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Between Utopia and Pragmatism: The Making of a Pudhari (Local Level Leader)


Arun de Souza


This paper examines the way in which political dominance is established in rural Maharashtra through a system of interlinked factions. Public resources are used to establish patron-client relationships and to capture power. An important way in which such relationships are established is by ‘performing’ the role of leader and enacting a set of practices that constitute the ‘symbolic’ representation of leadership. These practices are not confined to the ritual sphere, however, but are quotidian practices that structure the leader’s working day.

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