CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF LAW AND GOVERNANCE
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, Hyderabad Campus
The Politics of Water and Scarcity in Andhra Pradesh, India
Abstract : The search for environmentally friendly alternatives is a quest for an institution, a way of life or means of production that is an alternative to existing neo-liberal market institutions or state governance structures. This pursuit is keenly felt, in the context of climate change and environmental degradation, by the people living at the margins of society as they bear the brunt of environmental degradation and pay the price for modernist development. This manifests into injustice as it further marginalizes those who are vulnerable based on existing social stratifications of caste, class and gender. The need is to reimagine our assumptions about alternative practices and to understand them from a political gaze that considers the operation of power at different levels. In this paper, we seek to understand a traditional irrigation system called Gonchi using a case study method. A discourse analysis of the local newspaper has been undertaken to understand the mainstream discourses on irrigation. In this paper, we find that alternative systems not only provide an ecological service but also serve a bigger purpose of collectivization, mobilization and providing platforms of participation. This allows people to build on the knowledge they have accumulated over generations to face a crisis that exists today.
3.00 pm, Friday, 9 April 2021
About the Speaker: Lavanya Suresh is an Assistant Professor at BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad campus. She has a PhD in Political Science from the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore. Prior to working at BITS, she was an Assistant Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Hyderabad. She has co-authored Decentralised Democracy: Gandhi’s Vision and Indian Reality published by Routledge. Her areas of research interest are political ecology, decentralisation and public administration.
The Seminar will be held online via Zoom
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