Citation
Future of the rural world?

Material Information

Title:
Future of the rural world? India's villages 1950-2015
Creator:
Tilche, Alice ( Author, Primary )
Simpson, Edward, 1971- ( Author, Primary )
Bailey, F. G. (Frederick George) ( Author, Secondary )
Jeffery, Patricia, 1947- ( Author, Secondary )
Mayer, Adrian C. ( Author, Secondary )
Neri, Daniela ( Author, Secondary )
Otten, Tina ( Author, Secondary )
Sbriccoli, Tommaso ( Author, Secondary )
Donor:
Simpson, Edward, 1971-
Place of Publication:
London
Publisher:
SOAS, University of London
Publication Date:
Copyright Date:
2016
Language:
English

Notes

General Note:
VIAF (name authority) : Simpson, Edward, 1971- : URI http://viaf.org/viaf/119297037
Funding:
"Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ES/I02123X/1) UK and generously supported by the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London."
Creation/Production Credits:
"Research, images and text provided by F.G. Bailey, Patricia Jeffery, Adrian Mayer, Daniela Neri, Tina Otten, Tommaso Sbriccoli, Edward Simpson, and Alice Tilche."
Donation:
Copy donated, with permission to mount in SOAS Digital Collections, by Edward Simpson

Record Information

Source Institution:
SOAS, Univerity of London
Rights Management:
Copyright 2016, Edward Simpson and Alice Tilche. Permission granted to SOAS, University of London to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
9781526203502 ( ISBN )

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Full Text
THE FUTURE OF
THE RURAL WORLD?
INDIA'S VILLAGES 1950- 2015




Copyright 2016 Edward
Simpson and Alice Tilche
ISBN: 978-1-5262-0350-2
First Published in 2016
by School of Oriental &
African Studies (SOAS).
A CIP catalogue
record for this book
is available from the
British Library.
No part of this
publication may be
reproduced, stored
in a retrieval system,
or transmitted in any
form or by any means,
electronic, mechanical,
photocopying, recording
or otherwise, without
the prior written
permission of the
copyright owner.
Funded by the
Economic and Social
Research Council
ES/I02123X/1 UK
and generously
supported by the
School of Oriental
and African Studies,
University of London.
Catalogue edited
by Edward Simpson
and Alice lilche
Designed by
Arianna lilche
Printed by
Pureprint Group
typefaces
Relative 10 Pitch
Relative Book
Research, images
and text provided
by F.G. Bailey,
Patricia Jeffery,
Adrian Mayer,
Daniela Neri,
Tina Otten,
Tommaso Sbriccoli,
Edward Simpson
and Alice lilche.
E-S-R-C
ECONOMIC
& SOCIAL
RESEARCH
COUNCIL
SOAS
University of London






The future of the rural world?


i The future of the rural world?
Post-colonial India
4 Living essence of the ancient?
5 Independent India
8 Mahatma Gandhi
9 Moving into a technicolour world
14 Agricultural diplomacy
17 Village studies
Jamgod: Madhya Pradesh
21 An Indian village Then and now
41 The past in the present
45 Darapti. An unusual life
51 Pari Maji. Power, labour and death
57 A religious tale
63 Politics, dominance and violence
69 Guamata
73 Then and Now
Sundarana: Gu"jarat
83 Villages on the move
84 Money
91 'Timepass' and masculinity
98 Girl Power?
101 Agriculture
121 Ageing


Bisipada: Odisha
133 Social and economic infrastructure
143 The civility of indifference:
Based on an original work by F.G. Bailey
151 Agricultural cycle
159 Domestic and life-cycle rituals
Futures
175 A brief history of change
177 The rural non-agricultural way of life
179 The end of the village?
181 Countryside = 'environment'?
182 The future: Slum to suburb?
183 Other possible futures...
184 Surinder S. Jodhka:
Social dynamics of a non-farm economy:
A study of two 'rural' settlements of
Madhubani District, Bihar
189 Smita Yadav: A tribal village
190 What is anthropology?
198 On the making of Ark Royal
223 About SOAS, University of London
225 Original credits


The future of the rural world?
Edward Simpson
and Alice Tilche
"The future of the rural world? India's villages 1950-
2015" was an exhibition hosted by SOAS, University
of London. The event marked the end of a major
project funded by the UK's Economic and Social
Research Council on 'restudying' village India.
Most of world's scholarly and media attention is
on megacities and the story of rapid urbanisation
they are held to represent. Slums have become
photogenic and dramatic devices. However, the
greater part of the world's population continues
to live in rural areas. This will continue to be the
case for some time to come. The consequential and
untold story, however, is the radical transformation
of the countryside, as things formerly thought of as
villages become something else. These places mark
the emergence of a new form of settlement which
are neither cities nor villages in the conventional
uses of such terms. The language of social science
is ill-equipped for these new realities.
The aims of the original ESRC project had been
straightforward: to conduct newfieldwork in villages
where anthropological research had been undertaken
in the 1950s in order to see what had changed.
Anthropologists who then made the voyage to
India documented a sophisticated agrarian society
ordered by caste and institutionalised inequality -
where the division of labour mirrored the ritualised
and hierarchical exchange relationships of caste.
Today, their accounts form an unprecedented
and intimate historical account of what life was
like in villages during the heady years immediately
after Independence.
The world has changed. In India, Nehru's socialism,
strongly influenced by cold-war politics, has
given way to the forces of (neo)liberalisation and
globalisation. Waves of development policy have been
unevenly implemented across the country; political
devolution has passed some responsibility for
economic development, social justice and taxation to
the village level; affirmative action ushered in caste-


specific and gendered 'reservations'. Land-reforms
and new technologies have transformed agriculture,
whilst public health programmes enhanced children's
chances of survival. Nehru's ghost has been
exorcised by neoliberalism.
The original anthropological studies were
undertaken independently by F.G. Bailey, Adrian C.
Mayer and David F. Pocock (1928-2007). The three
went on to have distinguished careers as exponents
of the post-colonial sociology of India. The villages
they studied are now located in the modern states
of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
All three locations display legacies of post-colonial
development and political policies, consequences
of economic and land reform or consolidation, and
effects of technological and media expansion. In
each location, there has been a clear growth of
grassroots Hindu nationalist sentimentality, and a
hardening of religious and ethnic lines.
The salience of caste is less, but remains significant.
Rural populations have grown between two and five
times in size in the last sixty years.
What emerges most strongly from this project ii
however is just how diverse rural futures are.
The trajectories of three of India's 600,000 or
so villages tell of quite divergent scenarios.
Going back further in time for a moment, the
Indian village has played a surprisingly important
role in global theories of history and politics, both
conservative and revolutionary. Over the centuries,
the village has been comprehensively used and
abused, a site for fantasy of both the left and right,
for liberals, mythologists and pundits. The idea has
become a vessel into which all manner of political
ambition has been poured. Maine, Marx, Engels and
Weber all had something to say on the significance
of rural life in India.
In the nineteenth century, Imperial arguments
were made for economic liberalisation on the basis
of customary inequalities and modes of property
ownership reported in villages. For many radicals,
in contrast, the village community exemplified
qualities of life, such as liberty, equality and
fraternity; all of which had been realised in some
The future of the rural world?


past epoque or were realisable in some future
Utopia, but significantly, these qualities were
currently at risk.
All in all, the village community occupied a painfully
ambiguous position, symbolising the world European
men had lost, a profoundly nostalgic view of an
alternative society, which could be compared with the
present for signs of both progress and degeneration.
The village remains on the brink of being lost
forever, but it has been for at least two centuries,
possibly longer. Village realities have changed,
of course; but the way the village is situated as
tangible but threatened remains. In the 1950s,
it was quite clearly documented that the village was
in the midst of radical change. Universal suffrage in
1950 was perhaps the single biggest event because
suddenly villagers mattered to the politics of the
nation in ways they had never done before.
At the time, Bailey, Mayer and Pocock saw that
farming could no longer form the backbone of
the village economy, new technologies, population
iii pressure and the seep of the cash economy spelled
the inevitable decline of agriculture. They also saw
that there would be an increase in other forms of
employment, and a corresponding shift in traditional
patterns of hierarchy and inequality. The influence
of land, at least on the scale of the village, was
inevitably to lose ground to commercial acumen
and cash wealth.
Since that time, remarkably similar conclusions
have also been the repetitive key findings of six
decades of rural studies, in India but also elsewhere.
The countryside has been hollowed out, farming
has ceased to provide an income for most, and dirty
finger nails have gone out of fashion.
Today, in Odisha, land rights and tribal identities
have become burning issues, as people have been
brought into conflict with transnational corporations
and rapacious extractive industries. However,
the village remains recognisably as it was in the
1950s; those who survive from that time display
more wrinkles for the camera, but their rituals and
concerns remain similar.


Rapid industrialisation in Madhya Pradesh has
brought villagers into wage relations with India's
industrial houses. A new highway has sucked the
core of the village out of the hinterland and closer
to the tarmac and city. A surprising number of
people who were not born in the village now live
there, some of who have come from far away.
A formerly impoverished Muslim population has
become politically dominant.
In Gujarat, the village has become more firmly
part of the transnational networks and nostalgic
and nationalist politics of migrants in East Africa
and UK. Violence in the state in 2002 saw minarets
demolished, most Muslim residents subsequently
decided they would be safer elsewhere.Life in
these villages is clearly not the same as it was
in the 1950s.
Some suggest the village has become a 'waiting
room' for industrial labour markets; for others
the village has withered, or even died. What has
emerged has been described as an urban-rural
continuum. Other neologisms (some of which
are no longer that new) include, peri-urban, ex- iv
urban, the fringe city, vicinities or vicinage, and
hermaphroditic and in-between sprawl: the rurban!
The ESRC project allowed the luxury of looking
and thinking backwards in time. The juxtapositions
we came to face-to-face with encouraged us to
identify trends and trajectories, and eventually
brought us to our question: The future of the
rural world?
The initial findings of our research once-again echo
those already glossed from the literature: agriculture
has crumbled, livelihoods have diversified, mobility,
mass unemployment, 'over' education, and cultures
of 'waiting' are endemic. Religion dominates public
discourse in many locations. Land fragmentation is
combined with speculative land and construction
markets. Private monopolists dominate many local
supply chains. Transnational capital has become
increasingly sophisticated at extracting revenue.
Service professions and a middle class have entered
rural life. A mobility paradigm organises daily and life-
cycle expectations for many.
The future of the rural world?


However, instead of seeing these as catastrophes
marking the end or degeneration or pollution of the
world as we know it, our longitudinal perspective
shows that these are in fact the ongoing processes
at the heart of continuing to negotiate what it
means to live in a village. To put it simply, these
are the things of a village way of life, which have
accelerated village modernities in different ways in
the three sites.
Overall, the project suggested that city-dominated
knowledge, the urban bias so naturalised in
common thought and long-highlighted by scholars
such as Michael Lipton, has turned rural India
into a bloodstained battleground of planning
and land deregulation, transecting and gated
highways, developer bandits, windy electricity,
fields of photolytic cells and mineral extraction.
Today's paddy, is tomorrow's gated community or
global township. Predatory capitalism and private
monopolists run wild, as local economies are buoyed
by speculative land investment and boom and bust
spirals. The future looks rather grim, at least in
some parts of what was once rural India.
The project has also suggested that the failure
of the urban to absorb rural populations, and of
the global to absorb the local, means that villages
remain important places of identity and belonging,
political mobilisation and welfare. The trajectories
of the three villages we studied and restudied tell
very different stories: in Odisha, surprisingly little
has changed; in Madhya Pradesh, the countryside
is 'rurbanising', as it is in Gujarat; there, however,
we also see the village as a departure lounge.
Many do well in America. Less is known about
failure, return and reluctance, but these things
may be the seeds of a new rural in India.


The future of the rural world?




3
Living essence of the ancient?
Some nineteenth century writers saw India as a living
museum, which would allow them to understand the
origins of European society.
For Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, the village in India
was an early form of human development. In their view,
the village had remained unchanged since the Dark Ages
because there was no division of labour between villages.
All the trades and crafts necessary for the agricultural
community to survive and reproduce were found within
each village. Thus, there was no impetus for change or
innovation because the village was a self-contained republic.
Such ideas remain remarkably commonplace today.


Independent India
At Independence, India was dependent on food
imports and nearly ninety percent of the new
electorate lived in villages. Agriculture and villages
were thrust centre stage in the politics of the country.
A rural 'uplift' exhibition was held in Delhi in 1946
under the slogan 'When agriculture stops everything
stops'. Nehru vainly promised self-sufficiency by
1951. Floods, droughts and earthquakes hampered
food production. Famine remained a danger, the
politics of agriculture was quite literally a politics
of life and death.
The Indian elections of 1951-1952 saw the use
of the provocative slogan 'A vote for Congress
is a vote for hunger'.
The Imperial Council of Agricultural Research
described the task ahead as 'liquidating a vast
and ancient rural slum'. Science and technology
were generally seen as the way forward.
Pusa I65
Pusalll
Puaa80-5
Pusal2
Pusa 12 b
Post-colonial India


Farming propaganda
produced by the Imperial
Council of Agricultural
Research, 1946.
Independent India


Post-colonial India


Mahatma Gandhi
Gandhi believed that self-reliant villages were the
foundation for a just, equitable and non-violent
order. He saw the future of India in villages.
He initiated several model village projects,
notably at Champaran (Bihar, 1917) and Sevagram
(Maharashtra, 1920).
"If the villages perish, India will perish too. It will
be no more India. Her own mission in the world
will get lost".
"We are inheritors of a rural civilization. The
vastness of our country, the vastness of the
population, the situation and the climate of the
country have, in my opinion, destined it for a rural
civilization ... To uproot it and substitute for it an
urban civilization seems to me an impossibility".
Left:
Gandhi and other great
figures witness the
great transformation,
Delhi, 1950s.
Mahatma Gandhi


Moving into a technicolour world
India was a British colony until 1947. The colonial
government counted, measured and mapped the
country. The 'village republic' emerged as a way of
describing a village as a self-contained and self-
governing unit and became one of the pillars of the
Imperial ideology.
During the 1930s and 1940s, new ideas of
development, modernisation and governance took
root in India. At the time of Independence, there
were divergent views on the best direction for
the country.
Mahatma Gandhi saw the village as the future
of a decentralised national government.
Dr B.R. Ambedkar thought village republics were
the ruination of India. He asked: What is the village
but a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow-
mindedness and communalism?
India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru,
favoured industrialisation and believed that
agricultural growth would naturally follow.
Right:
Poster art depicting
Nehru's vision for
an industrial India,
1950s, Bombay.
Post-colonial India


Moving into a technicolour world


Post-colonial India


"Oxen working the Industry" so began the In 1984, the Union
fields ... the eternal text of Union Carbide's Carbide plant in Bhopal
river Ganges ... "jeweled advertising campaign, in Madhya Pradesh leaked
elephants on parade. which was accompanied methyl isocyanate into
loday these ancient by the dual slogans the atmosphere, killing
symbols of India exist "Science helps build many thousands of
side by side with a a new India" and "A people,
new sight modern hand in things to come"
Moving into a technicolour world


Top:
The tractor, a symbol
of modern farming, is
fast replacing the old
bullock-drawn plough
in many parts of the
country, State Bank
of India, 1955.
to the farmer. It scores
over the age-old Persian
wheel and other methods
using animal or human
muscle, State Bank of
India, 1955.
Bottom:
Plentiful water! That's
what a pump-set brings
Post-colonial India


Agricultural diplomacy
Indian agriculture became a battleground for the
superpowers of the Cold War. Foreign governments
promoted rival cooperative and commercial
agricultural models.
In the 1950s, food aid arrived under the slogan:
'Strength from America to the free world'.
The Soviets opened a showroom for tractors
in Bombay in 1955 and a model farm in Rajasthan.
In 1959, India hosted the first World Agricultural
Fair. During the inaugural address, the American
president Eisenhower spoke of how he planned
to become a farmer when his present form of
occupation came to an end. He spoke of
"FoodFamilyFriendshipFreedom".
14
FIHSIWUHIDAGRICUll
INDIA POSTAGE
ROSTAl.t 1
INOlft POSTAGE
Agricultural diplomacy


RAO BROTHERS,
TRIPLCANE.
MS 318 D. P. Works, 2000 Copies, 25-9-47.
JAI HIND
No. 8
Stockists
R ETHIRAJIAH & SONS,
Picture Merchants,
P. T., MADRAS.


Village studies
During the 1950s, a new wave of village studies
conducted by Indian, American and British
anthropologists began to appear. This was
an era of science and confidence, when things
were no longer simply black and white.
These studies involved intensive research in
particular villages. The authors abandoned the
evolutionary naturalism inspired by Marx and others.
These studies showed that the village was no
longer an isolated unit, if indeed it ever had been.
They conducted 'holistic' studies, investigating all
aspects of village life.
Soviet T-75 tractors at
the Sergo Ordzhonikidze
tractor works in
Kharkov, 1961.




