ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Sagari R RamdasSubscribe to Sagari R Ramdas

Death of Small-Farmer Dairies amidst India's Dairy Boom

Amul has begun to do to the informal dairy sector what the European Union threatened to do to the Indian dairy sector: dump milk and milk products, capture the market and then drive down procurement prices as well. India's dairy sector increasingly shows signs of corporatisation with foreign fi rms and venture funds investing in cooperatives and then building chains with forward and backward linkages. The cooperative spirit that drove dairy development in India until the mid-1990s is fast disappearing.

Gajah and Praja: Conservation, Control and Conflicts

The adivasi people living near the Orissa-Andhra Pradesh border face the challenge of having to live with elephants which, according to the Elephant Task Force, have been "displaced" because their home ranges and habitats in the Lakhari Valley Wildlife Sanctuary have been severely degraded. These pachyderms are liable to cause serious human-elephant conflicts in the new areas they move to. Though the task force's prescriptions to mitigate conflicts pay lip service to involving local communities in conservation, in essence they lean towards displacing the adivasis who have lived in the forests for centuries and now have the legal right to do so.

On the Telangana Trail

What is Telangana? Why does it stir such powerful sentiments? What are the boundaries between the people and the leadership? In an attempt to understand the multilayered articulation of the demand for a separate Telangana, we decided to speak to a cross section of people on their participation and their aspirations - people across political formations and social backgrounds. Our travels took us to small farmers, pastoralists, intellectuals, coal miners, schoolteachers, weavers, traders and dhobis; Muslim, adivasi, dalit and student leaders; we attended meetings in adivasi hamlets, in working class urban neighbourhoods and we visited shibirams (tents) across the region and spoke to people on relay hunger strikes. We see quite clearly the emergence of a new politics that is committed to deliberating over the meanings of democracy and direct action. People's demand for Telangana elaborates a complex set of arguments in relation to investment, employment, education, land, water, and resources. But more importantly it has to do with self-rule, dignity and self-respect, which are the fundamental premises of the Telangana movement. The separate state is seen as only the first step towards democratisation.

Women, Forestspaces and the Law: Transgressing the Boundaries

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 was aimed at redefining gender and environmental justice and acknowledging adivasi women's capacities to nurture forestspace. However, as an analysis of the act's implementation in Andhra Pradesh shows, it has turned into a bureaucratic exercise instead of an empowerment tool. The ingrained patriarchal view of the State and its reluctance to grant the claimants - men and women - community rights to the land they were tilling all these years reveal that the profit motive and integration into larger global capital markets drive its forest development programmes. In the process, the women are becoming wage labourers carrying out the government's programmes of plantation rather than exercising their traditional knowledge to nurture forests and gain rightful livelihoods.
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