Author: Sumi Krishna
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170365511
This book is an original, thought-provoking and gender-sensitive enquiry into why environmentalism has not yet had a greater impact on people's lives or on development policy in India. Thoroughly researched, it covers a wide range of pertinent issues and adds a different perspective to the debate on environment in India.
In the relatively short period of two decades since the emergence of environmentalism as an organized movement in contemporary India, environmental advocacy has matured from protesting against environmental damage to questioning the very character and course of development.
While sharing the environmentalists’ concern about the direction of development, Sumi Krishna does not restate well-worn arguments against conventional development, but provides instead an introspective analysis of the environmental movement and debate. The book challenges several ideological assumptions relating to environmental issues (including the glorification of an ecologically harmonious past), and questions the effectiveness of environmentalism in dealing with complex problems such as population growth, technological choice and conflicts over the use of resources.
Stressing the premise that the environmental movement is not homogeneous and that it encompasses a diversity of views and ideological positions, the author identifies and analyses the different approaches to environment. Wide-ranging case-studies reflect the successes and limitations of both institutional management and populist ecology, and the roles that tradition, caste, women and local communities play in environmental issues are dispassionately analysed. The author does not offer simplistic solutions in conclusion, but urges that environmentalism should be directed towards a broader agenda aimed at progressive changes in the structure of society. Emphasizing that people’s lives and their interactions with the environment will change over time, she argues that environmentalism should extend the range of choices for the poor, not diminish them.
It constitutes an immensely useful resource for institutions, development policy makers and planers, professionals and researchers dealing with environmental issues, as well as for activists and the general reader.
Prelude: The Human Factor in Environment
PART I: A KALEIDOSCOPE OF APPROACHES
Development: Cause or Cure?
The Tug-of-War in Bastar
The Limitations of Management
Tradition: Nostalgia Will Not Do
Castes and Women: Nurturing Diversity?
The Community Participation Bandwagon
PART II: UNRESOLVED CONFLICTS:
PEOPLE, TECHNOLOGY AND RESOURCES
Population and the Environment
Technology and Development
The Business of Sustainable Development
PART III: AFTERWORD: SYMBOL AND STRUCTURE