ISBN : 9780199477562
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