ly a futile en#eavour as in most cases the suppose#ly ;ol#< is present in the ;ne%< an# the suppose#ly ;ne%< is present in the ;ol#< ! %hether it pertains to +roups, issues, strate+ies, or i#eolo+ies (see for e:ample *alhoun 4553 - "n#ee#, )hah’s (45GG overvie% of +rassroots mo0ili?ations in "n#ia 0rin+s out the #eep historical linea+e of most of the movements that authors such as Omve#t, Eanai& an# (asu #esi+nate as ;ne%<- 3orest #%ellers’ stru++les, for e:ample, +o 0ac& to the colonial era %hen forest le+islation %as intro#uce# 0y the (ritish, meanin+ that a movement such as *hip&o ha# #eep historical antece#ents (see also Can+an, 2000 - )ee )hah (4550, 2002 movementsan# Cao (2000 for instructive overvie%s of "n#ian social

20061 26 =o%ever. 4556B '%ive#i. 2006 an# forthcomin+ . 2006B Nilsen." start./he ac9uiescence of social movements %as in turn compoun#e# 0y the fact that su0altern +roups #i# not en7oy unme#iate# access to the state apparatus an# the electoral process*on+ress rule 0y an# lar+e left local po%er structures intact an# poor social ma7orities thus remaine# #epen#ent upon local nota0les in accessin+ the state. 20061 4A . one of the most %ell$&no%n an# important social movements to emer+e in "n#ia over the past t%o #eca#es. several of these +roups ha# mer+e# into the pan$state or+anisation Narma#a (achao An#olan (N(AB )ave the Narma#a Movement %hich articulate# a stance of total opposition to the &in+pin in the pro7ect ! the )ar#ar )arovar Pro7ect ())P ! an# %hich further em0e##e# its campai+n a+ainst the ))P in a trenchant criti9ue of the #ominant mo#el of #evelopment in "n#ia (see (avis&ar.the temples of mo#ern "n#ia< ! an# the "n#ian state ! the N(A’s strate+y of resistance has sou+ht to hol# the state accounta0le to constitutional principles. an# in the mi#$45G0s social action +roups %or&in+ %ith #am$affecte# adivasi (in#i+enous +roups an# +ra#ually also in caste =in#u farmin+ communities in Maharashtra./he N(A emer+e# in opposition to the construction of a series of lar+e #ams on the Narma#a Civer in central an# Festern "n#ia.(y the late 45G0s.3ollo%in+ the en# of the /elan+ana uprisin+ in 4564. an# norms an# stan#ar#s relate# to force# #isplacement. 200A1 3H on the one han# an# #emo0ilise# an# co$opte# popular classes on the other. the eruption of the Na:alite revolt in Fest (en+al in 456H soun#e# the #eath &nell of su0altern ac9uiescence an# mar&e# the onset of a #eca#e in %hich "n#ia ! . as Nehru famously #u00e# them. le+al co#es. %ere posite# as ./he #am pro7ects %ill cause e:tensive su0mer+ence an# #isplacement.3 an# tra7ectory of the Narma#a (achao An#olan (N(AB )ave the Narma#a Movement . ief Ove vie$ /he Nehruvian nation$0uil#in+ pro7ect can 0e sai# to have 0een un#erpinne# 0y a truce line %hich ran 0et%een a >#evelopmental state %hich promise# to en# poverty an# 0ac&%ar#ness’ (*hatter7ee. %ith a 0rief overvie% of the emer+ence of N)Ms in "n#ia since the 45H0sIndia#s Ne$ S!"ial M!ve%ents f !% t&e '()*s t! t&e '((*s+ A . 2u7arat an# Ma#hya Pra#esh starte# an intense 9uestionin+ of the responsi0le authorities as to the prospects for fair an# a#e9uate resettlement an# reha0ilitation." choose to frame my ar+ument this %ay 0ecause the N(A is particularly relevant to the ar+uments #evelope# in this article1 its politics relate #irectly to the postcolonial #evelopment pro7ect ! #ams. su0altern social movements 0y an# lar+e remaine# 9uiescent an# ce#e# their autonomy to >the stron+ han# of the Nehruvian state’ (./he result %as the failure to convert >the superior num0ers of the poor into a po%erful political resource’ (3ran&el.at?enstein an# Cay. ho%ever.

%hich in turn resulte# in the or+anisation of +roups an# mo0ilisation aroun# issues that ha# 0een ne+lecte# 0y the mainstream left.As Omve#t points out. %here 0et%een 26-000 an# 60-000 activists from #ifferent social movements +athere# to #iscuss an a+en#a %hich coul# unite #ifferent stru++les a+ainst #estructive #evelopment pro7ects (i0i#1 265$60 Another crucial process that unfol#e# to%ar#s the en# of the 45G0s %as the increasin+ inte+ration of the politics of the N)Ms in a national fiel# of force characterise# 0y the onset of neoli0eral restructurin+ an# =in#u communalism. lan# control an# forest ri+hts ((asu 45GHB )hah 45GGB . "n#ia’s N)Ms increasin+ly came to 0e involve# in a search for perspectives an# a+en#as that coul# serve as a unifyin+ platform for the #iverse stru++les that ha# emer+e# #urin+ the previous one an# a half #eca#es.3or some movements ! li&e the . an# the )hrami& )an+athana %hich or+ani?e# (hil a#ivasis in Maharashtra aroun# issues of a+ricultural %a+es. the National 3ront coalition to po%er.)i+nificant movements of the 45H0s %ere the *hip&o movement %hich champione# the livelihoo#s of forest$#%ellin+ communities in .amat (20021 40 refers to as >the ne% +rassroots movement’ ! %hich came to i#entify the #ominant conception or i#eolo+y of #evelopment as the root cause of persistent poverty an# increasin+ ine9ualities in "n#ian society.man#ate of G5< ! i-e./hese +roups particularly flourishe# in the %a&e of the @mer+ence. an# promises . 2002B Cay an# .at?enstein. 2006 .a %or&er$peasant alliance aroun# the politics of social 7ustice an# environmental sustaina0ility (Omve#t.erala 3ish%or&ers’ 3orum an# the )het&ari )an+athana ! this revolve# aroun# a##ressin+ +en#er relations an# feminist politicsB for others ! li&e the *hattis+arh Mu&ti Morcha ! it revolve# aroun# #evelopin+ a re#$+reen politics.erala 3ish%or&ers’ 3orum %hich or+ani?e# poor fisherfol& in .pa#hyaya. social 7ustice for 0ac&%ar# castes./his +overnment 0orro%e# &ey themes from the social movements1 #ecentralisation. the 45H0s %itnesse# the mushroomin+ of various social action +roups ! a phenomenon that .'urin+ the early 45H0s in "n#ia. 45GG . i-e.erala a+ainst the #epre#ations %rou+ht on their livelihoo#s 0y mechani?e# tra%lin+ ((asu.the 45G5 elections that sent a ne% opposition force. 45531 230$36 . 4550B Omve#t. %hen the Janata +overnment encoura+e# >voluntary %or& an# the formation of voluntary or+ani?ations in the countrysi#e’ (i0i#-1 42 3rom the mi##le of the 45G0s. 2004 ! %itnesse# the emer+ence of ne% social movements that su07ecte# the e:clusionary an# e:ploitative #imensions of state$le# capitalist #evelopment to su0stantial criti9ue (Eanai&.An important event in this process %as the . the .A much li&e the rest of the %orl# in the aftermath of the +lo0al uprisin+ of 456G (see Fatts. 45501 456 . 45GHB )hah. Ma#hya Pra#esh in )eptem0er 45G5.ttar&han# (2uha 45G5B (asu 45GH . 4553B . the attempts to for+e a common platform reache# a hi+h point %ith the National Cally A+ainst 'estructive 'evelopment in =arsu#.Moreover.amat. there occurre# >a su0stantial ra#icali?ation of youth I outsi#e the circles of the tra#itional left’ (Eanai&. 45G0 .

