New Login   

Depicting Changing Contours

Md Irfan

Edited by Manish K. Jha  and Pushpendra
Orient BlackSwan, Noida, 2014, pp. xiii 350, Rs. 850.00


Traversing Bihar portrays Bihar’s inter­nal contradictions and struggles and is an attempt to interpret some of the paradoxes existent in contemporary Bihar. The issues addressed in this volume are agrar­ian reforms, upper-caste dominance, back­ward caste assertion, social movements and particularly Naxalite movement, floods and governance. Of the three sections the first deals with the politics of development that is an out­come of paradigm shift in Bihar. The con­tributors have looked into issues of land re­forms, agrarian relations, growth-oriented notions of development, policy failures to deal with devastation caused by frequent natural albeit man-made disasters, social ex­clusionary processes and government as well as private initiatives of inclusive develop­ment. Dipankar Bhattacharya explains the paradox of ‘change and continuity’ (p. 23), highlighting the absence of land reform and no reduction in migration of labour from Bihar. Pushpendra presents a detailed inves­tigation into land, labour and credit rela­tions through a case study of Village Jitwarpur in Bihar. He explains migration very well in the context of land, labour and credit relation. He also highlights the de­bates in the 1970s and 1980s regarding mode of production in agriculture. The essay also examines the land distribution pattern both owned and operated, and is a detailed in­quiry into leasing practices. Anamika Priyadarshani in her essay argues how the notion and articulation of development has been a rhetorical project since its inception in 2005. The essay attempts to explore what impaired people’s vision while reading, see­ing and experiencing violence around them. Dinesh Mishra’s essay deals with floods, one of the most persistent problems of Bihar. He is very critical of programmes and poli­cies for flood control. Meera Tiwari in her article describes the bottom-up approach to social inclusion through a case study. It also explores the Government of India’s affirma­tive action model through its reservation policy and two grassroots case studies with a bottom-up approach to address social exclu­sion. The era of 1990s and thereafter are very significant in the politics of Bihar. It offered an alternative to the notion of social justice questioning conventional knowledge about the concept. Dignity for the backward castes and commitment to the practice of secular­ism were top priorities for the new politics of social justice. The second section of the book traces and examines the experiences of social justice in the realm of ...

Table of Contents >>
Please or to Read Entire Article

Free Access Online 12 Back Issues
with 1 year's subscription
Archive (1976-2011)
under construction.