Accepted paper:

Populism and development in India


Smita Yadav (University of Sussex)

Paper short abstract:

What is the relationship between religious cultural heritage based populism and economic growth in India?

Paper long abstract:

In this paper, I address the link between different forms of resistances and co-adaptions regarding religious cultural heritage and the rapid modernization, urbanization and globalization of development in India. Although researchers have studied the phenomenon of the politics of development through democratic approaches, very little of this work has been supported by archival and museum studies connecting heritages of social change. This is vital because the country is witnessing the resurgence of religious icons as resistances and adaptations related to rapid shifts in the landscape. Based on archival research and museums studies, this paper will consider 1/ how religious and archaeological artifacts might represent engagements with modernization, 2/ what popular icons from ancient Indian mythologies have emerged as a form of resistance to modernization, and 3/ the related implications for economic development.

panel O3
History and development: practicing the past in pursuit of 'progress' [paper]