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Staking Claims: The Politics of Social Movements in Contemporary Rural India

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Contemporary social activism in India manifests itself in disparate ways. While displacement of tribals in one location in India could trigger protest agitations in London, natives of a remote rural

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Contemporary social activism in India manifests itself in disparate ways. While displacement of tribals in one location in India could trigger protest agitations in London, natives of a remote rural area may keep struggling for their rights without any support even from local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some movements succeed with significant global coverage while some fade away without any recognition from the institutions local to them. Staking Claims seeks to understand such heterogeneity in the structures of and support for movements in rural India in three complementary ways. First, the simultaneous material and cultural claims of dispossession the movements make in particular rural contexts. Second, the new forms of organization which shape contemporary claim-making practices as well as political subjectivities in rural India. Third, the way academia situates itself with respect to these movements, their organizations, activists and participants.

By delving into these relatively new and pertinent questions, the contributors analyse the politics of subaltern agency, translocal activism and academic knowledge production in different, albeit interlinked, locations. What makes this volume distinctive is its recognition that nature, culture and knowledge crisscross and interpenetrate each other in social movements.

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