Let me admit that I began reading this book from a position of considerable ignorance. As a political journalist, I have only followed environment movements from a hazy distance. What I do understand is politics, and a decade spent covering the emer-gence and consolidation of the Hindu right has convinced me that electoral success (or defeat) is just a small part of the larger project of the saffron forces. This book certainly enlightens me about how easily saffron can morph into green and vice versa. It is particularly timely as one of the three case studies is Anna Hazare’s water-shed management programme in Ralegan Sidhi, Maharshtra. The other two movements Sharma examines are Sunderlal Bahugana’s opposition to the Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand and the Vrin-davan forest revival project of the WWF in Mathura. The book is thoroughly researched, well-argued with meticulous local details and facts. The big intellectual argument that runs throu-gh the book that green has to watch out for the saffron, can also be countered by the view that Hindu nationalists have the ability to use almost anything from institutions to media, let alone environment movements. But it is still a fasci-nating account of the processes though which this happens.
April 2012, volume 36, No 4