How do we recognize and understand the interactions between nature, nationness, and nationalism? How is nature appropriated by politics when asserting identity, interests, and rights?
Drawing from South Asia’s varying regions, the essays in this pathbreaking volume answer such questions. They range in time from early colonial history to the end of the twentieth century, and their research locations extend from north-west Pakistan to eastern Bangladesh, and from Meghalaya in north-east India to the Kerala coast in the
south-west.The authors deploy methods from history, geography, anthropology, religious studies, and forest ecology. The topics covered include forests, agriculture, marine fisheries, parks, sacred landscapes, property rights, trade, and economic development.
Collectively, the work in this books takes environmental scholarship into novel territory by exploring how questions of national identity become entangled with nature-devotion. Important new insights are offered into the motivations of
colonial and national governments when controlling or managing nature. Fresh perspectives emerge on varieties of regional political conflict that invoke nationalist sentiment through claims on nature. Thereby, this volume also offers new ways of thinking about nationalism.
This book will interest historians and political scientists, sociologists and anthropologists, ecologists and environmentalists, and scholars of religion and South Asia.