chapter  3
How an NGO Works the State and Why it Succeeds
A Case Study from Central India
ByVasudha Chhotray
Pages 31

This chapter presents the different set of questions: how do non-governmental organizations (NGOs) see the state, their own position within it and most importantly, what do they make of the idea of the state in negotiating a space for themselves to undertake socially transformative development. It aims to analytically explore questions posed through the viewpoint of this NGO's strategies, all along emphasizing the significance of the particular circumstances influencing its experiences. The coming to power of the Janata Party in 1977 was clearly the turning point in the history of state-NGO relationships in India. A brief history of non-governmental action in India reveals that a wide range of voluntary initiatives have existed since Independence, and even before it as well. The Narmada Bachao Andolan in particular is a striking example of a new social movement that comprises development NGOs, grassroots organizations, activists and intellectuals, all of whom have come together to oppose the Narmada Valley Project.