Shifting Ground explores fresh critical questions about India's environmental past in terms of environmental issues and human intervention. Cutting across divides of prehistory and history and of ancient, medieval, colonial and independent India, Shifting Ground makes us rethink our premises about ecology, polity and landscape in a land reshaped by human presence across millennia. Analyzing current environmental concerns regarding forests, pastures, wild and domesticated animals Shifting Ground explores their interconnections with state making and political visions of the future.
Tackling a range of questions including palaeographic evidence about history of settlements, their interaction with the environment, the wider shifts in geographical and environmental processes as well as the migratory patterns of people and animals, Shifting Ground opens new avenues of research and understanding of the subcontinent and its history. Finally, the essays explore the nineteenth- and twentieth-century interlinkages of environmental consciousness with protest movements, emergence of middle class aspirations, and the writing of environmental histories.
1 Introduction: People, Animals, and Mobility in India's Environmental History, Mahesh Rangarajan and K. Sivaramakrishnan
2 Conceiving Ecology and Stopping the Clock: Narratives of Balance, Loss, and Degradation, Kathleen Morrison
3 From Eminence to Near Extinction: The Journey of the Greater One-horned Rhino, Shibani Bose
4 Lions, Cheetahs, and Others in the Mughal Landscape, Divyabhanusinh
5 Environmental Status and Wild Boar in Princely India, Julie Hughes
6 The Imperial Ambition of Science and Its Discontents: Animal Breeding in Nineteenth-Century Punjab, Brian Caton
7 Making Room Inside Forests: Grazing and Agrarian Conflicts in Colonial Assam, Arupjyoti Saikia
8 Nature and Politics at the End of the Raj: Environmental Management and Political Legitimacy in Late Colonial India, 1919-47, Daniel Klingensmith
9 How to Be Hindu in the Himalayas: Conflicts over Animal Sacrifice in Uttarakhand, Radhika Govindrajan
10 Logjam: Loss of Commons in Mewas from 1930 Onwards, Vikramaditya Thakur
11 The 'Tiger Crisis' and the Response: Reclaiming the Wilderness in Sariska Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan, Ghazala Shahabuddin
About the Editors and Contributors
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Mahesh Rangarajan is Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and Professor of Modern Indian History, University of Delhi. K Sivaramakrishnan is Dinakar Singh Professor of India and South Asian Studies, Professor of Anthropology, Professor of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Professor of International & Area Studies, Co-Director of the Program in Agrarian Studies, and Chair of the South Asian Studies Council at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Shibani Bose has taught at Miranda House, University of Delhi, and is currently pursuing her PhD in the Department of History, University of Delhi; Brian Caton is Associate Professor of History at Luther College, Decorah, IA. He has published on the history of Punjab and of the Sikh community in several venues; Divyabhanusinh Chavda is the President of WWF India, a member of the Cat Specialist Group, Species Survival Commission, World Conservation Union (IUCN), and a member of the National Board for Wildlife, Government of India; Radhika Govindarajan is a sixth-year graduate student at Yale University; Julie E. Hughes is Assistant Professor of History at Vassar College, where she also teaches courses in Environmental Studies; Daniel Klingensmith is Professor of History at Maryville College; Kathleen D. Morrison is the Neukom Family Professor in Anthropology and Social Sciences at the University of Chicago; Mahesh Rangarajan is Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and Professor of Modern Indian History, University of Delhi; Arupjyoti Saikia is Associate Professor of History at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati; Ghazala Shahabuddin works on ecological issues at the interface of human society and biodiversity conservation in India and South Asia; K Sivaramakrishnan is Dinakar Singh Professor of India and South Asian Studies, Professor of Anthropology, Professor of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Professor of International & Area Studies, Co-Director of the Program in Agrarian Studies, and Chair of the South Asian Studies Council at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut; Vikramaditya Thakur is a PhD student in the Sociocultural Anthropology programme at Yale University, USA.