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The Dark Zone: Groundwater Irrigation, Politics and Social Power in North Gujarat

  • Prakash, A.
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2005
Wageningen University and Researchcenter Publications
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Over the past twenty years in Gujarat, technological changes in agriculture and intensive use of groundwater have led to a spurt in water markets. The development of competitive markets, dependent on the sinking of tubewells, has been advocated on the basis of efficiency and accessibility to the resource. However, this has generally been done without unpacking nuances of unequal social relationships, ecological and historical functions that shape groundwater access and use. The Dark Zone to fill this gap. It focuses on the politics of groundwater markets and its interrelation with social differentiation and class0caste relations. Based on an intensive social anthropological study of a village in north Gujarat, the book investigates the factors that shaped unrestrained use of groundwater and the responses of various social groups to this process. Using a triadic framework of the theory of agrarian institutions, ecological variables in agrarian change and the influence of the state, Prakash locates the study in the larger political economy of Gujarat,. Drawing upon rich empirical material, the book should interest anthropologists, sociologists, researchers, policy makers, NGOs and water resource specialists.

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