How and where to make climate change an electoral issue?
What is the appropriate time and the appropriate scale at which to deal with water issues in a democracy? A Question of Scale Let’s start with scale first. If it is to do with provision (and division) of waters – the answer is to deal with it at high a level as relevant. Consider Delhi …
Voters prioritize many issues - expect meaningful policy only on those issues which are politically possible.
(A version of this piece first appeared in Firstpost on Apr 09, 2019) Last time we saw how the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) defanged the dam as a geopolitical source of advantage. But the more relevant question to ask is – will securing the Indus secure India’s water future? To answer that question, we need …
Why did India deactivate its own hydro-disciplining tool against Pakistan? Travel from Partition, through the Cold War, China's takeover of Tibet, Drought to the signing of the IWT.
How the British Raj created a 'tap' that could be turned off. How they undermined local resilience in favour of large-scale non-local intervention. How they increased the vulnerability of the land. And, of course, the Russians.
The Indus Valley provides a fascinating and disturbing example of what geopolitics, colonisation, finance and climate can do to a region. This vulnerable land, which the British transformed with philosophy, canals, land and tax reforms into what it is today - a fault-line between two nuclear nations. Today, with tensions rising, the question asked is “can the tap on the Indus waters be turned off?”