Development and Urbanization
The paper deals with the questions of progress, development and indigenous people in India. Discussion on progress is incomplete without comparing it with what we mean by development. Development implies different things for different groups of people e.g. development for urban middleclass has starkly different implications than what it means to those for whom forest is home. Here, to substantiate the differential meanings and consequences for different sets of people in a society, the author will discuss the case of indigenous people in the coastal areas of Odisha, India as they are gradually being brought within the framework of modernity either by the state or private enterprises. Through the works of Spencer, Escobar and then JPS Uberoi, the author argues that although progress is linked to social evolution i.e. improvement, social evolution faces the challenge of social inclusion that ensures improvement in life conditions for some to the exclusion of certain others. This differential level of social inclusion through social progress is manifested critically in the cases of social inclusion of indigenous people in Odisha, which is home to hundreds of tribal communities. On one hand they are being brought within the process of development through modern schooling, employment and socialization, they are also facing displacement and deforestation on the other. Therefore, these communities are caught between the pangs of progress and modern ways of life and their own traditional ways of existence. This paper is based on primary research conducted through field work conducted in Odisha in 2017.