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

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Repudiating Chipko Village’s Identity and Existence

Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan-led division bench of the High Court of Uttarakhand in its judgment of 14 July 2021 dismissed the petition of villagers of Reini, known for the Chipko movement, expressing doubts about their identity and integrity. Unmindful of the fact that the distressed petitioners had approached the court seeking protection of their lives and ecology, the court penalised them for the “abuse of PIL jurisdiction.” The judiciary and government have continued to ignore the repeated attempts of the people to seek relief and frequent warn-offs in the form of disasters in this region.

Mahatma of the Mountains

Sundarlal Bahuguna, who applied Gandhi’s non-violent tools to fight environmental injustice, holds a special place in independent India’s environmental history.

Passages from Nature to Nationalism: Sunderlal Bahuguna and Tehri Dam Opposition in Garhwal

This paper focuses on the shifting contours of the anti-Tehri dam movement in the past three decades. It examines the changing declarations of environmentalists, especially Sunderlal Bahuguna and other leaders of the movement on the one hand, and the involvement of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in the anti-dam politics on the other. Exploring the evocations of nature, religion and nation in different phases by these two groups of actors, it argues that through a regular use of certain mythical beliefs and simplified dichotomies, there was an inadvertent collaboration between green and saffron. The Tehri dam became a means of combining sacredness with impulse, gravity of high politics with solemnity of daily worship, and nature with nationalism.

The Chipko Movement Reconsidered

Of Myths and Movements: Rewriting Chipko in the Himalayan History by Haripriya Rangan; OUP, 2001, (first published by Verso, 2000); pp 272 + xvi, Rs 595

Environmentalist of the Poor

For more than two decades Anil Agarwal was India's most articulate and influential writer on the environment. His work was marked by his striking ability to synthesise the results of specialised scientific studies; his knack of communicating this synthesis in accessible prose; and the insistence that it was not enough for the environmentalist to hector and chastise, but offer solutions as well even if the state was unwilling to accept them as yet.

In the Lap of the Himalaya

This paper looks at Mahatma Gandhi's epoch-making visit to Uttarakhand in 1929 as a crucial link between the nation's struggle for swaraj and the ongoing people's movement in the region. Gandhi's visit kindled the process of giving the freedom movement in Uttarakhand a mass base. Just so, the numerous social activists of the Chipko movement and the anti-liquor protests of today owe their inspiration of Gandhi. In many ways, Gandhi's understanding and analysis of the issues, including untouchability, the flesh trade and the education system, and the prescriptions he suggested for their remedy form a useful basis for a blueprint to solve the region's problems even today.
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