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Moneylender's Positive Image: Paradigms and Rural Development

Shishir Sharma and S. Chamala
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 38, No. 17 (Apr. 26 - May 2, 2003), pp. 1713-1720
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4413498
Page Count: 8
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Moneylender's Positive Image: Paradigms and Rural Development
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Abstract

This article appraises the changes in development thought and practice regarding the image of moneylenders and their future role in the agricultural economy and rural development in India. The emphatic push towards a positive image of the moneylender which has become very visible internationally has not been so visible in Indian rural finance practice. This article points out that the positive image of the moneylender has survived all through the centuries of Muslim and British domination in India and the push from negative to positive paradigm in development thought needs only to resuscitate a latent image which has been lying under the dominant negative one. A historical awareness of the process of paradigm-building is essential in unravelling this development enigma and in understanding its underlying ideological investments. The question of the moneylender's socio-economic image is very important in shaping rural finance policies.

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