Jamgod
Madhya Pradesh
The village of Jamgod in Madhya Bharat (now Madhya
Pradesh) had a population of around 900 when
Adrian Mayer (1922- ) conducted fieldwork there
for 15 months between 1954 and 1956. Mayer has
continued to visit the village at intervals ever since,
last visiting in 2013.
In addition to numerous articles and a rare
longitudinal perspective, the research in Jamgod
resulted in the influential book Caste and kinship
in central India (1960).
In the 1950s, Jamgod was a mixed agricultural village
dominated by the Kathi caste. Since then, the village
population has expanded five-fold and livelihoods
have diversified in parallel to the growth of a major
industrial centre in the nearby town of Dewas.
Jamgod was 'restudied' as part of this research
project by Tommaso Sbriccoli.
Jamgod Old Village


An Indian village then and now
It is 1950. The Second World War has recently
ended, and three years ago India and Pakistan
attained their independence.
In Britain, the post-war years also bring change.
The NHS is established, and the universities
are expanding. Social anthropology is drawing
an increasing number of students. Some are
undergraduates, but others have come to do
research. Following the example of Bronislaw
Malinowski, perhaps the most influential
anthropologist of the inter-war years, they
expect their research to be based on prolonged
and exhaustive fieldwork.
In India, anthropologists have hitherto studied
the so-called primitive (and usually preliterate)
tribal populations. But, influenced by the new
government's policy of rural development, these
students have set their sights on the study of
villagers usually in a single village, since intensive
fieldwork can best be carried out among a
restricted population in which everyone is known
to the researcher.
Against this backdrop, Adrian Mayer selected the
following images from his considerable archive to
represent life in Jamgod as he knew it circa 1954.




In 1954, Jamgod was
largely self-contained.
Though only a mile from
the highway between the
cities of Indore and
Bhopal, people only
went into the town seven
miles away if they had
business. A farmer takes
a cart with grain to sell
in the market there. The
"journey will take him
about six hours, there
and back. For those
without carts, there
were two buses per day
each way on the highway,
but these rarely stopped
at Jamgod, being full
long before they reached
the village.
Jamgod


Apart from business,
the reason to leave
the village was to
visit kin in other
villages linked to
Jamgod by marriage.
Such villages were
usually within range
of a day's "journey by
bullock cart.
Here, a newly married
bride is taken on her
mother's brother's hip
to the waiting cart
which will take her to
her husband's village.
An Indian village then and now


Within Jamgod houses
were almost all mud
walled and thatch
roofed. The larger
were divided into
rooms, the smaller
had two areas separated
by tall earthen grain
bins. The streets were
dirt, without gutters.
A carpenter is working,
surrounded by friends
who have stopped for
a smoke and a gossip.
Jamgod


26
Farming was done with
simple technology and
bullock power. A farmer
is sowing sorghum,
the basic foodstuff
(chapattis of wheat
were rare and more
expensive) He drives
the bullocks and his
wife drops the seeds
into a drill.
An Indian village then and now



There was little
irrigation of the
village's land before
electrification in 1971.
In 1954, water was taken
from open wells with
leather buckets made
in the village and
drawn up by a pair of
bullocks. The area which
such a mechanism could
irrigate was small.
Jamgod


twmi
Women played a large
part in agriculture,
being only barred
from driving bullocks.
They helped with the
planting, the weeding,
and the harvest.
A woman winnows s
orghum at the family's
threshing place.
An Indian village then and now


29
Most of the crafts
needed for agriculture
and everyday life could
be found within the
village. Each farmer had
a man of the carpenter
caste and one of the
blacksmith caste to tend
to his tools and cart.
These were hired on an
annual contract and paid
in kind at each harvest.
They also worked for
villagers' in house
building and so forth,
as the occasion arose.
The blacksmith works
at his simple forge.
Jamgod


Other services were
given to the villagers
by a series of
craftsmen of different
castes the potter,
barber and others. Ihe
leatherworker repairs a
pair of slippers. Ihey
are made of leather from
a villager's animal and
tanned in the village.
Factory made shoes
were rare, since only
the village slippers
were strong enough to
resist the large thorns
frequently met in path
or field.
An Indian village then and now


Many payments in the
village were not made
with cash, though cash
entered the village
from the sale of cotton
in the summer and
wheat in the winter,
and labourers might
work for cash wages.
Nevertheless, the two
small shops stocking
basic items conducted
three-quarters of their
trade with payments
in grain. Farmers paid
their artisans in kind
at each harvest, other
payments were made for
each "job. A female
labourer receives
payment from the
grain harvest.
Jamgod


A Brahman priest lived
in the village. He
officiated at village
and family rituals,
for which he was paid,
also being given alms
at customary times. The
drummer also received
alms for his service
at village festivals
and processions. A
householder gives alms
to the drummer on the
day of the full moon.
An Indian village then and now


Many annual festivals
contained a procession
of villagers. Two of the
village's three headmen
(to left and right in
the front row) lead the
procession on the last
day of the festival
called Naumi (Ninth)
or Naudurga (Nine
Goddesses). Behind them
is a medium (without
headgear in the second
row) possessed by a
goddess. The procession
is taking wheat
seedlings, grown by the
medium during the nine
days, to be 'cooled'
in a well.
Jamgod


34
The festival of Holi
centred on the fire in
which the villagers
believed that the
princess Holika had
been burnt in punishment
for her worship of
false gods. The village
women, led by the
headmen's wives, have
returned from visits
of condolence to all
households who have
suffered bereavement
during the past year,
and are dousing the
fire with water.
An Indian village then and now


35
On the occasion of
marriage, kinsfolk
came from as many other
villages as the hosts
had the means to invite.
Here, the kin related
to the father of the
bridegroom give him cash
presents. At his side a
note is taken, so that
the same (or greater)
amount can be returned
on a similar occasion.
Besides kin, any friendly
villager may also make
such a donation.
Jamgod


36
The kin on the mother's
side of the marriage
bring presents of
clothes. Since a girl
went to her husband's
house, and since there
was no marriage within
the village, these
presents were always
brought from outside the
village. Their arrival
showed the geographic
extent of the marriage
ties stretching out
from Jamgod.
An Indian village then and now


The feeding of guests
was a ma"jor expense at
weddings and funerals,
since not only family
but fellow villagers
could be invited.
Such feasts took place
in a field or, as in
this case, on the
street outside the only
large brick and wooden
building in Jamgod.
Since each caste had
its own level of purity,
the line of guests
is here broken where
members are forbidden
to eat with each other.
The cook is however of
a pure enough caste to
be acceptable to all.
Jamgod


/
T<
38
The government was
traditionally represented
by a hereditary headman,
there being three of
these in Jamgod's case.
Besides keeping law and
order with the aid of
two watchmen the headmen
collected the tax on
holdings of land.
The farmer (left) hands
over the money to a
headman (right). Behind
them other farmers wait
their turn.
An Indian village then and now


Ownership of land was
registered and entered
into the record book of
the village accountant.
He was called on when
there was a dispute over
boundaries, the headmen
being also present to
keep the peace.
The accountant consults
his register, with one
headman to his right and
two to his left. Behind
them stands a watchmen
with his staff.
Jamgod


Soon after the
inauguration of the
Republic of India in
1950, it was decided
to democratise the
village administration
by introducing elected
village committees.
The committee in Jamgod
holds a meeting. At the
centre is an official
of the Cooperative
Department who is
advising on proceedings.
To his left sits the
elected chairman.
Shortly after this a
hierarchy of committees
was started, stretching
up to the district
level. Jamgod was
represented on some of
these, and its political
boundaries were widened.
An Indian village then and now


The past in the present
This section of the exhibition is the fruit of a
collaboration between the anthropologist Tommaso
Sbriccoli and the photographer Daniela Neri.
"Our aim was to open up Adrian C. Mayer's visual
archive of an Indian village towards the present
and, in doing so, to engage with the ways in which
anthropology represents 'others'."
In addition to his anthropology, Mayer was also a
good photographer, and took hundreds of pictures
of the village and its inhabitants. These images now
form an invaluable archive of twentieth-century life
in rural India.
When Tommaso and Daniela went to 'restudy' the
village in 2012, Mayer's visual material became a
key reference point for investigating contemporary
ethnographic issues.
"Each section focuses on a particular theme and
takes as its starting point one of Mayer's images to
focus on the changing realities of daily life over time."
The images connect past and present through the
reactivation of Mayer's archive and through the artifice
of genealogical charts one of the most important
methodological tools utilised by anthropologists.
The contrasts between black and white and colour
images, and between genealogical models and real
family group pictures, are intended to make time
appear ambiguous and to play with the distinction
between technique, photographic technology and
what is represented.
"The topics emerged from conversation and
collaboration with people in the village. Together,
these images, as a form of narration, are intended
to place the passage of time in material form."
Particular family stories are shown on the second
half of each panel. They are told in the style of
photojournalism, creating a further rupture with
traditional modes of anthropological representation.
A prcqect by
Daniela Neri and
lommaso Sbriccoli
Jamgod






Darapti is one of six children from a high caste
and prosperous family. According to Hindu customs,
upon marriage she should have gone and live with
her husband in his village. Instead, she lives in
Jamgod, where she has her own property,
buffalo and land, which she cultivates herself.
This arrangement is unusual in rural India, and her
story is one of emancipation within the limits of
often strict and gendered rules.
Darapti was married young, but quickly realised her
husband was blind. She returned home. Her father,
Pannalal, feeling cheated, agreed not to send her
back. He gave her some land and a house. She thus
started her own independent life, of which she is
extremely proud.
There are a few other women in the village who
have returned home after either divorce or the
death of their husbands. Such women live in their
brothers' houses; their post-marital status making
them inauspicious according to local beliefs.
Darapti's unusual circumstances make others in
the village circumspect. In some ways, she is seen
as 'acting as a man' because she runs a small farm
single-handedly. She also eats in her brother's
house, where she is served by her daughters-in-
law as if she were a man of the family. At the same
time, she cultivates her status as a married woman
through the careful selection of jewellery, clothes
and other symbols.
She does not know what happened of her spouse.
He could be dead.
At the time of her own death, the land and
possessions will be divided among her brothers.
She will only be able to decide the destiny of her
golden jewellery, which she bought for herself in
order to be both a proper wife and head of her
own family.
Jamgod




47
Jamgod


Title




Pari Ma"ji.
Power, labour and death.
Untimely deaths in rural India lead to potentially
dangerous situations. The souls of those who die
before the completion of their ideal lifecycle linger
halfway between this world and the afterlife. They
must be pacified and 'seated' through ritual means.
In Jamgod, this particular category of spirits is
called paliya for men and parii maji (mother fairy)
for women.
While many families in Jamgod have one parii maji,
Hairwals, one of the lowest-status castes in the
village, have many, which are embodied in stones.
These are worshipped annually in a ritual called
bhana barna.
The presence of these pari majis does not only
tell of traditional religious practices, but points to
unequal economic and power relations in the village.
Most the stories relating to the pari majiis focus on
accidents: the woman who fell into a well, was bitten
by a snake or scorpion, or crushed on a building site.
These are also stories of labour.
Since the 1950s many things have changed in the
village in terms of caste relations. However, it is
still the case that many poor women continue hard
labour for low daily wages (around £1 per day as
opposed to men's £1.50).
Women's bodies and gendered stones show change
and continuity in Jamgod and visually connect death
and inequality, labour and injustice.
Jamgod




Jamgod


Pari Ma"ji. Power, labour and death.






Bapudas belonged to the Harijan caste. He was
an astrologer and performed rituals on collective
occasions. His role as priest, even for lower castes,
made him a respected source of advice in the village.
His youngest son, Charat, had run away from the
village, abandoning his wife and children, to follow
the popular guru Asaram Bapu.
Charat's wife had returned to Dewas, feeling that
without a husband she was no longer welcome in her
in-law's house. She opened a shop selling religious
souvenirs near a temple in the town. With her profit,
she rented an apartment and sent her children to a
fee-paying school.
In 2013, things changed. Bapudas died and Charat,
coincidentally, returned to the village after an
absence of ten years. A few months later, Asaram
Bapu, the guru, was arrested, accused of sexually
assaulting a young girl. Charat has remained in
Jamgod ever since, claiming his guru was framed.
His wife struggles on in Dewas, bringing her children
once a week to see their father in the village.
Jamgod




Jamgod


A religious tale




Politics, dominance and violence.
"A caste may be said to be 'dominant' when it
preponderates numerically over the other castes,
and when it also wields preponderant economic
and political power. A large and powerful caste
group can be more easily dominant if its position
in the local caste hierarchy is not too low."
M.N. Srinivas, The social system of a Mysore
village (1955).
A man was beheaded in Jamgod in the run up to
the 1992 panchayat (village council) elections.
The executioner was from the Bhil caste, a
numerous and rambunctious group who had made
skilful political alliances with dominant groups to
ensure their own economic and practical benefits.
The executed was the brother of Manghilal
Yadav, who was standing for sarpanch (leader
of the council) in the elections. His own Yadav
caste, although small in number in the village,
had strong links to criminal and political figures
in the neighbouring town.
In the end, the beheading moved the villagers to
support Mangilal, who won the election. His triumph
ended a period of coalition between Khati and Bhil
castes. Mangilal and his wife managed to rule the
village for the next fifteen years, favouring his own
Yadav community and harassing his opponents.
In 2008, a Khati boy publically reacted against
Manghilais harassment, which in turn triggered a
feud, which eventually brought Yadav dominance
to an end. The Khati caste, the largest community
after Muslim Pinjaras, managed to elect their own
sarpanch and behave much as Manghilal had done.
Manghilal is exiled from the village and many of
those who supported him are in jail.
A shrine has been constructed where Manghilais
died, to mark an unfulfilled life. His wife regularly
Jamgod


visits. Manghilal, whose earthly power was aided by his
brother's spirit, dreams of a future revenge.
Politics is the capacity to dominate. This capacity is linked
to the size, strength and the ability to enact violence.
Most families in Jamgod own staffs, swords and some
even a gun. By the time they reach adolescence, many
boys will have received training in how to handle weapons.
64
Politics, dominance and violence




Politics, dominance and violence




Until quite recently, it was possible to see cows
wandering the streets of India's largest cities.
These animals have mostly been tidied up as part
of urban modernisation and cleansing programmes.
Cows are potent religious and political signs in India.
For Hindus the animal is sacred and in many parts
of the country it is forbidden slaughter cows and
to eat beef. Cow dung and urine are believed to
be purifying substances.
The dung or gobbar produced by cows, bulls and
oxen continues to be important in village life.
Jamgod once had a cowherd, who was supported
collectively by the village. This time has gone, as milk
cows have been substituted by more productive
buffalos and cheaper goats.
Cow dung is collected to make both fertiliser
and fuel. Dung mixed with mud and straw, shaped
into thin cakes, or khanda, and left to dry on walls
and floors makes an excellent fuel. In addition,
government subsidies have encouraged the
production of biogas from dung which is also
used for cooking. Cow dung is also used as a
building material.
Dung cakes are also important in many Hindu rituals,
where they are used to cook bread balls, or batti,
which are served at funerals and at other big family
occasions. Dung is also used to create small figures
utilised in the performance of many other rituals.
The first chapatti cooked at lunch and dinner is
given to cows and at Diwali cows and oxen are
decorated and worshipped. Oxen are still used
to perform some agricultural activities, mostly by
those without the means to buy or rent a tractor.
The village bull has no single owner and is revered
and fed by all. He roams the village inseminating the
cows who belong to those who cannot afford to
pay for the services of a selectively-bred bull.
The bull appears in most of village temples in
Jamgod


the form of Nandi, Shiva's mount. Gaumata (or
Kamadhenu) appears on the other side: the cow
in her divine form, believed to host in her body
all of the other gods.
The term godhul means sunset or cow dust,
referring to the dusky transition into evening, when
the return of the herd raises dust which lingers on
still air. The village settles into another night.
70
Guamata




Guamata


Then and Now
All but the 'untouchable'
castes depended on a
single well for their
drinking water. This
was fetched by wives
and daughters and
brought home in large
earthen or brass pots.
Note that one of these
women has covered her
face: this is because
she has married into
the village and should
behave modestly before
its men folk, Jamgod,
Madhya Pradesh, 1954.
Jamgod


Collecting water from a
tubewell, Jamgod, Madhya
Pradesh, 2012.
Then and now


Some 50 of the roughly
150 children of school
age attended the village
primary school 48 boys
and 2 girls. Most pupils
had dropped out by the
time of class 5, but
those who remained were
dutiful in doing their
homework wherever they
could, Jamgod, Madhya
Pradesh, 1950s.
Jamgod