!1e"t 3or some time no% it has 0een fashiona0le amon+ critics from the 9uarters of poststructuralism an# postcolonialism to posit "n#ia’s N)Ms as the 0earers of an authentic an# insurrectionary otherness that is mo0ili?e# in opposition an# from a position of e:teriority to the mo#ern #evelopment pro7ect.6 of remunerative prices an# #e0t relief for peasants #ominate# political manifestos (Omve#t 45531 2H3 .%ent .)urely. the floo#+ates of neoli0eral restructurin+ %ere opene# once an# for all (i0i#-1 650 3or some commentators."n the remain#er of the article " hope to contri0ute to a #e0ate a0out this throu+h a critical #iscussion of aca#emic perspectives on t%o aspects of N)Ms in "n#ia ! the relationship 0et%een social movements an# the postcolonial #evelopment pro7ect. %hen Narasimha Cao’s *on+ress +overnment assume# po%er in 4554.%ent0 NSMs and t&e -!st"!l!nial Devel!.Det movement stru++les are still vi+orous in "n#iaB in#ee#. an# the relationship 0et%een social movements an# the stateA"ade%i" -e s./he National 3ront +overnment %as thus a +overnment >electe# on a man#ate of chan+e an# %ith social movement 0ac&in+’ 0ut it %as also >a fra+ile coalition +overnment mar&e# 0y factionalism’ %hich lac&e# the capacity for concerte# political action (i0i#1 2HA . as neoli0eral restructurin+ pic&s up momentum.e"tives !n India#s Ne$ S!"ial M!ve%ents+ S!%e C iti"al Refle"ti!ns .)imultaneously. turn out to 0e an e:plosive move1 it tri++ere# political protest 0y =in#u communalist forces across the country an# eventually le# to the #o%nfall of the )in+h +overnment (see 3ran&el 20061 6GG$5 ./hus./hese perspectives typically . for e:ample (asu (45GH .e/!nd Devel!. 0ut this also raises 9uestions a0out the aptness of the analytical perspectives %e #eploy./his 0ecame o0vious %hen Prime Minister E. nevertheless.)in+h #eci#e# to implement the recommen#ations of the Man#al *ommission on positive #iscrimination for lo%er caste +roups in 4550B as Omve#t points out.P. the failure of "n#ia’s N)Ms to #ecisively a#vance their a+en#a in the late 45G0s an# early 4550s puts the stamp of #efeat upon these movements. this %as >the one social movement issue that #i# not re9uire a ma7or political reformulation of the process of #evelopment’ (i0i#1 2G0 ."t #i#. the "n#ian economy %as mire# ever$#eeper in a cripplin+ fiscal crisis.Most recently this has 0een evi#ence# in the upshot of si+nificant movements an# net%or&s of resistance to the intro#uction of )pecial @conomic Jones in "n#ia. there is #ue reason for scholars to focus their +a?e on the characteristics an# #ynamics of the movements of su0altern social +roups as "n#ia enters the t%enty$first century. Eanai& (4550 an# Omve#t (4553 . so too #oes popular mo0ilisation.

unme#iate#.)inha (200A1 30G ar+ues alon+ similar lines %hen he su++ests that social movements ma&e recourse to the #evelopment pro7ect in articulatin+ >ne% political pro+rams’ an# creatin+ >ne% 0ases for social an# political life’. . 45561 32$3 .6 #ra% on @sco0ar’s (45561 43 ar+ument that .#evelopment< is a #iscourse %hich relies >e:clusively on one &no%le#+e system." fin# myself in a+reement %ith =art (20041 66A %hen she ar+ues that these criticisms have >run their course’ in terms of hi+hli+htin+ the shortcomin+s of post$ #evelopment theory. Can+an (4556. the re7ection of the entire para#i+m alto+ether’ (i0i#1 246 A.3or instance.iely. an# " %ill not reiterate them here- .*or0ri#+e. the Narma#a (achao An#olan (see 0elo% pits >the live# space of a#ivasi an# peasant communities’ a+ainst >a space of erasure’ %hich is >the a0stract space of the state an# of transnational corporations’=o%ever. namely.Alon+ similar lines. collieries.3or instance./hese are 4 /he theoretical un#erpinnin+s.ala (20041 4A .#evelopment< or from the money economy. 4G6 @lse%here he ar+ues that >the movements a+ainst 0i+ #ams. metho#olo+ical strate+ies an# su0stantive ar+uments of the post$#evelopment perspective have 0een su0stantively critici?e# (see e-+. that is. 4556. 4555B Nie#erveen Pieterse. hills’ (cite# in Can+an./hey #o this 0y opposin+ a >counter#iscourse’ of >Ksituate#L &no%le#+e that is locata0le in time an# space. 2000B Can+an. 455GB . in his analysis of N)Ms in "n#ia. Para7uli (45541 4G2 ar+ues that >KtLhe political si+nificance of these stru++les is that they challen+e the notion of the inte+rationist an# #evelopmentalist "n#ian state’. ar+ues that throu+h its resistance to 0i+ #ams. 455G. forests. their common property resources1 the lan#. transcen#ent &no%le#+e’ of the #evelopmentalist state (i0i#1 4G6.)hiva an# Mies have ar+ue# a0out the %omen activists of the revere# *hip&o movement that >they e:pect nothin+ from . em0o#ie# in stru++le an# participatory in process’ to the >unmar&e#. 20001 3A . fine$+raine# analyses of the cultural politics of resistance articulate# 0y precisely those movements +lorifie# as lo#estars that %ill +ui#e su0alterns on their %ay 0eyon# #evelopment su++est that these claims are erroneous. #isem0o#ie#. the mo#ern Festern one’ an# thus #ictates >the mar+inali?ation an# #is9ualification of non$Festern &no%le#+e systems’. 2000B Moore. an# that social movements in the +lo0al )outh #o not articulate >#evelopment alternatives’ so much as >alternatives to #evelopment. 455G. 2000 an# )inha (200A have 0oth carrie# out su0stantial research on popular mo0ili?ation in the /ehri$2ar%hal =imalayas ! home of the *hip&o movement in the 45H0s ! an# 0oth reach similar conclusions a0out the character of this mo0ili?ationCan+an (20001 222 ar+ues that movements in the re+ion ! an# in "n#ia more +enerally $ are most aptly un#erstoo# as >#eman#in+ their ri+hts to +reater access to a more +enerous i#ea of #evelopment’. 2000 . an# forest policies in Jhar&han# an# other parts of "n#ia are I +ainin+ conceptual maturity an# confi#ence to challen+e the %hole e#ifice of mo#ern resource mana+ement an# #evelopment’ as they >rene% an# reassert su07u+ate# tra#itions of &no%le#+e in a ne% situation’ (Para7uli./hey %ant to preserve their autonomous control over their su0sistence 0ase. %ater.

