Chapter

The Fight for the Forest

Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha

in This Fissured Land

Second edition

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780198077442
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082155 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077442.003.0005

Series: Oxford India Perennials Series

The Fight for the Forest

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This chapter explores some of the evidences on conflicts over forest and pasture in colonial India. It reviews the major dimensions of such conflicts by addressing the genesis, the geographical spread, and the different forms in which protest manifested itself. The new laws restricted small-scale hunting by tribals and they facilitated more organized shikar expeditions by the British. The disruption of the delicate balance between humans and forests has resulted to a sharp fall in the jhum (shifting) cycle. The most sustained opposition to state forest management was to be found in the Himalayan districts of present-day Uttar Pradesh. The experience of Jaunsar Bawar showed the struggle between villagers and colonial forest management. Contemporary movements asserting local claims over forest resources have repeated earlier movements in terms of their geographical spread, in the nature of their participation, and in the strategies and ideology of protest.

Keywords: forest resources; pasture; colonial India; jhum cycle; forest management; Jaunsar Bawar; protest; resource conflicts

Chapter.  11776 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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