Contents: Introduction. 1. Ecological security of the Himalayas. 2. Ancient communities of the Himalayas. 3. The survival economy and forest conflicts in Himalayas. 4. Rebellion as confrontation: People's Ecological Movement in Kumaon and Garhwal over forest rights. 5. The Chipko Movement. 6. Chipko: Social history of an 'Environmental' Movement. 7. Development Project vis-a-vis ethno-religious sentiments: the Rathong Chu Imbroglio in Sikkim. 8. Background to political unrest in Nepal. 9. Security and political environment: a Nepalese perspective. 10. Nepal: Quest of elusive peace. 11. The roots and the emergence of the Maoists. 12. The end of Shangri-La. 13. Tibetan legend. 14. Political, economic, and religious relations between Mongolia and Tibet. 15. Bhutan: Political culture and national dilemma. 16. Ethnic stalemate and crisis of confidence. 17. Gender disparity in level of literacy: a case of Uttaranchal. 18. The role of women in the Uttaranchal Regional Movement. 19. Women's empowerment: types of marital relationship--Polygyny, Polyandry and divorce in Himachal Himalayas. Index.
"This book presents a panoramic overview of politics and women empowerment in the Himalayan region and North-Eastern States, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. It brings into sharp contrast the fragile Himalayan ecology, due to continuous seismic activities and movements in the plates tectonics, and the increasing militarisation, wars and armed conflicts in the hilly regions. The Chipko Movement launched initially by a few women brought into focus the mindless exploitation of the forest resources, and the related issues. Unrest in Sikkim over Rathong Chu Hydel Project and Maoist emergence in Nepal show their peculiar political slant. Political, economic and religious relations between Mongolia and Tibet had its own mutual effects. In Uttarakhand, the women seemed powerful and influential due to their participation in Chipko and the agitation for the separate state. In actual fact they are very vulnerable due to prevailing polygamy, polyandry and illiteracy. The book is indispensable for serious readers and research scholars." (jacket)