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  • Print publication year: 2017
  • Online publication date: April 2018

Chapter 1 - Introduction: Undoing Boundaries

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      • Introduction: Undoing Boundaries
        • By Devi Vijay, Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, Rohit Varman, Professor of Marketing at Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
      • Edited by Devi Vijay, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, Rohit Varman, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
      • Book: Alternative Organisations in India
      • Online publication: 05 April 2018
      • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108381000.001
      Available formats
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      • Introduction: Undoing Boundaries
        • By Devi Vijay, Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, Rohit Varman, Professor of Marketing at Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
      • Edited by Devi Vijay, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, Rohit Varman, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
      • Book: Alternative Organisations in India
      • Online publication: 05 April 2018
      • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108381000.001
      Available formats
      ×

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      To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      • Introduction: Undoing Boundaries
        • By Devi Vijay, Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, Rohit Varman, Professor of Marketing at Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
      • Edited by Devi Vijay, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, Rohit Varman, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta
      • Book: Alternative Organisations in India
      • Online publication: 05 April 2018
      • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108381000.001
      Available formats
      ×

Summary

Introduction

The water sold itself

and from the desert's

distilleries

I've seen

the last drops

terminate

and the poor world, the people

walking with their thirst

staggering in the sand.

I saw the light

at night

rationed,

the great light in the house

of the rich.

All is dawn in the

new hanging gardens,

all is dark

in the terrible

shadow of the valley.

The day is coming

when we will liberate

the light and the water,

earth and men,

and all will be

for all, as you are.

For this, for now,

be careful!

(From ‘Ode to the Air’ by Pablo Neruda)

In the last twenty five years of neoliberal governance, India has witnessed a dramatic shift to privatisation and corporatisation. The new regime of governance has allowed accumulation of wealth for a few with an accompanying rise in inequity at an unprecedented scale. In this neoliberal era, discourse of management is exalted and allows a significant symbolic capital to accrue to managers. Such a discourse fosters conditions for managementality, or the the mentalities and rationalities of management, to determine subject positions that are economically and culturally privileged. While most people struggle for their survival, neoliberalism creates the condition for a small elite to become entrepreneurial, prudential and active to exploit the opportunities offered by corporatisation in a socially uneven India. As Neruda perceptively observed, the corporate-state nexus commodifies and sells everything to the highest bidder leaving the majority of the Indian population in a state of abject poverty. In such times of abundance for a few and deprivation for the vast majority, the question of alternative organisations becomes particularly relevant in India.

Our ideas of alternative organisations in this book are inspired by critical traditions in social and management theory to imagine a different world in which there are emphases on human emancipation, equity and justice. We believe academic writings create counter-discourses that may lead to conditions of what Neruda describes, ‘The day is coming when we will liberate’. Such conditions often hinge on the creation and dissemination of alternative imaginations that are repressed by dominant management discourses under neoliberalism.