Accepted paper:

The structural adjustment of the political? NGoization and changing patterns of fundings in the Indian Dalit movement

Author:

Nicolas Jaoul (CNRS)

Paper short abstract:

By looking into the changes in the manners of financing the organizations, this paper deals with the way the current NGOization process in India affects the political trajectory of the Dalit movement, which was traditionally defined as an autonomous movement of the Dalit community.

Paper long abstract:

Since the late 1990s, the issue of caste discrimination has been taken up by Human Rights Organizations, Funding agencies and Development NGOs. How does the new "Human Rights based approach" to development and its corresponding program of "empowerment", that are being promoted by international institutions, impact a cause that was traditionally defined as political ? By looking into the changes in the manners of financing the organizations, this paper deals with the way this NGOization process affects the political trajectory of the Dalit movement, which was traditionally defined as an autonomous movement of the Dalit community. It explores how the funding concerns and the technocratic reframing of the discourse of emancipation influence the ideology and practices of the Dalit movement. Focusing on a case from Uttar Pradesh, it reveals on the one hand the precariousness entailed by these short term contracts between small local NGOs and funding agencies, but also the radical uses that local Dalit activists make of foreign funding sources. The resilience of the political can be explained both by the new ability to organize the rural poor, and women in particular, and by the activists' political determination to carry on a movement of politicization from below.

panel P107
Forms of government and everyday economic practices: ethnography and comparison