Social Grievances and Corporate Greed: Twenty20 and Conflicts in Kizhakkambalam
Publication Type:Journal Articles
Source:Review of Development and Change (2020)
Keywords:CSR, greed, grievance, group conflict, Twenty20
The theoretical framework of greed and grievance provides a perspective for understanding conflicts in a social set-up that comprises competing interests. The greed of a section of a society to maximise its control over resources (social, political and economic) is often combined with the grievances of sections that are deprived of their shares of the resources. Even within such considerations, the positions of greed and grievance are fluidic in any conflict and are a critical factor in the manufacturing and sustaining of conflicts. The Kizhakkambalam Gram Panchayat (GP) in Kerala offers one such opportunity to investigate and explore the conflicts arising from the interactive and shifting nature of greed and grievances. Based on an ethnographic survey of the GP, this study highlights and investigates the role of a corporate functionary, Twenty20, and its interactions with the local population. The study argues that the dominance of the Twenty20 in local politics through electoral victory achieved by leveraging corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives is seen to be oscillating between being perceived as a product for managing social grievances and as a product for actualising corporate greed. The interactive and fluidic nature of greed and grievances creates tensions among multiple actors and leads to conflicts in the GP.