ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Primitive Accumulations at the Margins

Commodification of Land and Labour in Chhattisgarh

Kamei Aphun (k.aphundse@gmail.com) teaches at the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, New Delhi. Jay Prakash Sharma (jaysharma@syr.edu) is a PhD student at the Department of Anthropology, Syracuse University, NY, US.

The processes of primitive accumulation have always been conjoined with capitalist relations of production and accumulation even in their advanced stages. These are quite critical in understanding the theoretical underpinnings of the process through which mining activities tend to completely transform the landscape of Chhattisgarh. By using Karl Polanyi’s thesis of double movement and the theory of primitive accumulation by Karl Marx, this study delves into contemporary processes of grabbing land and forced displacements in Chhattisgarh. Commodification of land has affected not only the livelihoods of local communities in Chhattisgarh, but has also disrupted sociocultural harmony. Our study elaborates on the cultural vacuum—to use Polanyi’s term—that is created once an individual is displaced from her/his social settings and traditional institutions.

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