SOAS University of London

Mining, Adivasis and Investment-induced Displacement

Dr Felix Padel (University of Sussex)

Date: 1 October 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Finishes: 1 October 2014Time: 8:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: G3

Type of Event: Seminar

Adivasis or Scheduled Tribes are (not quite synonymous) terms for India's indigenous inhabitants. Apart from Northeast India (where the term Adivasi is rejected), their largest concentration is in Eastern Central India, where the mountainous areas they live in also happen to be India's richest in minerals. The promises given to Adivasis by mining projects and metal factories have been repeatedly betrayed - a "resource curse" situation outlined in Rich Lands, Poor People: Is Sustainable Mining possible? (CSE, Delhi, 2008). As many as 20 million Adivasis have been displaced by "Development" since India's Independence - about a quarter of the total population of members of the country's "Scheduled Tribes". Big dams have displaced the most, and among the main purposes has been supplying water and electricity to metal factories. A similar number are presently faced with displacement by coal, iron/steel and bauxite/aluminium mining projects in particular. Most of those displaced angrily reject the idea that these projects represent "development" at all. What is indisputable is that financial investment, often from abroad, has a key motivating effect in bringing these projects on. The impacts of investment also include cultural genocide, ecocide and bitter resource wars.

Felix Padel (BA Hon University of Oxford, MPhil in Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, PhD in Soc anthropology, University of Oxford) is a Research Associate at the Centre for World Environment History, University of Sussex, UK. He was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat, India (2010-11), Professor of Rural Management at the Indian Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India (2012-14) and Visiting Professor at the Department of Economics, Visva Bharati - Shantiniketan, West Bengal, India in March 2014. His main publications include Sacrificing People: Invasions of a tribal landscape, 1995/2010; Out of this Earth: East India Adivasis & the Aluminium Cartel (with Samarendra Das, 2010), and Ecology, Economy: Quest for a Socially Informed Connection (with Ajay Dandekar and Jeemol Unni, 2013).

Organiser: LEDC

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