According to Guha, the three contending ideologies exercised influence on each other. Guha has also attempted to trace lineage for Indian environmentalism.
According to him, the historical study of natural resource conflict and the anthropological study of indigenous conservation systems are two important ways of constructing a lineage for Indian environmentalism; he claims that his attempt takes up yet a third alternative, the provision of an intellectual genealogy for the movement. Thus, Guha concerns himself with those forgotten thinkers who provided important insights into the human-nature relationship in India.
He regards J. He traces the origins of environmental movements in India to the Chipko Hug the Trees movement of the Central Himalaya in the early s; the following decade saw a wave of protests against commercial logging in the Himalayan foothills which had both the Gandhians as well as left wing activists involved. Guha construes Chipko as a powerful statement against the violation of customary rights by state forestry which brought into focus a wide range of issues regarding forest policy and the environment debate as a whole.
This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India authored by Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha is hailed by Rahul as a pioneering effort to provide a framework for an ecological historiography and praxis; however, Rahul is quick to point out lacunae in their study. According to Rahul, their effort is more conjecture than history; their framework for historical enquiry is itself flawed which has led them to reach some dubious and dangerous conclusions.
Rahul has highlighted the validity of social science research from an ecological standpoint and has emphasized the necessity of evolving a framework for ecological historiography and praxis. Guha undertakes a pioneering analysis of the social origins of the Chipko movement, in Social Ecology; he traces the origins of the movement to the beginning of the 20th century when peasants of the Garhwall region protested against destructive activities of forest officials. Ramachandra Guha and Madhav Gadgil have argued that nature-based conflicts revolving around competing claims over forests, land, water and fisheries have increased in frequency and intensity, thereby adding a new dimension to Indian democracy and civil society; the environmental movement also poses an ideological challenge to the dominant notions of the meaning, content and patterns of development in India.
In another work, Ecology and Equity: The Use and Abuse of Nature in Contemporary India, they have tried to present a critique of the development model in our country since independence. Recently, Guha has tried to examine European contribution to Indian environmentalism.
He also distinguishes between two waves of Indian environmentalism: the first wave spanned from the late 19th century to the outbreak of the First World War and the second wave started in the early seventies.
According to Guha, the environmental movement in India is presently in a state of exhaustion, though it is moving ahead. Now it has to confront the forces of globalization and liberalization. In an early analysis, Harsh Sethi lamented the post-Cartesian mindset of our nationalist elite who primarily concerned themselves with how to spur economic growth. This, Sethi argued, prevented them to comprehend the organic link between nature and survival societies; they failed to see that the major conflicts in our society revolved around the control, use and nurturing of natural resources like soil, water and air.
He emphasized the necessity of learning from the experience of Chipko or the Jharkhand Movement or even the water sharing experiments of the Pani Panchayat and argued that it is only by delving deep into the ambit of mainstream statist and technicist development discourse that the voluntary movement can keep the option of exploring social alternatives open.
Jayanta Bandyopadhyay and Vandana Shiva have made an attempt to provide a conceptual framework for analyzing the processes and structures of modern economic development from an ecological standpoint. They analyse the relationship between economic development and conflicts over natural resources to trace the roots of ecological movements.
According to them, while political independence transferred the control over natural resources to the Indian State, the colonial approach to management of natural resources remained unchanged. The State, Peasants and Forests in Contemporary India by Akhileshwar Pathak made an attempt to analyze the conflict of interest with regard to forest lands between the state and forest dwellers. He argues that the Indian State largely represents the interests of rich farmers and capitalists, together with the interests of politicians and bureaucrats; their project is to promote modernization and capitalism in India.
In order to survive, the poor have to collaborate with their oppressors. Ecology and Equity explores the most ecologically complex country in the world. India's peoples range from technocrats to hunter-gathers and its environments from dense forest to wasteland.
The bookanalyses the use and abuse of nature on the sub-continent to reveal the interconnections of social and environmental conflict on the global scale. The authors argue that the root of this conflict is competition within different social groups and between different economic interests for natural resources.
Radical both in its critique of the causes of crisis in India and in its proposals for ecological reform, Ecology and Equity is essential reading for all concerned for the Third World's in the world. Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review.
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