76
Homework under the
electric light of the
family shop, Jamgod,
Madhya Pradesh, 2012.
Then and now


The summer crops have
been harvested, and
now the ground must
be prepared for the
winter's cultivation.
Under the clouds of
the retreating monsoon,
a farmer harrows his
field, Jamgod, Madhya
Pradesh, 1954.
Jamgod


A wealthy Khati family
scatters chemical
fertiliser by tractor.
The use of chemical
fertilisers is
widespread and has
almost completely
replaced natural
sources, Jamgod,
Madhya Pradesh, 2012.
78
Then and now


Sundarana, Gu-jarat
Alice Tilche
In the 1950s, the village of Sundarana had a
population of around 2,200 and was located in Kaira
District of the Bombay State. The village was studied
by the anthropologist David F. Pocock (1928-2007),
who spent eighteen months there between 1953
and 1956. Then it was a mixed agricultural village,
dominated by the Patidar caste.
Pocock wrote two books about Sundarana: Kanbi
and Patidar (1972) and Mind, body and wealth (1973).
The first is a treatise on caste, kinship and marriage;
the second is a consideration of the changing
nature of popular Hinduism in the region.
Since then, the village population has doubled and
is now part of the modern Gujarat State. The Patidar
or Patels continue to dominate the affairs of the
village, although today international migration is
more important to the village than agriculture.
Sundarana was recently revisited by Alice Tilche,
who spent twelve months there as part of this
research project.
Sundarana Village


Village entrance gate
Sundarana


Sedentary life is often seen as the natural starting
point of human civilisation. But is it? In India,
various empires and the modern state have tried to
sedentarise populations, as an effort to extract tax
revenue and to control their subjects. Many of those
who were encouraged to settle have again become
migrants as their ways of life, to do with agriculture
for example, are no longer sustainable or desirable.
People inhabit villages in different ways. Sundarana
is a village of 4,842 people. There are around 40
different Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities.
Some live in concentrated and some in scattered
settings. There are those who live on the fields
they farm and those who travel to them; there are
pastoralists who pass by the village and pastoralists
who have made the village their home.
There are migrants of various kinds: those who
commute out of the village everyday to labour in
factories or in fields further away; others travel
to be teachers, clerks and shopkeepers in adjacent
towns. There are those who migrate to other
regions of India, working as traders, shopkeepers,
business people, cleaners and factory workers.
There are those who migrate abroad as students
or as tourists in the hope that they will be able
to stay. Some come back after their degrees and
visas run out, while others stay on. There are those
who established themselves overseas, where they
now have businesses and families. Some have built
houses back in the village and return every few
years. Women often migrate to marry, moving away
from their natal places to their husband's village
or new country of residence.


According to the World Bank, recorded remittances
from migrants to their countries of origin reached
$440 billion in 2015.
India is the leading recipient of remittances,
receiving $70 billion in 2014. The state of Gujarat
contributes significantly to this figure.
Remittances are not just cash transfers, although
they most commonly take this form. Remittances
can also be a form of investment in business,
construction or land. Half of the recorded
philanthropic donations go directly to religious
trusts and organisations.
In some villages, remittances are far higher than the
amount invested by the state into village development.
Remittances boost local economic growth, but are
usually directed at specific families, communities
and organisations with the effect of widening
inequalities between migrants and non-migrants.
Money


Devotees gather
outside the BAPS
Swaminarayan Temple
in Bochasan, a village
neighbouring Sundarana.
BAPS is a powerful
and international
religious congregation,
importantly funded
by the donations of
Non Resident Indians.
Drawing by
George St Clair.
86


Shrine to Kalimata.
The priest of this
Goddess is well known
in Sundarana as 'the
guru who gives visas'.
Young aspiring migrants
consult the Goddess with
their visa applications
and passports to receive
blessings.
Sundarana


INDIA'S
I INTERN
Bank of Baroda: one of
13 banks in the richer
village of Dharma"j,
neighbouring Sundarana.
Money


89
Migrant family to Kenya
and the United Kingdom
build a new house at
the village outskirts.
Sundarana



From cultivation
to construction:
agricultural land
for sale in a small
town near Sundarana.
Money


'Timepass' and masculinity
Timepass: the action or fact of passing the time,
typically in an aimless or unproductive way.
Timepass in Sundarana is a common past-time
among educated and unemployed young men.
Many men in the village have graduate and post-
graduate qualifications. They aspire to get good
jobs and eventually migrate overseas.
However, most of these aspirations do not become
realities. Many men end up working on their family's
land and supervising the work of other farm
labourers.
Among the Patidar community, farmers are
considered poor, as international migration has
become the preeminent marker of status and
success. Young farmers find it difficult to build new
houses, to get loans for long term investments and,
most of all, to find brides. Women do not want to
marry farmers.
Young under-employed and unmarried men spend
a lot of their time riding around on motorbikes,
drinking tea, flicking through their mobile phone
and sitting together at crossroads.
Waiting, some say, is a common feature of societies
that have been incited to believe in a future that
they cannot achieve.
Sundarana


92
Young men hang out near
the village entrance.
'Timepass' and masculinity


Samirbhai and his
scooter. At the time
of this drawing in 2012,
Samir had "just returned
from London after his
student-visa expired.
He was waiting for a
new visa to Canada.
Drawing by
George St Clair.
94


95
Deepwali 2012: young
men from the Thakor
community sit around
and show off their
new clothes.
Sundarana


Deepwali 2012: young
men from the Patidar
community hang out at
their usual meeting
point and pose with
new clothes.
'Timepass' and masculinity


Wedding celebrations:
a USA citizen (standing
girl) returns for a
visit tcfl^he village and
attends the wedding of a
relative (sitting girl).


At birth, there should be 104-106 males to every 100
females. In India and Vietnam, the figure is around 112
males for every 100 females. In China, it is almost 120
to 100. The problem of India's missing girls is most
prominent in its north-western regions. Practices
more prevalent in the past, such as infanticide and
the neglect of baby girls, continue with modern
technology such as sonography and sex-selective
abortion.
The sex ratio for children between 0 and 6 years of
age around Sundarana is 877 females to 1,000 males,
against an anticipated 950:1,000. In an attempt to
stop sex-selection abortions, it has become illegal
to reveal the sex of an unborn baby.
Young women complained that 'there are too many
boys in the village!'
Young men complained that women had become 'too
cool' for them. Many young girls were the first in
their family to be educated to university level. They
put considerable effort into their studies, often
outperforming men.
Women wished most strongly to leave behind
peasant life. They also aspired to break from tight-
knit family relations and the domestic duties they
would have to perform for their in-laws. No woman in
Sundarana wanted to marry a farmer. Instead, women
aspired to marry migrants, so as to be able to leave
the village. Some succeeded. Abroad, the reality was
often different to what they had imagined.
Girl power?


Girls hang out near the
village entrance after
voting in the regional
elections.
Sundarana


Full Text

PAGE 1

INDIA'S VILLAGES 19502015

PAGE 3

Copyright 2016 Edward Simpson and Alice Tilche ISBN: 978-1-5262-0350-2 First Published in 2016 by School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS). A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council ESII02123X/1 UK and generously supported by the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Catalogue edited by Edward Simpson and Alice Tilche Research, images and text provided by F.G. Bailey, Patricia Jeffery, Adrian Mayer, Daniela Neri, Tina Otten, Tommaso Sbriccoli, Edward Simpson and Alice Tilche. Designed by Arianna Tilche Printed by Pureprint Group Typefaces Relative 10 Pitch Relative Book SOAS Y University of London

PAGE 6

The future of the rural world?

PAGE 7

i The future of the rural world? Post-colonial India 4 Living essence of the ancient? 5 Independent India 8 Mahatma Gandhi 9 Moving into a technicolour world 14 Agricultural diplomacy 17 Village studies Jamgod: Madhya Pradesh 21 An Indian village Then and now 41 The past in the present 45 Darapti. An unusual life 51 Pari Maii. Power, labour and death 57 A religious tale 63 Politics, dominance and violence 69 Guamata 73 Then and Now Sundarana: Guiarat 83 Villages on the move 84 Money 91 'Timepass' and masculinity 98 Girl Power? 1(])1 Agriculture 121 Ageing

PAGE 8

Bisipada: Odisha 133 Social and economic infrastructure 143 The civility of indifference: Based on an original work by F.G. Bailey 151 Agricultural cycle 159 Domestic and life-cycle rituals Futures 175 A brief history of change 177 The rural non-agricultural way of life 179 The end of the village? 181 Countryside = 'environment'? 182 The future: Slum to suburb? 183 Other possible futures_ 184 Surinder S. Jodhka: Social dynamics of a non-farm economy: A study of two 'rural' settlements of Madhubani District, Bihar 189 Smita Yadav: A tribal village 190 What is anthropology? 198 On the making of Ark Royal 223 About SOAS, University of London 225 Original credits

PAGE 9

i The future of the rural world? Edward Simpson and Alice Tilche "The future of the rural world? India's villages 1950-2015" was an exhibition hosted by SOAS, University of London. The event marked the end of a major project funded by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council on 'restudying' village India. Most of world's scholarly and media attention is on megacities and the story of rapid urbanisation they are held to represent. Slums have become photogenic and dramatic devices. However, the greater part of the world's population continues to live in rural areas. This will continue to be the case for some time to come. The consequential and untold story, however, is the radical transformation of the countryside, as things formerly thought of as villages become something else. These places mark the emergence of a new form of settlement which are neither cities nor villages in the conventional uses of such terms. The language of social science is ill-equipped for these new realities. The aims of the original ESRC project had been straightforward: to conduct new fieldwork in villages where anthropological research had been undertaken in the 1950s in order to see what had changed. Anthropologists who then made the voyage to India documented a sophisticated agrarian society ordered by caste and institutionalised inequality -where the division of labour mirrored the ritualised and hierarchical exchange relationships of caste. Today, their accounts form an unprecedented and intimate historical account of what life was like in villages during the heady years immediately after Independence. The world has changed. In India, Nehru's socialism, strongly influenced by cold-war politics, has given way to the forces of (neo)liberalisation and globalisation. Waves of development policy have been unevenly implemented across the country; political devolution has passed some responsibility for economic development, social justice and taxation to the village level; affirmative action ushered in caste-

PAGE 10

specific and gendered 'reservations'. Land-reforms and new technologies have transformed agriculture, whilst public health programmes enhanced children's chances of survival. Nehru's ghost has been exorcised by neoliberalism. The original anthropological studies were undertaken independently by F.G. Bailey, Adrian C. Mayer and David F. Pocock (1928-2007). The three went on to have distinguished careers as exponents of the post-colonial sociology of India. The villages they studied are now located in the modern states of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. All three locations display legacies of post-colonial development and political policies, consequences of economic and land reform or consolidation, and effects of technological and media expansion. In each location, there has been a clear growth of grassroots Hindu nationalist sentimentality, and a hardening of religious and ethnic lines. The salience of caste is less, but remains significant. Rural populations have grown between two and five times in size in the last sixty years. What emerges most strongly from this project however is just how diverse rural futures are. The trajectories of three of India's 600,000 or so villages tell of quite divergent scenarios. Going back further in time for a moment, the Indian village has played a surprisingly important role in global theories of history and politics, both conservative and revolutionary. Over the centuries, the village has been comprehensively used and abused, a site for fantasy of both the left and right, for liberals, mythologists and pundits. The idea has become a vessel into which all manner of political ambition has been poured. Maine, Marx, Engels and Weber all had something to say on the significance of rural life in India. In the nineteenth century, Imperial arguments were made for economic liberalisation on the basis of customary inequalities and modes of property ownership reported in villages. For many radicals, in contrast, the village community exemplified qualities of life, such as liberty, equality and fraternity; all of which had been realised in some The future of the rural world? ii

PAGE 11

iii past epoque or were realisable in some future utopia, but significantly, these qualities were currently at risk. All in all, the village community occupied a painfully ambiguous position, symbolising the world European men had lost, a profoundly nostalgic view of an alternative society, which could be compared with the present for signs of both progress and degeneration. The village remains on the brink of being lost forever, but it has been for at least two centuries, possibly longer. Village realities have changed, of course; but the way the village is situated as tangible but threatened remains. In the 1950s, it was quite clearly documented that the village was in the midst of radical change. Universal suffrage in 1950 was perhaps the single biggest event because suddenly villagers mattered to the politics of the nation in ways they had never done before. At the time, Bailey, Mayer and Pocock saw that farming could no longer form the backbone of the village economy, new technologies, population pressure and the seep of the cash economy spelled the inevitable decline of agriculture. They also saw that there would be an increase in other forms of employment, and a corresponding shift in traditional patterns of hierarchy and inequality. The influence of land, at least on the scale of the village, was inevitably to lose ground to commercial acumen and cash wealth. Since that time, remarkably similar conclusions have also been the repetitive key findings of six decades of rural studies, in India but also elsewhere. The countryside has been hollowed out, farming has ceased to provide an income for most, and dirty finger nails have gone out of fashion. Today, in Odisha, land rights and tribal identities have become burning issues, as people have been brought into conflict with transnational corporations and rapacious extractive industries. However, the village remains recognisably as it was in the 1950s; those who survive from that time display more wrinkles for the camera, but their rituals and concerns remain similar.

PAGE 12

Rapid industrialisation in Madhya Pradesh has brought villagers into wage relations with India's industrial houses. A new highway has sucked the core of the village out of the hinterland and closer to the tarmac and city. A surprising number of people who were not born in the village now live there, some of who have come from far away. A formerly impoverished Muslim population has become politically dominant. In Gujarat, the village has become more firmly part of the transnational networks and nostalgic and nationalist politics of migrants in East Africa and UK. Violence in the state in 2002 saw minarets demolished, most Muslim residents subsequently decided they would be safer elsewhere. Life in these villages is clearly not the same as it was in the 1950s. Some suggest the village has become a 'waiting room' for industrial labour markets; for others the village has withered, or even died. What has emerged has been described as an urban-rural continuum. Other neologisms (some of which are no longer that new) include, peri-urban, exurban, the fringe city, vicinities or vicinage, and hermaphroditic and in-between sprawl: the rurban! The ESRC project allowed the luxury of looking and thinking backwards in time. The juxtapositions we came to face-to-face with encouraged us to identify trends and trajectories, and eventually brought us to our question: The future of the rural world? The initial findings of our research once-again echo those already glossed from the literature: agriculture has crumbled, livelihoods have diversified, mobility, mass unemployment, 'over' education, and cultures of 'waiting' are endemic. Religion dominates public discourse in many locations. Land fragmentation is combined with speculative land and construction markets. Private monopolists dominate many local supply chains. Transnational capital has become increasingly sophisticated at extracting revenue. Service professions and a middle class have entered rural life. A mobility paradigm organises daily and lifecycle expectations for many. The future of the rural world? iv

PAGE 13

V However, instead of seeing these as catastrophes marking the end or degeneration or pollution of the world as we know it, our longitudinal perspective shows that these are in fact the ongoing processes at the heart of continuing to negotiate what it means to live in a village. To put it simply, these are the things of a village way of life, which have accelerated village modernities in different ways in the three sites. Overall, the project suggested that city-dominated knowledge, the urban bias so naturalised in common thought and long-highlighted by scholars such as Michael Lipton, has turned rural India into a bloodstained battleground of planning and land deregulation, transecting and gated highways, developer bandits, windy electricity, fields of photolytic cells and mineral extraction. Today's paddy, is tomorrow's gated community or global township. Predatory capitalism and private monopolists run wild, as local economies are buoyed by speculative land investment and boom and bust spirals. The future looks rather grim, at least in some parts of what was once rural India. The project has also suggested that the failure of the urban to absorb rural populations, and of the global to absorb the local, means that villages remain important places of identity and belonging, political mobilisation and welfare. The trajectories of the three villages we studied and restudied tell very different stories: in Odisha, surprisingly little has changed; in Madhya Pradesh, the countryside is 'rurbanising', as it is in Gujarat; there, however, we also see the village as a departure lounge. Many do well in America. Less is known about failure, return and reluctance, but these things may be the seeds of a new rural in India.

