Desire Named Development

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Penguin Books India, 2011 - Economic development - 106 pages

The predatory neo-liberal capitalism that has become the norm in India over the last two decades raises many uncomfortable questions. Today, consumption defines what we are. And with the western capitalist model reigning supreme, all of us seem to have been reduced to being just consumers in the eyes of the government.

The effect on India’s peasantry has been tremendous. The recent tragic stories played out in Kalinganagar, Singur and Nandigram show how many farmers suddenly find themselves up against the might of the state. The ‘theft’ of agricultural land from poor farmers in the name of progress has become routine.

Meanwhile, private corporations continue to ravage the country’s natural resources without any protest from the administration.

In Desire Named Development, Aditya Nigam makes the case for dismantling some cherished beliefs and for restructuring the economy and our cities in particular ways. A substantial change in government policies and individual consumption habits can still make another world possible for India’s future.

Does the economy exist for the sake of the consumer or does the consumer exist for the sake of the economy? Do we drive the automobile or does the automobile drive us? A provocative, elegantly argued book critiquing India's consumer-driven ecoomic policy


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About the author (2011)

Nivedita Menon is Reader in the Department of Political Science at the University of Delhi. Aditya Nigam is currently a Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in Delhi.

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