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

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Lines Drawn upon Water

Nature without Borders edited by Mahesh Rangarajan, M D Madhusudan and Ghazala Shahabuddin, New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, 2014; pp 270, Rs 535, hardcover.

A book with nature in its title suggests a theme of biodiversity and wildness. At the same time, the rest of the title, “without borders” suggests a tension between the abandon of nature and construct of a border. The very name of this book, thus, is an indication of what is to come: a layered exploration of nature, nature conservation efforts and human activity related to both.

Indian conservation has broadly centred on charismatic species, andbiased towards better-known ecosystems, such as forests. A historic network ofprotectionist sanctuaries has bulwarked conservation efforts in the country. At the same time, this conservation effort is actively perceived as a threat to human livelihood; and conservationists have been portrayed as chasing ideals from ivory towers, at loggerheads withsociologists.

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