Glocal Asian Studies Lecture Series: Lecture 5 | Water and the Making of Modern India

On November 18, 2019, Prof.r Sunil Amrith of Harvard University gave doctoral students and young scholars the 5thlsession of the Glocal Asian Studies Lecture Series at the Institute of International and Area Studies (IIAS) of Tsinghua University, with the topic of “Water and the Making of Modern India”.

Professor Amrith introduced his findings on the environmental history of South Asia. He focused on how the government of the Republic of India planned to build dams across the country to improve the living conditions and well-being of the Indian people, thereby assisting in building national self-confidence and nationalism, and increasing government legitimacy. However, things went counterproductive. The move to build dams not only failed to improve people’s current living conditions, but also severely damaged the local environment and made people’s lives even worse.

The last question the professor asked the audience was how we can ensure that while using the environment, we do not damage the environment and live in harmony with nature, which also triggered a heated discussion among the doctoral students on site.

By Cheng Yao