This paper attempts to understand the way in which the Western ghats is an osmotic zone which combines the livelihoods of farmers and settlers in new transactions. It tries to see why indigenous people and community interests in cash crops and trade, mediated by the buzz words of organic farming weave together in specific ways. The data shows how tourism and water shortages are complicated by climate change, including the way in which natural borders are compounded by the passage of people across them. The Kerala floods brings about tremendous change in the topography and we have to be alert to how people view their rights to forest land as primarily contracted to them by the State.
Prof Susan Visvanathan teaches Classical Theory, Gender Studies and Historical Method in Sociology at Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University. She is the author of "The Christians of Kerala" (OUP 1993) and "The Children of Nature" (Roli 2010), among several other works. Susan Visvanathan is a well-known writer of fiction, and her first novella “Something Barely Remembered" is taught in 200 colleges in Kerala. She has been Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and Honorary Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla. She has been the Charles Wallace Fellow, at Queen's University, Belfast and Visiting Professor at MSH, Paris, and at Universite Paris 13. She is currently the Professional Excellence Award Fellow at the Elkhana Centre, CEU Budapest.