Caste and Nature: Dalits and Indian Environmental Politics

ISBN : 9780199477562

Mukul Sharma
336 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Jan 2018
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Rarely do Indian environmental discourses examine nature through the lens of caste. Mukul Sharma shows how caste and nature are intimately connected. He compares Dalit meanings of environment to ideas and practices of neo-Brahmanism and certain mainstreams of environmental thought. Showing how Dalit experiences of environment are ridden with metaphors of pollution, impurity, and dirt, the author is able to bring forth new dimensions on both environment and Dalits, without valourizing the latter's standpoint. The Dalits pose a critical challenge to Indian environmentalism, which has, until now, marginalized such linkages between caste and nature.


Acknowledgements ix; Introduction xiii; 1. Eco-casteism: Sulabh and the Denial of Dalit Existence 1; 2. Dalit Environmental Visions 60; 3. Ambedkar and Environmental Thought 114; 4. Dalit Memories and Water Rights 161; 5. The Dalit Mountain Man and New Commons 212; Conclusion 255; Glossary 261; Bibliography 269; Index 289; About the Author 298

About the author: 

Mukul Sharma is a Delhi-based writer specializing in environment, human rights, and media issues. Since 1984, he has worked as a journalist, development professional, and academician. He has received twelve national and international awards for his writings.

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