Moving up on slippery ground: farming, identity, and social power in semi-arid Andhra Pradesh

2017 Sep 20, Wednesday
Room 616, 6th Floor, Pixel B (Azim Premji University)

About the Lecture

Nilotpal Kumar will speak about his book Unravelling Farmer Suicides in India: Egoism and Anomie in Peasant Life (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2017). The book is based on ethnography of farming communities in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. It challenges those narratives of farmers’ suicides that see the suicides as largely resulting from production-related crises. It suggests that such suicides relate to regional production regimes that are enmeshed with changing social hierarchies (of castes and in family), ideas of self-identity, and precarious ecological resource usage even as these regimes are being transformed by global agricultural restructuring. Unravelling Farmer Suicides also calls into question the nature of official statistics on ‘farmer suicides’ for their socially-produced biases. 

About the Speaker

Nilotpal Kumar is with the School of Development at the Azim Premji University. His current research projects include a study of horticultural restructuring and the nature of local power in rural Andhra Pradesh, and of urbanization and religious fundamentalism in and around NOIDA in Uttar Pradesh.