This Fissured Land / Edition 1

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Ecologist Madhav Gadgil and historian Ramachandra Guha offer fresh perspectives both on the ecological history of
India and on theoretical issues of interest to environmental historians regardless of geographical specialization.

Juxtaposing data from
India with the ecological literature on lifestyles as diverse as those of modern Americans and Amazonian
Indians, the authors analyze the social conflicts that have emerged over environmental exploitation and explore the impact of changing patterns of resource use on human societies. They present a socio-ecological analysis of the modes of resource use introduced to
India by the British, and explore popular resistance to state environmental policies in both the colonial and post-colonial periods.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520082960
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/19/1993
  • Series: Oxford India Paperbacks Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Madhav Gadgil is Professor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences at the Indian
Institute of Science in Bangalore. Ramachandra Guha is a Professorial Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi and is the author of The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Himalayas (California, 1989).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xiii
Prologue: Prudence and Profligacy 1
Part 1 A Theory of Ecological History 9
1 Habitats in Human History 11
Modes of Production and Modes of Resource Use 11
Four Historical Modes 14
Gathering 15
Simple Rules of Thumb 23
Pastoralism 27
Settled Cultivation 30
The Industrial Mode 39
Conflict Between and Within Modes 53
Intra-Modal Conflict 57
Recapitulation 64
Appendix Note on Population 67
Part 2 Towards a Cultural Ecology of Pre-Modern India 69
2 Forest and Fire 71
Geological History 71
Prudent Predators 72
Neolithic Revolution 76
River-valley Civilizations 77
Social Organization 82
The Age of Empires 85
Conservation from Above 87
3 Caste and Conservation 91
Resource Crunch 91
Conservation from Below 93
An Eclectic Belief System 103
The Village and the State 106
Conclusion 109
Part 3 Ecological Change and Social Conflict in Modern India
4 Conquest and Control 113
Colonialism as an Ecological Watershed 116
The Early Onslaught on Forests 118
An Early Environment Debate 123
Forest Policy Upto 1947 134
The Balance Sheet of Colonial Forestry 140
5 The Fight for the Forest 146
Hunter-gatherers: The Decline Towards Extinction 148
The 'Problem' of Shifting Cultivation 150
Settled Cultivators and the State 158
Everyday Forms of Resistance: The Case of Jaunsar Bawar 164
The Decline of the Artisanal Industry 171
Conclusion: The Social Idiom of Protest 174
The Mechanisms of Protest 177
6 Biomass for Business 181
Two Versions of Progress: Gandhi and the Modernizers 181
Forests and Industrialization: Four Stages 185
The Balance Sheet of Industrial Forestry 193
Sequential Exploitation: A Process Whereby a Whole Flock of Geese Laying Golden Eggs is Massacred One by One 197
The Profligacy of Scientific Forestry 207
7 Competing Claims on the Commons 215
Hunter-gatherers 217
The Continuing 'Problem' of Shifting Cultivation 218
The Changing Ecology of Settled Agriculture 221
Claiming a Share of the Profits 229
Wild Life Conservation: Animals Versus Humans 232
8 Cultures in Conflict 239
Bibliography 247
Index 267
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