In the extant and deep depredations that rural India is experiencing, the tiger and the tube-well have become significant icons. The tiger as an endangered species that needs to be rescued and conserved, and the tube-well that is promoted to enhance agricultural productivity have both become sources of counter-conservation and counter-growth. A range of conditions; from depletion of forests, the displacement of original forest-dwellers, water scarcity, indebtedness, and soil degradation have become the results of promoting these iconic interventions. Even as the tiger and the tube-well are promoted, they render already vulnerable citizens, especially Adivasis/tribals and children, as sacrificial victims. As the rural environment grows more malevolent, it threatens the ecological sustainability, economic viability, and the overall well-being of India’s marginalized majority.
A.R. Vasavi is a social anthropologist based in Bengaluru, India and is a member of the PUNARCHTH (‘re-think’) collective that works on alternative learning for rural youth. Her academic interests are in the fields of Sociology of India, Agrarian Studies, and Sociology of Education. Her publications include, Harbingers of Rain: Land and Life in South India (Oxford Univ Press 1999), In an Outpost of the Global Economy (co-edited with Carol Upadhya, Routledge, 2008), The Inner Mirror: Translations of Kannada Writings on Society and Culture (The Book Review Press, 2009) and Suicides and the Predicament of Rural India (Three Essays Collective, 2012). A collection of her writings has been translated into Kannada and has been published (2015) by Kannada University.
Valerie Foster Githinji
South Asia Program
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