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This article argues against the common assumption in the field of development studies about "depoliticization" of the terrain in which development is conceived, implemented, and received. Taking the case of the history of "community development project" in India between 1952 and 1958, it makes the case that technocratic development in post-independence India involved a case of active, all around politics of negotiation. India's postcolonial elites were quite self-consciously geared to "own" the program in the name of nation and nation-building. The subjects of development were not passive either. It is certainly possible to read their politics of resistance in the process of development's implementation and in elite narratives of development.