ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By P S Vijayshankar

Argumentation by Misrepresentation

In this response to Chris J Perry and M Dinesh Kumar’s critique of the authors’ co-authored paper, “Water and Agricultural Transformation in India: A Symbiotic Relationship —I” by Mihir Shah, P S Vijayshankar and Francesca Harris (EPW, 17 July 2021), the authors seek to respond to a distortion of their views as well as what they claim is a ridiculing of powerful solutions to India’s water and agrarian crises.

 

Water and Agricultural Transformation in India

An argument for twin propositions is presented in this two-part paper: (i) that solving India’s water problem requires a paradigm shift in agriculture (Part I), and (ii) that the crisis in Indian agriculture cannot be resolved without a paradigm shift in water management and governance (Part II). The second part describes the paradigm shift needed in water, which includes rejuvenation of catchment areas of rivers, a shift towards participatory approaches to water management, focus on green water and protective irrigation, and widespread adoption of water-saving seeds and technologies, while building transdisciplinarity and overcoming hydro-schizophrenia in water governance.

 

Water and Agricultural Transformation in India

An argument for twin propositions is presented in this two-part paper: (i) that solving India’s water problem requires a paradigm shift in agriculture (Part I), and (ii) that the crisis in Indian agriculture cannot be resolved without a paradigm shift in water management and governance (Part II). If farming takes up 90% of India’s water and just three water-intensive crops continue to use 80% of agricultural water, the basic water needs of millions of people, for drinking water or protective irrigation, cannot be met. This first part argues that the paradigm shift in agriculture requires a shift in cropping patterns suited to each agroecological region, a movement from monoculture to polycultural crop biodiversity, a decisive move towards agroecological farming, and greater emphasis on soil rejuvenation.