India’s economic growth over the last two decades has been impressive, and the nation recently opened the gates for more foreign investment. But what is unrealised is that the price for development is the loss of the ecology. ‘Churning The Earth: The Making of Global India’, written by Aseem Shrivastava and Ashish Kothari throws light on the ecological imbalances and destruction caused in the name of development.
Speaking at the book release function here on Wednesday, Aseem Shrivastava said it was the elite and the privileged who had benefited from ‘globalisation’ at the expense of forest-dwellers, fishermen, farmers etc. “The more we use water and electricity, the higher the ecological imbalance.
People in big cities don’t feel it, but those who live in villages and coastlines feel the effect,” said Ashish Kothari. Both the authors also spoke about ‘radical ecological democracy’ , a system wherein fundamental decision-making rests with those at the grass roots level.
Their book tries to explores how India has succumbed to international pressure, by allowing itself to be westernised.
“After having lived in the US for 10 years, I realised that, if that is how society will evolve, then it is not the right direction,” opined Aseem. He said that western societies are stagnant where people have lost the voice to retaliate. “In India, people protest, there exists a different kind of democracy here. People protest politically, go to courts, and there are forces of liberty,” he explained.
The authors, who met four years ago at a press conference, decided to pen the book in order to give an overview on how urban lifestyle was affecting rural livelihood. “We challenge the structure which allows it to happen. The main cause of this is rapid industrialisation. There are laws which aim to prevent such catastrophes, but they aren’t implemented strictly,” pointed out Ashish.