'We Will Need a Passport to Enter the Site': Envisioning Land, Industrialisation, and the State in Goa

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Environmental Studies



Publication Title

Industrialising Rural India: Land, Policy and Resistance


Passports and visas permit entry, but may also limit entry or the assertion of rights. Passports and visas symbolically and simultaneously represent the ability and inability for citizens to enter particular territories. Passports and visas open borders, but without them individual abilities to assert rights to space and move­ment may be compromised and even undermined. In the context of the promo­tion of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the Indian state of Goa, fenceline community members - including the Goan villager quoted above - symbolically evoked passports, visas, and rights as they expressed their opposition to the setting up of SEZs in their state - and even in their own backyard. These senti­ments were articulated by many other affected Goan citizens and, as I show in this chapter, a major social movement opposing SEZs, the SEZ Virodhi Manch (SVM), soon emerged to articulate such governance and land uncertainties that were widely perceived to accompany this particular form of industrialisation. The movement was ultimately successful in forcing the state government to halt the SEZ policy in Goa.


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