Shifting waterscapes: Tradition, development and change in Orissa

Routray, Sailen (2011) Shifting waterscapes: Tradition, development and change in Orissa. Doctoral thesis, NIAS.

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Thesis advisorMohan, N
Abstract: Kalahandi has been discussed as a case of absolute deprivation amidst relative plenty, and the reason for this has often been identified as the lack of proper developmental action by the state. Amongst governmental developmental interventions, water-related interventions, especially those related to watershed development, assume salience because of the framing of Kalahandi as a land of drought. To understand emergent forms of governmental action in the field of watershed development in Kalahandi, doctoral fieldwork was undertaken in the project site of Western Orissa Rural Livelihoods Project (WORLP), a governmental, participatory watershed development project that was being implemented in Kalahandi. Doctoral fieldwork was undertaken in the period between June 2008 and February 2010 using ethnographic methods such as in-depth unstructured interviews, semi-structured interviews, observation and participant observation along with collection of secondary material. The study identifies the mission mode of doing government as a key change that happened during the last 25 years involving an increased importance of ‘social’ technologies. The study describes five governmental tactics related to emergent modes of governmental action; it also identifies an increasing convergence in the everyday practices of governmental and non-governmental organisations, and the growth of ‘the social’ as a terrain and object of governmental action as two important effects of the deployment of these tactics. The study identifies toutary as a key social domain that frames the perceptions and actions of people related to the state. As a domain toutary is populated by social agents, called touters; toutary can be defined as the interstitial zone between state and society created by the increasing penetration by the state through social technologies. This study provides a critique of a dominant strand of theorising the state in India involving borrowings of Gramscian notions of passive revolution into the Indian context and its recent extension through the political society formulation to understand the postcolonial state in India. It shows the advantages of an ethnographic approach towards studying the everyday state in India, and tries to briefly discuss implications of such an understanding of the state for ‘underdeveloped’ districts such as Kalahandi.
Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: The thesis was submitted to the Institute of Development Studies, University of Mysore, Mysore. [Year of Award 2012] [Thesis No. TH11]
Keywords: Backward district, Development of Orissa, Framing Kalahandi, Mission mode, shifting waterscapes, state-fabrication in India, vernacular perceptions
Subjects: School of Social Sciences > Sociology
Doctoral Programme > Theses
Divisions: Schools > Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 13 Oct 2011 08:56
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2023 11:17
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