The Betel Smiles

  • Ranjana Padhi
  • Nigamananda Sadangi


The chapter gives a vivid description of people’s resistance to POSCO, a steel conglomerate from South Korea, in Odisha. Right from the beginning, the villagers devised many forms of protest against land acquisition to protect their livelihood, which is dependent on betel leaf production, paddy cultivation and fishing. Much of the area is protected forest land. The resistance movement faced continuous police violence as it continued to negotiate with the government through dharnas, sit-ins, marches and sending appeals and memorandums. Innumerable police cases were foisted on local people as well as the imposition of a virtual siege that affected mobility of villagers for long periods. The use of bribes, lies and deception and hiring of goons by the police and administration to crush the resistance movement effectively created wide rifts among the people. The United Action Committee, a pro-POSCO lobby, was made to counter people’s resistance. Finally, POSCO quit Odisha in 2017.


POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) Forest Rights Act (FRA) Dhinkia Betel production Kujanga Jagatsinghpur People’s movement Baji Rout State repression Jatadhari river POSCO 


  1. Heightened Tensions in POSCO Project Area, New Delhi: April, 2013 Fact Finding Report on the Situation in the Wake of Bomb Blast in Jagatsinghpur District, Odisha.Google Scholar
  2. Ivens, Joris. The 17th Parallel: People’s War in Vietnam, Vietnam.Google Scholar
  3. Mahapatra, Basudev. 2013. War for Steel. A Documentary.Google Scholar
  4. New Socialist Initiative. 2011. Solidarity Letter to Anti-POSCO Movement from a Korean Prison, July. See
  5. Obomsawin, Alanis. 1972. “Who Is the Chairman of This Meeting?” Chapter “Conversations with North American Indians”, by Ted Poole. Also:
  6. Panda, Satyananda. 2006. Paradip in Past and Present. Paradip: Rashmi Rekha Panda.Google Scholar
  7. Patnayak, Subhas Chandra. 2005. Baji Rout: The Youngest Martyr of India. See Accessed 15 October 2017.
  8. Routray, Sachi. 2001. Collected Works, 2001. Bhubaneswar: Odisha Sahitya Academy.Google Scholar
  9. Sanhati. 2010. Orissa: A Brief Report by Partho Sarathi Ray, May 19, 2010. See Accessed 15 October 2017.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ranjana Padhi
    • 1
  • Nigamananda Sadangi
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent WriterBhubaneswarIndia

Personalised recommendations