chapter  4
11 Pages

Dispossession due to development

A case study of the Tiwa Tribe of Central Assam
WithDola Borkataki

Development is meant to be an instrument for improving the lives of people. The State proclaims that development led by industrialization would gradually but inevitably eradicate poverty and the economic hurdles that people are struggling with. However, the grass-roots reality depicts that the State-sponsored development projects, rather than creating an even and just society, has in fact added to the woes of certain sections of the populace. The massive displacements, along with the threat to livelihood and environment, caused by the development projects portray instead the uglier side of development and raise questions about its intention. By highlighting empirical evidences of the unexpected and ill effects of development projects and industrial closures, the chapter argues how the purpose of development to ensure a better life for all and to free them from various adversities has failed. It highlights the deprivation suffered by the Tiwas, a Scheduled Tribe community of Central Assam. Three empirical cases are studied (Nagaon Paper Mill, Assam Polyester Mill and Assam Spun Silk Mill) to substantiate the arguments that development not only has resulted in displacement or spatial dislocation but also has dispossessed and turned certain sections of the people empty-handed.