What Makes “Environmentalist” a Southern Pejorative? The Role and Influence of the Social Carriers of Technology

  • Dipak Gyawali
Part of the Wissenschaftsethik und Technikfolgenbeurteilung book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 19)


At a political rally two months after the bitterly divisive ratification of the Mahakali Treaty by the Nepali Parliament, a communist leader said that land-locked Nepal was not bound to sell electricity to India — she could sell it to China via satellite! 23 Everywhere around the world, highlanders have been latecomers to modernization (meaning commercial and economic growth) which has seeped through to the deep hinterlands from the coasts and the plains in a classic dependencia pattern, with the former supplying cheap raw material and the latter providing value-added. In most mountain people, this historical fate has bred an inherent distrust of lowlanders and the fear of being at the raw end of any commercial deal with them. Highland Nepalis are no exception in their prickly relations with lowland India. The Mahakali Treaty24 proposes building a 315 m high dam on a river that forms the western border of Nepal with India to generate over 6480 MW of hydroelectricity (which can only be absorbed by India) and provide irrigation to about 1.7 million hectares of land (95% of which is in India). It is no surprise that such a large and complex deal has revived all old fears.


Scientific Culture Hydroelectric Project Electricity Consumer Electricity Authority Risky Sport 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

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  • Dipak Gyawali

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