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At the MarginsDiscourses of Development, Democracy, and Regionalism in Orissa$
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Jayanta Sengupta

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198099154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198099154.001.0001

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Democracy and its Discontents

Democracy and its Discontents

Language, Identity, and the Cultural Politics of ‘Backwardness’ in a Postcolonial World

(p.297) Chapter Six Democracy and its Discontents
At the Margins

Jayanta Sengupta

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the momentous transformation brought about by Orissa’s initiation into electoral democracy, which drastically challenged the older techniques of publicization favoured by a small but educated and politically articulate élite. With the time-tested avenues of bargaining and negotiating with colonial rulers now gone, Oriya nationalism had to translate its ‘elegant exchanges’ in the language of local politics in order to become more meaningful and electorally appealing. The chapter analyses how Oriya nationalism adapted itself to these new exigencies of postcolonial politics, especially to the changing politics of democratic bargaining associated with regional issues like scarcity, underdevelopment, and planning. The last sections survey the changes and continuities in the engagements of Orissa’s ruling regimes and different segments of local society with the state and the market in the post-planning era of economic liberalisation, and their role in a reorientation of the politics of Oriya identity.

Keywords:   postcolonial, electoral democracy, development, underdevelopment, planning, scarcity, identity, fragmentation, liberalization, market

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