Displacement In Development

1750 Words7 Pages
After independence when India launched the task of nation building, it chose the path of planned development. This was flagged off with the launching of Five-Year Plans. Since economic development was conspicuously poor, planners focused more on economic development defined mainly as the growth of GNP, which was symbolized by new factories, dams, mega projects, mining etc (Kaviraj 1996: 116). Dams were even referred to as the ‘temples of modern India’ and as symbols of progress and prosperity. Though these mega projects have provided power to growing industries, irrigation to thirsty lands and above all, have brought economic prosperity to the nation, they have nevertheless, led to forced displacement of tens of thousands of people from their…show more content…
Development has also been a source of large-scale human suffering insofar as it has displaced people, evicting entire communities and denying families their accustomed livelihoods. Here is the paradox- the tension between development as an ideal and development as an actual process- with which we are confronted when development causes displacement. Displacement deprives people of many things. Some of which are fundamental to their lives, including homes, productive assets, livelihoods, familiar environments to which skills and practices have been attuned, community networks and a sense of local belonging. (Penz 2011: p.1-2). The displacement is imposed, forced and involuntary in nature despite occurring within a democratic political system (Hussain: 2011). While the people of the region have to bear the cost of development by way of getting displaced, others in the country are to reap its benefits (Das: 2007). It is important to recognize that the contemporary development process has its beneficiaries as well as victims (Hussain: 2011). Like many other developing countries of Asia and Africa, India too generated a massive army of different categories of Internally Displaced Persons or IDPs during post-colonial period (Hussain: 211). Most people displaced by development do lose their homes and are forced to resettle elsewhere- which qualifies them as IDPs…show more content…
The Land Acquisition Act (amended in 1984) through which lands have been acquired for development projects, was passed by the colonial government to make it possible for the state to acquire private land for ‘public purposes’. The act provides for payment of only cash compensation and only those who have a direct interest in the title to such land (Vaswani: 1988). Tribal regions are more particularly affected in the process of development. A significant number of displaced tribals have historically been dependent on natural and common resources for their subsistence. Their displacement on a massive scale adds a serious dimension to the problem. These tribal communities have an ethos and a way of life based significantly upon their natural resource base. Due to developmental projects, they are forced to move out of areas where they have lived for generations (Mohanty: 2005). In the course of time, people’s land and forests became the property of the state. In other words, nature was turned into property (Sarangi: 2002). All have been sacrificed at the altar of national development and national interest (Sarangi:

More about Displacement In Development

Open Document