PAGE 14

Lakshadweep Islands '-r, Indian Ocean CHINA Bay of Bengal Chennai The future of the rural world? k m Andaman & Nicobar Islands C>S8allard(201 vi

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P.ost-coloniaJI

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ith ut air t-:1.1,(. \ (LOt lJ i ptt)l,.thh llu ntnr t \\C' Ct1m to mg' a1r.lwc.au nir i mtulr up t.."lf a mh.lur uf in i ihl< p:BM Tiu-...r ttl .. (' ho,,c, r. b,. 5rfMratrcl Jrom en h oth(r .ctntiJ1UI to inn t1f "u' OXYGEN, thr onot \itol !(. romt>ri obout 21 prr oent o! th Jir. \\, nil k"o" """ it hrJp irk p<'<>ple get 11. hut twrhnp. do not r.11li>r tlmt SICf'llloHI utl1er 111ajor induslrit r-ould Jlftl opc:-rnte "ithoul 1J1 '\Dme 0\.\Et<'n in trrmcndou quantili Ahout 71) prr rnt ol nir os nitrc>grn. Food proc o r u ni trv rn -.m to protect fr hn "ond """" o! food. FIVE RARE GASES, rgon. kr) p ton. neon, helium. o111d frton-mokt up rf'muining oue p<'r cent. They are riglotfull) coli d Fur t'\nmp lo, there i. only f r u a n J for i nJu lr one cubi f()t'l uf tmon in tHa t n miJiiun uhu.: (e d ur "" Thr-.(" a 1trr mull in c:-1 rit liJ!IIt in "riding pr(J('i....... und in nftniun nf>\\ rnttuJ ... a.., tilouium. FOR MANY YEARS 1""'1'1 of l niun <.ooloul ha' lu.cn Wking thr air opar l nf>'" "a' in "hich i t rnn lwlp iu 8 I if(' for ull of FRU: Uurn lwu llt.U)\, C -tl(llO\\, f'lll\1/t u., and PLASTIC tmprOLf" m011 tltnl f,J. fnr ami hi.Hl'tc-1 11 UNIO c RBIDE AN.D C IJUJO \ f'ONPOR.-17'/0 \ IOLAl Jll'l.lLT [!l1j J n 1uwd.a: lNI O f:\.MUitll: L1\IITn. TORO,TO -------------L C1 TradP morked Producu 1..1'\0t. O"'IU'IIolllti ft,.rt (;.a r u .. 'Tlr C u r;\u l'tn:.!iT.O.LtTt: 1\ntdt";n R uu:uT '"'LITE. and K it Pl.1tlr t.HRL\0\ n ..... i,hh nd 1\..ttrflf" .. ,_. VMO' Acnr. [JI"fU'ol \lto) PAnTO' [ \ nlil-l'ffb! 'rbon

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World Jlgl'lcullure Fair

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RAD BROTHERS, TRIPLICANE. No. 8 Stockiota :-R ETHIRAJIAH & SONS, Picture Merchants, P. T., MADRAS.

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to numerous a r;ticles in centr.allndia the research in Jamgod book Caste and kinshi12 Towards Kankund D Towards the New Village 0 0 0 oo I Jamgod Old Village I N 30 m et res [) <> B

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21 An Indian village -then and now lt is 1950. The Second World War has recently ended, and three years ago India and Pakistan attained their independence. In Britain, the post-war years also bring change. The NHS is established, and the universities are expanding. Social anthropology is drawing an increasing number of students. Some are undergraduates, but others have come to do research. Following the example of Bronislaw Malinowski, perhaps the most influential anthropologist of the inter-war years, they expect their research to be based on prolonged and exhaustive fieldwork. In India, anthropologists have hitherto studied the so-called primitive (and usually preliterate) tribal populations. But, influenced by the new government's policy of rural development, these students have set their sights on the study of villagers usually in a single village, since intensive fieldwork can best be carried out among a restricted population in which everyone is known to the researcher. Against this backdrop, Adrian Mayer selected the following images from his considerable archive to represent life in Jamgod as he knew it circa 1954.

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23 In 1954, Jamgod was largely self-contained. Though only a mile from the highway between the cities of Indore and Bhopal, people only went into the town seven miles away if they had business. A farmer takes a cart with grain to sell in the market there. The iourney will take him about six hours, there and back For those without carts, there were two buses per day each way on the highway, but these rarely stopped at Jamgod, being full long before they reached the village. Jamgod

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Apart from business, the reason to leave the village was to visit kin in other villages linked to Jamgod by marriage. Such villages were usually within range of a day's iourney by bullock cart. Here, a newly married bride is taken o n her mother's brother's hip to the waiting cart which will take her to her husband's village. An Indian village -then and now 24

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25 Within Jamgod houses were almost all mud walled and thatch roofed. The larger were divided into rooms, the smaller had two areas separated by tall earthen grain bins. The streets were dirt, without gutters. A carpenter is working, surrounded by friends who have stopped for a smoke and a gossip. Jamgod

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Farming was done with simple technology and bullock power A farmer is sowing sorghum, the basic foodstuff (chapattis of wheat were rare and more expensive). He drives the bullocks and his wife drops the seeds into a drill. An Indian village -then and now 26

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There was little irrigation of the village's land before electrification i n 1971. In 1954, water was taken from open wells with leather buckets made in the village and d rawn up b y a pair o f bullocks. The area which such a mechanism c ould irrigate was small. Jamgod

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Women played a large part in agriculture, being only barred from driving bullocks. They helped with the planting, the weeding, and the harvest. A woman winnows s orghum at the family's threshing place. An Indian village -then and now

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29 Most of the crafts needed for agriculture and everyday life could be found within the village. Each farmer had a man of the carpenter caste and one of the blacksmith caste to tend to his tools and cart. These were hired on an annual contract and paid in kind at each harvest. They also worked for villagers' in house building and so forth, as the occasion arose. The blacksmith works at his simple forge. Jamgod

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Other services were given to the villagers by a series of craftsmen of different castes -the potter, barber and others. The leatherworker repairs a pair o f slippers. They are made of leather from a villager's animal and tanned i n t he village. Factory made shoes were rare, since only the village slippers were strong enough to resist t he large thorns frequently met i n path or field. An Indian village -then and now 30

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31 Many payments in the village were not made with cash, though cash entered the village from the sale of cotton in the summer and wheat in the winter, and labourers might work for cash wages Nevertheless, the two small s hops stocking basic items c onducted three-quarters of their trade with pay ments in grain. Farmers paid their artisans in kind at each harvest, other pay ments were made for each iob. A female labourer receives payment from the grain harvest. Jamgod

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A Brahman priest lived in the village. He officiated at village and family rituals, for which he was paid, also being given alms at customary times. The drummer also received alms for his service at village festivals and processions. A householder gives alms to the drummer on the day of the full moon. An Indian village -then and now 32

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33 Many annual festivals contained a procession of villagers. Two of the village's three headmen (to left and right in the front row) lead the procession on the last day of the festival called Naumi (Ninth) or Naudurga (Nine Goddesses). Behind them is a medium (without headgear in the second row) possessed by a goddess. The procession is taking wheat seedlings, grown by the medium during the nine days, to be 'cooled' in a well. Jamgod

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The festival of Holi centred on the fire in which the villagers believed that the princess Holika had been burnt in punishment for her worship of false gods. The village women, led by the headmen's wives, have returned from visits of condolence to all households who have suffered bereavement during the past year, and are dousing the fire with water. An Indian village -then and now 34

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35 On the occasion of marriage, kinsfolk came from as many other villages as the hosts had the means to invite. Here, the kin related to the father of the bridegroom give him cash presents. At his side a note is taken, so that the same (or greater) amount can be returned on a similar occasion. Besides kin, any friendly villager may also make such a donation. Jamgod

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The kin on the mother's side o f the marriage bring presents of clothes. Since a girl went to her husband's house, and since there was no marriage within the village, these presents were always brought from outside the village. Their arrival showed t he geographic extent of t he marriage ties stretching out from Jamgod. An Indian village -then and now 36

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37 The feeding of guests was a maior e xpense at weddings and funerals, since not only family but fellow villagers could be invited. Such feasts took place in a field or, as in this case, on the street outside the only large brick and wooden building in Jamgod. Since each caste had its own level of purity, the line of guests is here broken where members are forbidden to eat with each other. The cook is however of a pure enough caste to be acceptable to all. Jamgod

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The government was traditionally represented by a hereditary headman, there being three of these in Jamgod's case. Besides keeping law and order with the aid of two watchmen the headmen collected the tax on holdings of land. The farmer (left) hands over the money to a headman (right). Behind them other farmers wait their turn. An Indian village -then and now 38

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39 Ownership of land was registered and entered into the record book of the village accountant. He was called on when there was a dispute over boundaries, the headmen being also present to keep the peace. The accountant consults his register, with one headman to his right and two to his left. Behind them stands a watchmen with his staff. Jamgod

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Soon after the inauguration o f the Republic of India in 195(]), it was decided to democratise the village administration by introducing elected village committees. The committee in Jamgod holds a meeting. At the centre is an official of the Cooperative Department who is advising o n proceedings. To his left sits the elected chairman. Shortly after this a hierarchy o f committees was started, stretching up to the district level. Jamgod was represented on some of these, and its political boundaries were widened. An Indian village -then and now 4(])

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41 The past in the present A proiect by Daniela Neri and Tommaso Sbriccoli This section of the exhibition is the fruit of a collaboration between the anthropologist Tommaso Sbriccoli and the photographer Daniela Neri. "Our aim was to open up Adrian C. Mayer's visual archive of an Indian village towards the present and, in doing so, to engage with the ways in which anthropology represents 'others'." In addition to his anthropology, Mayer was also a good photographer, and took hundreds of pictures of the village and its inhabitants. These images now form an invaluable archive of twentieth-century life in rural India. When Tommaso and Daniela went to 'restudy' the village in 2012, Mayer's visual material became a key reference point for investigating contemporary ethnographic issues. "Each section focuses on a particular theme and takes as its starting point one of Mayer's images to focus on the changing realities of daily life over time." The images connect past and present through the reactivation of Mayer's archive and through the artifice of genealogical charts-one of the most important methodological tools utilised by anthropologists. The contrasts between black and white and colour images, and between genealogical models and real family group pictures, are intended to make time appear ambiguous and to play with the distinction between technique, photographic technology and what is represented. "The topics emerged from conversation and collaboration with people in the village. Together, these images, as a form of narration, are intended to place the passage of time in material form." Particular family stories are shown on the second half of each panel. They are told in the style of photojournalism, creating a further rupture with traditional modes of anthropological representation. Jamgod

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4 3 Darapti

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Darapti. An unusual life. 45 Darapti is one of six children from a high caste and prosperous family. According to Hindu customs, upon marriage she should have gone and live with her husband in his village. Instead, she lives in Jamgod, where she has her own property, buffalo and land, which she cultivates herself. This arrangement is unusual in rural India, and her story is one of emancipation within the limits of often strict and gendered rules. Darapti was married young, but quickly realised her husband was blind. She returned home. Her father, Pannalal, feeling cheated, agreed not to send her back. He gave her some land and a house. She thus started her own independent life, of which she is extremely proud. There are a few other women in the village who have returned home after either divorce or the death of their husbands. Such women live in their brothers' houses; their post-marital status making them inauspicious according to local beliefs. Darapti's unusual circumstances make others in the village circumspect. In some ways, she is seen as 'acting as a man' because she runs a small farm single-handedly. She also eats in her brother's house, where she is served by her daughters-in law as if she were a man of the family. At the same time, she cultivates her status as a married woman through the careful selection of jewellery, clothes and other symbols. She does not know what happened of her spouse. He could be dead. At the time of her own death, the land and possessions will be divided among her brothers. She will only be able to decide the destiny of her golden jewellery, which she bought for herself in order to be both a proper wife and head of her own family. Jamgod

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47 Jamgod

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48 Title

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51 Pari Maii. Power, labour and death. Untimely deaths in rural India lead to potentially dangerous situations. The souls of those who die before the completion of their ideallifecycle linger halfway between this world and the afterlife. They must be pacified and 'seated' through ritual means. In Jamgod, this particular category of spirits is called paliya for men and parii maji (mother fairy) for women. While many families in Jamgod have one parii maji, Hairwals, one of the lowest-status castes in the village, have many, which are embodied in stones. These are worshipped annually in a ritual called bhana barna. The presence of these pari majis does not only tell of traditional religious practices, but points to unequal economic and power relations in the village. Most the stories relating to the pari majiis focus on accidents: the woman who fell into a well, was bitten by a snake or scorpion, or crushed on a building site. These are also stories of labour. Since the 1950s many things have changed in the village in terms of caste relations. However, it is still the case that many poor women continue hard labour for low daily wages (around per day as opposed to men's .50). Women's bodies and gendered stones show change and continuity in Jamgod and visually connect death and inequality, labour and injustice. Jamgod

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53 Jamgod

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54 Pari Maii. Power, labour and death.

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A religious tale 57 Bapudas belonged to the Harijan caste. He was an astrologer and performed rituals on collective occasions. His role as priest, even for lower castes, made him a respected source of advice in the village. His youngest son, Charat, had run away from the village, abandoning his wife and children, to follow the popular guru Asaram Bapu. Charat's wife had returned to Dewas, feeling that without a husband she was no longer welcome in her in-law's house. She opened a shop selling religious souvenirs near a temple in the town. With her profit, she rented an apartment and sent her children to a fee-paying school. In 2013, things changed. Bapudas died and Charat, coincidentally, returned to the village after an absence of ten years. A few months later, Asaram Bapu, the guru, was arrested, accused of sexually assaulting a young girl. Charat has remained in Jamgod ever since, claiming his guru was framed. His wife struggles on in Dewas, bringing her children once a week to see their father in the village. Jamgod

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59 Jamgod

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60 A religious tale

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63 Politics, dominance and violence. "A caste may be said to be 'dominant' when it preponderates numerically over the other castes, and when it also wields preponderant economic and political power. A large and powerful caste group can be more easily dominant if its position in the local caste hierarchy is not too low." M. N. Srinivas, The social system of a Mysore village (1955). A man was beheaded in Jamgod in the run up to the 1992 panchayat (village council) elections. The executioner was from the Bhil caste, a numerous and rambunctious group who had made skilful political alliances with dominant groups to ensure their own economic and practical benefits. The executed was the brother of Manghilal Yadav, who was standing for sarpanch (leader of the council) in the elections. His own Yadav caste, although small in number in the village, had strong links to criminal and political figures in the neighbouring town. In the end, the beheading moved the villagers to support Mangilal, who won the election. His triumph ended a period of coalition between Khati and Bhil castes. Mangilal and his wife managed to rule the village for the next fifteen years, favouring his own Yadav community and harassing his opponents. In 2008, a Khati boy publically reacted against Manghilal's harassment, which in turn triggered a feud, which eventually brought Yadav dominance to an end. The Khati caste, the largest community after Muslim Pinjaras, managed to elect their own sarpanch and behave much as Manghilal had done. Manghilal is exiled from the village and many of those who supported him are in jail. A shrine has been constructed where Manghilal's died, to mark an unfulfilled life. His wife regularly Jamgod

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visits. Manghilal, whose earthly power was aided by his brother's spirit, dreams of a future revenge. Politics is the capacity to dominate. This capacity is linked to the size, strength and the ability to enact violence. Most families in Jamgod own staffs, swords and some even a gun. By the time they reach adolescence, many boys will have received training in how to handle weapons. Politics, dominance and violence 64

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66 Politics, dominance and violence

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Guamata 69 Until quite recently, it was possible to see cows wandering the streets of India's largest cities. These animals have mostly been tidied up as part of urban modernisation and cleansing programmes. Cows are potent religious and political signs in India. For Hindus the animal is sacred and in many parts of the country it is forbidden slaughter cows and to eat beef. Cow dung and urine are believed to be purifying substances. The dung or gobbar produced by cows, bulls and oxen continues to be important in village life. Jamgod once had a cowherd, who was supported collectively by the village. This time has gone, as milk cows have been substituted by more productive buffalos and cheaper goats. Cow dung is collected to make both fertiliser and fuel. Dung mixed with mud and straw, shaped into thin cakes, or khanda, and left to dry on walls and floors makes an excellent fuel. In addition, government subsidies have encouraged the production of biogas from dung which is also used for cooking. Cow dung is also used as a building material. Dung cakes are also important in many Hindu rituals, where they are used to cook bread balls, or batti, which are served at funerals and at other big family occasions. Dung is also used to create small figures utilised in the performance of many other rituals. The first chapatti cooked at lunch and dinner is given to cows and at Diwali cows and oxen are decorated and worshipped. Oxen are still used to perform some agricultural activities, mostly by those without the means to buy or rent a tractor. The village bull has no single owner and is revered and fed by all. He roams the village inseminating the cows who belong to those who cannot afford to pay for the services of a selectively-bred bull. The bull appears in most of village temples in Jamgod

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the form of Nandi, Shiva's mount. Gaumata (or Kamadhenu) appears on the other side: the cow in her divine form, believed to host in her body all of the other gods. The term godhul means sunset or cow dust, referring to the dusky transition into evening, when the return of the herd raises dust which lingers on still air. The village settles into another night. Guamata 7({)

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72 Guamata

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73 Then and Now All but the 'untouchable' castes depended on a single well for their drinking water. This was fetched by wives and daughters and brought home in large earthen or brass pots. Note that o ne o f these women has covered her face: this is because she has married into the village and should behave modestly before its men folk, Jamgod, Madhya Pradesh, 1954. Jamgod

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Then and now Collecting water from a tubewell, Jamgod, Madhya Pradesh, 2012 74

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Some 50 of the roughly 150 children of school age attended the village primary school 48 boys and 2 girls. Most pupils had dropped out by the time of class 5, but those who remained were dutiful in doing their homework wherever they could, Jamgod, Madhya Pradesh, 1950s. Jamgod

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Then and now Homework under the electric light of the family shop, Jamgod, Madhya Pradesh, 2012. 76

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77 The summer crops have been harvested, and now the ground must be prepared for the winter's cultivation. Under the clouds of the retreating monsoon, a farmer harrows his field, Jamgod, Madhya Pradesh, 1954 Jamgod

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Then and now A wealthy Khati family scatters chemical fertiliser by tractor. The use of chemical fertilisers is widespread and has almost completely replaced natural sources, Jamgod, Madhya Pradesh, 2. 78

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Villages on the move 83 Sedentary life is often seen as the natural starting point of human civilisation. But is it? In India, various empires and the modern state have tried to sedentarise populations, as an effort to extract tax revenue and to control their subjects. Many of those who were encouraged to settle have again become migrants as their ways of life, to do with agriculture for example, are no longer sustainable or desirable. People inhabit villages in different ways. Sundarana is a village of 4,842 people. There are around 40 different Hindu, Muslim and Christian communities. Some live in concentrated and some in scattered settings. There are those who live on the fields they farm and those who travel to them; there are pastoralists who pass by the village and pastoralists who have made the village their home. There are migrants of various kinds: those who commute out of the village everyday to labour in factories or in fields further away; others travel to be teachers, clerks and shopkeepers in adjacent towns. There are those who migrate to other regions of India, working as traders, shopkeepers, business people, cleaners and factory workers. There are those who migrate abroad as students or as tourists in the hope that they will be able to stay. Some come back after their degrees and visas run out, while others stay on. There are those who established themselves overseas, where they now have businesses and families. Some have built houses back in the village and return every few years. Women often migrate to marry, moving away from their natal places to their husband's village or new country of residence.

