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Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000$
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Arupjyoti Saikia

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780198069539

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198069539.001.0001

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The Political Forests

The Political Forests

(p.350) 8 The Political Forests
Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000

Arupjyoti Saikia

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses forest and forest conservation in South and South-East Asia within a comparative perspective. It also discusses the future of political forests wherein reforestation movements will be in constant conflict with commerce and agriculture. Compared to the history of colonial forestry, the making of the forest policy in the post-colonial period was defined by the complexities of the political matrix and political machinery. Although forests nowadays are more politically influenced, the Assam forests in the colonial period were not entirely free from political negotiation and machinery. It was also under the commercial and profit-generating interests of the imperial rule and the powerful political class. Apart from discussing the history of the Assam forests, its difference and similarities in other forests, the chapter also evaluates how the present day ecological conflicts are intricately woven in the colonial era when forests, land and resource-based conflicts began to take shape.

Keywords:   Assam forest, forest conservation, South Asia, South-East Asia, political forests, reforestation, forest policy

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