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Seeking Middle GroundLand, Markets, and Public Policy$
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Sanjoy Chakravorty and Amitendu Palit

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199495450

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199495450.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 27 January 2022

Unpacking the Double Movement

Unpacking the Double Movement

Contentious Land Acquisition in India

(p.138) 7 Unpacking the Double Movement
Seeking Middle Ground

Manjusha Nair

Oxford University Press

It has been claimed that against the assault by the market, which has made labour and land as fictitious commodities, a Polanyian counter movement is occurring, demanding stability and protection through state regulation of the market forces. Protests against forced land acquisition have been pointed out as evidence to this counter movement. In India, this counter movement against land acquisition succeeded in persuading the ruling United Progressive Alliance to pass the new Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Act, which introduced legal safety nets to protect the rural population, including the landless, from the harmful effects of land acquisition. A close investigation of these protests in India, however, complicates the conception of a double movement. Instead of resisting commodification of land, in many instances protestors’ demands were for making land a free commodity in the market and insertion into neoliberal developmental projects. I capture some of these contradictions in this chapter and link them to farmers’ interactions with markets, money, and the state prior to land acquisition. The evidence for this chapter is from field observations and interviews in Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh state in India, secondary literature and news reports.

Keywords:   double movement, land acquisition, India, counter movement, rural population

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