Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 4, No 2(2010): Forests of Belonging: The Contested Meaning of Trees and Forests in Indian Hinduism

Forests of Belonging: Reflections from Peasant and Adivasi Perspectives

Pramod Parajuli
Issued Date: 11 Jul 2010


This special issue is a welcome addition in the history of ecological and cultural discourses in India. As complex as it is, it would be foolhardy to construct a unified theory of what might be the ecological cosmology of the Hindus who live in India. Given the diverse bio geographies of India and people co-evolving in those areas with their own ways of making a living and creating meanings, diversity is the only rule of the game. This special issue on the Forests of Belonging does a good job of depicting that. The primacy of the ethnographic element in all contributions is also encouraging. Yet, I posit that these discourses have not distanced themselves far enough from the Brahminism and textual Hinduism that has dominated Indian studies for so long. My short commentary interrogates those texts from the lived experience of Hindu peasants in my own village in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal and my work among the adivasi (original inhabitants) peasants in the Jharkhand region in India.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.v4i2.232


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