Political Ecology of Everyday Resistance and State Building: A Case of the Ho of Jharkhand, India

Kumar, Dhiraj (2018) Political Ecology of Everyday Resistance and State Building: A Case of the Ho of Jharkhand, India. PhD thesis.

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Resource extraction and conflicts over natural resources are not a new phenomenon in India.It is intrinsic with the discussion of capitalism and State development projects. These plans and projects had a history of bterritorialisation, dispossession, accumulation and marginalization but the post-1991 neo-liberalization of the Indian political economy has accelerated market-based development that favours corporate sectors and appeals for immediate resource uses.
The way State development policies and projects shape and restructure the resource rich ecology demands academic attention. In this light, this thesis explores the process of State formation through developmental intervention in Ho predominately resource rich region of Jharkhand. It addresses the interrelated issues of development induced dispossession, resistance, ecological transformation, governance, shadowy practices of democracy, illegalities and State building. It approaches the puzzle by asking: What (i) development projects bring to Ho community (ii) induces them for resistance and negotiation and (iii) how State decentralization schemes and local governance in resource conflict areas strengthen state capacities.
These process and practices is interrogated from the perspective of political ecology by using the case study method, interview method, participant observation and ethnography. This study shows how State developmental projects as an immanent process and activity of capitalist development transformed the ecology of the Ho adivasi of West Singhbhum, Jharkhand. To do so, this thesis has used five theses of political ecology and some concepts from developmental sociology, Neo-Marxism, Peasant studies and economic anthropology.
This thesis shows that how governmental development interventions are a kind of governmentality that is based on accumulation and assimilation. These accumulative projects pose serious threat to the life worlds and social system of the Ho community. Government support in the form of incentives and policies to promote extractive activities induces resistance that also transformed the local ecology. The transformation of ecology has consequences for local people‘s livelihoods and cultural practices resulting everyday resistance and conflict. Study also shows that natural resources particularly land is not only material basis for subsistence but it is also a basis of their culture and a source of capabilities to be act as they want.
At last this study reveals that decentralization and politics of participatory governance effects have enhanced the State strength among the Ho adivasi even though the process of local governance is in compliance with many institutions, associations and agencies along with some undemocratic political association that forms a glimpse of twilight democracy. Decentralization is practiced only to authorize the top down scheme of the State. Study also claims that developmental schemes and undemocratic practices degraded the functionality of traditional customary system.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Resource conflict; State; Political ecology; Assimilation; Democracy, Development
Subjects:Humanities & Social Sciences > Sociology
Humanities & Social Sciences > Urban Sociology
Divisions: Social Sciences > Department of Humanities & Social Sciences
ID Code:9769
Deposited By:IR Staff BPCL
Deposited On:23 Jan 2019 11:38
Last Modified:23 Jan 2019 11:38
Supervisor(s):Mishra, Niharranjan

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