Sacred Groves: Environment, Religion & Politics in Tribal India
August 9 @ 12:00 pm - 12:45 pm
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A talk by Prof. Mukul Sharma, Professor, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi
Sacred groves have been widely recognized in several disciplines, including environmental studies, religious studies, anthropology, geography, and sociology, for their ecological, biological, religious and cultural values. They have been largely discussed through discourses of conservation and sacredness. In contrast, based on extensive fieldwork in Jharkhand state, it is argued that the groves are a dynamic space of competing political powers, changing socio-religious beliefs and practices, and sacred-profane interactions. In contemporary India, sacred groves are implicated in complex religious, political and social processes. This talk underlines how sacred forests are confronted with time wraps of conflict and change, and critical issues of state, power, authority, ownership, economics, governance and institutions.
Prof. Mukul Sharma is a Professor at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. He has a multidisciplinary and diverse background in academics, research, development, and media. Combining the disciplines of environment, development and media studies, he has published sixteen books and booklets in English and Hindi, the latest being Caste and Nature: Dalits and Indian Environmental Politics (OUP, 2017) and Green and Saffron: Hindu Nationalism and Indian Environmental Politics (Permanent Black, 2012). His other publications include Human Rights in a Globalised World: An Indian Diary (2010) and Contested Coastlines: Fisherfolk, Nations and Borders in South Asia (co-authored, 2008). He is presently working on eco-religion, sacrality and politics in South Asia