Development and Urbanization
This panel focuses on South Asia within the larger contexts of development, displacement, and migration. Development in South Asia and other postcolonial countries, as Escobar claims, has been an imposition of the developmental framework carved out quintessentially for the West. Such an argument was raised earlier in world-system analysis by Wallerstein; while discussing the core-periphery theory, he insists that migration of cheap labour from developing to developed countries is sheer exploitation of developing-country human resources.
In a similar vein, this panel proposes that the postcolonial developmental framework of once-colonised countries has been similar to that of their colonial past; only, now the exogenous coloniser is replaced by an endogenous sovereign state that prefers technological and industrial development to social development.
Concomitantly, development in South Asia is a mechanism to favour the privileged – a process often operationalised through displacement of the powerless and forced migration of the poor and indigenous communities due to lack of natural resources for sustenance and rapid erosion of cultural pluralism, leading towards homogenisation.
Cheap labour also means that the ‘third world’ labour, both high-skilled and low-skilled, cross international borders and arrive as ‘transnational migrants’ in the host societies of developed countries. Intranational and international migration has increased the scope of class, gender, and status mobility; simultaneously, however, it has complicated the questions of identity, citizenship, and cultural particularism.