Animal Pasts, Humanised Futures: Living with Big Wild Animals in an Emerging Economy


In India, the twin features of economic expansion and political democracy complicate the story of human relations with the wider environment. And nowhere is this more sharply in evidence than with respect to the large animals that share living space with over a billion humans in the country. This article looks at India’s colonial history and the effect that recent economic and political changes have had on the country’s relationship with wild animals. It considers how space can be made for nature even as the human footprint expands and often disrupts the webs of life.