chapter  6
23 Pages

SOCIAL HISTORY AT THE CROSSROADS OF LOCAL, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL MOVEMENTS

The history of the 1990s demonstrated contradictory impulses in India to concentrate on local issues on the one hand, and globalization on the other – or even both at the same time. The government passed the Panchayati Raj Act, a law that profoundly changed how local development took place and devolved control to villages. At the same time it liberalized economic policies relating to the fl ow of capital that enhanced Indian companies’ position in global markets. This chapter is about those contradictions and the moments in which the local, the global, and the national intersect. For example environmental movements, which began with local protests, won some villagers control over their land in Indian courts, and brought protests over dam projects to international attention. Also, Hindu nationalist politics, which benefi ting from fi nancial connections abroad, advocated swadeshi – India-fi rst – at home and renamed Bombay ‘Mumbai’. This chapter, therefore, looks at the wider infl uence of local action and the local implications of global action.