Anthropological Study of Raigarh: a Sikh Village in Punjab

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This work argues for the importance of studying rural India that is witnessing significant economic, political and social changes. Dr. Arora demonstrates for a village in Punjab, a north-west province of India, its complex embedded nature within regional, national and at times international network of relationships.
The author suggests that while Punjab gained considerably with changes in agricultural practices, little attention has been paid on ‘unintended consequences’ of change in relationships of production in the province and the role ‘social actors’ have played in developing adaptation strategies.


“Arora’s sympathetic and meticulous ethnography makes no claim to be a ‘representative’ part of any single greater whole, still less to descriptive completeness with respect to a bounded social entity, but it does provide a window on all these aspects of change in contemporary India, and the complex ways they combine in the lives of people in one locality. It describes in detail the various, often unexpected and not infrequently perverse effects of myriad state policies and initiatives – subsidies, regulations, development projects, etc – by showing in particular instances just how these are reflected through local circumstances and personalities. The specifics are of course unique, but the fact of there being such particularities, and of their complexity, is general. In showing all this for affluent, fast-changing rural Punjab today, this book represents a contemporary reinvention of the classic genre of the village study.” – Prof. James Laidlaw, Cambridge University

“Considering the fact that there are not many studies of rural Punjab, Dr. Arora’s work will fill an important gap in our knowledge, and generate valuable academic debates, both in theory and methodology, besides in the ethnography of Punjab.” – Prof. Vinay Kumar Srivastava, University of Delhi

“Dr. Arora’s work is a significant contribution to both rural studies in India and ethnography of Punjab.” – Prof. D. K. Bhattacharya, University of Delhi

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Foreword by Dr. James Laidlaw
Chapter 1: Developing Village India: Past and Present
Chapter 2: My Village, Raigarh
Chapter 3: Social Life in Raigarh
Chapter 4: Cropping Pattern
Chapter 5: Earning a Living
Chapter 6: Religious Life in Raigarh
Chapter 7: Panchayat, Development and Politics
Chapter 8: Raigarh: Yesterday and Today
Appendix I Glossary

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