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In the Belly of the River

In the Belly of the River


Item Code: IDF218

by Amita Baviskar

Paperback (Edition: 2004)

Oxford University Press
ISBN 0195671368

Language: English
Size: 8.3" X 5.4"
Pages: 310 (Illustrated with B & W Photographs)
Weight of the Book: 358 gms
Price: $25.00
Discounted: $18.75   Shipping Free
Viewed times since 2nd Oct, 2008


About the Book:

As the Sardar Sarovar dam reaches completion, submergence is a stark reality for the Bhilala adivasis in the Narmada valley. In this edition, the author revisits Anjanvara, her field of enquiry, to tell readers the poignant tale of the death of a river and the displacement of a people. This book will interest students of sociology, cultural anthropology, development studies, and environmental politics.

About the Author:

Amita Baviskar is the Ciriacy-Wantrup Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley.

Excerpts from Review:

'This book is a moving and well-documented account of the struggle of the NBA, from the perspective of the Bhilala tribe.'

- Nivedita Menon, Book Review

'[The book] propagates the need for critical reflectivity and the construction of knowledge through intersubjectivity.'

- Sujata Pate, Biblio

'[Baviskar] challenges the notion of an innate conservationist ethic shared by tribals and other forest dwellers; analyses the role of researchers compounded by the dilemmas of activism; and explores the complexities of movements which fight for tribal rights.'

- Nandini Sundar, Indian Economic and Social History Review

'Amita Baviskar provides what might well be the most succinct and unreluctantly partisan summary of the Sardar Sarovar Project.'

- Krishna Raj, Economic and Political Weekly


      Positivism versus Critical Inquiry3
      Ideology and Inquiry5
      Ideology and Methodology7
      The Power of the Researcher9
      Research and Reciprocity11
      Tensions between Participation and Observation15
      Outline of the discussion

2National Development, Poverty and the Environment19
      I: Development, Poverty, Environment19
      Achievements after Independence22
      The Persistence of Poverty25
      Poverty and the Ecological Crisis28
      Ecological Crisis and the Model of Development30
      II: Development, Environment and Tribal Resistance34
      The Model of 'Development'35
      Ecological Marxism37
      Resistance to Development: Party Politics versus Social Movements38
      New Social Movements in India and Europe39
      The Ideological Dimensions of Social Movements42
      Indigenous People as Embodiments Resistance44
      The Formulation of an Agenda for Research

3A History of Adivasi-State Relations49
      Pre-eighteenth Century: The Rajput Invasion54
      The Maratha Campaign against the Bhils56
      The Rise of British Power57
      The Policy of 'Pacification'58
      Reasons for Resistance61
      1857 and the Bhils64
      Resistance and Rebel Consciousness65
      Mathvad and Alirajpur under the British67
      Changes in Land Use and Tenure69
      The Origins of Anjanvara71
      The Commercialization of Natural Resources73
      Popular Resistance and the State76
      Nationalism and the Independent State78
      Domination in the Form of Caste Ideology

4Bhilalas: Caste or Tribe?85
      The Politics of Sociological Designation86
      Hinduization among the Adivasis of the Nimar Plains88
      Adivasis of the Hills88
      The Historical Basis of Adivasi Identity89
      The Religion of Bhilala Adivasis90
      Bhilala Peasant Economy91
      Distinctions between Tribe and Caste93
      The Negotiation of Hinduization: The Mata Phenomenon97
      Distinctions between Hill Adivasis and Bazaarias

5Community and the Politics of Honour106
      A Day in Binda's Life: 11 April 1991107
      The Social Structure of Anjanvara: The Construction of Community113
      Relations with Other Villages: Marriage117
      Reciprocal Kin Relations: A Mystification?121
      The Politics of Honour125
      Feuds and the Economy of Honour127
      Feuds as the Politics of Gender130
      Honour and Caste Identity132
      Feuds and Social Reproduction

6Economy and Ecology136
      Anjanvara: The Use of Physical Space138
      The Farm Economy: Crops, Livestock, Forest and River139
      The Agricultural Cycle142
      Sustainability of Production147
      Land Encroachment in the Forest: Nevad149
      Nevad and the Ideology of Conservation151
      Nevad and the Necessity of Resistance154
      Seasonal Migration of the Hill Adivasis156
      Participation in Markets

7'In the Belly of the River': Nature and Ideology160
      Religion and the Sacralization of Nature161
      Environmental Action through Religion: Indal Pooja162
      The Gayana as Environmental Theory164
      Cultural Puzzles in the Gayana167
      Contradictions between Beliefs and Action168
      Acknowledging Theoretical Inadequacy: Bhilala Medicine

8The Politics of the Sangath175
      The Origins of the Sangath176
      The Sangath's Political Analysis177
      The Transformation of Consciousness179
      The Sangath in Action: The Kiti Firing184
      The Sangath in Anjanvara187
      Self-reliance and Outside Leadership188
      Engendering Resistance or Providing Services?

9The Politics of the Andolan197
      The History of Sardar Sarovar Project199
      The Narmada Bachao Andolan: A Summary of Action202
      Protest in Narmada Valley205
      State Repression against the Andolan209
      The Andolan in Anjanvara212
      The Andolan in Nimar214
      Class Base of the Andolan in Nimar219
      The Critique of Development and the Creation of Alternatives

      Summary of the Discussion230
      Interpretations of 'Environment': Conflicting Perspectives235
      Being and Ideology237
      The Politics of Representation240

Appendix 1: Trees in the Forest around Anjanvara and their Uses281
Appendix 2: Gayana-The Bhilala Song of Creation284
A Glossary of Hindi and Bhilai Words195
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