Land for Industry: State-Society Relations in Agrarian Maharashtra

Usurping land and driving communities off it has been at the heart of state-driven ‘development’ processes in India since its independence from British colonial rule. Post-independence India has seen large-scale land dispossession for the grand ideological purpose of ‘nation-building’ through dams, industries, mines and ports. The conversion of rural farmland, commons, and forests has gone hand in hand with dispossession and displacement. The purpose of this project is to make concrete how land is driven out of agriculture for late industrialisation and with what implications for state-society relations in neoliberal India.

Using an empirical case of ‘ideal-type’ industrialisation – planned industrial area with manufacturing units – in Western India, the project explores: (1) the set of structural and political variables that facilitate land dispossession without stiff opposition; (2) how different rural classes negotiate with the ‘non-farm’ economy spawned by manufacturing industries over time, and (3) the political actions of landlosers over time.


Mihika Chatterjee
Departmental Lecturer in Development Studies