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According to the World Bank, recorded remittances from migrants to their countries of origin reached $440 billion in 2015. India is the leading recipient of remittances, receiving $70 billion in 2014. The state of Gujarat contributes significantly to this figure. Remittances are not just cash transfers, although they most commonly take this form. Remittances can also be a form of investment in business, construction or land. Half of the recorded philanthropic donations go directly to religious trusts and organisations. In some villages, remittances are far higher than the amount invested by the state into village development. Remittances boost local economic growth, but are usually directed at specific families, communities and organisations with the effect of widening inequalities between migrants and non-migrants. Money Money 84

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85 Devotees gather outside the BAPS Swaminarayan Temple in Bochasan a village neighbouring Sundarana. BAPS is a powerful and international religious congregation, importantly funded by the donations of Non Resident Indians. Drawing by George St Clair. 86

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87 Shrine to Kalimata. The priest of this Goddess is well known in Sundarana as 'the guru who gives visas'. Young aspiring migrants consult the Goddess with their visa applications and passports to receive blessings. Sundarana

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Money Bank of Baroda: one of 13 banks in the richer village of Dharmai. neighbouring Sundarana. 88

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89 Migrant family to Kenya and the United Kingdom build a new house at the village outskirts Sundarana

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Money From cultivation to construction: agricultural land for sale in a small town near Sundarana. 9(])

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91 'Timepass' and masculinity Timepass: the action or fact of passing the time, typically in an aimless or unproductive way. Timepass in Sundarana is a common past-time among educated and unemployed young men. Many men in the village have graduate and postgraduate qualifications. They aspire to get good jobs and eventually migrate overseas. However, most of these aspirations do not become realities. Many men end up working on their family's land and supervising the work of other farm labourers. Among the Patidar community, farmers are considered poor, as international migration has become the preeminent marker of status and success. Young farmers find it difficult to build new houses, to get loans for long term investments and, most of all, to find brides. Women do not want to marry farmers. Young under-employed and unmarried men spend a lot of their time riding around on motorbikes, drinking tea, flicking through their mobile phone and sitting together at crossroads. Waiting, some say, is a common feature of societies that have been incited to believe in a future that they cannot achieve. Sundarana

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'Timepass' and masculinity Young men hang out near the village entrance. 92

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93 Samirbhai and hiS scooter. At the time of this drawing in 21D12. Samir had iust returned from London after his student-visa expired. He was waiting tor a new visa to Canada. Drawing by George St Clair. 94

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95 Deepwali 2012: young men from the Thakor community sit around and show off their new clothes. Sundarana

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'Timepass' and masculinity Deepwali 2012: young men from the Patidar community hang out at their usual meeting point and pose with new clothes. 96

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At birth, there should be 104-106 males to every 100 females. In India and Vietnam, the figure is around 112 males for every 100 females. In China, it is almost 120 to 100. The problem of India's missing girls is most prominent in its north-western regions. Practices more prevalent in the past, such as infanticide and the neglect of baby girls, continue with modern technology such as sonography and sex-selective abortion. The sex ratio for children between 0 and 6 years of age around Sundarana is 877 females to 1,000 males, against an anticipated 950:1,000. In an attempt to stop sex-selection abortions, it has become illegal to reveal the sex of an unborn baby. Young women complained that 'there are too many boys in the village!' Young men complained that women had become 'too cool' for them. Many young girls were the first in their family to be educated to university level. They put considerable effort into their studies, often outperforming men. Women wished most strongly to leave behind peasant life. They also aspired to break from tightknit family relations and the domestic duties they would have to perform for their in-laws. No woman in Sundarana wanted to marry a farmer. Instead, women aspired to marry migrants, so as to be able to leave the village. Some succeeded. Abroad, the reality was often different to what they had imagined. Girl power? Girl Power? 98

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99 Girls hang out near the village entrance after voting in the regional elections. Sundarana

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Girl power? High school girls sing the national anthem during independence day. 1(])(1)

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Agriculture 1(])1 Agriculture is stagnating throughout India and unable to absorb a growing rural population. Common trends include the fragmentation of landholdings, the decline in workers that list agriculture as their main occupation and the growth of so-called 'rural non-farm employment'. Sundarana is located within a fertile plain, known locally as the 'garden of India'. From the perspective of other rural places, the region is rich. Patidars form less than twenty percent of the village population but own more than eighty percent of the land. Most Patidars are landowners, while other communities work on Patidar lands. During the colonial period, this community became favoured as primary cultivators and were charged with collecting land revenue. During the 1800s, they benefitted from the introduction of the railways, new irrigation schemes and cash crops such as tobacco. They were also the main beneficiaries of the green revolution. Today, chilli has become the main cash crop as the tobacco industry is in decline. While agriculture continues to be productive, it is no longer considered a profitable or dignified occupation. Farmers are considered poor. Young Patidars aim to leave their farming estates behind. Those who till land also aim to leave for more remunerative jobs in factories and cities, and in order to escape old and exploitative relations of patronage. Women are those who mostly continue working in agriculture, alongside labourers who migrate from poorer areas of the country. Sundarana

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Agriculture Advertising for IPCO c reamy snuff: a tobacco paste for oral use manufactured in the region. 1(])2

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103 Tobacco Daily wage labourers bundle dry leaves. y George St. Clalr. Sundarana

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1(])5 Agricultural labourer transplanting ripened tobacco leaves. Sundarana

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Agriculture Tobacco Tobacco crop in Sundarana. 1(])6

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Daily wage labourers bundle dry tobacco leaves. Drawing by George St. Clair.

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1(])9 Daily wage labourers bundle dry tobacco leaves. Sundarana

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Agriculture Tobacco Tobacco farm and factory owner displays a stack of dry tobacco leaves. 11(])

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cnilli 111 Agricultural dailY wage labourers plant chilli seedsDrawing bY George St Clair-sundarana .. tA ... ,-.. t L( 1-f,- r _,.., .. c I / _....... (. (.. 'V" \,/ (( (r ... c. ... '--... --,.., 1 t I c ( L t-. -----# ... '''I 1-# \ .... _4<. .... t (. ..,..., ....----; ....<. v'l. .. V// .I' (V'"' 11 2

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115 Candle lit for auspiciousness at the entrance of the field. Sundarana

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Agricultural daily wage labourers plant chilli seeds. Drawing by George St Clair. .. .... ---... \...... \. .. ( /)'C/f-c.tJ t/-??l ( { c.,t:.-1; C, 't L L/.t

PAGE 114

Women take rest before transplanting chilli plants to a bigger field. The field is flooded beforehand so that the young plants will go in easily. The work is strenuous and women have to stand for hours bending over, with mud to their knees.

PAGE 115

119 Chilli plants ripen to be transplanted to a bigger field. Sundarana

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Agriculture Chilli Middlemen weigh, trade and buy chillies that will be sold to neighbouring regions. 12(])

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Ageing 121 Falling birth rates and increasing life expectancy means the population is ageing rapidly. In 2011, there were over 100 million people in India over the age of 60, a number which will almost double by 2025. 8 out of 10 elderly people live in rural areas. In the traditional joint-family, the elderly would be cared for by their children. In this area of India, which is both patri-lineal and patri-local, women mostly move after marriage to their husband's village and family. Caring for their husband's ageing parents is part of women's work, while a women's own parents will typically be cared for by her brother's wife. This logic also promotes the desirability of sons over daughters. Joint families are increasingly breaking up. The reasons are many: the rise of individual values and aspirations, rivalries between brothers, land fragmentation and the decline of agriculture, the pursuit of education and jobs, and migration. Sundarana

PAGE 120

125 Ramanbhai, Chetnaben, Satnaben and Keribhai also lived alone. Their sons migrated to East Africa and the United States. Their daughters had married away from the village. Sundarana

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126 Ageing

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127 Raniini Patel was born in 1937 near Sundarana. His father was an enlightened political figure who played a key role in India's independence struggle. Raniini moved to America in the 1960s, to study engineering. He fell in love with a nurse from Czechoslovakia while working as a lift operator in a hotel in the 'love city' of San Francisco. They married in Guiarat and returned to America, where they had a son. When his wife died, Raniini found himself alone and without adequate health insurance. He returned to India to live in the home for old people in Dharmai He practices maths from high school books to keep his mind active. He wants to return to America. Sundarana

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Ageing Old friends in the home for old people in Dharmai. :::::::::: 128

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133 The Salunki river in the 195Qls, as F.G. Bailey saw it. The lines of stones in the front and the middle ground are recognisable today. The River Bisipada is situated in the Kandhamals hilly and forested areas. Terraced fields, rivers and brooks are home to the Kandhamal tribes and their clients, the Pana. The story goes that the Hindu communities migrated from the plains to the West and into the region around three centuries ago. Even today, the journey from the plains -from Baudh and via the district capital of Phulabani involves crossing the Salunki River in order to reach the village. Bisipada

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The Salunki river as seen from the highway bridge, Bisipada 2012. Social and economic infrastructure The river 134

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135 The nurse and nursery Health workers, Bisipada, 2012 The medical facilities of the state continue to compete with local medicinal practices. Various health programs have been launched in the district, the most recent is a health insurance scheme for farmers. According to the statistics of the local health centre, all childbirth takes place in hospital. Local hospitals in Phulbani are called upon for minor illness. More serious complaints might warrant the five hour journey to Berhampur or even a trip to the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh. Bisipada

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Education The state provides health and education services and different programs for some of the poorer citizens. Midday meal, Bisipada, 2Ql12. Social and economic infrastructure Education and health 136

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Economy The commercial centre of Bisipada is called Hatapoda or Market Street. The families of the former distillers or the Ganjam and Boudh groups shop here. Today, Bisipada has a number of tailors, bicycle shops, a flour mill, a few 'fast food' outlets and a number of grocery stores. An established grocer on Market Street, Bisipada, Mrs S. Sahu, 2012 Social and economic infrastructure Economy 138

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139 The sarpanch Balakrushna Kohoro (centre) and other members of the panchayat, Bisipada, 2Ql12. Political A sarpanch is usually the elected head of a villagelevel statutory institution of local self government called the panchayat or village council. Bisipada

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Khirod Sahani sarpanc h (1997-2002), Bisipada, 2012 Social and economic infrastructure Political

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141 Shiva temple, the site where the Scheduled Caste community had asked for entry after the temple Entry Act was passed (see film The civility of indifference), Bisipada, circa 1953 Religion At the time of F. G. Bailey's research, the Mali family were servants of the Brahmin priests of the Shiva temple. In the 1950s the Scheduled Caste community was prohibited to enter the temple, now they are important members of the temple trust, Bisipada, 2012. Bisipada

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Shiva temple with priests from the Mali community, Mr Nandkishore and Promod Mahapatra, daughter and Mr Mahendra Bisoi. Social and economic infrastructure Religion 142

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The civility of indifference Based on an original work by F.G Bailey. Clockwise: Laxshmi, Nila, Myra and John, Bisipara, circa 1953. The British left India in 1947. Children of freedom were nursed through the Partition of the country. Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs wounded and killed each other in the largest movement of people in history. The story usually goes that violence and religion have been conjoined in the national imagination ever since. Let me lecture you for a moment: no serious student of violence considers it to be 'natural' or 'primordial'. Violence might be born of poverty, rivalry, or being misunderstood -but these conditions on their own do not lead to the wounding or death of others. lt takes something else to make people cross that line, for civility to become incivility, and indifference to become the passion for which one would wound. But what does it take? Bisipada

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What prevents you from killing? Please do not shrug off my question. lt is a good question and awkward. I ask again, what stops you? I imagine this question runs against ideas so deeply held that you do not readily know what they are. The story you are about to hear is my attempt at answering these questions. I will use the tools of social anthropology and explain what I am doing as I go along. I will take you below the big events of history and into the daily life of eastern India, at least as I knew things to be when I stayed there. I, along with my wife and children, lived in a village called Bisipara. Population 700. lt is 1953, a very long time ago, another world almost. The tale is about the powerful and unspoken ideas that kept people from killing each other: violence that never was. lt was just a few years after Partition, but there was no tangible trace of it in villages such as Bisipada. Anthropologists often study invisible things called social relations. They do so in the belief that how we relate to one another, can help explain who we are and what values we hold. My story is also about threats. For anthropologists, making a threat is a form of social relation. Threats suggest possibilities and futures. Threats live on in the exchange of a glance or a sack of rice. Threats, especially of violence, can make new worlds become real. My big question then is: why were the people of Bisipara not genocidal enthusiasts? Bisipara people were 'normal', for want of a more humane word, with the usual complement of good and evil, more tolerance than bigotry. Had they been able to imagine genocide, they would have judged it a disastrous indulgence, a stupidity, and a way to destroy themselves. Moderation and chaos, as clear alternatives, were never articulated. The civility of indifference 144

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Radha Krishna temple in Asri Sahi. Krupasindhu Sahani built this temple after access to the Shiva temple was denied to the Dalits in the 1950s. Sahani was a schoolteacher, charismatic leader of the Scheduled Caste community and research assistant to F.G. Bailey, Bisipada, 2012. What I am claiming of the Bisiparans is my own take on them as an anthropologist, a summation of all they told me, alii saw, as well as of all that they did not explicitly tell me and tried to keep from me. The rule that required them to show self-restraint was, so to speak, subliminal, part of their collective consciousness but unspoken, and apparent to me -more now than then only in the way they conducted themselves. Ritualized politeness shaped their public discourse; they displayed careful attention to the etiquette of status. Sometimes they slipped, and tempers showed. Bystanders indicated this was bad form. However, they were not all equal. Far from it, they had a system called caste, in which people were hierarchically ordered and substantially different at different levels of order. For them, humans were not all the same. They also had people who ranked lower Bisipada

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than the castes, they thought of these people as 'untouchable', too polluting to be touched. Untouchables had their own wells, residential quarters and ways of doing things, quite separate from those of caste Hindus. In 1949, the government of the region, and in accordance with Gandhi's wishes, passed an act making it an offence to bar untouchables from temples. Significantly, the act implied that untouchables are in no essential way different from other people. In places like Bisipara, this was a radical new idea. The Untouchables of Bisipada, Dalits they would be called now, were known as the Panos. They made a bid to enforce the act in the village, a protest against customary discrimination. The occasion was a major festival probably the celebration of the deity's birthday. The Untouchables arrived all together, as they did every year, attended by musicians, and demanded they be allowed to enter the temple. This confrontation was done in a manner that had become the approved political style in India. Notice of confrontation was given to those likely to oppose the move. The response of the caste Hindus was to mount a guard of men armed with battle-axes around the temple. But the Panos had taken a further step and informed the local authorities. The result was the unhurried arrival in the village of the local equivalent of a riot squad consisting of a subinspector and two police constables on bicycles. The Hindus did not directly dispute the law, but said that they were merely the trustees of the temple, not its owners, and while they themselves would stand down and permit the Panos to go inside, they could not in good conscience do so without consulting all the other Hindus, for, as everyone knew, the temple in question belonged, not to the village of Bisipara, but to the region. The Panos stepped down and staged no more confrontations. That was the time they built a The civility of indifference 146

