A People united in development: Developmentalism in modern Malayalee identity
The desire for development - often defined vaguely, working as a catch-all term for economic growth, social welfare, and socialistic redistribution of resources- has been intimately linked to the construction of the idea of a `Malayalee People' as a distinct socio-cultural entity in the post-independence period. In this paper, the effort is to trace out some of these links in greater clarity. Put very briefly, the attempt is to draw upon public sphere debates in Malayalee society in the immediate post-independence decades, more specifically on speech and writing accruing around the distinctiveness of Malayalee culture and Aikya Keralam (United Kerala). Through this I hope to demonstrate the centrality of Developmentalism in both the conception of a unified `Malayalee People' and their relation with other similar entities as the other States, and the Indian state. In the conclusion I try to reflect on themes that could possibly take forward the research on Malayalee identity in the late twentieth century and after.
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