Whose Development?: Hegemonization of Resources as Eco-cultural Threat in Mahasweta Devi's Imaginary Maps

  • Renu Bhadola Dangwal


The most prominent concern of thecritics of the new literature has been to assess the
process of development, bring about the discrepancies behind them and also to provide more
tangible alternatives. Much of such literature as written after eighties tends to see this
development as "little more than a disguised form of neocolonialism, a vast technocratic
apparatus designed primarily to serve the economic and political interest of the west"
(Huggan and Tiffin 29). Mahasweta Devi emphasizes on the unprecedented ecological
destruction in the country, particularly after independence and measures the true nature of
development behind its more glorified achievements. Her work demonstrates how the notion
of development has been used as an apparatus to control natural resources without
considering the variables linked with it. She not only speaks of the ecology in terms of the
threat caused to vital resources like land, water, forest but also voices out loudly the ethnic
and cultural crises emerged out of this. This she does by bringing out the predicament of
those indigenous and impoverished human beings, who much like their fellow extinct
species, struggle to survive amid this ecological apocalypse. As Devi, who is the most
vehement critic of the profligate use of natural resources and commercial mode of
development, traces the life of her characters and situations of their life in her works like
Imaginary Maps, The Book of the Hunter, Old Women, Bait, and Dust on the Road, the sociopolitically structured hegemonic power-nexus becomes visible, lurking down the surface. The
present paper aims to analyze Devi's appraisal of ecological development by making myopic
examination of the life of tribes and dispossessed labour class as depicted in her most famous
work Imaginary Maps.

How to Cite
DANGWAL, Renu Bhadola. Whose Development?: Hegemonization of Resources as Eco-cultural Threat in Mahasweta Devi's Imaginary Maps. IJELLH (International Journal of English Language, Literature in Humanities), [S.l.], v. 6, n. 2, p. 19, feb. 2018. ISSN 2321-7065. Available at: <http://ijellh.com/OJS/index.php/OJS/article/view/3156>. Date accessed: 18 mar. 2018.