1. Dissent, Self-Determination and Resilience: Social Movements in India
(Eds.) Smitu Kothari, Savyasaachi and PT George
It’s a rich body of documentation on social movements in India. The book attempts to learn and strengthen linkages among various movement constituencies and widen the awareness and appreciation for the role and issues that social movements bring to the political debate in our societies. This collection of essays represents the following: Chattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Koel-Karo Anti-dam struggle, Movements opposing uranium mining, Movement against AFSPA in the state of Manipur and the Indigenous Peoples struggles against displacement in Orissa.
2. Social Movements Calendar: Conceptualized by Smitu Kothari.
The Social Movements Calendar attempts to present the vast research and documentation available on social movements in India as well as bring together references to articles, books and other literature within the realm of social movements and peoples struggles in India.
Published editions are: Social Movements Calendar – 2009, 2010
2011 – Social Movements Calendar – Peoples Struggles against International Financial Institutions in India (IFIs)
2012 – Social Movements Calendar and Resource Book on Labour Struggles in India
2014 – Social Movements Calendar on the Ongoing Struggles in India
Latest addition to the Calendar is in collaboration with Delhi Solidarity Group, a calendar documenting the 30 years of Narmada Bachao Andolan – published in 2015 April.2015-16 – 30 Years of Narmada Bachao Andolan (published in collaboration with DSG, NAPM and NBA)
Social Movements Calendar 2017: Dalit Struggles in India – Calendar and Resource Book
3. A Citizens’ Report Card on Special
State Governments across the country, instead of initiating a public dialogue, have used the force of the state machinery, coercion and fraudulent means to subvert and suppress peoples’ resistance to SEZs. The report brings out a critique of the (un)democratic functioning of the SEZs, struggles of the affected people, lack of transparency and public accountability and how hundreds of SEZs mushrooming all over the country have become a tool for land grab.
4. Parliamentary Scrutiny over International Financial Institutions (IFIs)
The need for a parliamentary scrutiny over stems from the lack of democracy that pervades all levels of the international financial institutions (IFIs), especially the way they work in developing countries. This small report reiterates the fact that the parliamentarians should be the final arbiters of economic decisions even in the case of IFIs.
5. Rejecting the World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy (2005-2009): A Civil Society Critique
The World Bank’s Country Assistance Strategy for India is a blueprint for its role in India which provides the rationale for its operations in the country. Civil society organizations after analyzing the strategy report have vehemently oppose the adverse impacts of World Banks strategies in India. This critique explicitly rejects the World Banks document and call upon the Government of India, the Parliament and the state Assemblies to reject the IFIs push to override democratic practices in the country.
6. Insidious Financial Institutions in India’s North East
International Financial Institutions have been playing insidious roles in developing countries and it is no different in India. The ADB and the World Bank have been promoting a particular set of development priorities in such a way that benefits few corporations and political interests. This is in contravention to the aspirations of the people of Northeast India. This report attempts to energize the relationship between the communities in the Northeast India, people’s organizations and the elected representatives of the states so that they can collectively exercise accountability of the IFIs.
7. A Paradise Lost: Tribes of Jharkhand fight against Uranium Mines
The Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), a subsidiary of the Department of Atomic Energy, is the sole authority that supplies uranium (yellow cake) to nuclear power plants in the country. It mines and processes uranium at seven mines in Jharkhand’s Jaduguda area. Careless and unscientific disposal of uranium mine waste and , sludge which are radioactive substances could lead to environmental havoc and could be hazardous to human beings and animals. The report unearths the effects of uranium mining in the areas around the mines. UCIL’s irresponsible dumping in the vicinity of Jaduguda village (in Purbi Singhbhum district) is extremely worrisome as continued exposure to radiation will lead to increased cases of cancer, leukemia and several other diseases.
8. Peoples Struggles in India
Intercultural Resources has been publishing a series of case studies entitled under the series – “People’s Struggles in India.” The series began in 2010, has been documenting a variety of facets of social movements in India, set in different regional contexts are a reflection of the plurality of struggles in India.
