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

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Forest Rights Act Enables State Control of Land and Denies Most Adivasis and Forest Dwellers Land Rights

Over a decade after the landmark Forest Rights Act, 2006 was enacted, a relatively small number of claimants have been able to access the rights it promises. The author identifies limitations built into the legislation and investigates the obstacles that have hampered the provision and recognition of forest rights in three districts of Himachal Pradesh.

Despite Unionisation, Why Are Tea Workers Exploited?

Profits made by large tea corporations continue to increase at the expense of tea workers who are paid unfairly, and whose access to quality education, water, and other basic services is severely curtailed.

Adivasi Claims Over Sabarimala Highlight the Importance of Counter-narratives of Tradition

In the context of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the entry of women in Sabarimala, the article examines the claim raised by the Mala Araya Adivasi community in Kerala over the Sabarimala temple and its rituals. The verdict provided momentum to the tribal community's articulation of their rights in the public sphere, especially about their tarnished history, stolen gods and the socio-economic alienation inflicted upon them by the state and its agencies in collusion with caste forces.

Coercive ‘Development’

The tribes, especially of mainland India, have lost their lands and livelihoods to development projects which have not brought them any benefits. In fact, they have been displaced without rehabilitation and adequate compensation.

Squabble over Resources in Bastar’s Forests

Blood Red River: A Journey into the Heart of India’s Development Conflict by Rohit Prasad, Gurgaon: Hachette India, 2016; pp 336, ₹ 399.

Bureaucracy and Border Control

Studies on militarisation and borders in South Asia have often remained focused on zones of spectacular conflict such as Kashmir, or Punjab during the partition. This article tracks the production of a discourse on borders by those charged with border security such as the police and other senior bureaucracy in the decades following the partition. It suggests that the “border question” evolved gradually out of a series of everyday concerns over local criminality that finally coalesced into the more abstract category of “national security.” It examines bureaucratic debates on police reorganisation in Kutch between 1948 and 1952 to suggest that contemporary discourses on nation and borders were arrived at through intra-bureaucratic negotiations with the far less abstract categories of village, locality and region.

Poverty and Deprivation among the Katkari

This article examines evidence for poverty and deprivation amongst the Katkaris, a Scheduled Tribe, in hamlets in Jahwar and Mokhada talukas of Palghar district, Maharashtra. It analyses how Katkaris are trapped in a vicious cycle of social, educational, and economic backwardness.

Journalistic Discourse(s) and the Adivasi

When it comes to the portrayal and depiction of Adivasi communities, the media and journalistic discourse has been reluctant to move away from archaic constructs and ideas. Understanding Adivasi life from their perspective and advocating for “development” on their behalf must be through their terms, cooperating with their traditional systems of existence.

Forest Rights Act

The implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 has been opaque and there is serious lack of awareness about its provisions not only among the benefi ciaries but also among the officials in charge of implementing it. Given the complaints from either side, it is time the government reviewed the law and also looked at the objections raised when it was first tabled as a bill.

Contested Spaces, Democratic Rights

The Maharashtra government's village forest rules seek to overturn the rights regime established in the letter of the law by the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act and the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 in terms of both community rights, as well as the rights over minor forest produce. Moreover, the rules write away the future rights of the community over forests and their management and control over minor forest produce in perpetuity. These are also ultra vires of the rules regime agreed and enacted by an act of Parliament.

Towards Equality in Healthcare

The Rapid Survey on Children shows a new trend of an increased access to healthcare by marginalised communities like Dalits, Adivasis and Other Backward Classes which have made substantial gains in the last decade. However much needs to be achieved in the realm of nutrition and sanitation where these communities remain acutely deprived.

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