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Cultural Dimension of Ecology

by: Baidyanath Saraswati

Focussing on the ecological systems in the mountains, forests and islands vis-a-vis the hitherto-adopted modes of aggressive development, these articles underscore the urgency of changing the modern lifestyles, befriending Nature and returning to ‘wisdom tradition’.



ISBN: 9788124601020
Year Of Publication: 1998
Edition: 1st
Pages : xviii, 185+[16]
Bibliographic Details : 20 Colour illustrations
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Foreword By : Kapila Vatsyayan
Size: 25 cm.
Weight: 850 gm.


Urbanization. Industrialization. Market Economy. Technocentric Lifestyles. Degenerated Consumerism. Air, Water and Land Pollutions. These are some of the tell-tale expressions, recurringly surfacing in the concerns about ecological disturbances across the continents. Today, however, as we are headed for an ecological disaster, there is not only a growing awareness against the “cornucopian technocentrism”, but also a far-stretched disillusionment with the one-way exploitative, economic development. And even the national planners are being questioned: Can the law of a nation supersede the Law of Nature? Should the rights of the people be allowed to be destructively manipulated by the rules of power? Must the wisdom-tradition of our ancestors be shelved to accomodate the flagrant hypocrisies of the Planning tradition? As a part of the Unesco Chair activities at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, a Conference: 13-16 October 1995, New Delhi, involved some of the highly reputed scholars in a stimulating dialogue on the “Cultural Dimension of Education and Ecology”. Its presentations are now offered in two volumes: setting out independently the Cultural Dimension of (1) Education, and (2) Ecology. Focussing on the ecological systems in the mountains, forests and islands vis-a-vis the hitherto-adopted modes of aggressive development, the 15 articles here underscore the urgency of changing the modern lifestyles, of befriending Nature and, above all, of returning to ‘wisdom-tradition’. Also included here are case-studies highlighting the aspects of culture that are being lived in the day-to-day lives of people — even today! This collection is invaluable to environmentalists, social activists, economic planners, policy-makers, and cultural scholars working for the revival of traditional wisdom.


— Kapila Vatsyayan
— John V. Kingston
— Baidyanath Saraswati
1. Environment and Education
— Sunderlal Bahuguna
2. Subsistence Strategies and Environmental Management
— R. S. Negi
3. Traditional Knowledge and Management of Natural Resources
— A.S. Mishra
4. Ecological Degradation Due to Exploitation of Natural Resources and Development
— Ramkar Pant
— Rakesh Khanduri
5. Water Resources and their Management in Kashmir
— B. L. Malla
6. Sacred Response to Environment : The Gaddi and His Mountain
— Molly Kaushal
7. Ecology and Traditional Wisdom
— P. S. Ramakrishnan
8. The Nature-centric Culture of the Nepalese
— D. S. Rasaily
— R. P. Lama
9. The Brahmaputra’s Changing River Ecology
— A. K. Das
10. The Warlis and the Dhangars : The Context of the Commons
— Ajay Dandekar
11. Cultural Dimension of Ecology : A Case Study of the Oraons
— Virginius Xaxa
12. Ecological cultivation in the Karanpura Region : A Case Study
— Sachchidananda
— Rajiv Ranjan Jha
13. Ecology, Culture, History and World-view : The Andaman and Nicobar Islanders
— T. N. Pandit
14. Moral Education for Environmental Protection : The Sarvodaya Model
— H. M. D. R. Herath
15. African Modes of Transmission of Traditional Knowledge
— Charles S. Makari
List of Contributors

Meet the Author
B.N. Saraswati obtained his PhD from Ranchi University and specializes in the anthropology of religion and Indian civilization. He is the former UNESCO Professor at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts. He was associated with the Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata, for a decade, and another decade at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. During this period he did extensive field work in rural India and conducted a detailed study of Varanasi. Most recently he has been drawing out relevant themes from traditional thought and modern science to build up indigenous anthropology from within. He has authored The Sacred Science of Man, Ascetics of Kashi, and The Nature of Man and Culture: Alternate Paradigms in Anthropology, as well as many other books and publications.