ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Seva in the Neo-liberal Development Regime in India

Groundwater, Gurus, and Governmentality

Temples and religious organisations undertaking community projects and welfare work have been a part of the history of South Asia. However, in the neo-liberal era, international governmental platforms, international funding agencies, multinational corporations, central and state government bodies, and international Hindu religious organisations are coming together to effect large-scale developmental efforts. The nuances of this shift are traced by comparing the groundwater management and conservation projects undertaken by the Swadhyay Parivar in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat in the early 1990s, and Art of Living across the country in the last decade. While many would argue that non-governmental organisations and faith-based organisations have occupied the void created by a neo-liberal state disappearing from the public sector, this paper shows that the state–international bodies–MNC–religion complex has regimented a large population in an all-pervasive governmentality.



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