More-Than-Human Democracy in Himalayan India


ACLS Fellowship Program




In 2017, the High Court of Uttarakhand, a state in Himalayan India, issued a judgment recognizing the legal personhood of the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. While the judgment was later struck down by the Supreme Court, it opened the doors to similar judgments bestowing personhood and rights on natural entities. This project asks what such recent moves to recognize the rights of nature, and their productive tension with long-standing religious, cultural, and activist traditions that view nonhumans as social persons might reveal about the reimagining of Indian democracy as a more-than-human formation whose institutions and processes must cater not only to humans but also to nonhumans.