Aligarh Media, AMU Aligarh: The last couple of years have seen a wave of peasant resistance in Rajasthan, which caught the imagination of people all over the country and received unstinted support. But, what has not been in knowledge of many people is the Rajasthan’s daily struggle of refusing to comply with harsh conditions for harvesting water.
‘Water Management System in the Desert Region of Rajasthan (Thirteenth-Eighteenth Centuries)’, a book authored by Dr Jibraeil, Assistant Professor, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) will throw light on how people in Rajasthan succeeded in developing new techniques to preserve water for their agricultural requirements, despite the shortage of rain water they face year after year.
Published by Ane Books Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, this book gives details of a commendable contribution of the Paliwal Brahmins, who are known as the ‘men with scientific knowledge about water management in deserts’.
Dr Jibraeil elaborates how the Paliwal Brahmins managed preservation of surface and groundwater even during the times of severe droughts. He introduces readers to the unique ‘Gupt Nadi’ method used by them to preserve water with the help of underground water movements. In the ‘Gupt Nadi’ method, the water to be stored is moved and filtered through porous materials and harvested in underground passages. The book also attempts to interpret the available data regarding the efforts of peasants to evolve an indigenous dam technology in the pre-modern era, which enabled the farmers to grow crops such as sugarcane, rice and wheat.
Dr Jibraeil in the book also explains the ‘Khadeen Technique’ used by Rajasthan inhabitants, in which water was collected in several pockets of Thar region for drinking and irrigation. ‘Water Management System in the Desert Region of Rajasthan (Thirteenth-Eighteenth Centuries)’ is a must read for people interested in Rajasthan’s agricultural production.