top of page

Colony (2016)

Assam became a part of British India in 1826, and around the same time, survey and reconnaissance parties accidentally discovered seepages of crude oil in its easternmost regions. After independence, the oil township of Duliajan came up in the 1960s, as a part of the then Prime Minister’s dream of an industrially self-sufficient nation. Long consigned to the ‘primitive’ naturalness of a ‘frontier’ space, the discovery of oil reserves in this part of North-East India provoked the onset of an insulated urbanity – a residential ‘enclave’ for the white collared employees of the state. A small but diverse group of employees from all around the country came to live in quarters within a walled enclosure commonly referred to as the ‘colony’. Our family lived here for more than thirty years till my father retired from his service. In this monotonous and literally colonial setup, one can see the the indiscretions of an extractive economy.

bottom of page