• Susan Visvanathan Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India


This paper is concerned with the way energy requirements in the last three decades have seen a response from local communities who wish to express their love and longing for traditional occupations. Agriculture is a multi-faceted representation, and riverine civilisations have epitomised the relation between land, labour and production not just as a relation with technology and culture, but also in terms of the symbols of the sacred. With large scale over utilisation of resources and a lack of vision, the rivers are polluted. People’s movements draw on the work of scientists and those working in the Arts, including the Humanities and the Social Sciences to draw attention to the way in which petitions and protests communicate that politics is not merely about imposing ‘the good vision from above’ but is an interplay between the political, the legal, the socio-religious, the secular and the economic. In a democracy, politics is essentially about dialogue, and the rate of industrialisation may well be mediated by the power of the greens and environment movements, which have learnt their lessons from genocide of peasantry and tribals, and the mass exploitation of the resources of nature. The Sociologist attempts to document some of the shifts and evolving positions in this ongoing debate in India.

Keywords: rivers, hydroelectricity, pollution, save Ganga movements, phage, Benaras, Tehri, Kerala, Tamilnadu dam resistance and colonialism, socialism, people’s movements, capitalism and conspicuous consumptions


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