)i##hara7 'ha##a."t %as a narrative. an# mar+inalise# popular classes.=o%ever.8et me illustrate %ith an o0servation from my fiel#%or&"n con7unction %ith the monsoon )atya+raha 6 of 2000. the very cele0ration of "n#epen#ence 'ay testifie# to this. July. the cele0rations continue# in the near0y villa+e of 'om&he#i %ith the inau+uration of a micro$hy#el pro7ect. "n#epen#ence 'ay 0e+an %ith the hoistin+ of 0oth the "n#ian fla+ an# the N(A’s 0anner 0y a veteran 2an#hian an# respecte# free#om fi+hter. at the same time it %as a narrative of a national pro7ect profoun#ly out of &ilter. the N(A sta+e# a cele0ration of "n#ia’s "n#epen#ence 'ay on Au+ust 46. e:clu#e#. )eptem0er every year from 4554 on%ar#s until 2002/he )atya+raha revolve# aroun# %as a 0ravin+ of the risin+ of the %aters of the Narma#a %hich set in %ith the monsoon rains an# the closin+ of the floo#+ates of the ))P- .3ollo%in+ this. the unfol#in+ an# hoistin+ of the "n#ian fla+. a confrontational event erupte#. %hen com0ine# %ith a pe#al$po%ere# +enerator. %hich reco+nise# the free#om stru++le an# the attainment of "n#epen#ence as fun#amental events an# achievements ! the presence of free#om fi+hters. %hich has e:ploite#.A chec&$#am ha# 0een constructe# on a small stream a#7acent to 'om&he#i. provi#e# electricity to the villa+e for the first time ever./he teachers %ere confronte# 0y a+itate# villa+ers an# activists %ho ar+ue# that their vocation amounte# to little more than pic&in+ up their payche9ues/his #ismal state of affairs %as then thro%n into sharp relief %ith the follo%in+ point on the pro+ramme1 the felicitation of youn+ a#ivasis %ho ha# fare# %ell in official schools after first havin+ complete# 0asic schoolin+ in the An#olan’s Jeevan Shalas ! literally .tryst %ith #estiny<.Cather./hese teachers %ere employe# at local state$run schools. %hich./%o teachers %ere present at the ceremony. in#ee#.schools for life< 0uilt an# run 0y the An#olan %ith a curriculum a#apte# to a#ivasi realities.H assertions that " fin# to 0e 0orne out 0y the character of the N(A’s criti9ue of the #ominant #irection an# meanin+ of the postcolonial #evelopment pro7ect in "n#ia."n the a#ivasi villa+e of Nim+avhan (Maharashtra . the N(A conveye# a narrative a0out its political pro7ect. Au+ust. in this narrative. here %as a pro7ect controlle# an# e:ecute# at villa+e level that actually ha# the potential of #eliverin+ a tan+i0le improvement in people’s lives/hrou+h the cele0ration of "n#epen#ence 'ay.Fhereas the ))P threatene# to #isplace the villa+ers from their lan#s an# pro#uce costly electricity that %oul# only 0e availa0le to affluent an# pre#ominantly ur0an consumers. the i#ioms that +ave meanin+ to the #evelopmental rationale of mo#ern "n#ia are use# as a point of #eparture for a criti9ue of the actual #irection of #evelopment. 0ut the reality %as that their teachin+ %as as a0sent as the schools they %ere suppose# to 0e runnin+. the term )atya+raha is associate# the annual protest events that too& place #urin+ the monsoon months (June.3ollo%in+ the fla+ hoistin+. ha# +one a%ryB the promises of free#om an# #evelopment have 0een hi7ac&e# 5 "n the N(A’s repertoire of contention./he .Fhat is so stri&in+ a0out this criti9ue is that there is nothin+ in it to su++est a re7ection of #evelopment an# mo#ernity as such.

" %oul# ar+ue that movements such as the N(A are 0est conceive# of as su0altern appropriations of the postcolonial #evelopment pro7ect %hich for+e criti9ues of this pro7ect that are comprehensi0le on its o%n terms 6. 2000 No%. leavin+ lar+e sections of the population 0y the %aysi#e as outcasts."n this respect. " #o not. to 0e seen less as mutually e:clusive 0ut as >oppositions that contain the other I’ (Fatts. %hich resonate# far 0eyon# the Narma#a Ealley. 0ut in Nim+avhan. #ra%in+ on )inha (200A .A su0se9uent N(A press release state#1 >"n#epen#ence 'ay is so often a cele0ration of a country’s victory over oppression.G 0y elite interests an# thus 0etraye#./his 0etrayal %as efficiently illustrate# 0y the contrasts evo&e# in the cele0rations1 the putri# con#ition of state schoolin+ versus the vivacity of the Jeevan ShalasB the #estruction %rou+ht 0y the ))P versus the 0enefits 0rou+ht to local communities 0y the micro$hy#el pro7ect. an# it is precisely this %hich is at the core of the ne:t set of reflections on the relationship 0et%een ne% social movements an# the state in >the reinvention of "n#ia’6 "n#ee#.)imultaneously.Fhat is occurrin+. then.=o%ever. it ha# an a##itional meanin+ of the people’s continue# resistance a+ainst the in7ustice an# e:ploitation %ithin a nation’ (N(A. claimin+ an# appropriatin+ the #iscourses an# institutions of the he+emonic pro7ects of #ominant social +roups in the articulation of oppositional pro7ects %ill inevita0ly 0e an e:perience of 0oth ena0lement an# constraint. the focus on the N(A’s constructive activities %as e:pressive of a political pro7ect of alternative #evelopment. " ali+n my ar+ument %ith that of *or0ri#+e an# =arriss (20001 235 %hen they ar+ue a0out N)Ms in the conte:t of >the reinvention of "n#ia’ that in their attempts to reinvent "n#ia. of course. the #iscourse of resistance articulate# 0y movements such as the N(A can 0e sai# to 0e e:pressive of the >para#o:ical unity’ in %hich >#evelopment I an# alternative #evelopment are #ialectically or+ani?e# oppositions %ithin the history of mo#ernity.=o%ever. 60 - ./he movement thus pro7ecte# itself as an a+ent on a mission to reinvent the i#eals of free#om an# #evelopment.collective consciousness< that stretches out into every noo& an# cranny of the An#olan. su0altern social +roups >still have re+ar# for the invention of "n#ia that %as propose# in the *onstituent Assem0ly’. is very much a process in %hich the spirits of the past are con7ure# up an# their names 0orro%e# in an effort to create somethin+ that has never yet e:iste# (Mar:. 45GA1 40 "n#ee#. to paraphrase Mar:’s seminal passa+e in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. it nonetheless testifies to an# un#erscores the essentially immanent character of movements such as the An#olan in that their oppositional pro7ects (a emer+e from the internal contra#ictions of the postcolonial #evelopment pro7ect an# (0 see& to a##ress these contra#ictions throu+h a criti9ue %hich reclaims an# reinvents its i#ioms of le+itimacy. la0our un#er the misconception that a closely orchestrate# protest event such as this an# the #iscourse of resistance that it conveys constitutes a perfect reflection of a uniform . 20001 A6.

