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The Land Question in IndiaState, Dispossession, and Capitalist Transition$
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Anthony P. D'Costa and Achin Chakraborty

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198792444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198792444.001.0001

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Law Struggles, Lawmaking, and the Politics of Hegemony in Neoliberal India

Law Struggles, Lawmaking, and the Politics of Hegemony in Neoliberal India

Toward a Critical Perspective on the 2013 Land Acquisition Act

(p.129) 5 Law Struggles, Lawmaking, and the Politics of Hegemony in Neoliberal India
The Land Question in India

Kenneth Bo Nielsen

Alf Gunvald Nilsen

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the contentious issue of state-led land transfers and the role of law in mediating between corporate interests and the demands of groups dispossessed by “forcible” land acquisitions. Arguing, with Gramsci, that an important function of law-making is to participate in the organization of consent, the authors suggest that law-making in the context of land transfers in India aims to arrive at compromise equilibria between the interests of dominant and subaltern groups. From this position, the chapter scrutinizes the dialectic between grassroots-based “law-struggles” against dispossession and government law-making regulating land transfers, which eventually gave rise to the new Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Bill. While the authors acknowledge the progressive measures contained in the act, they also suggest that it may nonetheless, in the long run, facilitate the process of neoliberal social and economic restructuring in India.

Keywords:   law, law-struggles, land acquisition, Gramsci, dispossession, LARR Bill

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