This paper addresses tribal development in India, where tribal people are not only marginalized but also dispossessed in the process of economic reform. Within the tribal societies a massive transformation is taking place, with a crisis-ridden “needs”-based society being transformed into a “desires”-based consumer society. The process is accelerated by neoliberal public policies that promote the idea of “desired development.” This article seeks to document the nature of change in tribal societies which, through the planning for tribal development, have made the transition from “needs”-based to “desired” development. Within this process of transition, the paper attempts to locate the Freudian idea in tribal development planning in India that subjects tribals to persistent poverty, underdevelopment and marginalization. Hence, this paper seeks to contextualize the transformation in the “logic” of public and corporate socio-economic development programmes implemented among tribal groups in India within the broader changes that have characterized the gradual and sometimes fraught transitions in capitalist social relations.
- Freudian development