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

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Disenchantment and Assertion

Divergent Responses to the Forest Rights Act in Nagarahole

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.

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

No one [would] go out of [the] forest [of] their own will. The Forest Department forcibly sent us out. [...] If they give [back] those lands where we used to cultivate earlier, we [will be] ready to go. [...] We have filed an application asking them to return our ancestral property. We are ready to go back there and take care of our land.

—Shetty, respondent

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Updated On : 17th Jun, 2020
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