“Our People Can’t Hold the Line!”

Extractive Capital, Fragile Ecologies and Politics of Dispossession and Accumulation in Eastern India





A protracted movement emerged in Kashipur in Southern Odisha in 1993 that stalled a bauxite mining project for over 18 years. It went through fragmentations and eventually petered out by the early 2010s. This paper aims to understand how and why the processes of capital accumulation through dispossession cause fragmentation of social movements and their eventual petering out. I analyse the collective strikes that the villagers engaged in during 2008–2010, paralyzing the company’s incipient construction work over a tumultuous nine months. Critically engaging with David Harvey’s concept of “accumulation by dispossession” (ABD) and Kalyan Sanyal’s concept of “jobless growth”, I argue that ABD processes entail protracted interaction of extractive capital, bureaucratic structures, ecology, and the movements of subaltern communities with existing divisions. Dispossession processes generate new fissures in which ownership of land or lack of it due to land acquisition becomes the central axis of cleavage, shaping the politics and outcomes of dispossession. I further reveal that ‘jobless growth’ is unachievable for a company that can push ahead only through the provision of precarious employment and such promises...


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How to Cite

Dash, M. (2023). “Our People Can’t Hold the Line!”: Extractive Capital, Fragile Ecologies and Politics of Dispossession and Accumulation in Eastern India . Ecology, Economy and Society–the INSEE Journal, 6(2), 147–170. https://doi.org/10.37773/ees.v6i2.1061



Special Section: Political Ecology