The Ramachandra Guha Omnibus
A book where Sociology, Economics and Environment meet, making The Ramachandra Guha Omnibus an almost perfect collection of work on various issues that arise from our need to protect the environment.
The book is a unique collection of his three eminent works: The Unquiet Woods, Environmentalism: A Global History and Savaging the Civilised.
The Unquiet Woods has arisen from the writer’s detailed study of the famed Chipko movement, a peasant resistance movement in the Himalaya that is serving as a flagship for similar struggles across the world. The movement highlighted the results of deforestation that had resulted from ‘development’ projects like mining, damming of rivers and the like and displaced people of the region, robbing them of the livelihood. Environmentalism, A Global History is a superbly-crafted version of the “global dimensions of the history of human responses to and impact upon their environment.”
This book brings together cross-cultural attitudes from the various regions in the world towards the natural world. It is rather thought-provoking and highlights the debates and issues that are central to environmental issues we are faced with. Savaging the Civilised, as the name suggests, talks about the so-called savage people, who for eons have been living in harmony with the environment and are now facing the brunt of indiscriminate urban activities. The work is a heady-mix of anthropology and ecology, while focusing on rehabilitation.
This has been done by way of a biography dedicated to Verrier Elwin, an Englishman who is an anthropologist, poet and activist, who quietly fought in the Indian subcontinent for the tribes, with whom he chose to live. Also mentioned are his perspectives on development and cultural morality, which we are constantly at war with. The Ramachandra Guha Omnibus is an exceptional collection of comprehensive work, a requisite for any environmental buff.
Reviewed by Shivani Shah
Ramchandra Guha, Published by: Oxford University Press, Rs. 650/-