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

V M Ravi KumarSubscribe to V M Ravi Kumar

State, Forests and Communities

The history of communal forest management in south India shows its exclusive nature. The resistance to colonial forest policies forced the administration in the Madras Presidency to look for options to pacify public discontent. At the level of policy, it was the dominant agrarian communities that evolved an effective link with political parties and the native press, compelling the revenue department and the colonial state to recognise their claims. A community-centred forest management policy, implemented in the form of village forest panchayats, delegated management powers to the dominant agrarian communities. This mainly benefited the rural elite, ignoring the claims of poor peasants, pastoralists, agricultural labour and women.
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