India's Terrains of Resistance
The experiences of the Baliapal and Chipko movements have shown how different social movements, occurring within the same country, articulate dissent and create place-specific terrains of resistance. By analyzing these movements from the perspective of place, I have shown how the constituents of place -- location, locale and sense of place -- provide us with critical insights into the nature of collective action. This has important implications for social movement theory, which I address in the final chapter.
From the analysis of the Baliapal and Chipko struggles, it is also apparent that the two movements share several important features. First, both movements pose place-specific challenges to the Indian state within civil society, these challenges containing both assertive and defensive elements. The Baliapal movement was assertive in its challenge to the national security dictates of Indian government policy and defensive in its attempts to maintain the status quo in the Baliapal area. The Chipko movement was assertive in its challenge to state and private forestry practices and in its espousal of an alternative ecological ideology and practice. Chipko was also defensive in its attempts to protect remaining forests in the area and the local economy and culture that was dependent upon those forests.
Second, neither movement was directly controlled by a political party. The Chipko movement was completely autonomous of any political party, and the Baliapal movement had a working relationship with several political parties but was semiautonomous. Third, both movements