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147 temple in their own street. The clean castes punished the Panos for their display of power by taking away the privilege of making music on festive occasions. Thus, in this symbolic fashion, the clean castes signified that they no longer considered Untouchables a legitimate part of the community. Perhaps that interpretation is too extreme. Panos, unquestionably, were of a different essence, a different moral fiber. So was every caste different from every other caste. Nevertheless, despite this perfectly racist sentiment, and despite the troubles at that time, there was a strong underlying sense (vague but quite perceptible) that being part of a community was something given, always there, inescapable, a moral inevitability. Why did a foray not escalate as it may have done elsewhere? The main answer, was that all of those concerned, were accustomed to counting the cost. This habit of mind inhibits moral fervor. A resolute pragmatism, together with a pervasive suspicion that opportunism is everywhere, make it hard to be a true believer, for whatever cause. But what I witnessed was part of a revolution in which the old orders of power were beginning to be swept away. This shift was very much in Bisipara's public domain; the caste Hindus talked about it frequently and heatedly. They did not take more resolute collective action. They often seemed more like actors in a play than people for whom real power was at stake. They were card players who never cashed in their chips, not because they wanted to prolong that particular game but because everyone knew that to convert the game into reality would hurt them all. No one was a habitual gormandizer; they did not admire hard physical work. Life was not easy. But they were patient, generally phlegmatic, living mostly from day to day. They were calculators and pragmatists, firmly in the habit of working out consequences when they made decisions. They did not theorize. Nor did they entertain themselves by imagining alternative Bisipada

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lifestyles or contemplating reforms. They did not question -at least not of their own accord -their customary ways and the shape of their society. I could not imagine them willing to die (or to kill) for a principle or a cause. The quarrel in Bisipara was less over material resources than about human dignity, about getting people to acknowledge, publicly, who had control. In this context, to be legitimate means to be accorded dignity, to be recognized as a person having specific rights. One can have power without having legitimacy. In Bisipara, legitimacy was by no means a pearl beyond price. The cultural performances that I saw -the political theater of a struggle for power between untouchables and clean castes -were carefully staged and insulated so that there would be no damaging fallout on a style of life so internalised in the village. What I have described are the foundations of social relations in Bisipara: their definition of how the world really worked -something that they all agreed and acted upon, and therefore found to be authentic. I began to write this memoir of Bisipara's dip toward incivility in the 1990s, some forty years after I had left that place for ever. My concern was to memorialize those people as I saw them in those hopeful and promising years, when the world was no longer at war and decolonization was forging new times. I later learned, that this century had brought terrible mass violence to the region. lt meant that the first dip in civility I witnessed in the 1950s had gained the momentum of a full-blown plummet. In 2008, all around Bisipara Hindus and indigenous people killed Christians, sometimes in horrific ways. What made the killers believe they had the right to do so? What made them put aside their indifference? If we follow my original line, then these people no longer counted the cost or, perhaps more accurately, they calculated the rules of the game had changed -they were playing cards for a different sense of community, the kind formed by the sentiments of religious and political chauvinism, rather The civility of indifference 148

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149 than by the survival of a divided village community. The rise of Hindu nationalism and institutionalised differentiation on the basis of religious and caste lines is the story in the villages of post-colonial India. Hindu organisations worked hard, and systematically, to reclaim the history of the country and to claim national political space for themselves. In India today, violence has become a political resource and is regularly ignited, like fire, in the runup to elections, creating communities of fear and votes. In villages across the country, the rules of the game really have changed since the 1950s, when things appeared black and white, we see now the indifference of a new civility. Bisipada

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The civility of indifference (2Ql15) Length: 15 minutes This experimental film is based on an original work by F.G. Bailey of the same name. The narrator charts the rise of aggression in the highlands of Orissa. The accompanying images explore the power of agrarian and sacrificial metaphors in rural life, and what it means to witness something. Director: Edward Simpson Research & eo-direction: Tina Otten & Sunny Suna Narration: Indira Varma Editing: William Elliott-Mills The civility of indifference 15(])

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151 Levelling. In the background women are transplanting rice seedlings from a nursery to a wet rice field, Bisipada, 1953. Ploughing and levelling Bisipada is a rice-producing village, but the quality of the soil and the climate permits only one harvest. Wet rice is produced with a water irrigation system on terraced fields. Bisipada

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Agricultural cycle Ploughing and levelling Ploughing. In the background women are transplanting rice seedlings from a nursery to a wet rice field, Bisipada, 2013. 152

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Agricultural cycle Planting Working in the wet rice fields, Bisipada, 1953. 154

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Agricultural cycle Harvesting Husking paddy with a wind machine, Bisipada, 2Ql13. 156

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157 Dried mango, paste, chutney and powder from the kernels are produced in nearly every household during the season, here shown by family Mr Sukhandeba Behera, Bisipada, 2013. Agricultural byproducts Mango and other seasonal products from the kitchen garden and the forest complement the routine diet and may sometimes be sold for cash. Bisipada

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Agricultural cycle Agricultural byproducts Mrs Piro Bisoi shows different stages of mango kernels, Bisipada, 2(])13. 158

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Mr Jayadev and Mrs Shakuntala Bisoi after the wedding ceremony Bisipada, 1953. Weddings Bisipada

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Elaborate day -long rituals lead the soul of the deceased into the realm of the dead. Sons mourn the death of their mother. Her husband is not present during the ritual. As a widower, his ritual status has decreased and his eldest son takes over the role as head of the household with all its ritual duties, Bisipada, 2013. Domestic and life-cycle rituals End of body 162

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163 The last day of Lanka Podi, Bisipada, 1950s. Lanka Podi The two month long performance of Lanka Podi is a variation of the Ram Lila. lt is a dramatic reenactment of the life of Rama, ending up in a ten day battle between Rama and Ravana, as described in the Hindu religious epic of the Ramayana. The event attracts visitors from across the state. Recently the performers have been invited to perform parts of the play in the capital in Bhubhaneshwar. Bisipada

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165 At the roots of a huge tree near to the house of the priest of the earth, the hands of the last meriah are buried. At this spot, women are blessed as part of the ritual. Priest of the earth Purendra Dehuri, Bisipada, 2Ql12. Offering to the earth goddess. Mati Puia As a village of the Kandhamal, Bisipada must fulfil the demands of the earth goddess, even though it is not exclusively a Kond village. An annual ritual for the goddess is held in the hope of a good harvest. Earlier human sacrifices were carried out. Like many other villages in the region, Bisipada still has a 'meriah bush' where the sacrifices took place. A tree under which the hands of the last meriah victim are buried serves as the current ritual site. Today, the goddess is appeased by an animal sacrifice. The priest of the earth, a Kond or Kond potter, apologises to the goddess for the lack of a human offering. Bisipada

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167 Drumming festival, Bisipada, circa 1953 Drumming and dancing festival The annual drumming festival is another event which both Tina Otten and F.G. Bailey were able to witness. Bisipada

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Drumming festival, Bisipada, 2(])13. Domestic and life-cycle rituals Drumming and dancing festival 168

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169 F.G. Bailey's view of t he performance was in Warrior Street, Bisipada, 1950s. Goma Purnima Bisipada

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Airborne: Malaya Ranian Bisoi catches a prize, Bisipada 2012 170 Domestic and life-cycle rituals Goma Purnima

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continues to

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SeaedAir.l> Fcx:d care CRYOVAC. rrd cap FUTURE FOOD DISTRICT WORLD POPULATION 1960 1987 1999 () 3 Billion 6 Billion

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..

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Social or cultural anthropology is an academic and humanistic discipline dedicated to the study and understanding of people, places and processes. Anthropologists generally explore what other people do, say, think, believe and how they act towards and with one another. For anthropologists, a series of meta-questions may follow such preliminaries: once these things have been identified what does it then mean to do, say, think, believe and act in particular contexts. lt used to be said that anthropology was about understanding the 'native's point of view', or what it meant to have different ideas about god, death, nature, kinship and other aspects of life. Then, anthropologists tended to conduct their research in faraway places, often regarded as 'exotic' or 'primitive'. Today, the discipline, at least as mostly understood by members of this project (and there are other ways), inhabits a largely, although not entirely, non-exotic world and aims to go two steps further. The first step is to realise that the 'natives' (whoever they maybe) are people with history. The minutiae of their daily lives are also influenced, in part or whole, by the structural conditions of the world. They may or may not understand or even be aware of these influences. The lives of those in villages in India are directed and shaped, for example, by the actions of the local and national state, but also by remoter entities such interest rates and transnational agricultural businesses. The point of view of the 'native' remains vitally important, but cannot be the whole story. lt follows of course that not all of the 'natives' know the same things, and indeed, might hold quite different views on a range of issues, including fundamental ideas related to politics, religion and morality, or the truths of village life. Getting to know the corpus of what people know of themselves, and how they categorise and relate different domains of knowledge, is a key part of the modern What is anthropology? What is anthropology? Edward Simpson 19(])

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191 anthropological project. There has also been the gradual unfolding realisation that the idea of a 'native', as with so many other categories in popular usage, is largely derived from the colonial experience. Anthropology has struggled to de-exoticise the subjects of research, given the temporal legacies of past events and processes and the momentum of knowledge structures of the discipline. In other words, the organisational paradigms of privilege, hierarchy and race of the colonial world have lingered. In the process of attempting to divest this past, the range of subjects and geographies of anthropology have expanded and diversified. Anthropologists may now study 'natives' such as stockbrokers and artists, as probably and productively as they study tribes or death rituals. lt is also unlikely that the word 'native' will now be found in use as a general signifier. Modern anthropology tends to assume that people are fundamentally equal in their potentials and abilities (ceteris paribus): none are more primitive or existentially advanced than others. The idea that culture or civilization follows an evolutionary path has largely been discounted, or at least has begun to appear irrelevant. As a part of the process of flattening and homogenising the variations of humanity, the guilt of colonialism has been worked into a theoretical lather by some anthropologists. The froth often obscures our vision of sustained structural inequalities, disparities in opportunity and privilege, and differentiated access to power mechanisms. However, in most specific cases, the burden of anthropological effort draws attention to marginalization and inequality, as worthy and largely unquestioned aims. Anthropology, as we generally understand it as a professional practice in western Europe, has developed guides for ethical research and terms of appropriate engagement. Universities too have established procedures to ensure that research is conducted in an open, honest and respectful fashion. These procedures are well and good, but often they also seem to be rooted in a guilt which is out of time with the actual procedures of the world. Futures

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Our global era is characterised by change and uncertainty. Unethical and unscrupulous action is often at the defining heart of public life. Centres of power and influence are shifting, as is the nature of power itself. Outdated mechanisms of international governance have consistently failed to deliver peace and security. Climate change and intensified conflict over resources run deep in the politics of the planet. Our cities are swelling, as agrarian crises combined with the politics of food security and land fundamentally alter the rural world. Non-sovereign investors control the distribution and revenue of key resources and critical infrastructures. Economic policies have led to the decline in absolute poverty and the rise of inequality in some regions. Popular protest, armed struggle and militarised governance form the backdrop to everyday life in many places. Innovation in technology and finance are at the forefront of both international diplomacy and how ordinary people live and think. Villages in India are on the frontline of many of these processes, and although it is simply wrong to think of them as isolated or primitive, development indicators suggest that extreme poverty persists. As the post-colonial world rearranges itself, new ways of life, being and through are emerging. New terrains of politics and economic possibility are animating human relationships. In many parts of the world, novel and revisionist history and notions of citizenship and belonging are being realigned with the new politics: the rise of political nationalism in India being an apt example. The borders and boundaries of older cartographies are fading as the world is remapped using zones of cooperation, walls, fences and law. Traditional sources of information, media and scholarship face both uncertain and exciting futures. The second step of our anthropology has been to identify and reflect on the kinds of cultural and individual baggage an anthropologist might carry with them. This questioning is not solipsistic, but intended as an act of understanding to improve and enliven the categories through which the anthropologist apprehends and sees salience in the world. This broad technique may also partially be used to explain why anthropologists are interested in some particular issues and places, rather than others. What is anthropology? 192

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193 The ideas which emerged through this project have been developed though two kinds of mediated reflection. In chronological rather than methodological significance these have been as follows. The first dialogue was with the lives and work of Adrian Mayer, F.G. Bailey and David Pocock and India of the 1950s. The second was with the inhabitants of Jamgod, Bisipada and Sundarana today. We would like to think that much of the material presented here has emerged from the conversations and concerns of people in the villages. We will also like to think that they would recognise themselves as well as their trials and tribulations in the way their villages have been represented here. The project has also taught us that anthropologists and the work they produce have lasting effects in the places they study. There has been no dramatic revelation or scandal in our cases: no illegitimate children nor instances of enslavement or psychological experimentation. However, we encountered concrete and enduring memories of the original anthropologists themselves. We have also seen that the books they produced have become important cultural resources within the villages. The language and terms of description, as well as the characterisation of hierarchy, heroes and villains has fed-back quite directly into village life. We therefore invested considerable time and effort in translating and publishing some of the original anthropology into local languages so that it would be more widely accessible, and will aim to do so with what we produce in the future, including this exhibition. Anthropologists conduct research, which they call 'fieldwork' (note the staid metaphor out of kilter with an era of agrarian crisis). Generally, it is reckoned that it takes around a year for an anthropologist starting out in their career to get to know a place or particular issues thoroughly enough to write about them convincingly (depending on the competence and persistence of the anthropologist rather than any magic or natural formula or cultural osmosis). The main research method is called 'participant Futures

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observation'. The double bind of the idea is, as the term suggests, that the anthropologist 'participates' in the life of the place being studied while also 'observing' what is going on. This method gives primacy to vision over other senses; authenticity, legitimacy and the verifiability of research is given by 'being there' or 'witnessing', along with all the interesting problems of 'perspective' that this approach brings with it. Participant observation may also be supplemented by interviews and other research techniques, such as asking people to maintain diaries, to record myths and oral history and collecting biographies. lt is largely the results of such methods which informed the choices we eventually made about how to represent rural India in this exhibition. Whilst in the field anthropologists keep 'fieldnotes', ideally writing a daily account of their activity, progress and findings. The accumulated record usually tells the story of how anthropologists gain experience in a particular place. They generally contain descriptions of everyday life (often called 'ethnography'), letters and field reports written to supervisors, hunches, notes on language, as well as a diary of the activities of the fieldworker. Given that anthropological fieldwork generally lasts around a year, fieldnotes can become substantial documents. When their fieldwork comes to an end, anthropologists begin the task of analysing and 'writing up' their material. In a more general language, this might mean reflecting on things they have seen, done and understood whilst in the field and determining what is meaningful and important. Anthropological writing tends to be quite slow when compared to other humanities disciplines. Turning life into words is a difficult kind of translation, and to do this well is generally time-consuming. In my view, the deeper the analysis goes then a truer and more loyal it becomes to the original observations. Perhaps each generation struggles to understand and to put into robust words the chief characteristics of the prevailing zeitgeist. We have found it difficult to describe the kind of world we live in and therefore the kind of anthropologists and people we are. Convincing and solid answers to the following What is anthropology? 194

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195 questions have not been easy to come by. What do we know of the world with certainty? Where is our 'bottom line'? What are the organisational ideas that allow us to think we understand what is going on? In attempting to answer these questions uncertainty has reflected back upon us. As anthropologists, we have rooted answers to these questions in our research in particular locations, primarily in the villages you have seen in this catalogue. This is a common anthropological knowledge strategy: to let the 'ethnography' speak. lt might be objected that externalising the realities in which one trades is merely to sidestep the difficulty we have in answering our own questions about the world. However, the time and effort that good anthropological research takes, tends to give anthropologists an unusually firm conviction in the truth claims of their research. The conditions in which anthropological research is usually incubated therefore contain a heady mix of elements: discomfort with the history and structure of the discipline, an acute self-awareness and reflexivity, and a conviction in the continued worth and validity of the truths of anthropological research. Needless to say, these elements do not always sit comfortably together, but we tend to carry on regardless. The issues raised above notwithstanding, the realities of village life, at least as constructed through the long-term participant observation, become the basis from which questions can be raised, themes elaborated and arguments made. In an anthropological view, narration and presentation are forms of politics. There is no value neutral fact or singular reality, each and everything is associated with other facts and things in particular and malleable ways and is thus part of a constellation of meaning on the move. The choice to start or end a description at a particular point is based on ideas of causality which often lie outside the story itself. Where do we start a description of a village? The rich and poor or men and women, for example, necessarily have very different views. Whose view shall we privilege and to what consequence? Futures

