Ecocriticism in Practice in India


  • Komal Rakwal


Ecocriticism has come a long way since its beginning. It has divergent trajectories that evoked different striking terms like ‘wave’, the ‘rhizome’ and ‘palimpsest’. Lawrence Buell defines the first two waves of ecocriticism in his book The Future of Environmental Criticism (2005) and extends the development in the field to third and fourth wave. Whereas Rayson K. Alex identifies and contextualizes three phases of ecocriticism in India starting from 1980’s to present day. Alex distinguishes Indian ecocriticism from western ecocriticism. In the present scenario, various conferences and seminars are organised for the growth of field of ecocriticism in India. Ecocriticism is largely and broadly influenced by Western ecocriticism, but it is deeply rooted in ancient Indian theories and texts. Although now ecocriticism began in the southern part of India and is spreading far and wide with deep engagements with the help of OSLE and ASLE India. But ecocriticism has its deep roots in Indian Literature. The earlier Indian classical texts and Upanishads are replete with ecocritical engagements, caring for nature, reverence of nature, nourishment as well as preservation of nature. Thus, the paper seeks to highlight the present Indian ecocritical scenario and bring into limelight the past engagements of ecocriticism in India. It strongly offers a brief analysis of ecocritical theory in India.