A+| A| A-

Climate Justice and Gandhian Morality

Gandhian principles of morality have in the past been linked in various ways to India’s approach to environmental governance and, more recently, to the contemplation of the broader global debate on climate change. The applicability of these principles to conceptions of climate justice is examined by exploring the ways in which the idea of M K Gandhi is articulated in an Indian context. The vocalisation of Gandhi as a symbol of Indian engagement with climate change and sustainable development asks to be located within broader normative perspectives on the content and directionality of a Gandhian approach. Ideas of cosmopolitanism and “realised justice” supply a useful backdrop for a contemporary reading of Gandhi, and draw attention to several questions that this article examines.

Climate change is at once a phenomenon that carries physical, sociocultural and political connotations (Hulme 2008a, 2009). It transcends traditional nation state boundaries in a manner that defies ready spatial compartmentalisation, and places the demand upon peoples of making a shift away from what Jasanoff (2010: 238) identifies as “not-but” rationalities towards the more inclusive expression of “both-and” reasonings. The project of contemplating a global form of justice that legitimately mirrors geographically and culturally situated realities is a challenging exercise at its core. The discursive construction of climate justice would, therefore, need to begin in an acknowledgement of the co-production of the normative and epistemic dimensions of climate change (Jasanoff 2004, 2010).

In the literature, there exist three primary categories of climate change justice, namely the compensatory, distributive and procedural forms (Ikeme 2003). In an Indian context that is characterised by the legitimacy of rights-based approaches to climate change, the first category of compensatory justice provides a script for the framing of climate justice perspectives in the global South in terms of socio-historically arrived upon principles of responsibility and fairness (Ikeme 2003; Walker and Bulkeley 2006). Placing these different categories in the developmental context of India as an emerging power, the idea of justice is one that is subject to multiple interpretations.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Updated On : 24th Sep, 2018

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

The direction of convergence between headline and core inflation and its probable impact on the future course of monetary policy is a debated...

The Indian labour market is characterised by a high level of informality, with large numbers of workers in poorly paid “lower tier” informal jobs...

Geoffrey Bawa (1919–2003) was Sri Lanka’s most celebrated architect in the 20th century and his half-a-century long career shaped the nation’s...

Whether the “practising Adivasi” or the practitioners of traditional knowledge are subjects of different rationality is examined here. Through a...

The Indian tea economy is undergoing acute transformations, with the divestment of tea companies from plantations leaving thousands of plantation...

Firms can avoid taxes legally, even though it is well understood that tax payment is a fundamental and measurable behaviour towards society. In...

How the pattern of inequality in maternal healthcare service utilisation has evolved after the adoption of the National Rural Health Mission in...

Following the announcement of demonetisation on 8 November 2016, India saw the withdrawal of nearly 86% of the cash in circulation. This caused...

The evolving COVID-19 pandemic requires that data and operational responses be examined from a public health perspective. While there exist deep...

Back to Top