Social Scientist. v 9, no. 100 (Nov 1980) p. 70.


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MANORAMA SAVUR

Uneven Regional Development

REGIONAL differences are a common phenomenon often based on geographical potentialities of the region which, in a class society, are either developed or delibcrataly thwarted to suit the needs of a class or classes which hold power. It would be interesting to find out what are the precise factors that have led to the uneven development of India, namely, to what extent these differences are historically rooted and how much the natural endowments of a region play a role. Oar hypothesis is that history plays a decisive role and this will be tested out by a regional study.

In this study we show why a cluster of barren islands was turned into a premier metropolitan centre and, in order to do so how a flourishing region was simultaneously pauperized. This process was a necessary and a deliberate one for the survival and development of a class that held power. Labour being an essential ingredient for development, we indicate in this study how both extra-legal and later legal devices were used to suck labour power from the flourishing region into the new one, which had not only higher potentialities for development, but was also strategically important for political control of the whole of western India. In order to maintain a continuous flow of labour force from the first region, the initial step was to break its economy; indeed, certain



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