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Prakash, Amit (1998) The politics of development and identity in the Jharkhand region of Bihar (India), 1951-91. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This is a study of the process by which public policy implementation influences the crystallisation of political identities premised on ethnic, lingual, religious or other similar grounds. It argues that the failure of development policy to intervene in socio-economic conditions encourages societal groups to articulate themselves as political identities. The Jharkhand movement in south Bihar has been studied to substantiate the theoretical formulations. After briefly outlining the historical roots of the Jharkhand movement, the study locates the tribal policy of the colonial and post-colonial Indian state in the dynamics of the colonial and nationalist discourses. The thesis then focuses on the changing development profile of the Jharkhand region and correlates it to the fluctuating electoral support for Jharkhand political formations. This correlation has been studied with the help of a Modified Resource Dependence Model (Echeverri-Gent, 1993). This model argues that both the State and the societal groups control resources which are vital to the other. As the State in India controls a vast array of resources, disadvantaged societal groups articulate themselves as a self-conscious ethnic identity in order to augment their political resources and influence the policy process in their own favour. The case of Jharkhandi identity and the movement around it is one example of such articulation of a politically significant self-conscious identity in order to gain a better bargaining power. To a certain extent, it has been successful in influencing the State's response in terms of securing a development council for the area. The Jharkhandi identity, in turn, has been shaped by the response of the policy machinery to local needs and demands. This two-way interaction between the State and the Jharkhandi identity has also significantly altered the character of the identity itself. The 'politics of development and identity' thus born has been discussed and changing approaches of the various political parties towards the Jharkhandi identity and its demand for autonomy have been analysed.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:04

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