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Environmental Issues in India by Mahesh Rangarajan

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25

COMMUNITY, PLACE AND CITIZENSHIP

Ajantha Subramanian

Recent work on the politics of the environment has highlighted the centrality of ‘community’ to the assertion of rights claims. Too often, however, ‘community’,1 like its correlated ‘culture’, is understood in terms of an uninterrupted continuity with the past, as a kind of permanence that does not allow for historicity or dynamism. By contrast, I suggest that the real power of community lies in its becoming, not in its being.

In this paper, I turn to artisanal fisher activism in the district of Kanyakumari to make two related arguments: first, for a processual understanding of ‘community’; and second, for a consideration of ecological activism as a politics, not of cultural autonomy but ...

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