Negotiating Development

Material Information

Negotiating Development A Study of the Grassroots Resistance to India's 2005 Special Economic Zones Act
Jones, Jonathan
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
1 online resource (338 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Political Science
Committee Chair:
Anderson, Leslie E.
Committee Members:
Barkin, Jeffrey S.
O'Dwyer, Conor
Smith, Benjamin
Chalfin, Brenda H.
Graduation Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural land ( jstor )
Democracy ( jstor )
Opposition parties ( jstor )
Peasant class ( jstor )
Political parties ( jstor )
Political power ( jstor )
Social activism ( jstor )
Telegraph ( jstor )
Villages ( jstor )
Violence ( jstor )
Political Science -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
democracy, democratization, development, globalization, india, industrialization, peasants
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Political Science thesis, Ph.D.


NEGOTIATING DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF THE GRASSROOTS RESISTANCE TO INDIA'S 2005 SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES ACT This study examines a citizen resistance that occurred in India during 2007 against the country's 2005 Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act. The resistance largely began in two village blocks in rural West Bengal where farmers stood to lose their land and livelihood due to the establishment of an SEZ and another similar project. It quickly spilled out however into a wider resistance against SEZs that included various elements of India's civil society as well as India's opposition parties. This broad based resistance has resulted in notable concessions by India's state and national governments including increased compensation for land losers, a new policy that forbids the government to forcefully acquire land for SEZs, and the outright cancellation of a number of SEZs across the country. This study poses two central research questions. First, how did villagers, and other Indian citizens come together to form an effective and unified resistance? Second, why did India's state and national governments grant significant concessions to the resistance? I argue that the success of the resistance was facilitated in part by the backdrop of India's democracy. India's democracy provided the impetus for the resistance and government response in several respects. First, rural West Bengal has a legacy of past democratic resistance and subsequent policy concessions. As such, villagers in West Bengal have been conditioned in the art of democratic political protest. Second, India boasts a vibrant civil society, which came out in force to support the anti SEZ resistance. India's civil society had a critical role in the success of the movement, both in terms of guiding and empowering activist villagers and also by pressuring the Indian government to alter state policy. Third, some members of India's various opposition parties responded quickly to the resistance and helped channel the voice of the citizenry to the policy front. Finally, India's media reported heavily on the resistance to SEZs in West Bengal and across the country, and was highly critical of any acts of government violence to quell the resistance. These various forces of democracy have in turn shaped the positive government response. Although the study focuses on India, it has relevance to other developing countries. The study illustrates that the strengthening of political democracy could have a positive impact on the world's poor as developing countries become increasingly exposed to the global economy. Although development might proceed more slowly in developing countries that are democratic, such growth might prove more sustainable in the long run ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Adviser: Anderson, Leslie E.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jonathan Jones.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Jones, Jonathan. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
665066662 ( OCLC )
LD1780 2009 ( lcc )


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1894 Land Acquisition Act


Times of India, Delhi edition Decan Herald,


Times of India


1894 Land Acquisition Act Times of India


2003 National Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy


Research Question s The Argum ent


Theoretica l Context: Grassroots Resistance and Government Response social movement


The Political Participation of the Rural Po or: The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte States and Social Revoultions


The Communitarian Approach to Peasant Political Behavior The Moral Economy of the Peasant


The Communitarian Perspective in India :


The Individualist Approach to Political Participation The Rational Peasant


The Individualist approach in India : Capitalists Against Markets


Just Institutions Matter The Hand of Compassion


A Gap in the Literature how and




Brin g ing in the State : States and Social Revolutions


Empirical Context: Indias Democratic Political Structure


Indias Democratic Structures Delegative Democracy


History of Participation in a Democratic Setting:


Vibrant Civil Society: Polyarchy


Making Democracy Work A Functioning Multi -Party System: An Economic Theory of Democracy


A free and rigorous press: Brokering and Framing


brokers framing


drove Conc lusion


SEZ issue media social activists opposition parties villagers NGO s Democratic Setting




Indias Democratic History


Indias Federal Structure


Indias Party System


Party Dominance after Indepe ndence


Nationalism and the Foundation for Social Solidarity


Bhopal Gas -A ffected Womens Stationary Workers Union The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal No Hiroshima, No Bhopal. We Want to Live International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal


Global Day of Action for Corporate Accountability No More Bhopal, No More Dow


Indias Economic History The Political Economy of Development in India State -Directed Development


The Politics of Scarcity


Economic Socialism under Democratic Rule : Capitalists against Markets


West Bengal Industrialization and Political Participation


The Citizens Research Collective on SEZ


Legacy of Midnapore


Conclusion: The Path to Economic Development in India? In Political Order in Changing Societies State Directed Development


Introduction Human Development Report.


