Drowned and Dammed: Colonial Capitalism, and Flood Control in Eastern India

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Oxford University Press, 2006 - History - 264 pages
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The volume deals with major debates in India's environmental history. It critiques existing discourse by discussing colonial flood control strategies in eastern India. It explores the idea and practice of flood control and argues for a comprehensive reconsideration of the debate on the colonial environmental watershed, its hydraulic legacy and questions contemporary enthusiasm for flood control in post-independent India. The emphasis is on revealing how colonial flood control measures were implicated in attempts to consolidate capitalist relations in ownership, production, and towards commanding the deltaic rivers as a 'natural resource' for capitalist accumulation. The idea and practice of flood control was not merely a technical intervention but principally a political project, deeply implicated in the social, economic and political calculations of capitalism in general and colonialism in particular. Such an analytical perspective also provides a useful backdrop to understanding several aspects of the contemporary water crisis in postcolonial India. The book also intends to be a necessary corrective and a useful addition to the otherwise limited writings on the Indian subcontinent's hydraulic histories.

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Deltas Integrity and Agrarian Rhythm

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About the author (2006)

Rohan D'Souza is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Studies in Science Policy at Jawaharlal Nehru University.

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