Sacred, Secular, and Ecological Discourses: the Sethusamudram Project


  • Carl T. Feagans University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Sociology and Anthropology



Sethusamudram, SSCP, Indian cultural resources, cultural resource management, environmental resource management, public culture


The nature of discourse in public culture has changed significantly if not noticeably in just the past few decades. The Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP) intended to create a commercial shipping lane between India and Sri Lanka demonstrates the nature of this change in discourse, which seems focused around the convergence of traditional news media and public commentary through the medium of the Internet which increases the reach of news as well as the speed with which that news arrives to its audience. Just two decades earlier, at a time when the Internet was very young, many of the same political parties and government agencies involved with the SSCP were also involved in the Babri Mosque controversy which culminated in the deaths of perhaps 2000 people as well as the destruction of an historical site, the mosque itself. While many factors are likely to have contributed, the SSCP controversy, in which thousands of concerned Hindus mobilized in protests, resulted in little if no injury or damage to property. This was, perhaps, due in part to the nature of the public discourse.


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How to Cite

Feagans, C. T. (2014). Sacred, Secular, and Ecological Discourses: the Sethusamudram Project. Culture &Amp; History Digital Journal, 3(1), e009.