The Singur Resistance


The Tata Car Project :


The Car Factory :


The Telegraph


The Save Agricultural Land Committee


potential to cause unrest or danger to peace and tranquilit y


Indian Express The Telegraph


The Nandigram Resistance


The Telegraph

PAGE 102

Peoples Tribunal of Nandigram

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The Telegraph

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The Hindu India enews

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Go palnagar 1656.55 399.98 24 Beraberi 1043.82 327.21 31 Khaserbheri 229.62 180.59 79 Bajemelia 355.13 47.77 13 Singherbheri 310.75 41.56 13 Total 3595.87 997.11 28 Statistical Handbook: Hooghly

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Bandits and Bureaucrats

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have The Telegraph Peoples Democracy

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Consideri ng an Alternative Explanation: Opposition Party Presence in West Bengal Opposition Party Presence in the Singur Movement

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Oppos ition Party Presence in Nandigram

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Everyone in the village is part of the BUPC

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The Maturing of Grassroots Democracy in West Bengal

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The Politicized History of Rural West Bengal :

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The Rise of the CPM :

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Operation Bargadar

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Institutionalize d Democracy at the Local Level: Panchayat Governance

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The R ole of the Past in the Present Have you heard of the Tebhaga movement? If so, what does this movement mean to you?

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Panchayat Democracy

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Year Numbe r r egistered Up to 1978 0.25 million 1981 1.2 million 1985 1.31 million 1990 1.43 million 1995 1.47 million 2000 1.5 million 2006 1.53 million Source

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Results of Gram Panchayat Elections Results of Panchayat Samiti Elections Results of Zilla Parishad Elections

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0 100000 200000 300000 400000 500000 600000 700000 1980/811985/861990/911990/962000/012005/06 Year Land Redistribution (acres) Economic Review 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 1957 1962 1967 1971 1977 1980 1984 1989 1991 1996 1998 1999 2004 Lok Sabha Election Year Voter Participatin Rate (%) All India Average West Bengal

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Civil Society and the Anti-SEZ R esistance in India

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The Backdrop of Indias Democracy : the

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Indias C ivil Society in Action National Alliance of Peoples Movements

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National Street Hawkers Federation

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International Association of Hawkers and Urban Poor

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Bengals Creative Sector The Intellectuals Forum Nandigram, This land is Mine Right to Land Whose Land is it anyway?

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The Impact on the Villagers :

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What do the names [ Mahasweta Devi/Medha Patkar ] mean to you? She [Medha] is important because she is not a political person. She did not come here to garner votes. She came for a cause. That is why she found a widespread acceptability.16 She[Medha] came to my house and hugged me. It was very emotional .17 Mahasweta Devi is a writer, columnist and advocator of entire movement. She gives the movement legitimacy for the state and nationally.18 It has been a huge moral boost to all of us, these prominent people coming and providing legitimacy. These people are not political. They are philanthropists. They dont represent any political party.19

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Civil Society on the Nation al Front

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When all the peasants come to one place and feel integrated, the movement is st rengthened. We know that it is not only us fighting. Other people are also protesting.21 We became enthused. We got to see the experiences of all the people who are going through similar things across the country. I got a good scope to be acquainted. I got to know others personally. I was able to talk to many people from other states.22 When people came to know that someone from Singur was at the meeting, everyone became exited and tried to talk with me, respected me, and I became very much enthused I felt a spirit against land acquisition. We felt dignity among ourselves. We got assurance that others were with us. We were inspired.23

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After the play, we all introduced ourselves to each other. It was invigorating to meet representatives from other similar movements across the country.24

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The Students for Bhopal The Students for Bhopal

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Action 2007: Delhi Forum

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Delhi Forum

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Delhi Forum

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The National Alliance of Peoples Movements : National Alliance of Peoples Movements

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National Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy

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Extending the Analysis: Civil Society and the Anti SEZ Resistance in Goa

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The Council for Social Justice and Peace Council for Social Justice and Peace

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Council for Social Justice and Peace SVM Nagrik Kruti Samiti Elements of Democracy in Goa :

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We dont care about the Goa government, the central government. We care about what people want this is a democracy! We are living in a democratic country. So when people say that they dont want [an SEZ], they must listen! The government must account for this.42 Here in Goa, the government think s a hundred times before doing something!43 This i s a democracy. We have governments of the people. They must listen to us. They are not dictators. If they do not listen, we will not give them votes.44 Right to Information (RTI)

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Goa Panchayats :

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History of Resistance :

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Conclusion National Hawkers Association Regional Plan 2011

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The Council for Social Justice and Peace

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Peoples Democracy

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Multiparty Politics: Competition and the Advancement of Democracy

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backed by pressure

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Burgeoning Multiparty Democracy in India viable

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hegemonic parties predominant parties one party dominan ce one party rule Uncommon Democracies

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The Decline of the Congress Party :

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Presidents Rule

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The TMC in West Bengal :

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Indias Parties: Reactive, not C onstitutive under two hours

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Picking Up Steam: T he Initial R ole of the O pposition in West Bengal and Goa

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The TMC in Singur :

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The TelegraphThe Telegraph

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Only one person is still raising the peasants voice, and that is Mamata Banerjee. No other party has consistency, but Mamata still has spirit.23 If every woman w as like Mamata, then we would win our battle.24 Mamata tries to raise our issue to the national level .25 Opposition parties have been key to our resistance here. The villagers started this movement, but after that, the TMC came here and helped lead it.26 Mamata Banerjee has a big role. The role of opposition parties is key to our resistance .27 Opposition parties are doing something for us. Mamata Banerjee is unparalleled.28

