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ECOFEMINISM IN INDIA

Indian culture and tradition are totally dependent on women. Women are the pillars of saving nature and heritage. In India, several thinkers and movements started by women for protecting nature and the environment. Vandana Shiva, Bina Agarwal, and Vrinda Karart are famous ecofeminism thinkers of India. They accept that in patriarchy women and the environment, both are subordinated by men. The Chipko movement in India is a famous example of women’s power. The Chipko movement started in Garhwal Himalaya in the 1970s and got global publicity with the Narmada Bachao Andolan. The Chipko movement emerges as a protest against granting permission for access to the forest to commercial timber operators while the local people were refused access to the forest for making agricultural implements. This movement is a landmark for women’s empowerment in India.

Women as Prakriti and Shakti in India women are known as Prakriti and Shakti, in Sankhya Philosophy, Prakriti is the ultimate cause of this world. Prakriti and Purusha are two ultimate realities accepted in Sankhya Philosophy. Vandana Shiva says that “nature, both animate and inanimate, is thus an expression of Shakti, the feminine and creative principle of the cosmos, in conjunction with the masculine principle (Purusha), Prakriti creates the world (Shiva, 1988, P. 38).”4

Shiva accepts that violence against women and nature are linked not just ideologically but also materially. Shiva believes that third-world women have both a special dependent on nature for drawing sustainability for themselves their family and their society. The destruction of nature thus becomes the destruction of women shows for staying alive. Third-world women both are special dependent on nature and have special knowledge about nature.

Bina Agarwal is a famous environmental feminist rooted in material reality and sees the relation between women and nature as structural by gender and class division organization of production, reproduction and distribution. Bina is a famous economist who argues that women especially those in poor, rural households in India, on the one hand, are victims of environmental degradation in quite gender-specific ways. According to her, “In the patriarchal thoughts, women are identified as being closer to nature and men as being closer to culture. Nature is seen as inferior to culture; hence women are seen are inferior to men.”5

Dr Keerti Choudhary
Department of Philosophy