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Additionally, a great deal of written anthropology, which might initially appear as description to the neophyte, is in fact usually a form of argument or polemic. Such arguments are often made with other texts, but usually with theoretical claims, rather than with the ethnography of others which tends to remain sacrosanct. The endless argument is generally thought of as a way of improving and refining what is known: ruining the world in order to remake it anew, or, alternatively, the apprentice turning to do away with the master (the master having created his own rival, the university corridor is no longer of sufficient capacity to contain their combined wisdom). lt might be better however, instead of adopting a teleological view of knowledge piling up in bigger and better heaps, to see argument with past and rival anthropology as a way of coming to terms with a new and endlessly emerging world. When all is said and done, and whatever some anthropologists may think of their intellectual transcendence, their own ideas about the world, however decentred, are not detached from the unnamed realities of the present. Anthropological writing has theory and schools of thought, which are often also difficult to discern and comprehend for the uninitiated. Certain ideas, styles of analysis and structures of thought have become associated with particular departments or groups of scholars. Some of these dispositions might be entwined within research methods themselves, such as a focus on material over social, or social over cultural, or language over non-verbal reasoning such as symbols. Others might be less defined, relating to where particular anthropologists see the significant keys to true understanding to be located. A focus on gender or class or state-society relations presupposes distinct (however inchoate) ideas about the significance and the relative importance of those kinds of relationships when held up against others. Many anthropologists might argue that their approach is holistic, but in practice the holism is always run through with selections, priorities, hierarchies and differentiated forms of saliences and meaning. In sum, the methods of anthropology offer a humane and important way into understanding the What is anthropology? 196

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The aircraft carrier Ark Royal was constructed between 1935 and 1938 by Cammell Laird and Company at Birkenhead near Liverpool. At the time, the vessel was the most sophisticated and expensive of the British fleet. At the launch, it took four swings of the bottle to spill champagne on the hull. The vessel saw very active service during the Second World War. In 1941, she was torpedoed and sunk in the Mediterranean. Commissions of enquiry found the overly-complicated design to be both the reason for her legendary success in battle and the ultimate cause of her final journey to the seabed. As a boy, F.G. Bailey sat on the dockside watching the gradual assembly of Ark Royal. He bestowed her name upon us, seeing similarities between the design and possible fortunes of the project and those of the ship. The story of how the research project came into being is also inseparable from the research we have produced. I end our story with recalling how it began and developed, as a way of explaining how the categories, divisions and claims made in our material found a way into existence. The exhibition was in some ways our first draft of 'writing up' and incorporates the processes referred to above. The key differences were that we used images instead of words and, more significantly, anthropologists generally work alone in the 'field'; in contrast, and contrary to most of our training, this project involved a great deal of collaboration as a community of professional strangers came together. We wrote our anthropology with images. Primarily trained as academics to write, we have used images and collections of images to tell stories. There are places in which we stray from the path and wander off into the woods. Generally, however, our approach in much of the exhibition has been a rather direct representation of arguments. Of course, as in written anthropology there has been room for metaphor and analogy. Each of us had different ideas about the relationship between On the making of Ark Royal Edward Simpson On the making of Ark Royal 198

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199 images and words, just as each of us brought different philosophical and technical eyes to the creation of these images. The juxtaposition of these different conceptual combinations coincides with the geographical and temporal divisions of the material. This has the effect of making the boundaries between anthropological eyes quite clear across the geography of the exhibition. In 2009 Adrian Mayer approached the anthropology department at SOAS to ask if we might be interested in undertaking a 'restudy' of a village in India. Mayer had been conducting research in the village since the early part of the 1950s, some twenty years before I was born. He rightly emphasised the longitudinal nature of his field data, which, in no small measure, is reflection of his own longevity and vitality. Mayer was born in 1922. He studied at the London School of Economics, conducting research in Malabar in the 1940s, before starting doctoral work in Fiji in 1950. Later, he held a research post in Australian National University. During his time there, he started the research he now wanted me to 'restudy'. In 1955, Jamgod had a population of 912 and was located in the state of Madhya Bharat, which is now Madhya Pradesh only a few kilometres from the industrial town of Dewas. Mayer conducted 15 months of ethnographic research there between 1954 and 1956. At the end of this period in the field, he moved to a teaching post at SOAS, where he remained until retiring as Pro-Director in 1987. In a remarkably open and forthright move, Mayer said that if the project took off then he would also provide personal support, as well as access to his field notes, diaries and photographic collection. All in all, this was a rather daunting proposition: Mayer had been a stalwart of the discipline and its professional institutions, a long serving and loyal member of SOAS, a rigorous fieldworker and an efficient and effective writer. At about the same time, I also learned more about Mayer's meticulous fieldwork and record-keeping practices. He had counted and measured the village, conducting surveys and examining land records. Futures

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He had taken copious notes and written summative reports. He also kept a diary. In this, of course, he is not alone because these are the standard techniques used by many anthropologists. However, I think it fair to say that Mayer has an unusual capacity to remember and describe the world. He also, and clearly from an early age, had developed a similarly extraordinary approach to documentation and record-keeping. His archive is exact and tidy and, therefore, relatively accessible. After some deliberation, I decided to take up Mayer's invitation. However, in order to secure adequate funds for the project I also thought it best to enlarge the scope and to conduct other restudies in parallel. This would, I then reasoned, provide a comparative account and would allow us to examine different kinds of development trajectory and contrasting stories of social change, it would also allow us to think anew about methodology and the history of the British sociology of India. I had then been thinking about the modern history of the anthropology of India and had contributed to a review of the work of David F. Pocock following his death in 2007. I wondered if the village in which Pocock had conducted research in the 1950s might also fit the bill. To restudy the Jonathan Parry and Edward Simpson, 2010. 'David Pocock's contributions and the legacy of Leavis.' Contributions to Indian Sociology, 43(3): 331-359 village in which he had worked in Gujarat presented rather a different proposition to that suggested by Mayer. Pocock obviously could not help us himself; furthermore, he had left very few personal traces, having deliberately burned his fieldnotes notes on a bonfire in his garden when he retired from the University of Sussex. In 2010, I went to Sundarana to see for myself whether it would be a productive place to restudy. I had no idea what to expect of either the village or the marks left by Pocock. Part of me perhaps hoped there would be a statue of him in the village square or a library or dovecote put up in his name. There was nothing. During the brief day I spent there I met nobody who remembered him, nor anyone who thought academic research was worthwhile. But later I learned, and as a strict On the making of Ark Royal 200

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2Ql1 testament to the power of ethnographic fieldwork over less rigorous and less time-consuming methods, that memories of Pocock still inhabited the village. Pocock was, it turned out, well remembered. From my own first fleeting visit, I left with the impression that the village was full of life, and run through with significant disparities of wealth and privilege. The quality of housing varied considerably. All around verdant and fertile fields seemed to tell a story of prosperity. Nearby, were some of the wealthiest villages in India, from where migrants had settled overseas and now formed extensive transnational networks through which goods, politics and religion flowed in abundance. I also felt that rural Gujarat had been neglected somewhat in very recent times, with more books, and certainly more attention on the state's violent and casualised cities. David F. Pocock (1928-2007) read English at Cambridge, where he was influenced by the then well-known literary criticism and social philosophy of F. R. Leavis. At Oxford, Pocock wrote on the Nil otic tribes of Sudan. For his doctoral work, he focused on the 'Asians' (Gujaratis) in East Africa. The experience later took him as a post-doctoral researcher to Gujarat in search of more 'authentic' Indians. Between 1953 and 1956 he spent around eighteen months in the village of Sundarana (then part of Bombay State), also conducting complementary research in the nearby villages of Dharmaj and Gorel. David Pocock, 1972. Kanbi and Patidar: A study of the Patidar community of Gujarat. Oxford: Clarendon. 1973. Mind, body and wealth: A study of belief and practice in an Indian village. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Pocock was appointed to a lectureship at Oxford in 1955, moving to the University of Sussex in 1966, where he remained until retirement. While at Balliol or Oxford-onSea, as Sussex was then known, Pocock published two monographs on his 1950s fieldwork in Sundarana, one of these was about marriage and status, the second was about popular Hinduism. Finding a third anthropologist to restudy, around whom a plausible individual and comparative case could be made, took slightly longer. In the end, one of my own doctoral supervisors, Johnny Parry, suggested I write to F.G. Bailey, who he had last heard of at the University of California, San Diego. I did, of course, as Parry suggested. I asked Bailey Futures

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203 He joined University of Manchester for his doctoral research and started his teaching career at SOAS in 1956. Later he moved to the University of Sussex and, later still, to the University of California San Diego, where he remained until retirement. F.G. Bailey, F.G. 1957. Caste and the economic frontier: A village in highland Orissa; 1960. Tribe, caste, and nation: A study of political activity and political change in highland Orissa. Both: Manchester: Manchester University Press; 1963. Politics and social change; Orissa in 1959. Berkeley: University of California Press. F.G. Bailey, 1994. A witch-hunt: In an Indian village or, the triumph of morality; 1996. The civility of indifference; 1998. The need for enemies: A bestiary of political forms. All three: Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Bailey conducted his principal fieldwork in the villages of Bisipara (then population 700) and smaller 'Baderi' (properly Boida) in the highlands of Orissa between 1952 and 1955 and again in 1959. He wrote three ethnographic monographs based on his village research during his time at SOAS (1957, 1960, 1963). These describe and analyse social change at the level of the village, caste and regional politics. He intended these to be heavyweight interventions (and they were) in the key debates of the day. In the 1990s, he revisited his own Bisipara research with three further retrospective books (1994, 1996 and 1998), written from a comfortable chair in California. Patricia Jeffery became the Go-Investigator on the project. We wrote an application to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the social science funding body of the United Kingdom. The application was successful and we were then faced with the difficult task of recruiting three post-doctoral researchers. We were confounded by the number of young scholars with doctorates and relevant research experience who responded to our advertisement. We had probably unconsciously assumed that we would work with South Asian scholars, for political and practical reasons. In the end, and due to forces beyond our control, we recruited two Italians and a German, two were women and one was a man. Each had been schooled in a different anthropological tradition and fieldwork techniques. Importantly, each came with experience of local languages and fieldwork in the relevant parts of India, and burgeoning enthusiasm for the project. In time, each of the post-doctoral researchers developed their own relationships with their predecessors, the research and the villagers. These are not my Futures

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2Q)5 which not all had the same power or influence. In the end, the two grew close, both admitting touching bonds of indebtedness and affection. David Pocock passed away in 2007. Alice had only his legacy to build a relationship with. She had never met him, nor paid much attention to his anthropology. She was able to read his books and papers, and in the process imagine him as an individual and as part of a broader community of scholars. Looking at this relationship from the outside, I could see a strong affinity between the ways they both liked to think. Ambiguity, partiality and an acknowledgement that things were always in the making and negotiable rather than rule-bound and set in stone animated their anthropology. In the field, Alice was confronted perhaps more directly than she anticipated by Pocock's ghost. In time, people came forward who had quite clear memories of him. He was provided with a routine, a place to live, friends and personal characteristics. The fields and lanes of Pocock's ethnography gradually began to reveal themselves, as she learned to see the village as he had done. Tina and Freddy were separated by the Atlantic. Tina was fortunately able to spend two weeks with him at his home in California to discuss his life and work. We also had access to his field notes and photographiccollection which proved to be a tremendous resource. I was not to know before the project got underway, but Freddy had academic contact with Tina's own supervisor and mentor in Berlin, Georg Pfeffer. Their exchange had been acrimonious, and Freddy's contribution remained unpublished. Tina clearly felt uncomfortable and experienced different tugs of loyalty in the middle of such silverback rivalry. I am, however, getting ahead of myself, and I will return to the significance this rivalry later. Tina's own interests were also in some ways antithetical to those Freddy. He was interested in land and politics, believing them to be the single-most influential domains in determining how things really were. In contrast, Tina was drawn to religion, ritual and myth, topics Freddy possibly considered frivolous (and indeed are not well represented in his notes), but in which Tina saw unique and powerful meaning. However, Tina was Futures

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able to loyally follow some of the hypotheses and topics that Freddy himself had written about, and adding to this her own interests she was able to broaden the scope of both investigation and analysis. Once the project got underway, we convened regularly at SOAS, often with Adrian Mayer. We held a series of seminars and workshops on rural India and the methods best suited to restudying things. We held a memorable session at the Lisbon meeting of the European Conference of South Asian Studies in 2012, to which we were able to invite a whole host of scholars well known for their long-term engagements with questions of rural change. We also presented our initial ideas at the Centre for Social Studies in Surat (CSSS) and at various venues in Delhi, Mumbai and elsewhere in Gujarat. Over the following three years, the strengths and weaknesses of a comparative restudies project became increasingly pronounced. Our initial discussions had helped focus our attention, fieldwork helped to further refine the focus, and as we came to write up the project we encountered new kinds of issues. One of the greatest challenges we faced was understanding not what but how and why the three anthropologists wrote what they did. On one level, we had to think about the discipline of anthropology at the time and what kinds of theory were fashionable. All three had an interest in land, seeing power to lie in its holding. Bailey was interested in the analysis of dispute, Mayer in the holistic understanding of the village and Pocock (although he wrote up his material much later) pursued the ideas of contingency and partiality of explanation. All three were influenced by theories of lineages and affinity which were fashionable at the time, a point to which I return later. Mayer and Bailey were fascinated by what would happen to villages in the new political set-up of Independent India; in contrast, Pocock barely acknowledges a world outside the village. Theoretical debate in anthropology has shown how long-term studies necessarily shift the emphasis of analysis from stasis to change, undermining the sureties of the 'ethnographic present' and 'being there'. Time changes things and not always in a On the making of Ark Royal 2Ql6

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207 logical or predictable fashion; things do not always have trajectories, in any straightforward sense. Numerous anthropologists and economists have traced shifts in rural life through their own long term research engagements. In this, Susan Wadley's longitudinal research in Uttar Pradesh stands out Susan Wadley, 2001 Behind mud walls: Seventy five years in a North Indian village. Berkeley: University of California Press. for provocatively outlining the emergence of a general spirit of optimism in the post-colonial decades, alongside the loss of power among the traditional elite, and growing disparities of wealth. Two features distinguish Ark Royal from previous studies. The first is the comparative aspect (three states and three different original baseline studies); the second is the rather straightforward fact that two of the three original researchers were alive and enthusiastic. The project was, therefore, intended to be a novel experiment in practical comparative field methodology and inter-generational ethnography, which built on the insights of long-term field engagements of others and the accumulated results of repetitious visits to the same fields. We also conceived of this project as a contribution to a discipline, a means of consolidating past effort -where data of known provenance could be used to measure change. Significantly, then, what distinguished this project from others is the fact that Bailey and Mayer were not only alive and well, but also volunteered their time and materials to actively participate in the project. lt is one thing to restudy the work of somebody who is dead, and who cannot argue back, and whose feelings cannot be hurt; it is quite another to work alongside living anthropologists, whose reputation and opinions play quite directly into the research itself. Likewise, it is one thing to read someone's fieldnotes in an archive or library, but it is quite another to have the author of those fieldnotes explain and elaborate. I do not think it coincidental that some of the first publications to emerge from the research have been on Gujarat, where we have not had access to fieldnotes or the spoken word of David Pocock. Anthropologists are not generally trained to work Futures

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in teams. Quite the opposite, they are usually taught solitary fieldwork techniques, in which field relationships are about generating research data, rather than professional cooperation. Therefore, working so intimately with one another proved something of an epistemological as well as interpersonal challenge. We also had to be mindful of the fact that the views of the original anthropologists on both the project and the value and worth of anthropology more generally were cast in a very different time. Specifically, anthropology is a much more self aware discipline today than it was some six decades hence. Over the last few years, we have seen that not all members of the team share a unified vision of the aims and objectives, let alone methods, of anthropology as an academic practice. There were also questions of a more practical nature. How were we to treat confidential or controversial information contained in their field notes in the field? How would we even know if the things anthropologists recorded as significant in the 1950s continued to form or influence part of village life today? How were we to treat the original material in relation to contemporary research practice which necessitates confidentiality and anonymity? What were we to do if there were Malinowskidiary moments? Malinowski (1967) was one of the founders of modern anthropology. He had famously kept a diary separate to his field notes, in which he recorded his personal thoughts and desires. When published, posthumously, the material cast what some have seen as a sceptical shadow over his claims to a scientific method. Bronislaw Malinowski, 1967. A diary in the strict sense of the term. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World. As a team, we had six field-working anthropologists to compare, Bailey, Mayer, Pocock and the three post doctoral researchers who conducted the 'restudy' work, Tina Otten, Tommaso Sbriccoli and Alice Tilche. These relations and the slippages between them were mediated by myself as Principal Investigator and Patricia Jeffery as the Go-Investigator, an anthropologist and anthropologist-cum-sociologist respectively; therefore, methodological and reflexive debate and awareness became central component of the initial On the making of Ark Royal 2Ql8

