Visions of Development examines the Indian state’s postcolonial development ideology between Independence in 1947 and the Emergency of 1975-77. Sutoris pioneers a novel methodology for the study of development thought and its cinematic representations, analysing films made by the Films Division of India between 1948 and 1975. By comparing these documentaries to late-colonial films on ‘progress’, his book highlights continuities with and departures from colonial notions of development in modern India. It is the first scholarly volume to be published on the history of Indian documentary film. Of the approximately 250 documentaries analysed by Peter Sutoris, many of which have never been discussed in the existing literature, most are concerned with economic planning and industrialisation, large dams, family planning, schemes aimed at the integration of tribal peoples (Adivasis) into society, and civic education.
Almost all films analysed in this volume are available for free online viewing through the website of the Films Division. Links are provided on the companion website www.visionsofdevelopment.com.