Online publication at: http://www.ritimo.org/mot456.html#pagination_recherche_dossiers
9. Fractured Forest: The Political Ecology of the Delhi Ridge – Thomas Crowley
The Ridge is a fundamental part of Delhi, but it hardly figures in the public imagination of theFractured Forest – Thomas Crowley city. This was not always so. As recently as 2006, sizable protest movements rallied to preserve Ridge land. But as the city has expanded and other issues have garnered more attention, the Ridge has faded into the background. The report “Fractured Forest: the Political Ecology of the Delhi Ridge” is an attempt to bring renewed focus to a space whose survival is essential to Delhi’s environmental and social well-being. The report has been prepared by Thomas Crowley, who is working as a volunteer for Intercultural Resources, and it draws extensively on primary sources (both archival documents and voices from the field) as well as secondary sources.
The report, after giving a brief introduction to the Ridge, provides a historical analysis of the Ridge’s ecology and its relationship with Delhi’s urbanization in the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial periods. The report then analyzes the current status of the Ridge, including its ecological functions, as well as the ongoing conflicts over the use of Ridge land. Considering this historical and ecological context, the report discusses the challenges facing Ridge advocates, both in Delhi, and in the larger National Capital Region, which is facing intense environmental and social pressures. The report concludes by suggesting ways forward given the complex challenges of forest conversation in the midst of a booming mega-city.
The Ridge, often referred to as Delhi’s green lung, performs crucial ecological functions, and it has been a central – if unrecognized – factor in the city’s long history. Along with the Yamuna River, it forms the boundaries of the so-called “Delhi Triangle,” the area that has nurtured all of Delhi’s historic cities, until the ever-expanding New Delhi broke these geographical boundaries. Even as urbanization continues unabated (16.6 million people in the city proper as of the last census count), the Ridge remains important. It protects Delhi from the heat and dust of nearby Rajasthan, lowers the ambient temperature, serves as a groundwater recharge zone in a parched city, shelters a wide variety of flora and fauna, and helps mitigate against the effects of climate change.
At the most basic level, the Ridge, as its name suggests, is a geological phenomenon. It is the tail end of the Aravalli mountain range, an ancient geological formation much eroded over its lifetime. The Aravallis stretch from Gujarat to Delhi, reaching their maximum height of about 1700 meters near Mount Abu in Rajasthan. In Delhi, the Aravallis manifest themselves as rocky spurs and outcrops, creating a low series of hills in an otherwise flat city and reaching a maximum height of roughly 90 meters above the Yamuna floodplains.
But when most activists speak of the Ridge, they are referring, not to its stones, but to its forests. The various “Save the Ridge” movements have largely focused on preserving the flora and fauna of Ridge areas. The government has also been concerned with preserving the Ridge’s forests, a concern that arguably goes all the way back to the Delhi Sultanate. Certainly, since 1913, when the British government first declared part of the Ridge a Reserve Forest, conservation has been on the state’s agenda. Government involvement reached its peak between 1994 and 1996, when the Ridge Management Board was formed, and approximately 80 square kilometers of the Ridge were set aside as Reserve Forest.
The report reviews these basic aspects of the Ridge’s geology, ecology and preservation, but it focuses on the social movements, conflicts, and changing land use patterns that have shaped the Ridge. The modern “Save the Ridge” movement began in 1979, with the formation of Kalpavriksh and wide-spread protests against encroachments on the Ridge, but this activism has important antecedents. Moreover, it was responding to an environment that had already been shaped by centuries of intervention and struggle between different communities and with both the colonial and post-colonial state.
The report argues that an in-depth understanding of the Ridge’s history is crucial for navigating the complex realities of the Ridge’s present, especially as it relates to demands for equity and social justice. By reviewing the Ridge’s history, along with more recent contestations over Ridge land, the report aims to lay the foundation for a socially sensitive and historically informed approach to ecological justice in Ridge areas.
While the report draws on historical analyses, it is firmly rooted in present concerns, and it is especially timely given the recent election of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi. AAP was the only party to mention the Delhi Ridge in its manifesto, although the document did not go beyond a generic recognition of the importance of the Ridge. The AAP victory comes in the midst of an atmosphere of communal polarization and of aggressive land-acquisition policies, two issues which figure prominently into the recent history of the Ridge. The new government will face a range of challenges and opportunities regarding the Ridge, and the report can help put these issues into a historical, political and ecological context that can inform future action.