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

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Divergent Responses to the Forest Rights Act in Nagarahole

Disenchantment and Assertion

The Adivasi communities of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve, Karnataka have engaged with the implementation of the Forest Rights Act and have primarily responded in two divergent ways: disengagement from the fra and claiming rights over ancestral lands as a mechanism of redressal and/or assertion. These two cases are examined against the background of a long history of evictions from the forests of Nagarahole and the infrastructural and sociopolitical conditions present inside and outside the settlements, including the presence of various non-governmental organisations. The fra’s success has been limited (and even negative), as its generic, centralised framing and implementation have been unable to fully take into account specific histories, socio-economic conditions, and political discourses, especially those of conservation advocates and Adivasi rights activists.

This paper is based on 13 months of fieldwork carried out during 2014–15 in NTR, Karnataka, as part of my doctoral thesis at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru. I thank Rufford Foundation for funding my fieldwork in NTR. I am also grateful to all my respondents who took the time to interact with me. I also thank my advisor, Carol Upadhya, and my colleagues at NIAS, Krupa Rajangam and Savitha Suresh Babu, for reading and commenting on multiple drafts of this paper, and the anonymous referee for their constructive comments and suggestions on the earlier version of this paper. I also thank Anjan Katna for helping me prepare the map.

It is becoming difficult [for me] to live here. My parents have become old living here in this pathetic condition. We will also become like them if we live here. Where is the guarantee that in future our children will fight for their rights and get them?

—Madesha, respondent

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Updated On : 17th Jun, 2020
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