Development, Dispossession and Democracy A case study on the Dispossessed Population of Rourkela
Prof. J. Devika
Development Displacement Marginalisation Constitutional Rights Inter Generational Mobility
Jawaharlal Nehru University
The term Development has become a fascinating word during the post-independence period. A common belief which prevails is that greater the exploitation of natural resources, greater would be the development. However, the exploitation of natural resources through development projects led to the forced displacement of many from their land and habitat. The forced displacement is not only immediately disruptive and painful but also has a serious long-term risk of becoming poorer than before. Hitherto the vulnerable sections of society, particularly the tribal community have been the most victims and least gainers of the development initiatives. Aiming at the welfare of the locals as well as the nation the Government of India established steel plant at Rourkela, the first integrated steel plant in the public sector in Sundargarh District, a Scheduled District of Odisha during the Nehruvian period. However, the tribal population who were largely displaced have witnessed pauperisation. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), 2015 also reports about the deprivation of the tribal oustees of Rourkela even after six decades of displacement. Based on the above anecdotal evidence the objectives of the study are first, to assess the long-term impacts of displacement
and government entitlements on the population of two resettlement colonies such as periurban and rural resettlement colonies differently, since once they shared same socioeconomic environment, but after displacement, they were relocated to different areas; secondly, to assess the special constitutional provisions for the tribals and state's role in the protection of constitutional rights during and post displacement period; thirdly, to analyse the inter-generational social mobility to trace the transition in their socio-economic life throughout the six decades. The comparative analysis of the long-term impacts of displacement on the social and economic profile of the population of two resettlement colonies i. e. peri-urban resettlement colony and the rural resettlement colony was undertaken through a field survey. The study reveals that the displaced population of both resettlement colonies has been marginalised but affected differently from the impoverishment risks based on the three factors such as geographical location, population composition and availability of the opportunity.