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Politics of Hunger and Development: A Sociological Review of India’s Developmental Discourse

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Author(s): M. Ashok Kumar

Journal: Sociology Mind
ISSN 2160-083X

Volume: 02;
Issue: 04;
Start page: 382;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Development | Political Economy | Hunger

ABSTRACT
This paper attempts to address the problem of hunger from the viewpoint of its social face against the backdrop of fast growing economy of India. Current sad state of affairs in the domain of poverty and hunger are nothing but the cumulative result of what happens in the Indian development planning since Independence, or at least in the name of development planning. This paper sociologically examines three most critical events in the history of Indian development planning, which are introduced to mitigate hunger and poverty, in both urban and rural India. The central focus of this paper is to highlight politics of those development initiatives and liquidation of public planning at the level of implementation, which eventually increased the gap between rich and poor, and left the Indian poor to their own fate. This paper also examines the most significant aspect of delinking power relations from the development discourse of India by providing more room for populist ideas with an aim to gain political mileage by the ruling elite. The present state of affairs with respect to poverty and hunger coupled with low standards of health, literacy and social awareness in India call for serious introspection. This paper, therefore, critically looks at Indian development discourse from the perspective of power relations, both established and emerging, which could alter our views on India and its growth story.
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