Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Development within Multiple Modernities: Place-based Oppositions to Development Projects along the Ganges River and their Significance

Building on prior scholarship, this paper examines social responses to development projects along the northern part of the Ganges River and argues that they can be seen as a defense of place, embodied by nature, along a river that is culturally, religiously, and ecologically significant. By studying two development projects along the northern part of the Ganges in the colonial and the post-colonial eras, this discussion attempts to understand the ways that modernity, via colonialism and capitalism, transformed human relationships with the river. By focusing on the opposition to canal irrigation and the construction of the Tehri dam, I suggest that the inhabitants near the river were not against development as long as they perceived they could maintain their varied connections with the river. The two cases indicate, therefore, possibilities for the inclusion of multiple modernities and other ways of being and acting with respect to natural entities.