India’s abundant natural resources are a key feature of its newfound status as an emerging market that attracts foreign investments. As the country’s output of metals and their ores increases, investments to secure deals over mineral deposits and manufacturing plants increase. Apart from direct funding for new projects, new investments pay for a large increase in the deployment of security forces, multilayered briberization, and protection money that also funds Maoist outfits, in yet another unending war that is fundamentally a resource war around mineral and metal production—primarily steel and aluminum as well as coal and water. In this article, Damodaran and Padel examine the mining operations in Central India where Vedanta Resources, a corporation that has become symbolic of neoliberal capitalism in India today, brings huge new foreign investments in to exploit India’s resources under the logic of emerging markets. About a quarter of postcolonial India’s scheduled tribe population has been displaced by development projects, often through foreign loans and investments.
Investment-Induced Displacement in Central India: A Study in Extractive Capitalism
Vinita Damodaran is a historian of modern India. She is a professor of South Asian history at the University of Sussex and the director of the Centre for World Environmental History. She has published numerous books and articles and edits the Palgrave series in World Environmental History.
Felix Padel is a British anthropologist and activist based for many years in India, after earning degrees at Oxford and the Delhi School of Economics. His main books are Sacrificing People: Invasions of a Tribal Landscape (Orient BlackSwan, 2010), Out of This Earth: East India Adivasis and the Aluminium Cartel (with Samarendra Das, Orient BlackSwan, 2010), and, with Ajaya Dandekar and Jemmol Unni, Ecology, Economy: Quest for a Socially Informed Connection (Orient Black-Swan, 2013). He has been a professor of rural management at the Indian Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur, and is currently a research associate at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford, and the Centre for World Environmental History, University of Sussex.
Vinita Damodaran, Felix Padel; Investment-Induced Displacement in Central India: A Study in Extractive Capitalism. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 August 2018; 38 (2): 396–411. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201x-6982156
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