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This Fissured LandAn Ecological History of India$
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Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780198077442

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198077442.001.0001

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The Fight for the Forest

The Fight for the Forest

(p.128) Chapter 5 The Fight for the Forest
This Fissured Land

Madhav Gadgil

Ramachandra Guha

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores some of the evidences on conflicts over forest and pasture in colonial India. It reviews the major dimensions of such conflicts by addressing the genesis, the geographical spread, and the different forms in which protest manifested itself. The new laws restricted small-scale hunting by tribals and they facilitated more organized shikar expeditions by the British. The disruption of the delicate balance between humans and forests has resulted to a sharp fall in the jhum (shifting) cycle. The most sustained opposition to state forest management was to be found in the Himalayan districts of present-day Uttar Pradesh. The experience of Jaunsar Bawar showed the struggle between villagers and colonial forest management. Contemporary movements asserting local claims over forest resources have repeated earlier movements in terms of their geographical spread, in the nature of their participation, and in the strategies and ideology of protest.

Keywords:   forest resources, pasture, colonial India, jhum cycle, forest management, Jaunsar Bawar, protest, resource conflicts

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