This book presents a national-level analysis of disasters in the backdrop of the vulnerability of the Indian population. Offering an interdisciplinary perspective, it highlights that while conventional wisdom has persistently maligned ‘nature’ for disasters, majority of disasters in India are not due to ‘natural’ causes.

Vulnerable India: A Geographical Study of Disasters reconceptualizes the discourse on disaster and argues persuasively for the necessity of examining socio-economic vulnerability in relation to geography. With the aid of exhaustive research, comparative statistical analyses and data presented in the form tables and maps, it provides an incisive insight into 16 different disasters across 594 districts of the country. The author introduces new terms such as ‘disasterscape’, ‘disaster index’ and ‘vulnerability cluster’ for better understanding. Not only does she review traditional and modern perceptions of disasters in India, she also examines the representation of disasters in popular Indian cinema and provides a historical understanding of Indian perception of natural disasters and India's continuing failure to adequately contain damage to life and property.

This book will be extremely valuable to disaster research institutes and centers of disaster management studies. It is an ideal reference material for students of disaster management, environment science, environmental sociology, geography, development studies and social work.

Colonial: The Idea of ‘Natural’ Disaster

Colonial: The idea of ‘natural’ disaster

In India, whenever and wherever there is an earthquake, cyclone, flood or drought, heat or cold wave, landslide or avalanche, a heavy rain, dust storm, lightning or thunder, there is destruction, damage, injury and even death. The location does not matter. It could be an earthquake like that of Uttarkashi on 25 October 1991 in the Himalayas or one that occurred on 30 September 1993 in the heart of peninsular India in Latur. The death toll at each place was over a thousand. So also the case of cyclones, it could be on the west coast at Kandla or the east coast at Erasama. In both the events, houses were flattened and salt water ...

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