Developmentalism as Strategy: Interrogating Post-colonial Narratives on India’s North East, Rakhee Bhattacharya (Ed.), Sage Publications, 2019

Reviewed by Yenshembam Chetan Singh

The book is an anthology which consists of articles written by different authors which
are critical examinations of the development modules undertaken in India’s northeastern
periphery. It is a strategical collection of twelve chapters which are
comprehensive field work studies carved out in a form to depict the socio-economic
conditions of the northeast India and how developmentalism would improve the
conditions in the post-colonial era. The book attempts to reconstruct the narrative
that the north-east India have been reduced to periphery and neglected in the national
development strategy. With contestations between the national and local elites over
the control of the region, it has become highly vulnerable to different market forces
in the course of globalization process. Its resources, development and marketability
has become a bone of contention among various global, national and local players.
While keeping these considerations, the book critically examines the post-colonial
developmental trajectory of the Indian State in the region. Besides the socio-economic
conditions of the region, its unique historical geography has led to systematic
marginalization and underdevelopment. India’s economic nationalism within the North
East has been largely acted upon the context of resource appropriation and national
security, and producing new arrangements of knowledge, power and practices. Within
this context, this book attempts to understand the exceptions to India’s dominant
development policies in the region by adopting a methodological approach of
interdisciplinarity.

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