0ut the very fact that it happene# nevertheless implies that important chan+es are afoot. reservations of e#ucational places an# seats in political assem0lies. secular e#ucation an# la%s aime# at the a0olition of caste$0ase# #iscrimination.5 In and2! A3ainst t&e State0 NSMs and t&e Indian State "n their #iscussion of su0altern politics in einventing !ndia. 0ut they have still ha# a si+nificant impact on >the terms of en+a+ement 0et%een "n#ia’s sche#ule# an# non$)che#ule# *ommunities’ 0y 0uttressin+ an a%areness of potential collective stren+th amon+ the )che#ule# communities an# improvin+ their 0ar+ainin+ position vis$M$vis #ominant +roups (i0i#1 240$44 Another process hi+hli+hte# 0y *or0ri#+e an# =arriss is that of the >empo%erment from %ithin’ that has 0een 0rou+ht a0out throu+h #alit an# a#ivasi movements that have >sou+ht po%er over the state rather than compensation from the state’ (i0i#1 242 . or that they fail to see& po%er from %ithin state structures’ (i0i#1 20G . #iffer si+nificantly in terms of the su0stance of their #emocracies ! accor#in+ to the 0alance of class po%er’ (*or0ri#+e an# . all of %hich have formally #emocratic political systems.ttar Pra#esh. %hich is approache# more or less closely accor#in+ to the 0alance of class forces in a society an# the nature of the state system’ an# ho% >"n#ia’s states. locate# at >the 0ottom of the social pile in "n#ia’ (i0i#-1 20G . 2000 in %hich )che#ule# an# (ac&%ar# caste an# class +roups are participatin+ more actively in electoral politics in a %ay %hich 0ypasses the me#itation of local elites an# %hich thus ma&es them a force to 0e rec&one# %ith for esta0lishe# political parties.*or0ri#+e an# =arriss #emonstrate the continue# relevance of the state an# the #emocratic process for su0altern politics via a multitu#e of e:amples. such politics is evi#ent in the rise of the (ahu7an )ama7 Party ! a mainly #alit 0ase# party ! to state po%er in . *or0ri#+e an# =arriss (20001 200$2 ta&e their point of #eparture in a num0er of recent criti9ues of the a0ility of the #emocratic process in "n#ia to a#vance the interests of su0altern social +roups. an# more +enerally the e:tension of the franchise to these +roups.More +enerally.*or0ri#+e an# =arriss stress that they #o not e9uate the electoral success of the ()P >%ith an improvement in the livin+ stan#ar#s of the poor’ (i0i#1 246 in . they ar+ue. have not altere# the lives an# livelihoo#s of these +roups in a ma7or %ay.-P.3or #alits an# a#ivasis.)uch measures. they nevertheless maintain its continue# relevance for su0altern politics1 >it is mislea#in+ to assume that people are al%ays empo%ere# in opposition to the state. this is evi#ent in the >secon# #emocratic upsur+e’ (i0i#1 224$2B Da#av.Most recently. a#vancement via the #emocratic process has ta&en the form of >empo%erment from %ithout’ (i0i#-1 240 in the form of constitutional provisions for 7o0 reservations./hey also call attention to ho% #emocracy is >an i#eal.Fhilst reco+ni?in+ that "n#ian #emocracy is marre# 0y shortcomin+s.

the ar+ument that >the failin+s of "n#ian #emocracy I shoul# not 0e ta&en as a si+n of the a0sence of #emocracy.avira7. then. 20001 222 . it is >those states in %hich the lo%er castesNclasses are more stron+ly represente# politically KthatL have 0een the most successful in re#ucin+ poverty’ (i0i#1 223 ! %ith the left$of$ centre re+imes of . is that a political system characteri?e# 0y sta0le political parties en+a+e# in competition over the votes of su0altern social +roups are more li&ely to further processes of empo%erment of those +roups./his entails that there are certain intrinsic limits to the e:tent to %hich the state an# its structures of representation an# intervention can 0e harnesse# for the pursuit of oppositional pro7ects an# #esi+ns that run counter to the lo+ic of systemic repro#uctionB in short. %hat " see& to 9uestion in these perspectives is not the assertion that the "n#ian state an# the #emocratic process constitute an ena0lin+ space for the stru++les of su0altern +roups.)till. in "n#ia. an# its %or&in+s are +eare# to%ar#s the repro#uction of those relations (Jessop. the tra7ectory of mo0ili?ation an# resistance in the Narma#a Ealley starte# %ith social action +roups %or&in+ on local #evelopment issues in . 20001 5A ! a capacity %hich in turn flo%s from the relational an# con7unctural character of state po%er as such.erala an# Fest (en+al cite# as cases in point (i0i#1 226$H *or0ri#+e an# =arriss’s #efence of the continue# relevance of the #emocratic process an# the state in turn has ramifications for their vie%s on the role of social movements in the realm of su0altern politics. the state’s structures of intervention an# representation %ill inherently have >une9ual an# asymmetrical effects on the a0ility of #ifferent social +roups to realise their interests throu+h political action’ (i0i#1 22A .*ertainly.No%.40 =arriss. N2Os an# community or+ani?ations I provi#e an alternative to the state’ (*or0ri#+e an# =arriss. or of the failure of "n#ia’s #emocracy to offer some forms of protection or a#vancement to the poor’ (i0i#-1 202 is an apposite one. 20001 203 .)i+nificantly. the presence of such movements an# or+anisations positively affect the 0alance of class forces so that #emocratic +overnment %or&s in favour of su0altern social +roups1 >Fe conten# that citi?ens’ movements are most effective %here they put pressure on the state to ta&e the part of the poor."n#ee#./he state is.A failure to ta&e this into account %oul# constitute a failure to reco+ni?e >the po%er of #emocratic political institutions an# their capacity to impose more e+alitarian #istri0utive re+imes on societies a+ainst reluctant capitalist classes’ (. an institutional con+ealment of the fun#amental relations that un#erpin a #eterminate social formation.Cather. or to protect the poor from some of the a0uses heape# upon them’ (i0i#-1 203 ./hese intrinsic limits ar+ua0ly come into vie% in actual en+a+ements 0et%een social movements an# the state./he ar+ument. relational an# con7unctural #oes not e9ual infinitely mallea0le for all purposes an# all social +roups. an# so " turn to the Narma#a Ealley once a+ainAs " mentione# a0ove. they ar+ue that >it is mislea#in+ to suppose that citi?ens’ movements. in essence. 45G2 .

