ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Sudha VasanSubscribe to Sudha Vasan

Seeing through Infrastructure

The Promise of Infrastructure edited by Nikhil Anand, Akhil Gupta and Hannah Appel, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2018; pp 264, ₹ 1,984


Why a Review of Environment and Development? The Review of Environment and Development has been ­imagined to address social, political and economic ­issues ­related to environment and ecosystems, at all scales from local to global. In particular, it is intended to capture the dialectical...

Being Ladakhi, Being Indian

The nature of Ladakhi identity has been a subject of much discussion for some decades now, particularly in the context of assertions of nationalism, regional autonomy and religious identity in the region. Using ethnographic material, this article focuses on identity formation amongst migrant youth whose “Ladakhiness” is both interrogated and reinforced in large cities like Delhi. In Ladakh itself, anxieties about loss of culture and community have intensified even as the nature of Ladakhi identity is asserted in specific cultural terms.

Wildlife Conservation

To understand the dilemma of wildlife conservation in India today, the disparity in the demands of two sections of our society - an urban priviliged elite and a marginalised poor - needs attention. The conserving elite has generally seen communities living in and around reserved areas as people violating the conserved space; either whose rights need to be "settled" or who are rank encroachers. The Tiger Task Force report has brought an alternative image of this community into official discourse, that of potential partners in wildlife conservation, an image that had till now remained confined to a small group of environmental activists and academics.

In the Name of Law

This paper looks at the manner in which forest tenures in Jharkhand violate the basic principles of the Indian Forest Act, and the way in which many forest practices of both the state and people, straddle a grey zone between legality and illegality.

Tigers, Tribals and the Environment

Environment The Environmentalism of the Poor: A Study of Ecological Conflicts and Valuation by Joan Martinez-Alier; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2005;

NGOs as Employers

As employers, NGOs in many ways are emerging worse than the state or many private sector organisations. Under the halo of 'non-profit', the people who profit least are NGO employees at the lowest level.

Ethnography of the Forest Guard

For agenda setting and policy design, public policies that involve or affect local communities are often negotiated in the field rather than the office, yet development literature has surprisingly neglected the characteristics, social conditions, perceptions and attitudes of field-level implementers of policy. In the context of Indian forestry for instance, forest guards are the representatives of the forest department in rural society, who interpret and explain forest policies to local people. Thus far, little literature has been devoted to their perceptions of forest policy and administration and the social context in which they function. This essay presents an ethnography of the social and professional life of forest guards in Himachal Pradesh with a view to understanding the pragmatic realities of implementing forest policies in India.

Models and Reality Case of Forest Communities

Models and Reality: Case of Forest Communities Sanjay Kumar Sudha Vasan THE following comments are triggered by the critique by Rahul (EPW, February 5) of Drafting a People's Forest Bill: The Forest Dweller-Social Activist Alternative, edited by Walter Fernandes, and the counter critique by Amita Baviskar et al (EPW, June 7). The impetus to write them came from lay observations made during a short trip to Himachal Pradesh. Though very general and accessible to any traveller, these observations highlight a theoretical lacuna prevalent in most of the discussions on social relations over forests, and which is shared by both of the above parties in their debate. These discussions are premised upon an external and static relationship between the state- cum-industrial-urban complex and forest communities. In face of the emergingcapita- list reality, which is more complex than their simplistic assumption, these discussions often succumb to populism, as in the book edited by Walter Fernandes and the note by Amita Baviskar et al. The other tendency is to romanticise forest dwellers, as done by Rahul. The simplistic model of social relations over forests we critique is closely related to a particular type of social activism. We end by making a short comment on the location of such activism in current society.
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