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2Ql9 months of the project. Rather than treating the original ethnographies as either beyond empirical scrutiny or as a subjective fiction, we worked to understand the processes that brought them into being. We attempted to identify the methodological techniques and theoretical devices of the original anthropologists and reflected similarly on the practices of the 'restudying' anthropologists in a more general sense. In fact, however, the activities and techniques of their fieldwork became much clearer once the team itself started work in the field. From the 1980s, the critical work on the politics of representation and the role of subjectivity in anthropological research has grown apace. This literature has critically considered how age, gender, ethnicity and class influence the ways people interact with the anthropologist in the field and how 'informants' are willing to share their lives. The point to emerge from these important debates as we understood them within the project was that it was not going to be possible to conduct a 'carbon copy' of the original fieldwork; nor, we concluded, was solely aiming to do so the most interesting or intellectually productive objective. No one in the modern discipline of social/cultural anthropology/ Indian sociology believes that the generation of anthropological data can be simply separated from the personal traits and relative competence or diligence of the anthropologist. This is not to say, however, that there is no point in trying to ask the same questions as the original anthropologists did. Such questions were obviously going to yield their own significant and comparable data, but they would also allow the researchers to begin to see the villages broadly as their predecessors might have done. We reasoned that we could then test their general propositions and hypotheses and re-assess the validity of the original claims in the light of the new data. At another level, the introspective gaze on the epistemological practices of the discipline made us mindful of the frames and assumptions included in the presentation of the lives of others. We also discovered published criticisms and reviews of the Futures

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work of Bailey, Mayer and Pocock, both specific and general, and of some of the limitations inherent to the kind of questions they asked. For example, their general focus on agnatic kin in villages only represents the social relations of the villagers in one particular way to the exclusion of others. Also influential on our plans were debates on the cultural history of the prominent role of caste in anthropological writing on India and the disentanglement of this intellectual concern from empirical realities on the ground. To put this simply, was their focus on caste a straightforward reflection of the significance of the institution to village life? Or, was it also part of the intellectual fashions of the moment? Of course, it was probably both of these things, but it is far from easy to untangle such divergent rationales when looking back in time. Similarly, but in a different register, there is no mention of the Partition of India in any of the published work. Does this mean that Partition was not important in the villages of India at the time, less than five years after those tragic events? Or, does it mean that the anthropologists of the period focused on, and saw legitimacy and authenticity in, village matters? Big politics were perhaps better left to the political scientists. Such issues are perennial in anthropology and cannot be put to sleep by simple answers. Issues such as these also came to the fore in the spat between the silverbacks of the anthropology of Odisha, between Georg Pfeffer and F.G. Bailey. In the 1950s, anthropologists spent a great deal of time and ink in debating the role 'descent' and 'alliance' (sometimes called 'diachronic affinity') played in patterning relationships between descent groups. In time, that debate was abandoned, unsettled, like so many anthropological arguments, because it quickly reached the outer limits of the mind. In the literature, this impassioned debate was presented as being about the ways in which certain people in Africa and Asia constructed an understanding of themselves and their relationships with others. F.G. Bailey, unpublished: 'The totality-itch: A commentary on Dr. Pfeffer's view of Kond society', p. 15. A commentary on Georg Pfeffer, 1997. 'The Scheduled Tribes of Middle India as a unit.' In Georg Pfeffer and Deapak Kumar Behera (eds) Contemporary Society, Tribal Studies. Volume 1, Structure and Process. New Delhi: Concept, pp. 3-27. On the making of Ark Royal 21(])

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213 More than once during this project, Mayer expressed his doubts about the wisdom of having embarked on such a course. He told me that it was such a long time ago, that he could no longer remember how he knew things about the village with so much certainty. 'What' he said 'if I just made it all up?' Bailey too, after his initial and unbridled enthusiasm for the project, began to have some doubts. 'What are you going to do' he asked 'if you discover I am a charlatan?' I have often wondered why anyone should have been surprised by Malinowski's diary. lt shows him to be a distinctly human kind of human being, and anyone who thought of him as otherwise can only have themselves to blame. I think however the sense of doubt both Bailey and Mayer expressed in their own lives and works can be taken as a lead into a more profound point about truth, method and time. They were both copious note takers and enthusiastic fieldworkers and the idea that they made anything up simply does not accord with the demonstrable relationship between the initial tentative field notes, the more refined condensations of these in reports and summaries, and the books they finally wrote. However, over the course project it became quite clear to me that what they thought they remembered most about their fieldwork was actually not the act of fieldwork, but what they had chosen, wilfully or not, to write about it. Even then, what they remembered most vividly were the arguments they put forth in the most condensed form in their published work. I found this to be one of the most interesting if casual realisations of the methodological backstory to the whole project. That by writing, first field notes and later books and papers, you are giving personal memory an architecture. You are dividing the world in particular ways, and, in time, those ways become confused with memories and they become memory itself. This was particularly true for Bailey, who for various reasons, some desperately unfortunate, had not returned to his field site since the 1950s. This was less so for Mayer because he had returned to the village on a number of occasions, at least once a decade, and most recently as part Futures

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of this project. lt was almost as if the sense they had made from the field became the reality of the village in their descriptions. Of course, the village had influenced the sense they had made from it, but the partial renderings and occasional and sporadic snapshots of village life they both relied upon, could not easily be presupposed to represent all of a greater reality. Today, some scholars have suggested that the Indian village is a redundant economic unit. In this view, the agrarian economy has withered in the face of rising rates of rural-urban migration: the village has become a vicinity. While this characterisation might perhaps be overstating the case, the argument draws dramatic attention to how rural India has changed since the 1950s. The villages in our project display the signs, institutions and buildings of post-colonial development and political policies, the consequences of economic and land reform, and the burdens of an expanding population. As is well-known, land has fragmented, contributing to the impossibility of making a sustainable living from agriculture. These are also sites in which novel and significant sociological processes are being played out today. In each location, there has been a growth and consolidation of grassroots Hindu nationalist politics. In Odisha, land rights and tribal identities have become burning issues, as people have been brought into conflict with transnational corporations and rapacious extractive industries. Rapid industrialisation in Madhya Pradesh has brought villagers into wage relations with India's industrial houses and the boom town of Dewas. In Jamgod, a once-lowly Muslim community has grown, and grown wealthy, and now dominates many facets of village life. In Gujarat, the village has become part of the transnational networks and nostalgic and nationalist politics of Patidar migrants in East Africa and UK, and the Muslims were banished in 2002 and their mosque vandalised. On the making of Ark Royal 214

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215 Life in these villages is clearly subject to different kinds of broad influence and pressure from when they were studied in the 1950s. Political parties, unions and nationalist and civil movements play significant roles. The three case studies also very clearly remind us of the impossibility and dangers of generalising about the rural world, as if it were a homogenous and identifiable set of conditions or qualities. Thinking across the case studies has allowed us to clearly see the value of disaggregating the idea of 'the countryside' and likewise a 'rural sociology'. Anthropological writing about the Indian village of the 1950s did much to move theories of social change away from mechanistic, teleological and evolutionary development schemes, towards an emphasis on human agency, an acceptance of the contingency of events, and the study of multiple and relative modernities. At the time, anthropologists took the Indian village as a self-contained fieldsite (although not often as a self-evident unit of analysis) and attempted to measure and understand aspects of life there, often conducting thorough and extensive surveys of households and land-holding. The records they produced in their ethnographic writing now form an intimate kind of historic source material; a status which, although valuable and novel, must be accompanied by qualification and methodological reflection. In the 1950s, anthropologists clearly saw that farming could no longer form the backbone of the village economy. According to them, there would be an increase in other forms of employment, and a corresponding shift in traditional patterns of hierarchy and inequality. The influence of land, at least on the scale of the village, was inevitably to lose ground to commercial acumen and cash wealth. They also saw that the enlarging state and the influence of legislation on village ways would change the horizons and traditional patterns of hierarchy, which so characterised life in rural India. Affirmative action policies and land reforms in particular were unsurprisingly anticipated as having dramatic consequences of village life. Anthropologists at the time could see that rural Futures

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217 livelihoods have diversified; migration and other forms of petro-mobility have increased. There appears to have been something in the air. The Anthropological Survey of India (a government department) also started an industrial scale 'restudies' project at about the same time. This effort included the villages in which both Bailey and Mayer worked. Thus it was that during our research, we met teams of anthropologists from the Survey in both Jam god and Bisipada. They were working within an inter-disciplinary framework but were asking many of the same questions as us. They too were drawn to the villages on the basis of previous anthropological investigation. The Indian anthropologists we met in Bisipada were a team of biological, psychological and social anthropologists. The meeting was not an orchestrated way of taking anthropology back to the village, although that might have been provocative. Instead, it was a chance and unusual encounter which took place in the house of one of F.G. Bailey's former research assistants. In her excitement, the film maker/research assistant who was travelling with us suddenly confused 'on' with 'off', so when she thought she was filming she was in fact not, and conversely when she put the camera down to rest on her thigh she turned the camera on. The result is a partial soundtrack of the encounter and a few shots of the assembled when the camera was being moved up and down into filming or resting positions. By the way she moved through the crowd, she clearly thought she was doing a wonderful job of recording a rare moment, rich in interpretive possibility. lt was a hot day, with a powerful sun at full height in a clear blue sky. Chickens scratched in the dirt of the compound of the house where the encounter took place. lt was suddenly obvious that no one quite knew what the protocol was in such circumstances. What were these 'groups' of anthropologists? Rivals? Professional friends? As anthropologists, we could probably all instantly see that we were at the confluence of different notions and continents of history, power and authority. But whose? And to what ends? Of more immediate concern was the matter of who was going to introduce who, given that we Futures

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were all in someone else's house. The bizarre outcome: members of each party spontaneously presented a brief summary of their qualifications and academic achievements along with their handshake and name: speed-dating with abbreviated professional curricula vitae. Meanwhile, a small crowd had gathered to watch the hastily ritualised encounter -some took pictures (using their technology correctly). Extracts from the soundtrack include: "if you are interested, I can submit your details or intentions to higher officials" and "Is your book available?" And, after it is all over: "The anthropologist 'filming' the anthropologists being filmed by the 'informants"' and "lt was awesome. I loved it. Meta-anthropological." To me, what appears like coincidence is more than that and suggests a new role and place for old ethnography within new research. Anthropology has become a measure of things, and can sensibly and productively be used as a historical resource. Like all archives, the material must be used with caution and an understanding of its strengths, weaknesses and original purposes; however, we have found that anthropology contains much certainty, if not to say 'reality', in any simple sense. The main problem with the archive is knowing what is certain and central, rather than serendipitous or peripheral or a limited product of that particular intellectual and political moment. lt is worth reflecting for a moment on why at least two separate governments should simultaneously decide that restudying anthropological work from the 1950s should be a worthwhile and fundable exercise. The 1950s is almost a lifetime ago, almost. The number of people who were alive during the great transition from colonial to post-colonial world is dwindling. First-hand access to those who lived through this momentous upheaval is disappearing. Perhaps, also, there is nostalgia for a time when the world was optimistic and enthusiastic about the future. lt is also the case that rural India, as other parts rural world, is on the cusp of new and intense forms of social change. Looking backwards to the past, identifying trends and trajectories may also help us understand possible futures for the rural world. On the making of Ark Royal 218

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219 In the end, we decided that it was better not to frame the projects only as 'restudies'. For one, we had little primary data for the intervening decades, more in the case of Jamgod -but very little for the other two sites. We have found the idea of 'doing the same fieldwork twice' to be more productive as an idea. The new researchers could not step in the footprints of a previous generation because the winds of change had blown many of those away. The villages had clearly changed too, and so therefore must the nature of our research questions. Juxtaposing the ethnography from the 1950s with that of today is not a subtle or respectful approach to the key transformations of the important post-colonial decades; neither does it allow us to say much about actual trajectories of change and continuity. However, the results are striking. The trends identified in the 1950s as influencing the future direction of village life continue to define in a broad sense what village life is about and what it means to be a villager. With brevity, and glossing complexity and variation across the sites, the juxtaposition reveals in clear form that the role of agriculture and the material and symbolic capital of small-scale land-holding has declined. Farming is now peripheral to many routines, rituals and prosaic concerns in these villages, most so in Gujarat and least so in Odisha. Livelihoods and agricultural production continue to diversify, and to a great extent farming has simply gone out of fashion. Caste hegemony remains, modified of course by various legislative measures, but other forms of ethnic and religious politics tend to dominate daily life. Religion in particular plays an important role in identity politics and has produced vertical schisms within rural communities. Significantly, this trend appears to have been entirely absent from the ethnography of the 1950s (not perhaps in Punjab or Bengal). If we are to trust the ethnography, then other features of village life absent from the 1950s include: mass unemployment, 'over' education, and endemic cultures of 'waiting', suggesting that the culture, aspirations and frames of reference for villagers have changed quite fundamentally. Futures

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223 About SOAS, University of London SOAS, University of London is the only Higher Education institution in Europe specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. SOAS is a remarkable institution. Uniquely combining language scholarship, disciplinary expertise and regional focus, it has the largest concentration in Europe of academic staff concerned with Africa, Asia and the Middle East. On the one hand, this means that SOAS scholars grapple with pressing issues -democracy, development, human rights, identity, legal systems, poverty, religion, social change -confronting twothirds of humankind while at the same time remaining guardians of specialised knowledge in languages and periods and regions not available anywhere else in the UK. This makes SOAS synonymous with intellectual enquiry and achievement. lt is a global academic base and a crucial resource for London. We live in a world of shrinking borders and of economic and technological simultaneity. Yet it is also a world in which difference and regionalism present themselves acutely. lt is a world that SOAS is distinctively positioned to analyse, understand and explain. Our academic focus on the languages, cultures and societies of Africa, Asia and the Middle East makes us an indispensable interpreter in a complex world. SOAS

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Edward Simpson is Professor of Social Anthropology at SOAS. His research interests include mobility, catastrophe and infrastructure. He is the author of The political biography of an earthquake: Aftermath and amnesia in Gujarat, India (2013, Hurst). Alice Tilche holds a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests are in representation and migration with a focus on western India. Edward Simpson Alice Tilche 224

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225 ORIGINAL CREDITS FROM THE BRUNEI GALLERY EXHIBITION, 2015. CURATION Edward Simpson CONTRIBUTORS F.G. Bailey, George St Clair, Surinder S. Jodhka, Adrian Mayer, Daniela Neri, Tina Otten, Tommaso Sbriccoli, Edward Simpson, Alice Tilche and Smita Yadav. DESIGN & WALL GRAPHICS Madeline Herbert. DESIGN INSPIRATION Claudia Mayer. TEXT DESIGN Nicole Roughton. PRINTING & GRAPHICAL PRODUCTION DPC Greenwich and The Graphical Tree. EDITING & FILM PRODUCTION Dakxin Bairange and William Elliott-Mills. Copyright permission for F.G. Bailey's The civility of indifference was kindly granted by the Cornell University Press. Copyright for Life of Gandhi 1869-1948 (part 9), Call of the villages, 1934-1938 lies with Gandhi Films Foundation. Original credits

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Richard Axelby, CAMP-Mumbai, CSS-Surat, John Bailey, Hrudananda Barik, Deepaniali Bisoi, Jayadev Bisoi, Mahendra Bisoi, Sasi Bhusan Bisoi, Upendra Bisoi, Richard Black, Jamie Cross, David Cutts, Purandhara Dehuri, Lambadara Dehuri, Aditya Dogra, Jens Franz, Chris Fuller, John Hollingworth, Patricia Jeffrey, Balakrushna Kanhara, Pabitra Kanhara, Isabella Lepri, Paula Levin, Michael H. Lyon, Bernice J.M. Lyon, Mrutyuniaya Mahapatro, Phaguni Mallick, Baladeba Mishra, Kanhu Charan Mishra, Madhusudan Mishra, Nandikishore Mohapatra, Trilochono Mishra, Johnny Parry, Alpesh Patel, Chandrika Patel, Pinakin Patel, Raiesh Patel, THANKS TO ... Ganesh Chandra Patro, Adikanda Sahani, Khirod Sahani, Radhashyam Sahani, Vesna Silianovska, Subir Sinha, Sunny Suna, Harald Tambs-Lyche, Indira Varma, Paul Webley, and Zoe Williams. Finally, thanks to the residents, past and present, of the villages of Sundarana in Guiarat, Jamgod in Madhya Pradesh and Bisipada in Odisha. 226

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SOrry!