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Depletion and destruction of forests have eroded the already fragile survival base of adivasis across the country. Deprived of their traditional livelihoods, an alarmingly large number of adivasis have been displaced to make way for development projects. Many have been forced to migrate to other rural areas, the urban fringes or cities in search of work, leading to further alienation.
This systematic alienation, however, is not a modern-day phenomenon. Invasion of adivasi territories, for the most part, commenced during the colonial era and later intensified during the post-colonial period. The Adivasi Question situates the issues concerning the adivasis in a historical context while discussing the challenges they face today.
The introduction examines how the loss of land and livelihood began under the British administration. The British brought tribal land under their control and weaned the adivasis away from shifting cultivation. It analyses how the colonial government forced a section of the adivasis to take up cultivation on lower rates of assessment, thereby making them dependent on the landlord-moneylender-trader nexus for their survival.
The articles, drawn from writings of almost four decades, discuss questions of community rights and ownership, management of forests, the state’s rehabilitation policies, and the Forest Rights Act and its implications. It presents diverse perspectives in the form of case studies specific to different regions and provides valuable analytical insights.
Bringing together contributions by well-known sociologists, historians and environmental activists, this book will be an indispensible read for students and scholars of environmental studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, and policy-analysts.
List of Tables and Figures
Introduction by Indra Munshi
Regulations and Resistance, Adivasi Communities in the Colonial Context
1. Forestry in British and Post-British India: A Historical Analysis
2. State ‘Simplification’: Garo Protest in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Assam
3. Peasantisation of Adivasis in Thane District
Ashok K. Upadhyaya
Loss of Land, Loss of Nerve
4. Alienation of Tribal Lands in Tamil Nadu: Panel Data Analysis
5. Displacement from Land: Case of Santhal Parganas
6. Land Distribution among Scheduled Castes and Tribes
B. B. Mohanty
7. Land Reforms: Turning the Clock Back
8. Illegal Acquisition in Tribal Areas: K. Balagopal
Forest Degradation and Forest Communities
9. Forest Degradation, Changing Workforce Structure and Population Redistribution: The Case of Birhors in Jharkhand
10. Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar: Its Impact on Onge
11. Women and Forests
Conservation vs Community Rights
12. Repopulating the Landscape: Space against Place in Narmada Valley
13. Gajah and Praja: Conservation, Control and Conflicts
14. Resolving People-Sanctuary Conflict in Protected Areas: Kushiara Village, Mirzapur
Displacement and Rehabilitation: Role of the State
15. Displacement due to Mining in Jharkhand
16. Displacement and Rehabilitation of an Adivasi Settlement: Case of Kuno Wildlife Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh
17. Sardar Sarovar Oustees: Coping with Displacement
Forest Rights Act: A Step Forward
18. Issues Related to Implementation of the Forest Rights Act in Andhra Pradesh
M. Gopinath Reddy, K. AnilKumar, P. Trinadha Rao, and Oliver Springate-Baginski
19. Scheduled Tribes Bill, 2005
20. Implementation of the Forest Rights Act in the Western Ghats Region of Kerala
21. Fire in the Forest
22. Empowering Gramsabhas to Manage Biodiversity: The Science Agenda
Resource Management: By Whom and for Whom
23. Civilisational Change: Markets and Privatisation among Indigenous Peoples
Dev Nathan and Govind Kelkar
24. Behroonguda: A Rare Success Story in Joint Forest Management
Emmanuel D’Silva and B. Nagnath
25. Fate of the Forest: Conservation and Tribal Rights
List of Authors
Indra Munshi retired as Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Bombay.