Sunday, April 3, 2011

Development, as it is not understood

Do those who are subjected to hegemony of dominant development perspectives produce a counter discourse? Doesn’t modernity marginalize the poor to the extent that they only lament their condition? Quite in contrast, even while overwhelmed by irony, distance and cynicism the marginalized produce a counter discourse that despite being context specific reflects resilience and adaptability, and is not only rooted in production and consumption but in regeneration too.

Works of immense scholarship, the twelve essays in the volume provide fresh insights on the role of culture in shaping the attitudes towards economic development of the marginalized community. The ongoing struggle of the marginalized is beyond the basic material entitlements, reflected in their collaborative resistance to stigmatized existence. That the powerless and voiceless need emancipation through aid is a misconstrued notion of development, it argues.

In the world that is reeling under the influence of climate change, ignoring the power of cyclic bio-regeneration and socio-ecological reproduction of the marginalized poor could indeed be catastrophic. Drawing cases from India, Europe and the Americas, Interrogating Development exposes multidimensionality of marginality as it relates to ‘development’. Without doubt, the notion of development has accentuated the destruction of community and its diverse cultures.

Delving deeper into the world of development from the perspectives of the marginalized, the authoritative essays by well-known authors like Frederique Marglin, Ashis Nandy, Gail Omvedt and Maren Bellwinkel-Schempp provide multi-layered insights into cultural dimension of human existence. In the long run, culture is what connects individuals to the social world in meaningful ways. Curiously, culture is what is at stake at the altar of development.

Without doubt, Interrogating Development will enrich the contemporary discourse on development at this time when the world is going through a dramatic phase of self-assertion by diverse communities reeling under the onslaught of development that is impinging on their life, lifestyle and livelihoods.....Link

Interrogating Development
by Frederique Apffel-Marglin, Sanjay Kumar & Arvind Mishra
Oxford University Press, Delhi
307 pages, US$ 29.95

No comments:

Post a Comment