The Odisha Story
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The book brings to the reader a set of political and social narratives woven around people’s resistance against big dams, mining and industrial projects, in short, displacement and dispossession in Odisha, India. This saga of dispossession abounds with stories and narratives of ordinary peasants, forest dwellers, fisher folk and landless wage laborers, which make the canvas of resistance history more complete. The book foregrounds these protagonists and the events that marked their lives; they live in the coastal plains as well as the hilly and forested areas of south and south-west Odisha.
The authors have chronicled the development trajectory from the construction of the Hirakud Dam in the 1950s to the entry of corporations like POSCO and Vedanta in contemporary times. It thus covers extensive ground in interrogating the nature of industrialization being ushered into the state from post-independent India till today.
The book depicts how and why people resist the development juggernaut in a state marked with endemic poverty. In unraveling this complex reality, the book conveys the world view of a vast section of people whose lives and livelihoods are tied up to land, forests, mountains, seas, rivers, lakes, ponds, trees, vines and bushes. These narratives fill a yawning gap in resistance literature in the context of Odisha. In doing so, they resonate with the current predicament of people in other mineral-rich states in Eastern India. The book is an endeavour to bring Odisha on the map of resistance politics and social movements in India and across the world.
Ranjana Padhi is a writer and activist based in Bhubaneswar. She has authored Those Who Did Not Die: Impact of the Agrarian Crisis on Women in Punjab (2012). She also writes for journals and web portals.
Nigamananda Sadangi is a writer and translator based in Bhubaneswar. He contributes articles to Odia periodicals and journals.