Download Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in by Akhil Gupta PDF

By Akhil Gupta

Red Tape provides an important new idea of the kingdom built by means of the popular anthropologist Akhil Gupta. trying to comprehend the persistent and frequent poverty in India, the world's fourth biggest economic climate, Gupta conceives of the relation among the country in India and the negative as one in every of structural violence. each year this violence kills among and 3 million humans, specially girls and women, and lower-caste and indigenous peoples. but India's terrible usually are not disenfranchised; they actively perform the democratic venture. neither is the kingdom detached to the plight of the terrible; it sponsors many poverty amelioration programs.

Gupta carried out ethnographic study between officers charged with coordinating improvement courses in rural Uttar Pradesh. Drawing on that examine, he bargains insightful analyses of corruption; the importance of writing and written files; and governmentality, or the growth of bureaucracies. these analyses underlie his argument that care is bigoted in its effects, and that arbitrariness is systematically produced through the very mechanisms that are supposed to ameliorate social soreness. What needs to be defined isn't just why executive courses aimed toward offering nutrients, employment, housing, healthcare, and schooling to terrible humans don't reach their targets, but additionally why, once they do be successful, they accomplish that inconsistently and erratically.

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Additional resources for Red Tape: Bureaucracy, Structural Violence, and Poverty in India

Sample text

For instance, connections across di√erent locales and levels are made possible at the level of everyday practice by the movement of writing within bureaucracies. Typically, the direction of such movements is that statistics, reports, and requisitions travel up the hierarchy and from peripheral o≈ces to central ones; memos, government orders, and money travel in the opposite direction, down. Very often writing is carried by hand by lower o≈cials who travel up the hierarchy to attend meetings or obtain signatures.

Since then, two legislative changes have been introduced that have the potential to re-shape rural life. These are the Panchayati Raj legislation and the Freedom of Information Bill. The impact of these legislative changes is as yet unclear; in north India it took several decades for the impact of universal adult suffrage to manifest itself in political life with the success of lower-caste parties and subaltern groups. Similarly, the impact of the reservation of one-third Panchayat seats for women and the right to information from government o≈ces might have e√ects which become visible only in the long run.

One could also argue along more classically Marxist lines that the state is a tool for the perpetuation of inequalities, an executive committee of the bourgeoisie and the emerging classes that are tied to the bourgeois order. In this view, the state regulates the sharing of the surplus among the various fractions of the bourgeoisie and ensures that their internal conflicts 22 | Chapter 1 do not bring down the system for the generation of surplus (Bardhan 1984: 54–68). Finally, one could, borrowing a formulation from Bruno Latour, argue that we have never been postcolonial: poverty has not been eradicated because the state has continued to function much as the colonial one did, and neoliberalism has succeeded only in bringing to India new forms of empire and neocolonialism (Hardt and Negri 2000).

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