Environmental activism as a subject matter of study offers a unique opportunity to such an effort in India. The number of environmental groups and organisations involved with environment-related activities is very large in India. Most of these are voluntary or non-governmental organisations; some raising their own funds through voluntary donations and some are funded by foreign agencies.
The nature of the movements is also unique in India. There is a middle class environmentalism largely drawing inspiration from Western environmentalism concerned primarily with aesthetic and health issues like preserving wildlife, air quality etc. There are also mass based environmental movements intertwined with movements for socio-economic rights of the rural poor and the marginal groups. The study of environmental movements may take us to the heart of the debate concerning sustainable development and allow us to study the changes in the overall scenario.
The present book purports to locate the dynamics underlying the environmental movements, and their consequent transformations in Indian context, an emerging social phenomenon with enormous social and political implications. It also attempts to show whether these movements are really against this or that aspect of the system or against the system as a whole.