Development as a Source of Conflict: The Sahukars, Displaced People and the Maoists in Koraput

Publication Type:

Journal Articles


The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs (2017)


The dominant debate in India on the role of development in reducing conflicts still remains open. Despite development measures by both state and non-state actors, conflicts continue to emerge frequently in the country. In Koraput district of Odisha state, development models implemented by the state and by non-state actors have accentuated conflicts. The Sahukar-model of development has caused land alienation among marginalised communities leading to conflicts between the landowners and the landless. Large-scale displacements caused by mega development projects have intensified the confrontation between the displaced and the state. The Communist Party of India-Maoist (‘Maoists’ in short) claims to have an alternative development model, which rejects the state-led development plan. The alternative model imposed by the Maoists—reclaiming land from the rich and adopting ‘Community Farming’—has further exacerbated the conflicts among various communities. Though the nature of conflict and its contenders keep changing, the conflicts as such refuse to die down in Koraput