Competing Claims on the Commons

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:

Series: Oxford India Perennials Series

Competing Claims on the Commons

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This chapter reports a preliminary mapping of the conflicts over living resources in independent India. It starts by addressing the conflicts between the state and hunter-gatherers, shifting cultivators, settled cultivators, and artisans. It then explores a conflict which is the consequence not of intensive forest use but its obverse. It refers to the massive network of wildlife sanctuaries, almost all of which have been established after 1947. The integration of tribals into a capitalist system of wage labour has generated its own set of conflicts. Despite successful struggles for wage increases, tribals continue to get only an infinitesimal share of the gains from commercial forestry. The pressures of demographic expansion and ecological decline have forced many forest-dependent communities to look for alternative modes of subsistence. With respect to both the hardware and software of forest resource use, the post-colonial period is marked by change and continuity.

Keywords: living resource conflicts; India; wildlife sanctuaries; tribals; wage labour; commercial forestry; forest resource use

Chapter.  7595 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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