This Article First Appeared In The Scroll On Sept 10, 2023
Over the last four decades, I have taken part in countless academic seminars and literary festivals. The most recent took place last month, and was held in the southern hill town of Udhagamandalam, popularly known as Ooty. Billed as a “Conference for the Nilgiris in the Nilgiris”, it sought to envision a “bioculturally sustainable future” for this beautiful and vulnerable mountain district of Tamil Nadu. The speakers included the foremost social scientists and natural scientists who have worked in the region alongside citizen-activists, entrepreneurs, teachers, and tribal elders. In terms of diversity of participants and the quality of the presentations, this was one of the most enjoyable and educative seminars I have ever attended.