Advertisement

Conflicting Paradigms and the Danger Discourse: Re-thinking Indian Disaster Management Framework in the Post-tsunami Era

  • Pravin Kushwaha
Chapter

Abstract

Disasters and development have very close correlations with each other. In other words, disasters are very complex processes/events deeply rooted in the outcome of material practices and ideological discourses of man-nature interactions. Given the complexity, unpredictability, and non-linear nature of man–nature mutual interactions, uncertainty has emerged as a major challenge in disaster research where the task of defining a disaster is contested in many ways. Therefore, despite lack of consensus over any single definition of ‘disaster’, among disaster researchers across the globe, some features are well recognized. More specifically, rising concerns about ‘social disruption’ have paved the way for the emergence of the theory of vulnerability. Against this background of evolving disaster research and education, the Indian government adopted the ‘paradigm shift’ approach in disaster management practices in recent past. In this chapter, it is argued that disaster governance in India continues to follow a narrower path. The broader objectives of the ‘paradigm shift’ approach are yet to be realized in practices. In particular, the notion of ‘technology-driven strategy’, which often dwells around hazard-centric practices, continues to dominate the new approach. In an attempt to highlight the above, this essay discusses some of the aspects involved in damage assessment and recovery programmes that were sought to be implemented in the aftermath of the tsunami of 26 December 2004 in India. In fact, many interventions in the post-tsunami phase were lopsided in favour of deploying an ‘exotic methodology’ of damage assessment. Consequently, responses followed were framed as solution-defined problems, to be resolved by experts and aid-giving agencies, rather than as responses forged for local and specific social contexts. It is concluded that the discourse of production of disaster vulnerabilities as an outcome of various socio-political as well as socio-technical processes is yet to take centre stage in policy formulations, planning, and practices.

Keywords

Disasters Vulnerability Paradigm shift Tsunami Aid 

References

  1. Bankoff, G. 2001. Rendering the World Unsafe: ‘Vulnerability’ as Western Discourse. Disasters 25 (1): 25–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bankoff, G. 2003. Cultures of Disasters: Society and Natural Hazards in the Phillipines, 91–92. London: RoutledgeCurzon.Google Scholar
  3. Bankoff, G. 2006. The Historical Geography of Disaster: ‘Vulnerability’ and ‘Local Knowledge’ in Western Discourse. In Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development and People, 1st South Asian ed, ed. G. Bankoff, G. Frerks, and D. Hilhorst, 26. Earthscan: London.Google Scholar
  4. Bragg, C. 2015. Disaster Management and Multilateral Humanitarian Aid: Parallelism vs. Combined Forces. In The Humanitarian Challenge: 20 Years European Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA), ed. P. Gibbons and H. Heintze, 1–16. New York, London: Springer.Google Scholar
  5. Duffield, M., J. Macrae, and D. Curtis. 2001. Politics and Humanitarian Aid. Disasters 25 (4): 269–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Editorial. 2006. Asian Tsunami: Measuring Relief. Economic and Political Weekly, 41 (52), 5292.Google Scholar
  7. Frenkel, G. 2005. India After Tsunami—The Rights of Affected People. Focus Asia-Pecific 39: 2.Google Scholar
  8. Gazette of India. 2005. The Disaster Management Act, 2005, 2. New Delhi, 26 December 2005.Google Scholar
  9. Gilbert, C. 1998. Studying Disaster: Changes in the Main Conceptual Tools’. In What is a Disaster? Perspectives on the Question, ed. E.L. Quarantelli, 11–13. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. GoI. 2016. National Disaster Management Plan, 2. New Delhi: National Disaster management Authority.Google Scholar
  11. Government of India. 2004. Disaster Management in India: A Status Report, 3–4. New Delhi: Ministry of Home Affairs.Google Scholar
  12. Hewitt, K. 1983. The Idea of Calamity in a Technocratic Age. In Interpretations of Calamity from the Viewpoint of Human Ecology, ed. K. Hewitt, 3–8. London: Allen and Unwin.Google Scholar
  13. Hilhorst, D. 2006. Complexity and Diversity: Unlocking Social Domains of Disaster Response. In Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development and People, 1st South Asian ed, ed. G. Bankoff, G. Frerks, and D. Hilhorst, 53–55. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  14. Hilhorst, D., and G. Bankoff. 2006. Introduction: Mapping Vulnerability. In Mapping Vulnerability: Disasters, Development and People, 1st South Asian ed, ed. G. Bankoff, G. Frerks, and D. Hilhorst, 6. London: Earthscan.Google Scholar
  15. Hilhorst, D., D. Dijkzeul, and J. Herman. 2010. Editorial: Social Dynamics of Humanitarian Actions. Disasters 34 (S2): S127–S129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lindell, M.K. 2011. Disaster Studies. Sociopedia.isa.  https://doi.org/10.1177/205684601111.
  17. Murty, C.V.R., S.K. Jain, A.R. Sheth, A. Jaiswal, and S.R. Dash. 2006. Response and Recovery in India after the December 2004 Great Sumatra Earthquake and Indian Ocean Tsunami. Earthquake Spectra 22 (S3): S731–S758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. National Centre for Disaster Management. 2002. High Power Committee on Disaster Management, 71. New Delhi: Indian Institute of Public administration.Google Scholar
  19. Oliver, A.J., and A. Reeves. 2015. The Politics of Disaster Relief. Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource, 5.Google Scholar
  20. Oliver-Smith, A. 1998. Global Changes and the Definition of Disaster. In What is a Disaster? Perspectives on the Question, ed. E.L. Quarantelli, 187–192. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Quarantelli, E.L. 1998. Epilogue: Where We Have Been and Where We Might Go. In What is a Disaster? Perspectives on the Question, ed. E.L. Quarantelli, 234–270. London, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Reid, M. 2013. Disasters and Social Inequalities. Sociology Compass 7 (11): 984–997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Smith, K., and N. Petley (eds.). 2009. Environmental Hazards: Assessing Risk and Reducing Disaster, 5th ed. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Turner, B.L., R.E. Kasperson, P.A. Matson, et al. 2003. A Framework for Vulnerability Analysis in Sustainability Science. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences 100 (14): 8076.Google Scholar
  25. UNISDR. 2009. UNISDR Terminology on Disaster Risk reduction, 9. Switzerland: UNISDR.Google Scholar
  26. United Nations, World Bank, and Asian Development Bank. 2005. India: Post-Tsunami Recovery Programme Preliminary Damage and Needs Assessment. http://www.undp.org/cpr/disred/documents/tsunami/india/reports/dnassessment.pdf. Accessed 7 Feb 2007.
  27. Warner, J., D. Hilhorst, and P. Waalewijn. 2003. Public Participation in Disaster-Prone Watersheds: Time for Multi-Stakeholder Platforms? Disaster Studies, 6 (Disaster Studies Group, Wageningen: Wageningen University).Google Scholar
  28. Werker, W. 2010. Disaster Politics: International Politics and Relief Efforts. Harvard International Review, August 3. http://hir.harvard.edu/disaster-politics/. Accessed 15 Sept 2016.
  29. Wisner, B., P. Blaikie, T. Cannon, and I. Davis. 2004. At Risk; Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability and Disasters, 2nd ed, 47–48. London: Routledge.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Transdiscilinary Research Cluster on Sustainability StudiesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations