The Adivasi Question: Issues of Land, Forest and Livelihood
Indra Munshi (Ed.)
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

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.

Indra Munshi retired as Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Bombay.

List of Tables and Figures  
Introduction by Indra Munshi

Section I
Regulations and Resistance, Adivasi Communities in the Colonial Context
1. Forestry in British and Post-British India: A Historical Analysis
Ramachandra Guha
2. State ‘Simplification’: Garo Protest in Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Assam
Sanjeeva Kumar
3. Peasantisation of Adivasis in Thane District
Ashok K. Upadhyaya

Section II
Loss of Land, Loss of Nerve
4. Alienation of Tribal Lands in Tamil Nadu: Panel Data Analysis
E. Selvarajan
5. Displacement from Land: Case of Santhal Parganas
Nitya Rao
6. Land Distribution among Scheduled Castes and Tribes
B. B. Mohanty
7. Land Reforms: Turning the Clock Back
Brian Lobo
8. Illegal Acquisition in Tribal Areas: K. Balagopal

Section III
Forest Degradation and Forest Communities
9. Forest Degradation, Changing Workforce Structure and Population Redistribution: The Case of Birhors in Jharkhand
Sohel Firdos
10. Deforestation in Andaman and Nicobar: Its Impact on Onge
Pankaj Sekhsaria
11. Women and Forests

Section IV
Conservation vs Community Rights
12. Repopulating the Landscape: Space against Place in Narmada Valley
Judy Whitehead
13. Gajah and Praja: Conservation, Control and Conflicts
SagariR. Ramdas
14. Resolving People-Sanctuary Conflict in Protected Areas: Kushiara Village, Mirzapur
Neela Mukherjee

Section V
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
Asmita Kabra
17. Sardar Sarovar Oustees: Coping with Displacement
Renu Modi

Section VI
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
Indra Munshi
20. Implementation of the Forest Rights Act in the Western Ghats Region of Kerala
Jyothis Sathyapalan
21. Fire in the Forest
Mahesh Rangarajan
22. Empowering Gramsabhas to Manage Biodiversity: The Science Agenda
Madhav Gadgil

Section VII
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
Amita Baviskar
List of Authors

Release Date: 31-07-2012 Venue: New Delhi
Social Action Vol.63 April - June 2013
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