Community and Environment
Questions about the relationship between environment and community have preoccupied a good deal of writing on the history of water in South Asia. The chapter puts forward the argument that the Indus basin water development under the British was fundamentally shaped by a structure of British colonial statecraft distinguishing two forms of overlapping community, defined by different relationships to nature: productive and nonproductive. This distinction, a product of nineteenth-century political economy, lay at the heart ofBritish water-development policy. Yet, as a review of Indus basin water development in the centuries before the British arrival suggests, this was a distinction with little meaning before the colonial era.
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