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Title: The expanded state in contemporary India: counterinsurgency and the Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship
Authors: Kamra, Lipika
Keywords: The state, counterinsurgency, rural development, women’s self-help groups, neoliberalism, Maoism, West Bengal
Publisher: Contemporary South Asia
Citation: 27:1, 1-14
Abstract: his paper explores the ‘expanded state’ in post-liberalisation India within the context of official responses to the Maoist insurgency in rural central and eastern India. I analyse a scheme called the Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship, which was launched as part of the central government’s attempt to wean ordinary men and women away from Maoist insurgents through rural development. Under this scheme, young women and men are appointed to assist state officials in implementing rural development programmes in districts classified as ‘Left-Wing Extremist’. What does the institution and practice of this fellowship tell us about the state in India today in the context of counterinsurgency and beyond? I address this question on the basis of ethnographic fieldwork in an erstwhile Maoist district in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal. By closely shadowing the everyday work of one Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow (PMRDF), I show how the PMRDF is located outside the state, and yet constitutes the state. By focussing on the role of the PMRDF, I reveal one of the many new configurations of the state that are emerging in India today.
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications

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