'eman#s for 0ri0es %ere in turn un#erpinne# 0y a very real threat of violenceB as one . i-e.tyrants< %ho impose# a cruel re+ime of e:tortion upon their . an# forest ran+ers (see Nilsen. came to 0e challen+e# %hen ur0an. then. revenue officials.As a response.M*) emer+e# throu+h a process in %hich ur0an e#ucate# activists 7oine# han#s %ith villa+e communities in challen+in+ a con#ition %hich " refer to as everyday tyranny ! that is. the *hief Minister intervene# an# suspen#e# several forest +uar#s %ho %ere responsi0le for the 0eatin+ of one of the activists. an# e:tortive practices mete# out 0y the local representatives of the state. one coul# say that the local state in Alira7pur %as not encountere# as a set of a+encies an# functionaries that provi#e# services to an# %ere accounta0le to the citi?ens of a political community.M*) . a#ivasi >si+htin+s of the state’ (*or0ri#+e. Filliams. 20061 6 %ere centre# on seemin+ly all$po%erful . an# %ho respon#e# to #efiance %ith violence an# coercion@very#ay tyranny.Fhereas the initial response %as one of violence ! several of the activists %ere 0eaten up severely ! the mo0ilisation process +athere# pace %hen activists an# villa+ers sta+e# a #harna in protest a+ainst the violent practices of the local representatives of the state outsi#e the su0$#istrict a#ministrative hea#9uarters in Alira7pur to%n.44 the #am$affecte# a#ivasi communities in 2u7arat. ho%ever. they %oul# often 0rin+ the person to the police outpost %here he %oul# 0e 0eaten up an# then ma#e to pay a 0ri0e in or#er to avoi# criminal char+es@very#ay tyranny."n a series of confrontations %ith local state officials."n the conte:t of %i#esprea# repression %hich rei+ne# in Alira7pur.the police.A further protest action in the state capital of (hopal resulte# in the Ma#hya Pra#esh 3orest *onservator 0ein+ sent to Alira7pur to #iscuss the pro0lems that villa+ers face# in their encounters %ith local forest ran+ersB in the meetin+ he stresse# that forest ran+ers %ere not entitle# to #eman# 0ri0es. 20060B see also (avis&ar. if local police officers #iscovere# a villa+er %al&in+ alon+ the roa# carryin+ an a:e or a sic&le. 2006a1 *hapter G.he#ut Ma?#oor *hetna )an+ath (."n#ee#./he . Ma#hya Pra#esh an# Maharashtra in the early an# mi#$45G0s. activists an# villa+ers pointe# out the ille+ality of coercion an# e:tortion. this of course constitute# . an# that any further malpractice shoul# 0e reporte# #irectly to him.On the contrary. an# other relate# livelihoo# activities.8ocal an# state me#ia pic&e# up on the protest. coercive. a ran+e of violent. 4556 . an# it 9uic&ly 0ecame ne%s.su07ects< %ith a heavy han#. e#ucate# activists came into contact %ith the a#ivasi communities in the early 45G0s.One of or+anisations %as the tra#e union . %hich %as 0ase# in the su0$#istrict of Alira7pur in %estern Ma#hya Pra#esh.@very#ay tyranny essentially revolve# aroun# local state officials e:actin+ 0ri0es ! 0oth in cash an# in &in# ! from a#ivasis in or#er to turn a 0lin# eye to their use of state$o%ne# forests for cultivation. )rivastava an# EOron.M*) activist e:plaine# to me. tim0er an# fuel collection. %as a local state$society relationship far remove# from the li0eral$#emocratic i#eals of citi?enship enshrine# in the "n#ian constitution.

#efen#ant< ! in this case the ))P ! in an in#epen#ent an# un0ri#le# %ay an# pass 7u#+ement on this . or as mem0ers of populations %ith le+ally #efine# or politically inspire# e:pectations’ (*or0ri#+e et.42 a ma7or victory.As '%ive#i (455H has pointe# out./his in turn su++este# that a revie% of the pro7ect %oul# in fact lea# to its a0an#onment."t %as clear to the An#olan that the %ei+ht of the evi#ence flatly contra#icte# the official claims that 7ustifie# the #am3urthermore."t %as. then. an# its social an# environmental impactsB #urin+ the course of the revie%./he tra7ectory of the ."n 4550.M*). faile# to happen."n#ee#. in turn. 45561 456 /he result of the process. %e encounter a #ifferent scenario.P. %ho ar+ua0ly presi#e# on a . the N(A #eman#e#. it shoul# 0e a0an#one# H. an# an institution %hich they coul# participate in the runnin+ of.social movement man#ate<. rules. promises to implement a revie% %ere first ma#e an# then rene+e# on #ue to internal #ifferences in the state +overnment. is an apt e:ample of the %ay in %hich social movements can effectively an# successfully a#vance the empo%erment of su0altern +roups via the institutions an# i#eolo+ies of the state)o far. they came to see an institution that %as suppose# to provi#e services an# safe+uar# ri+hts. an# proce#ures relate# to #am 0uil#in+./his./he tra7ectory of the #eman# for revie% e:hi0its a clear pattern1 at state level. shie# 7 /he 0asic rationale for #eman#in+ a revie% seems to have 0een roote# in the &no%le#+e that the movement ha# pro#uce# ! its rich 0o#y of counter$e:pertise (see Nilsen. cost$0enefit e9uations.M*). they came to see pu0lic servants %hose po%ers %ere le+ally circumscri0e# an# %ho %ere accounta0le to them as citi?ensB %here the villa+ers ha# once seen a state apparatus %hose activities centre# on the forceful e:action of tri0ute. construction on the #am shoul# 0e halte#. promises %ere ma#e an# rene+e# on. 0ut here as a #irect conse9uence of the pressure levelle# 0y the 2overnment of 2u7arat. or simply not follo%e# up at allB at the fe#eral level also. even Prime Minister E. a process throu+h %hich formerly su07u+ate# communities emer+e# as a+ents %ho coul# an# %oul#.al-. in %hich the creation of an a%areness in the a#ivasi communities that they %ere 0earers of constitutional ri+hts an# as %ell as special entitlements vis$M$vis the "n#ian state %as a central strate+y an# &ey achievement (see also (avis&ar. assessin+ its technical feasi0ility. this is very much a form of >7ury politics’ %hich presupposes an un#erstan#in+ of the state as a neutral ar0iter %hich can assess an# evaluate 0o#ies of evi#ence a+ainst or in favour of a . competently an# assertively. the An#olan put forth the #eman# that the 2overnment of "n#ia shoul# or#er an e:tensive revie% of the ))P."f the pro7ect %as foun# to 0e technically unfeasi0le or in violation of social an# environmental re+ulations. 200601 chapter 40 ! a0out the pro7ect. %as a profoun# transformation in the character of su0altern >si+htin+s of the state’ in Alira7pur1 %here a#ivasis ha# once seen state officials as %ell$ni+h all po%erful fi+ures. the evi#ence esta0lishe# that the pro7ect violate# a %i#e array of #omestic an# international norms. an institution upon %hich they coul# ma&e ri+hts$0ase# claims an# #eman#s. ho%ever. >see& to en+a+e %ith the state as citi?ens. so +oo# ! 0ut if %e turn to the tra7ectory of the N(A’s campai+n a+ainst the )ar#ar )arovar Pro7ect. 20061 43 . then. an# it 0ecame the 0asis for further mo0ili?ation 0y the .)in+h.#efen#ant< solely on the 0asis of this evi#ence- .

