SOAS University of London

Behind The Indian Boom: Inequality and Resistance at the heart of economic growth

Behind The Indian Boom
Curators: Simon Chambers and Alpa Shah

Date: 13 October 2017Time: 10:30 AM

Finishes: 16 December 2017Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Exhibition Rooms

Type of Event: Exhibition

For the last quarter of a century the Indian economy has been booming, and is predicted to become one of the two largest economies in the world by mid-century. But what does this growth mean for the people on whose land and labour it is based? Behind The Indian Boom travels across the country to meet its Dalits and Adivasis – its low caste and tribal communities – historically stigmatised as ‘untouchable’ and ‘wild’.

Accounting for one in twenty-five people in the world, their situation reveals insights into the conditions of oppressed people across the globe. Despite India’s significant economic growth, they remain at the bottom of its social and economic hierarchies. They are a source of cheap labour from which much of the world economy benefits, and some of the lands on which they have lived for generations are today important crucibles of global industry.

Behind The Indian Boom explores the precarious conditions of work and everyday struggles of the Dalits and Adivasis spanning the production of different commodities from tea to cotton, exploring the building of the infrastructure sustaining Indian economic growth from construction to dams, investigating the extraction of mineral resources. Importantly, it also highlights their fight back against the situations they find themselves in.

Behind The Indian Boom is based on an ERC and ESRC funded Programme of Research on Inequality and Poverty in the Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics, led by Alpa Shah and Jens Lerche, and involves the work of several researchers, journalists and activists.