Accepted paper:

In defense of the endangered black buck: Bishnois of India raise the stakes for hunters and poachers


Bobby Sinha (University of Basel, Switzerland)

Paper short abstract:

In this case study from India replete with an ethnographic focus on a micro-social movement against hunting and poaching, we seek to anaylse how issues on ground between people and the democratic state are effectively and innovatively solved by movement actors.

Paper long abstract:

Can a people's movement for the defense of wildlife provoke debates around democratic accountability and justice? With respect to this question, we present a case study of how Bishnois in India contribute in saving wild life and create an ongoing dialogue between democracy and people. Based on ethnographic field-work, this study explores the local people's day to day practices as well as the larger issues of Democracy in which these practices unfold.The gap between the key instruments and the key mechanisms of democracy in India is being creatively negotiated through the political imagination of the social movement actors in Western Rajasthan during the past two decades. A case study of some important actors and sites of Bishnoi ecology movements in Rajasthan will be presented. Operating in the arid and semi-arid zones of western Rajasthan in India, Bishnois of Bikaner and Jodhpur have bought to life the dialectics between the voice of the people and the voice of the state. These movements have become a valuable text in understanding locally embedded discourses and transformations on ground. Keywords: Democracy and Justice; Hunting and poaching; Bishnoi Ecology movements

panel P051
Hunting, animal welfare, and defence against wildlife attack (NME panel)