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Environmental Issues in India by Mahesh Rangarajan

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Chapter 6

 

* This paper was especially written for this volume. The author is grateful to Mahesh Rangarajan and the reviewers for their comments.

1. Early writings on the issue sought to establish a ‘golden age’ approach to Indian environmental history (Gadgil 1985). In the same vein Ramchandra Guha asserted that in the pre-British period there was little or no interference with the customary use of forest and forest produce (Gadgil and Guha 1992). The belief in the existence of pre-colonial common village property and communal customary forest use was based on the assumption of local self-sufficiency (Agarwal and Narain 1997; Misra 1995).

2. David Mosse has examined the interplay of ‘developmental politics’ to explain the level and process ...

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