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

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Fire in the Forest

The Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2005 that is expected to be tabled in Parliament in the winter session has revealed a deep chasm between advocates of adivasi land rights and those who favour continued retention of these lands by the state forest departments. The deep disaffection in adivasi areas and among other forest-reliant peoples cannot be ignored but ecological concerns do exist and cannot be wished away. A two-track approach is needed to give force to the bill. One is to recognise rights in forests outside the protected area network and the other is to provide for a case-by-case evaluation of not only the biology but also the socio-economic character of settlements within parks and sanctuaries.

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