“Ecologic” Border and Deterritorialisation
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The border represents the transitional zone of demarcation where places and nations begin and end. Prominence of the eternal truth coexists with the fuzziness of cultures and nature. Border studies have not taken into account the ecological content of the border that enables the fuzziness to give its content. This chapter attempts to reframe the idea of border by bringing in the ecological dimension and critiques both the Westphalian Border perspective and Empire Logic of Border. The border formation is a complex process that does not always involve sovereign. People themselves construct boundaries around them and within selves. In this connection, border is conceptualised as “ecologic” border (bhitamati in vernacular language) as a lived, rather than a constructed place dominated by power relations, that involves a complex interaction of social and environmental milieu of material and cultural life. Examining the lived experiences of the Munda tribe of Kalinganagar, the chapter further argues that border is not always a political artifice constructed to segregate, classify and control people, rather it is a social fact of life embedded within selves and collective memory of a community. The “memorate knowledge” – an assortment of social and symbolic goods – associated with the ecologic border embeds affective memories to place and the environment surrounding it. Increasing industrialisation after the initialisation of the process of globalisation has structurally ruptured the organic link of self with environment by displacing the community from its everyday borderlands. The tribes got deterritorialised from the embedded place, at times through voluntary movement and other times by forceful eviction, into a new “culturescape” where the erstwhile labouring population became part of the footloose labour and of the “lower class sector” of the new political economy evolving here.
KeywordsBorders Ecology State Boundaries Sovereignty
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