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

Articles by Sudha VasanSubscribe to Sudha Vasan

Biodiversity-focused Development

Sustainable development” and “sustainability” may be among the most used phrases across discourses, both mainstream and radical, on “development.” As in any conceptualisation, disciplinary frameworks and value judgments matter here as well.

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


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.


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