this chasm %as effectively 0rushe# asi#e %ith the )* ver#ict of Octo0er 2000./he process culminate# in one of the N(A’s most spectacular an# #ramatic protest actions1 the Jan "i#as Sangharsh $atra (March of )tru++le for People’s 'evelopment in 'ecem0erNJanuary 4550N541 si: thousan# people marche# from (a#%ani to%n in Ma#hya Pra#esh to%ar#s the ))P #am$site in 2u7arat. the )* staunchly refuse# to lift the stay on the #am.Once a+ain. it is 9uite possi0le to tease out crac&s an# fissures in the state$system./he )* impose# a stay on the ))P in 4556. then. an# a protracte# stan#off unfol#e# %here several activists %ent on a 24 #ay hun+er stri&e. the ran&s of the state$system ! ironically enou+h %ith a clear reference to the separation of state po%ers ! %ere close#. the pro$activist profile is most clear in relation to cases of a strictly environmental character. an# the closure %as in favour of #ominant social +roups8 =o%ever./his occurre# even in a conte:t of fra+mentation at the top as. in 2u7arat. ha# %on the state elections.An# the initial e:perience %ith the N(A’s case seeme# to confirm this."n cases %here P"8 have 0een file# to challen+e infrastructure pro7ects. %hich %as ma#e pu0lic in 455A an# lent cre#ence to the N(A’s case. a 3ive Mem0er 2roup (3M2 %as assi+ne# the mission of revie%in+ the pro7ect in 4553. a chasm can 0e i#entifie# in the state$ system. 0ut the si+nificant #ynamic is that of the closin+ of the ran&s %hich occurre# at every 7uncture %here the push of the #ominant proprietary classes an# their representatives came to shoveA similar pattern can 0e foun# in the N(A’s en+a+ement %ith the )upreme *ourt"n May 455A. the )* has consistently 0een that it cannot an# shoul# not interfere %ith such pro7ectsB the Narma#a case.Once a+ain. e:emplifies a +eneral tren#- . the N(A su0mitte# a case of pu0lic interest liti+ation a+ainst the ))P to the )upreme *ourt./rue enou+h. 0ran#ishin+ a pro$civil society a+en#a an# ar+uin+ for a re#uction of the hei+ht of the ))P. an# in 4553. in MP the *on+ress an# 'i+vi7ay )in+h./he march %as stoppe# at the 0or#er to 2u7arat.43 a%ay from implementin+ a revie% in the face of the counter$mo0ili?ation sta+e# 0y *himan0hai Patel ! *hief Minister of 2u7arat an# a lea#in+ representative of the #ominant Pati#ar lan#o%nin+ classes in the southern an# central parts of the state. then.pa#hyay (2000 notes. claimin+ that the e:ecution of the pro7ect constitute# a violation of people’s 0asic ri+ht to life an# livelihoo#. as . the central +overnment announce# that a revie% %oul# 0e carrie# out.=o%ever./hrou+hout this tra7ectory. follo%in+ further #ramatic actions 0y the N(A. %hich state# that the ))P shoul# 0e complete# as 9uic&ly as possi0le. %as lar+ely inconse9uential.An important part of the rationale for #oin+ so %as the fact that "n#ia’s )* ha# o0taine# a reputation for its pro$activist leanin+s G. an# %hen senior Mem0ers of Parliament e:presse# their #ismay over the )*’s me##lin+ in inter$state affairs #urin+ hearin+s in 455H. 0ut its efforts %ere effectively un#ermine# 0oth 0y central politicians an# the 2overnment of 2u7arat/he report of the 3M2. *himan0hai Patel ha# passe# a%ay an#. an# the clear statement accompanyin+ the ver#ict that the )upreme *ourt %as not to serve as an arena for contestin+ state #evelopment strate+ies.

/he N(A’s campai+n a+ainst #am$0uil#in+.a committee for mana+in+ the common affairs of the 0our+eoisie<. %hose capacity to influence the %or&in+s of the state$system outshone that of the a#ivasis an# petty$commo#ity pro#ucers mo0ili?e# 0y the N(A in Ma#hya Pra#esh an# Maharashtra."t also #emonstrates that the >state$ system’ ! i-e.M*)’ #eman#s can 0e seen as an e:ercise in 0olsterin+ the state$i#ea as such.4A "n these t%o encounters %ith the state %e have t%o very #ifferent outcomes to +rapple %ith. an# that it may %ell 0e >ma#e to #o the 0i##in+ of "n#ia’s lo%er or#ers’ (*or0ri#+e an# =arriss. as *hatter7ee (45G6. ho%ever."n the case of the An#olan’s stru++le for revie% of the ))P an# its turn to the )*. an# the state$i#ea as an i#eolo+ical veil %hich >contrives to #eny the e:istence of connections %hich %oul# if reco+nise# 0e incompati0le %ith the claime# autonomy an# inte+ration of the state’ (A0rams. 4553 has ar+ue#.the >palpa0le ne:us of practice an# institutional structure centre# in +overnment’ (i0i#1 G2 ! is not a ti+htly suture# leviathan."t %as #eeply em0e##e# in a +eneric opposition to #am$0uil#in+ as a #evelopment strate+y.M*) offensive a+ainst the every#ay tyranny of the local state ! si+nificant thou+h it %as for the communities involve# ! %as centre# on a claim to %hich the hi+her echelons of the state$system coul# conce#e %ithout un#erminin+ its o%n authority an# %ithout +oin+ a+ainst the interests of e:tra$local proprietary elites. the N(A levelle# a challen+e a+ainst one of the chief mo#alities throu+h %hich the "n#ian state has secure# the constitution an# repro#uction of capital accumulation in postcolonial "n#ia. ce#in+ to the .M*) certainly illustrates the potential for empo%erment %hich resi#es in su0altern appropriations of %hat A0rams (45GG1 G2 calls the >state$i#ea’ ! i-e.=o%ever. 20001 235 . the state$system appears more as . throu+h a >passive revolution’ in %hich the &ey #evelopment strate+ies of the state have ./his can of course 0e rea# as testimony to *or0ri#+e an# =arriss’s ar+ument that the e:tent to %hich su0altern +roups can ma&e claims on the state is su07ect to con7unctural fluctuations relate# to re+ional an# state$specific 0alances of class po%er.the representation of the state as a coherent 0o#y e:ternal to society %hich neutrally ar0itrates in conflicts 0et%een e9uals./his is so 0ecause the campai+n %as not only #irecte# a+ainst one particular #am$pro7ect. as %ell as a criti9ue of the %i#er mo#el of #evelopment of %hich this strate+y %as a part an# concerte# attempts to constitute a nation$%i#e alliance of social movements aroun# this criti9ue ! most clearly evi#ent in the National Alliance of People’s Movements. 45GG1 HH /he e:planation for these #ifferential outcomes must 0e sou+ht. %as pitte# #irectly a+ainst the veste# interests of the proprietary elites of )outh an# *entral 2u7arat. " %oul# ar+ue that in the case of the N(A’s anti$#am campai+n it is also possi0le to #etect constraints to su0altern claims$ma&in+ on the state %hich are of a more structural character./he case of the ./he . ho%ever./hus."n#ee#. namely. in the #ifferential character of the oppositional pro7ects pursue# 0y the . " 0elieve.M*) an# the N(A.

