Download Dancing with the River: People and Life on the Chars of by Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt PDF

By Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt

With this publication Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Gopa Samanta provide an intimate glimpse into the microcosmic international of “hybrid environments.” concentrating on chars—the part-land, part-water, low-lying sandy lots that exist in the riverbeds within the floodplains of reduce Bengal—the authors convey how, either as real-life examples and as metaphors, chars straddle the traditional different types of land and water, and the way those that survive them differ among legitimacy and illegitimacy. the outcome, a learn of human habitation within the nebulous area among land and water, charts a brand new state of mind approximately land, humans, and people's methods of life.

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Extra info for Dancing with the River: People and Life on the Chars of South Asia

Example text

People living here, van Schendel has shown, develop fluid identities, practice new cultures, and juggle a combination of group identities. Books and papers on the refugees from Bangladesh tend to focus on metropolitan Calcutta and on the refugee camps, concerning themselves with the 22 introducing chars relationship between refugees and the state, both in terms of state policies toward the newcomers and in terms of the effects that refugees have on politics in Calcutta and the rest of West Bengal (Basu Ray Chaudhury 2000; Dasgupta 2001; Kudaisya 1998; Mallick 1999).

Barnett (2000) agrees that such securitization was both a 16 introducing chars product and a legitimation of the security agenda of Global North, and believes that the conflation of resources with environment was behind such theorizations. Urdal (2005: 418) believes that many aspects of this genre of thought were based on poor evidence, such as single case studies that in turn were also criticized for lack of methodological rigor. A number of research projects have since discredited the thesis that environmental insecurity is related to resource scarcity.

Even archival descriptions confirm the presence of distinct islands of humid forest in the almost-treeless tall-grass savannah. That the experiences and practices of local people tell a different story than the widely popular one of forest loss suggests that the outsiders’ observations of vegetation and its local management practices were preconditioned by theories of “original” or “natural” vegetation—a climatic climax—in which all vegetation change constituted divergence from an undisturbed optimum, which in this case was dense semideciduous introducing chars 13 forest.

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