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People's CarIndustrial India and the Riddles of Populism$
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Sarasij Majumder

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823282425

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823282425.001.0001

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date: 19 October 2019

Land Is Like a Mother: The Contradictions of Village-Level Protests

Land Is Like a Mother: The Contradictions of Village-Level Protests

(p.100) Chapter 3 Land Is Like a Mother: The Contradictions of Village-Level Protests
People's Car

Sarasij Majumder

Fordham University Press

This chapter considers the village protests against land acquisition as performances. It uses the idea of performance, built on concepts of a front stage and a backstage, to contrast the spectacular with the mundane. It highlights the rhetorical strategies that landholding villagers use to represent themselves and rural life to the urban media, urban activists, and the anthropologist using the trope of the peasant living a harmonious rural life. These gendered self-images derive from leftist politics and its extolling of rural life and the peasantry as articulated through such statements as “Land is like mother; it cannot be bought and sold.” This chapter shows how the protest tactics and images challenged the state but also exacerbated conflicts among villagers and prevented them from entering into dialogue with the government regarding compensation and rehabilitation.

Keywords:   peasant, performance, politics of place, value

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