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Ecofeminism in India

            In India, the most visible advocate of ecofeminism is Vandana Shiva. One would tend to categorize her work with the eco-feminists of the radical mode, Vandana Shiva (1988) critiques modern science and technology as a western, patriarchal and colonial project, which is inherently violent and perpetuates this violence against women and nature. Pursuing this model of development has meant a shift away from traditional Indian philosophy, which sees prakriti as a living and creative process, the "feminine principle"," from which all life arises. Under the garb of development, nature has been exploited mercilessly and the feminine principle was no longer associated with activity, creativity and sanctity of life, but was considered passive and as a "resource ". This has led to marginalization, devaluation, displacement and ultimately the dispensability of women. Women's special knowledge of nature and their dependence on it for "staying alive"", were systematically marginalized under the onslaught of modern science. Shiva, however, notes that Third World women are not simply victims of the development process, but also possess the power for change. She points to the experiences of women in the Chipko movement of the 1070s in the Garhwal Himalayas "where women struggled for the protection and regeneration of the forests." .
             Through her analysis, Shiva points out the critical links between the different development perspectives, the process of change brought about by the development and its impact on the environment and the people dependent on it for their subsistence. Further, she argues with Maria Mies that whenever women have protested against ecological destruction or nuclear annihilation, they were "aware of the connections between patriarchal violence against women, other people and nature " (Mies 1993, p. 14). These movements were informed by the eco-feminist principles of connectedness, wholeness, inter-dependence and spirituality, in opposition to capitalist patriarchal science that is engaged in disconnecting and dissecting.

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