SOAS University of London

Prof. Peter Mollinga Inaugural Lecture - Downstream of the Dam: Farmers, pipelines and capitalist development in the Sardar Sarovar project

THIS EVENT IS ARCHIVED
Peter Mollinga

Date: 25 February 2016Time: 6:30 PM

Finishes: 25 February 2016Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery

Type of Event: Inaugural Lecture

The extended process of resistance to the building of the Sardar Sarovar dam at the border of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh states in India has been a prominent political issue from local to global level. It has been an important focus of scholarly attention for the displacement and ecological damage associated with it, social movement activity around it, and for the ‘development model’ that it represents.  The dam has now been built, and water flows through its canals, across the rural and urban landscape of Gujarat. The events and processes downstream of the dam in the Sardar Sarovar project ‘command area’ after the start of the water flow have sparked very little research so far, notwithstanding its massive scale and (potentially) huge impact, as, in the government’s words ‘the lifeline of Gujarat’. In this talk I explore some of the processes triggered by the advent of new water availability, particular in the agricultural/rural domain.  Partly this is a familiar story of agrarian change and social differentiation, but the canal system also takes on new forms, harbours new contradictions,  and generates new challenges in the neoliberal age, as compared to the planned development age in which it was conceived and designed.

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Prof. Peter Mollinga Inaugural Lecture - Downstream of the Dam

Peter Mollinga completed his PhD on the political economy of irrigation water management in South India at Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and his Habilitation in Development Sociology at Bonn University, Germany. His research fields are the politics of water (governance), the cultural political economy of agriculture and environmental resources, and boundary work in natural resources management, with (South) Asia as geographical focus. He is one of the three founding editors of Water Alternatives, an interdisciplinary journal on water, politics and development.

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