ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Nirmal SenguptaSubscribe to Nirmal Sengupta

Merits Undeniable despite Drawbacks

While welcoming the overall thrust of the Mihir Shah Committee report and its suggestion for a National Water Commission of technical experts to assist the states, this article underscores that it does have some blind spots. These would include its non-inclusion of waterbodies and preference for floodplain zoning, among others. 

Through the Looking Glass

This paper is based on my doctoral work submitted to Jawaharlal Nehru University. I am indebted to Atiya Habeeb Kidwai The local domicile concept is fallacious in India because every citizen has the right to move freely, reside and settle in any part of the country. But domicile status can be used to grant a privilege only if there is some justifiable context like discrimination. This article deals with the domicile dispute existing in Jharkhand state, where the government is yet to complete the task.

Britannia, Rule the Floods!

Britannia, Rule the Floods! Drowned and Dammed: Colonial Capitalism and Flood Control in Eastern India by Rohan D

Traditional vs Modern Practices in Salinity Control

Traditional water management systems sustained for centuries without any noticeable land degradation. Modern extension programmes, which have failed to take these into account, have done considerable damage to agricultural land. Indigenous techniques and principles of water management, which successfully contained waterlogging and salinisation problems in the past, are extremely relevant today. These principles need to be resurrected in order to find a sustainable solution to the ever-growing problem of land desertification.

Salvaging Traditional Knowledges

Salvaging 'Traditional' Knowledges Nirmal Sengupta By constructing false tradition-modern dichotomy, mat which was useful in traditional knowledges was institutionally suppressed. The time has come to recognise the mistake and bridge the fissure.

A Modest Giant

Nirmal Sengupta Despite his national and international stature, Malcom Adiseshiah, who passed away in Madras on November 21, 1994, retained a very local identity.

Ghost Fights with Popular Opinion

Nirmal Sengupta The Political Economy of Forest Use and Management by M V Nadkarai with S A Pasha and L S Prabhakar, Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1989;

Mounting Antagonism towards Big Dams

Mounting Antagonism towards Big Dams Nirmal Sengupta DID B D Dhawan ("Mounting Antagonism towards Big Dams', May 20) succeed in putting the issues relating to the controversy around big dams in a proper perspective? No, he did not. It is a very superficial summary of arguments, a very timid appeal to both sides to come to a dialogue. Such appeals may appease friends over tea-table but not work when vested interests are involved. The big dam controversy has attained this height because on the one side are those with tremendous financial and administrative back up, complete lack of accountability, lust for grandiose achievements, unparalleled arrogance and technocratic disregard for people. Faced with this strong and unrelenting opposition, the critics had no way but to increase their rank continually with the hope that eventually the rising popular protest would bring down the technocracy. The controversy is very old. It had begun in the fifties. Had the irrigation planners and technocrats paid any attention to these problems at that earlier stage, the critics would not have felt any necessity to appeal to the public. Indeed, they did not, nor did the popular media show much interest then in the criticisms. Dhawan may very well check that the media was far more interested in Nehru's "temples of modern India" than in Kapil Bhattacharya's critical writings, the first appeal against big dams that was made to a wider public. Except for the organ of the Communist Party of India which was leading the movement (yes, those were different times!), no other newspaper had thought it worthwhile to report the popular movements against the construction of the Maiihon dam. The senior engineers of Purnea district had quickly perceived the dangerous implications of the World Bank inspired additions to the objectives of the original Kosi project, a brainchild of the Congress Flood Advisory Committee. But these engineers had merely submitted a memorandum to the authorities, for they had no reason to doubt the seriousness of the commitment of patriotic leaders and famous scientists to national development. If that trust is lost today that is because of the misdeeds and misleading pronouncements of those in authority. If the critics have taken to wide scale popular protests it is because memoranda and appeals to good sense have not been attended to. If the popular media are now more eager to propagate the critical views that is not because of their being prejudiced and one-sided. Would not Dhawan consider this as the proper perspective of the debate instead of equating the two sides?

Reappraising Tribal Movements

worker along with a few clothes for some of the children!' Any cash amounts that the workers might have accumulated obviously did not last very long, as the workers were soon borrowing for sustenance, and as a consequence, bonding themselves for the next season.

Reappraising Tribal Movements

The programme ot the Jharkhand movement, among the more successful regional movements, is the outcome of long years of struggle on various fronts. It is the literary and cultural movements which have laid the foundation for a lasting unity.


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