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

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Elephant Hunting in Late 19th Century North-East India

This paper explores the interaction between state and society in the management of the elephant as a strategic natural resource in late 19th century north-east India. The management of strategic natural resources aided the British in the task of empire-building. Protective legislation laid down the broad parameters within which a regime of control could function efficiently and effectively. Yet control over various strategic natural resources was far from being â??directâ?? in the complete sense of the word; rather it was contested, often in subtle ways, and negotiated at different levels. Micro-level history of the kind this paper has sought to depict serves to highlight the intricate character of natural resource control by the colonial state.

Unfinished Tasks

Beneficiaries of Land Reforms: The West Bengal Scenario by Anil K Chakraborti in association with Apurba Kumar Mukhopadhyay and Debesh Roy; State Institute of Panchayats and Rural Development, Kalyani, Nadia, Government of West Bengal, Spandan, Kolkata, 2003; pp 154, Rs 150.

Shalishi in West Bengal

Traditional community/village level dispute resolution systems still coexist with formal processes of justice and administration. The `shalishi' is one such method of arbitration in West Bengal that has been used by NGOs to intervene effectively in settling domestic violence cases. Shalishi scores over the more formal legal avenues of dispute resolution because of its informal set up. But deriving its legitimacy as it does from the conventional norms and values of the community it works in favour of keeping the family intact, often compromising feminist notions of empowerment.

Tebhaga Movement in Bengal: A Retrospect

Operation Barga, the showpiece land-reform package of the Left Front government in West Bengal, was projected as the culmination of the failed Tebhaga movement of the 1940s. But just as in the Tebhaga movement, Operation Barga has left untouched the question of the future of the recorded bargadars and of giving 'land to the tiller'. The author provides a historical perspective of the attempts at land reform in Bengal.
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