Growth scepticism in India

In: Uncategorized

26 Aug 2006

It seems to me that growth scepticism is a central part of Indian nationalism. Most obviously there is the symbolism of the flag – which I will not go into now – and the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.

Contemporary India also has prominent environmental campaigners including Medha Patkar, Arundhati Roy and Vandana Shiva. One of their main focuses is the Narmada dam project.

This week’s Economist (26 August) has a profile of Sunita Narain, head of the Centre for Science and Environment based in Delhi, which is backing the campaign against Coca-Cola and Pepsi (see 11 August dispatch). Meanwhile, yesterday’s London Times reported that Indian campaigners are running a “safe festivals” campaign. Devotees of Ganesh, the elephant-headed god, are being urged to make their idols out of traditional unbaked clay rather than toxic plastic.