Keywords for India: Land

Free Public Lecture

Keywords for India: Land

Land is many things to different people. In India, as elsewhere, it is sacred, bestows status, provides family inheritance, a source of livelihood, a store of value, and an asset that earns rents as well as profits. In this keyword lecture, Anthony D’Costa and Achin Chakraborty collaboratively offer another interpretation of land, namely, its commodification and the resulting political, legal, and sometimes violent contestations involving the state, landowners, corporations, and communities. Based on their recently published book “The Land Question in India: State, Dispossession, and Capitalist Transition” they present trends in land use pattern and economic conditions of farmers to show how an unresolved agrarian question and the state’s resolve in transforming the economy is creating a process of dispossession that challenges our very conception of capitalist development as we know it.

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