Advertisement

The Importance of Being Siliguri: Border Effect and the ‘Untimely’ City in North Bengal

  • Atig Ghosh
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter investigates the emergence of Siliguri in North Bengal, India, as a major urban centre. The transformation of this quaint town into a massive urban hub has involved logistical and infrastructural forms of organization under the sign of neoliberal developmentalism. I focus on the overlapping themes of geostrategy, population and labour, communication, trafficking, tea, and business—big, small, and shady. In the process, I attempt a redefinition of the idea of North Bengal, even as the exploration of the entanglements of crime, control, communication, and capital leads to a conceptualization of what it means to talk about border economies and ‘travelling’ actors. The chapter examines how borderlands inexorably seep and segue into the so-called mainland to bring about powerful political-economic transformations.

References

  1. Banerjee, Amitava. ‘Student Busts Human Trafficking Racket in Darjeeling.’ Hindustan Times, 22 March 2012. Accessed 20 March 2016. http://www.hindustantimes.com/kolkata/student-busts-human-trafficking-racket-in-darjeeling/story-2g27t89BlimLgOfbnLxzJO.html
  2. Bayly, Christopher A. 1983. Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion, 1770–1870. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bhattacharya, Ananya. 2015. ‘Black Tea: Shut Tea Estates and the Pied Pipers of North Bengal.’ DailyO, 8 May 2015. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://www.dailyo.in/politics/black-tea-shut-estates-and-the-pied-pipers-of-north-bengal/story/1/3620.html
  4. Bhattacharya, Pinak Priya. 2012. ‘Mamata Banerjee Inaugurates Siliguri Police Hub.’ Times of India, 6 August 2012. Accessed 1 March 2016. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Mamata-Banerjee-inaugurates-Siliguri-police-hub/articleshow/15370009.cms?referral=PM
  5. Business Standard. 2004. ‘Chandmoni Tea Uprooted for Siliguri’s First Township.’ 5 January 2004. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/chandmoni-tea-uprooted-for-siliguri-s-first-township-104010501098_1.html
  6. Census of India. 1987. District Census Handbook: Darjeeling. Kolkata: Directorate of Census Operations, West Bengal.Google Scholar
  7. Chattopadhyay, Sibaprasad. 1997. Known Yet Unknown Darjeeling/Siliguri: Facts and Figures. Siliguri: Kashi Nath Dey.Google Scholar
  8. Chaudhuri, Mohuya. 2015. ‘Tea Gardens in the East are Brewing Starvation, Malnutrition.’ The Wire, 30 July 2015. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://thewire.in/2015/07/30/tea-gardens-in-the-east-are-brewing-starvation-malnutrition-7571/
  9. Das, Samir Kumar. 2013. ‘Homelessness at Home.’ Eastern Quarterly 7, nos. 3–4.Google Scholar
  10. Dasgupta, Manas 2006. Uttarbange Chaa Shilpe Bartaman Shamashya [The Present Problems in the Tea Industry of North Bengal]. Kolkata: Boiwallah.Google Scholar
  11. Dash, Arthur Jules. 1947. Bengal District Gazeteers: Darjeeling. Alipore: Bengal Government Press.Google Scholar
  12. Ghosal, Sutanuka. 2011. ‘Bengal Entrepreneurs Look at Tea Production as a Source of Income.’ The Economic Times, 27 December 2011. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-12-27/news/30561684_1_tea-production-green-leaf-tea-growers
  13. Ghosh, Archana, S. Sami Ahmad, and Shipra Maitra. 1995. Basic Services for Urban Poor: A Study of Baroda, Bhilwara, Sambalpur and Siliguri. Urban Studies Series No. 3. New Delhi: Institute of Social Sciences & Concept Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  14. Griffiths, Percival. 1967. The History of the Indian Tea Industry. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.Google Scholar
  15. The Hindu. 2014. ‘Bengal Proposes Road Connecting State with Three Countries.’ 4 June 2014. Accessed 20 February 2016. http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/bengal-proposes-road-connecting-state-with-three-countries/article6081600.ece
