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

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The Many Colours of Environmentalism

Green and Saffron by Mukul Sharma (Ranikhet: Permanent Black), 2012; pp 263; Rs 795 (HB).

Mukul Sharma probably did not time it deliberately, but this book has come at an opportune moment. Anna Hazare and his group are repeatedly making headlines. Anna Hazare has for various reasons ­become a national icon and in showing another side to his personality and methods, Sharma does us all a service. We often tend to look at things in black and white and we miss the various shades of grey (or rather, in this case, green and saffron!) in between. And in doing this, we might unwittingly walk into traps with dangerous consequences.

In this book, Sharma has gone boldly where very few have gone before. There are, as he says, many commentaries and critiques of right-wing Hindu communalism, as also of the many kinds of environ­mentalism in India. But rarely have researchers or writers brought the two together, to show the increasing collaboration and synergies between them. Sharma has done this previously in articles about individual movements (e g, Sharma 2003), but this book brings ­toge­ther much wider experience into an overarching analysis.

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