Unfolding Godavari Riverscape in Nashik

The article titled “Taming Godavari River: Navigating through religious, developmental, and environmental narratives” published in WIREs Water Journal narrates the journey of Godavari meandering through the city of Nashik.

Abstract:

Exploring the production and the social construction of Godavari riverscape in Nashik, this article presents a case of ongoing socio‐ecological transformations in the Indian cities. This case‐study aims to contribute to the burgeoning scholarship on the political ecology of urban water bodies in India and expands the political ecology of waterscapes by engaging with the cultural politics of water. The Godavari, one of the seven sacred rivers in Hinduism, meanders through the fast urbanizing and a religious city of Nashik. Thousands of pilgrims converge every day along the Godavari in the Nashik and millions throng during the Hindu pilgrimage festival of Kumbh Mela—one of the biggest congregations in the world. Here, religious tourism coupled with modernist developmental agendas is rapidly (re)shaping the river into a prized religious and real estate commodity while ignoring the river ecology. This article nuances the perception, investigation, and management of rivers by examining three interrelated questions: How do the performance, circulation, and contestation of the multiple narratives surrounding the river transform its ecology and relationship with the city? In what ways do notions of control and exploitation of rivers normalize in the collective conscience of the societies? How do social relations (re)create and configure the emotional ties with the river in public imagination?

To read the full article please visit https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/wat2.1297

 

News Reporter
I am an architect turned anthropologist. After finishing my Masters in Anthropology from University of Pune, I was working with Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune under a project funded by UNICEF and Integrated Child Development Scheme, Government of Maharashtra. During which I was stationed in Nandurbar District of Maharashtra (which is predominantly a tribal region) as a Field Research officer. Currently, I am a doctoral candidate in Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali, India. My current research explores the interaction of the cultural-religious, the political-economic and the ecological dimensions of the river in Nashik city in Maharashtra. Broadly, investigating how the multiple perspectives of a natural resource overlap, contradict, challenge and support each other, thus shaping the urban landscape and producing socio-spatial inequalities.

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