ho%ever. it is. it %oul# a#vocate an instrumental rather than a committed en+a+ement5 %ith the state$system an# the state$i#ea ! i-e. %hat " ar+ue for is that %hilst.an approach to interaction %ith the state 0ase# on limite# e:pectations of %hat can 0e +aine# an# a clear perception of %hat cannot 0e +aine# an# %hat is ris&e# in pursuin+ this avenue.2iven the con7unctural nature of state po%er."t also entails an a%areness that a challen+e to the principles of po%er from a0ove on %hich the capitalist state rests ! if it is to 0e pursue# at all ! is a 0et 0est he#+e# on the construction of a social movement pro7ect %hich see&s to #evelop the collective s&ille# 9 " o%e this #istinction to 8aurence *o:- . my imme#iate su++estion %oul# 0e to steer a course 0et%een the ultimately state$centric vie% of *or0ri#+e an# =arriss an# the anti$statism of post$#evelopment theory in terms of the strate+ic role of state po%er in social movement practice/he 0asic ar+ument a+ainst anti$statism %oul# then 0e this1 an a%areness of the limits to the chan+es that can 0e achieve# via the state$system an# the state$i#ea #oes not in any %ay translate into a principle# re7ection of any en+a+ement %ith the state.Fhereas a full en+a+ement %ith these 9uestions transcen#s the relatively limite# parameters of this article. it is in#ee# calle# for to ac&no%le#+e >the possi0ilities for empo%erment that mi+ht e:ist %ithin "n#ia’s polity’ (*or0ri#+e an# =arriss.46 in effect concentrate# pro#uctive resources in the han#s of the country’s #ominant proprietary classes. e9ually imperative to +ive serious thou+ht to the limits that mi+ht e:ist to those possi0ilities an# %hat this entails in practical an# strate+ic terms for ne% social movements in contemporary "n#ia. it entails the a#vocacy of a position %hich e:plicitly see&s to ta&e account of 0oth the potential an# limits of political action %ithin the state$system. 20021 46G an# the fun#amental centrality of state po%er in securin+ the repro#uction of those structures an# relations/hus. on the one han#. 20001 23G . then the tra7ectory of those movements %ill naturally ten# to involve some &in# of recourse to state$centre# practices."n other %or#s. such recourse mi+ht also 0ear fruits. #oes not entail positin+ interaction an# ne+otiation %ith the state as >the 0e$all an# en#$all of movement activity’ (2eo+he+an an# *o:./his. institutions an# i#eational representations. on the other han#. an# the state$system an# the state$i#ea have fi+ure# so centrally in those he+emonic pro7ects as is the case in postcolonial "n#ia.amat."n short./his approach %oul# assert that social movements #o %isely in thin&in+ carefully a0out %hich 0ets to he#+e on the normal political process %ithin an institutionalise# social or#er an# %hich to place else%here. the oppositional pro7ect that crystalli?e# in the practice of the N(A came %ith ramifications %hich #efie# >the permanence of e:istin+ structures an# relations’ (."f social movements are seen as #evelopin+ relationally an# historically vis$M$vis the he+emonic pro7ects of social movements from a0ove. 20041 H Cather.

an# this structure in turn constitutes the limit to the possi0ility for movements of actin+ throu+h the state an# its a+encies. role an# strate+ies of ne% social movements in the %i#er conte:t of thorou+h+oin+ structural chan+e in "n#ia’s political economy" starte# %ith a critical interro+ation of >post$#evelopment’ representations of the N)Ms as 0earers of otherness an# har0in+ers of an era 0eyon# #evelopment an# mo#ernity. conflicts over resource control are more than li&ely to ." fin# it har# to a+ree %ith *or0ri#+e.46 activity of su0altern +roups to the point %here it can successfully challen+e e:tant po%er structures an# their entrenche# institutional manifestationsC!n"ludin3 Re%a 4s "n this paper " have sou+ht to contri0ute to a #e0ate on aca#emic representations an# analyses of the character.3or activists./hrou+h a #iscussion of the character of the Narma#a (achao An#olan’s criti9ue of "n#ia’s postcolonial #evelopment pro7ect " asserte# that social movements shoul# 0e vie%e# as fun#amentally immanent forces in that they emanate from the internal contra#ictions of "n#ia’s postcolonial #evelopment pro7ect an# at the same time ten# to articulate their criti9ue of the #irection an# meanin+ of this pro7ect via its central i#ioms of le+itimacy. " ar+ue# for a more #ifferentiate# vie% of the ena0lements an# constraints inherent to state po%er./his testifies to the systemic character an# limits of the An#olan’s campai+n a+ainst #am$0uil#in+1 it thrusts a+ainst a 0asal structure of proprietary po%er. Filliams. this points in the #irection of optin+ for an instrumental rather than a committe# use of the state in the pursuit of emancipatory +oals/his is of course merely an initial contri0ution to a #iscussion." then move# on to a #iscussion of the relationship 0et%een "n#ia’s N)Ms an# the state."n contrast to *or0ri#+e an# =arriss’s a#vocacy of movement strate+ies that pursue empo%erment an# process claims an# #eman#s via the state.As much as the social action +roups that prece#e# the mo0ili?ation aroun# #am 0uil#in+ re+istere# consi#era0le successes in their use of the state an# its a+encies a+ainst local forms of oppression. 0ut it is imperative that this #iscussion ta&es place. the attempts 0y the N(A to push the state to act as a neutral ar0iter in the conflict have consistently faile# ! from the initial #eman#s for a state$le# revie% to the more recent attempts to secure a favoura0le 7u#+ement a+ainst the pro7ect from the )upreme *ourt." pursue# this ar+ument throu+h an analysis of the tra7ectory of the N(A’s stru++le a+ainst #ispossession. )rivastava an# Eeron %hen they posit such stru++les as that %hich have unfol#e# in the Narma#a Ealley as someho% less important than the every#ay stru++les in %hich >men an# %omen see& to en+a+e %ith the state as citi?ens.Fith the intensification of neoli0eral restructurin+ in "n#ia. or as mem0ers of populations %ith le+ally #efine# ri+hts or politically inspire# e:pectations’.

2006 . 2006. A-.Moreover. at the very least. 45GG. this is no%here more clearly evi#ence# than in the intro#uction of )pecial @conomic Jones. the &illin+ of at least 4A people in March 200H in Nan#i+ram.4 (anner7ee. Journal of %istorical Sociology. Alternative (utures and &opular &rotest ) *onference &apers.4. >2rassroots Movements an# the )tate1 Ceflections on Ca#ical *han+e in "n#ia’.al."n#ee#. Eol. the . No. consi#er the possi0ility that social movements are immanent forces %ith the potential to transcen# an# transform the social formation in %hich they have emer+e# throu+h a #efinite su0version of the po%er relations that th%arte# the capacity of the #esi+ns for mo#ern "n#ia to #eliver on the promises of pro+ress for its social ma7oritiesREFERENCES A0rams.responsi0le< scholarship that *or0ri#+e et. crucially. >Notes on the 'ifficulty of )tu#yin+ the )tate’.alin+a Na+ar in Orissa in January 2006. No. Fest (en+al ! a state hel# up 0y *or0ri#+e an# =arriss as an e:emplar of ho% left political parties actin+ throu+h the state can a#vance popular empo%erment ! in con7unction %ith popular protests a+ainst the ac9uisition of lan# for the esta0lishment of a )pecial @conomic Jone 0y the "n#onesian )alim 2roup ((anner7ee.6 . an#.Cecent e:amples inclu#e the shootin+ of 42 Mun#a a#ivasis %ho %ere protestin+ their #isplacement #ue to the construction of a ma7or steel plant at .(20061 *hapter 5 call for cannot %ith le+itimate reason an# +oo# conscience restrict the scope of its optic an# the #epth of its am0ition to an en#less multiplication of ethno+raphic an# historical #ecipherin+s of the cultural politics of molecular re%or&in+s of the postcolonial #evelopment pro7ect an# encoura+ements of a sustaine# 0elief in actin+ throu+h the state. 200H . Manchester Metropolitan . Theory and Society. >Moral (etrayal of a 8eftist 'ream’. the &illin+ of three people in Manipur on 'ecem0er 4A 2006 as security forces opene# fire on protestors raisin+ #eman#s for resettlement an# reha0ilitation for #am oustees.46. Eol. April H (ar&er an# /yl#esley (e#s. )-. #ispossession seems to 0e increasin+ly un#erpinne# 0y a rea#iness to resort to violent coercion. 45GH."t must.. P-. %hich %ill entail the sei?ure of at least half a million hectares of lan# in a process %hich >is nothin+ short of a cru#e form of primitive accumulation of capital’ (*han#rase&har. Economic and &olitical 'ee#ly.niversity (asu.4H proliferate. 200H."n this conte:t.

