Subaltern Social Movement (SSM) Post-Mortems of Development in India Locating Trans-Local Activism and Radicalism

This paper expounds on an Adivasi-Dalit subalternist critique of development and compulsory modernization drawn from a participatory critical-interpretive case study developed from several episodic engagements with these groups between 2006 and 2009 in Orissa, India. This critique is advanced by the Lok Adhikar Manch (LAM), a trans-local movement network of 13 subaltern social movement groups in Orissa. These disclosures are then deployed in a critical conversation with a specific strain of Marxist scholarship in peasant studies that dismisses subaltern movements as conservative (status-quo politics in relation to capital) and as scattered anti-Marxist postmodern populisms that fail to challenge the reproduction of capitalist control of the rural hinterlands.

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