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The TMC Nandigram : 29

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Mamatas importance is immense. She is an important leader, so her coming here helped us take our movement forward as a political battle .33 Mamata is very important to our movement. Our local TMC MLA is also very important to us.34 Mamata and our local TMC MLA [member of legislative assembly] have a huge role to play in our movement.35

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Goa Movement against SEZs The Hindu The Hindu

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Opposition Parties at the National Level: India Post

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.45 Times of India

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Opposition Parties and Ideological Stretching

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SEZ, A Report

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1977 BLD 29 5 41.32 INC 154 34.42 1980 INC(I) 353 46.29 JNP(S) 41 9.39 1984 INC 404 49.1 CPM 22 5.87 1996 BJP 161 20.29 INC 140 28.8 2004 INC 145 26.53 BJP 138 22.16 India Elections Indi a Elections

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The Telegraph The Telegraph

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0 10 20 30 40 50 60 1951 1957 1962 1967 1971 1977 1980 1984 1989 1991 1996 1998 1999 2004 National Election Year % popular Vote Share Congress BJP 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450 1951 1957 1962 1967 1971 1977 1980 1984 1989 1991 1996 1998 1999 2004 National Election Year Seats Won Congress BJP India Elections

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Introductio n

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The Importance of a Free Media :

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The Media in India

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the World Association of Newspapers St atistical Abstract

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Audit Bureau of Circulations Times of India

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Results and Analysis Results: The Telegraph and the Times of India 1) Intensity of Media Coverage of the Singur and Nandigram Movements:

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Bengal Nation

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2) Media scrutiny of the Movements, the SEZ issue, and the Government :

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3) The Medias role in framing the SEZ issue :

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Government of India, Department of Commerce and Industry

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Results: The Anandabazar Patrika

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1) Intensity of Reporting :

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2) The Medias role in framing the SEZ issue :

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C onclusion

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0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 Sept 2006 Oct NovDecJan 2007 FebMar Apr MayJun July AugSep Date Frequency of Articles The Telegraph The Times of India 1 2 3

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0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 Sept 2006 Oct NovDecJan 2007 FebMar Apr MayJun July AugSep Date Proportion The Telegraph The Times of India 3 2 1 0.00 0.05 0.10 0.15 0.20 0.25 0.30 0.35 0.40 0.45 0.50 Sept 2006 Oct NovDecJan 2007 FebMar Apr MayJun July AugSep Date Proportion The Telegraph Bengal Section The Times of India Nation Section 1 3 2

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0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Sept 2006 Oct NovDecJan 2007 FebMar Apr MayJun July AugSep Date Frequency of Articles Anti-government Neutral Pro-government 1 2 3 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Sept 2006 Oct NovDecJan 2007 FebMar Apr MayJun July AugSep Date Frequency of Articles Anti-government Neutral Pro-government 1 2 3

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0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 Sept 2006 Oct NovDec Jan 2007 FebMar Apr MayJun July AugSep Date Proportion 1 2 3 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 Sept 2006 Oct NovDec Jan 2007 FebMar Apr MayJun July AugSep Date Proportion 1 2 3

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0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Nov 2006 Dec Jan 2007 FebMar Apr MayJune July Aug Sept Date Frequency 1 3 2

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Revisiting the Puzzle Revisiting Existing Explanations : Moral Economy of the Peasant

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The Rational Peasant

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Negotiated Develo pment in India

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O ther Contributions of T his Study inevitably

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Moving Beyond This Study

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Facebook Amnesty Inte rnational Concluding Remarks: Wider Implications of This Study State Directed Development Th e Citizens Research Collective

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United Nations Radio

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PAGE 290

Introduction Level of Analysis :

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Multi Method Approach

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In -Depth Interviews Interviews with V illagers in Singur and Nandigram (West Bengal) Interviews in Singur :

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Interviews with Nandigram Villagers :

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I nterview Questions: Singur and Nandigram Villagers : o o o o

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o o o o o o o

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o o o o o o o

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Role of NGOs in the resistance (key social activists often mentione d)

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(TMC state leader) Singur only o o o o

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o o o Nandigram Only

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Interviews W ith Goa villagers

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Civil Society Interviews

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Bengali Writers/intellectuals

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Non Government Organizations

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Interviews with Members of Opposition Parties and Government Officials

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Participant Observation

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Content Analysis Coding Criteria : Date: Location: Section: Page Location: SEZ: Land Acquisition: Resistance: Opposition Parties:

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Nandigram: Article Tone : Photo: Photo Tone : Times of India

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Most Prominent Article of the Day: The Anandabazar Patr ika : Date : Page Location: SEZ: Land Acquisition: Singur: Nandigram: Opposition Parties: Photo: Total Articles: Most Prominent article of the day:

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* **

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* ** *N=4 **

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Most prominent: Least prominent:

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Most prominent: Least Pro minent

PAGE 329

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