Filliams. The Journal of Asian Studies Eol. Eol.(eneath the Pavement Only )oil<1 /he Poverty of Post$ 'evelopment’. Eol. 2-.overnmentality in !ndia. *am0ri#+e. Coutle#+e . 2000.4 *or0ri#+e. Princeton . Seeing the State+ .overnance and . P-. C-. 455G. M-. 4556. )-. e#- *or0ri#+e. No.3A. J-.2A2.23.niversity Press *hatter7ee. 2006. >*ompetin+ "ne9ualities1 /he )che#ule# /ri0es an# the Ceservations )ystem in "n#ia’s Jhar&han#’. No.niversity Press *hatter7ee.ation. 2006. 200A. J. )-. P-. The Nation and its (ragments. For&in+ Paper )eries No. Ne% Dor&. A-. >People’s Movements in @nvironmental Politics1 A *ritical Analysis of the Narma#a (achao An#olan in "n#ia’. 45G6. 455H.niversity Press*han#rase&har. 2-. Nationalist Thought and the *olonial 'orld. >3e#eralism. an# =arris. 4553. "nstitute of )ocial )tu#ies- '%ive#i. Journal of Development Studies. )-.20 *hatter7ee. C-. Polity Press*or0ri#+e. *am0ri#+e. *. 45561 &o/er of Development.niversity Press *or0ri#+e.overned+ the 'orld. Princeton. >Primitive Accumulation’. >. Ne% Dor&1 Coutle#+e '%ive#i. 8on#on. *olum0ia . Ne% 'elhi.(e#.65. =in#u Nationalism an# Mytholo+ies of 2overnance in Mo#ern "n#ia’. 2006.. !n the Belly of the "alley. C-. *onflict and *ollective Action. pp.niversity Press *rush. )-.6 *or0ri#+e. P-. )rivastava. &olitics of the .4G (avis&ar. 3rontline. an# EOron.404$42H in )mith. 4556. *am0ri#+e . No. einventing !ndia+ Liberali. 2000. %indu Nationalism eflections on &opular &olitics in -ost of iver+ Tribal *onflicts over 'ater in the Narmada and &opular Democracy. ). O:for# . O:for# . 'elhi.P-.

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M.an# A+ra%al.. O:for# . Eol. Social -ovements in !ndia+ &overty. >My Para#i+m or DoursQ Alternative 'evelopment.42HPara7uli.an# F. and &olitics. 4556.4$2 Peet.at?enstein.262$30A in .(e#s.24 Para7uli. Ne% 'elhi. 2. e#s- )ivarama&rishnan. 2000.25. Liberation Ecologies+ Environment. egional -odernities+ The *ultural &olitics of Development in !ndia.an# F. . >2rass$Coots Mo0ili?ation in "n#ian Politics’.A. 2000. )-. No. 4556. . JN-. !nternational Social Science Journal.. Eol. 45GG. C.ttaranchal1 'evelopment. >'evelopment *ounter$Narratives1 /a&in+ )ocial Movements )eriously’. C. 455G. >Po%er an# . A-. Post$ 'evelopment. 4554. 2000.2 Pieterse. 'elhi. =-. Eol. A. Ne% 'elhi. e#sCan+an. @nvironment an# )ocial Protest in the 2arh%al =imalayas. Third 'orld <uarterly. Co%an an# 8ittlefiel# )hah. M. >After Post$'evelopment’. 4550. )tanfor# . 200A. A-. >@colo+ical @thnicity in the Ma&in+1 'evelopmentalist =e+emonies an# @mer+ent "#entities in "n#ia’..no%le#+e in 'evelopment 'iscourse1 Ne% )ocial Movements an# the )tate in "n#ia’. 2002. P-. Social -ovements in !ndia. =-.206$226 in Peet.2 Can+an. 200A. P-. e#)hah. C. Development and Social -ovements. Cefle:ive 'evelopment’. )inha. pp. )a+e Pu0lications )hah. )tanfor#. pp. Social -ovements and the State. Social -ovements in !ndia+ A Pu0lications evie/ of the Literature .. )a+e e/riting *hip#o into %imalayan %istory .an# A+ra%al. 8on#on1 Coutle#+ePieterse.Fatts..N-.(e#.Fatts (e#s. 2-.niversity Press- . No. 2-. M'. Development and *hange.f -yths and -ovements+ Ne% 'elhi. J.(e#s. Manohar Cay. pp.. .2G6$342 in )ivarama&rishnan.. No.niversity Press Cao.an# . >3rom *hip&o to . !dentities. 2000. No.3.). &o/er.(e#. "n#ia’.24.ohli.

M-. Eol.al-.*rush.psur+e1 /ren#s of (ahu7an Participation in @lectoral Politics in the 4550s’. >"s "n#ia (ecomin+ More 'emocraticQ’. e#Fatts. No 4 Fatts. Economic and &olitical 'ee#ly. pp.pa#hyaya.420$4A6 in 3ran&el. >*han+in+ Ju#icial Po%er1 *ourts on "nfrastructure Pro7ects an# @nvironment’. A-. pp. (ederalism+ The -ultiethnic *hallenge. No. 2.2 Da#av.. A-. 2000.n#erstan#in+ the )econ# 'emocratic . EersoEarshney. >A Ne% 'eal in @motions1 /heory an# Practice an# the *risis of 'evelopment’. Journal of Asian Studies.et. 4556. >456G an# all that I’. 3.22 )mith. Octo0er 2G . 2000. No. 2000. 4550. vol65. 2000. D-. M-.H Eanai&. >*lass )tru++le in Cural Maharashtra1 /o%ar#s a Ne% Perspective’. &rogress in %uman . >. The &ainful Transition+ Bourgeois Democracy in !ndia. 8on+man- .eography. e#s- .26. A-. Journal of &easant Studies. E-. 8on#on.AA$62 in J. 45G0.(e#. 8on#on.pa#hyay. 4556.