  16. Hindustan Times. 2011. ‘NH 31A Open for Sikkim Traffic: GJM.’ 14 February 2011. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/nh-31a-open-for-sikkim-traffic-gjm/story-EX4eiPX5CDZLyG855xTz3I.html
  17. The Indian Express. 2013. ‘The Army seeks Land to set up Two Stations in North Bengal.’ 19 November 2013. Accessed 15 February 2016. http://archive.indianexpress.com/news/army-seeks-land-to-set-up-2-stations-in-north-bengal/1196625/
  18. India Today. 2009. ‘National Highway 31A Blocked by GJM, Sikkim Cut off.’ 7 February 2009. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/National+Highway+31A+blocked+by+GJM,+Sikkim+cut+off/1/27551.html
  19. International Tea Committee. 2012. Annual Bulletin of Statistics. London: International Tea Committee.Google Scholar
  20. Karmakar, K. G. and G. D. Banerjee. 2005. The Tea Industry in India: A Survey. Mumbai: National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.Google Scholar
  21. Mazumdar, Abhijeet. 2015. ‘Hunger Valley.’ Newsmen, 16 November 2015. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://www.newsmen.in/news-item/opinion-hunger-valley/
  22. Phuntsho, Karma. 2013. The History of Bhutan. New Delhi: Random House India.Google Scholar
  23. Rehman, Azera. 2015. ‘Assam’s Tea Gardens are Waging a War Against Girl Trafficking: It’s both Inspiring and Heartbreaking.’ The Better India, 29 August, 2015. http://www.thebetterindia.com/32118/assam-tea-gardens-girl-trafficking/. Accessed 20 March 2016.
  24. Saha, Narayan Chandra. 2003. The Marwari Community in Eastern India: A Historical Survey Focussing on North Bengal. New Delhi: Decent Books.Google Scholar
  25. Saha, Narayan Chandra. 1993. ‘Darjeeling Tarai Anchaler Marwari Samaj: Ekti Samiksha [The Marwari Community in the Darjeeling-Terai Region: A Survey].’ Itihas Anusandhan 8.Google Scholar
  26. Sen, Ilina and Binayak Sen. ‘Cup of Starvation.’ The Week, 17 March, 2015. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://www.theweek.in/columns/Binayak-Sen/cup-of-starvation.html
  27. Shakti Vahini Press Release. ‘Child Trafficking – a Major Menace in West Bengal.’ 26 August 2014. Accessed 20 March 2016. http://shaktivahini.org/press/child-trafficking-a-major-menace-in-west-bengal/
  28. Siliguri City Census. 2011. Census 2011. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://www.census2011.co.in/census/city/192-siliguri.html
  29. Siliguri City Centre. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://siliguri.citycentremalls.in/
  30. Siliguri Metropolitan Police. 2015. Accessed 21 February 2016. ‘Good Work Done.’ https://www.siliguripolice.org/gwd
  31. Siliguri Urban Region. 2011. Census 2011. Accessed 21 February 2016. http://www.census2011.co.in/census/metropolitan/186-siliguri.html
  32. Times of India. 2014. ‘Army starts Infrastructure Development in Bengal with Air Defence Station in Murshidabad.’ 21 February 2014. Accessed 15 February 2016. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Army-starts-infrastructure-development-in-Bengal-with-air-defence-station-in-Murshidabad/articleshow/30771758.cms
  33. Times of India. 2016. ‘West Bengal Shut Tea Gardens Force Girls to Resort to Prostitution.’ 5 February 2016. Accessed 20 March 2016. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/In-West-Bengal-shut-tea-gardens-force-girls-to-resort-to-prostitution/articleshow/50865125.cms
  34. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UNFAO). 2003. Medium-Term Prospects for Agricultural Commodities: Projections to the Year 2010. Rome: UNFAO.Google Scholar
  35. World Public Library. 2016. ‘Siliguri.’ Accessed 20 February 2016. http://www.worldlibrary.org/articles/siliguri

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atig Ghosh
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of HistoryVisva-Bharati (A Central University)SantiniketanIndia
  2. 2.Calcutta Research GroupKolkataIndia

Personalised recommendations