Emergence of Environmental Movements in India

Topics: Environmentalism, Environment, Ecology Pages: 5 (1746 words) Published: July 4, 2012
Emergence of Environmental Movements in India
Environmental movements of various countries have emerged due to different reasons. It is basically due to prevailing environmental quality of the locality. The environmental movements in the north are basically on the issue of quality of life. Whereas the environment movements in the south arise  due to some other reasons, such as due to conflicts for controling of natural resources and many more. It is being said that the, environmental movements in U.S.A arises, when the book silent spring written by Rachel Carson came in the market in the year 1962. In this book she had written about the impacts of poisonous chemicals, particularly the DDT on the environment. This book had raised the public consciousness. And it leads to the emergence of environmental movements in the U.S.A. The participants of these movements in North are the middle class and upper class people, who have concern for the nature. But in the south the protesters are generally the marginal population – hill peasants, tribal communities, fishermen and other underprivileged people. The different environmental movements in our own country support this argument. The examples could be taken as Chipko, N.B.A. , Mitti Bachao Andolan, Koel-Karo Andolan etc. That is why the environmentalism of the North is refereed as “full stomach” environmentalism and the environmentalism of the south is called as “empty – belly” environmentalism. Keol-karo a proposed project to generate 710 megawatts of power by building two dams across the Koel and the Karo rivers and a connecting channel. The project was proposed in 1973, and protests began immediately by people likely to be displaced. The movement against the dam became part of the larger movement for creation of a separate Jharkhand state. It is widely cited as the longest and the most successful anti-dam movement in India, rooted entirely in the highly mobilised Munda society  

Control over natural resources is an important reason for emergence of environmental movement in India. Some good examples of these kinds of movements are like Chipko and N.B.A.(narmada bachao andolan) In the first case, the reason for conflict was control over forest; whereas, in the second the reason was control over water. Let’s have a look on the reasons behind the emergence of Chipko movement in the Garwhal Himalyas. The movement started in the Garhwal Himalaya in April 1973. Between 1973 and 1980, over a dozen instances were recorded where, through an innovative  technique of protest, illiterate peasants, men, women and children- threatened to hug forest trees rather than allow then to be logged for export. Notably the peasants were not interested in saving the trees per se, but in using their produce for agricultural and household requirements. In later years, however the movement turned its attention to broader ecological concerns, such as the collective protection and management of forest, and the diffusion of renewable energy technologies. The Chipko movement was the forerunner of and in some cases the direct inspiration for a series of popular movements in defense of community rights to natural resources. Sometimes these struggles resolved around forest and in other instances, around the control and use of pasture, water, and mineral or fish resources. Most of these conflicts have pitted rich against poor: Logging companies against hill villagers, dam builders against forest tribal communities, multinational corporations deploying trawlers against traditional fisher folk in small boats. Here one party (e.g. loggers or trawlers) seek to setup the pace of resource exploitation to service an expanding commercial – industrial economy. A process which often involves the partial, or total dispossession of these communities who earlier had control over the resources in question, and whose own patterns...
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