Rivers have always been worshipped in India, and yet they are in a deplorable state today. The Ganga, regarded as holy and formally declared as the national river, and the Yamuna, the river of India's capital, are mortally sick. Many other rivers in the country are declining or dying. It isdifficult to find living, healthy rivers, and even the few that exist are under threat of decline. Heavy pollution is a major cause of this situation, but there are also other factors, such as excessive abstractions or diversions of waters, and violence to their physical components such as theriver-bed, banks, floodplains, and so on. Underlying such abuses is a poor understanding of what constitutes a river. This book goes into the present condition of several Indian rivers, their various states of decline or health, and the factors that have had an effect on their well-being. It explores also the deeply flawed attitudes and approaches towards rivers and towards the environment in general. The chapters by diverse authors make a plea for a proper understanding of our rivers in all their complexity, for a healthy relationship with them, and for a radical re-examination of what constitutes true development. This compilation is important as a detailed river-wise account of the situation,and serves as an aid to understanding what has gone wrong (or right in a few cases) and what needs to be done in order to restore our rivers to vibrant health.