Accepted Paper:

Natural resources versus tribal lives: State policies and their impact  


Vincent Ekka (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)

Paper short abstract:

The natural resources meant for progress and development of a nation and people have proved to be a curse for tribal lives regulated by the defective policies of the states. In the name of development and national interest the tribals suffer from untold misery of marginalization, displacement and thereby become victims of the lack of political will power, lack of compensation and settlement.

Paper long abstract:

The tribal communities represent a substantial and important proportion of Indian population, culture and heritage. They form a crucial component of country's human biodiversity. As a people, they are important source of social, political and economic wisdom capable of providing ways for authentic human living. Their skill of resource management, waste management, traditional knowledge system and sustainable living is unsurpassed by any other human community. But our experience tells that all the development plans and mega projects of the governments or private business houses have left the tribals with minimal welfare or no welfare at all. The mega scale industries, massive mining, giant dams and huge projects have caused massive displacement of the maximum number of tribals and reduced them to a state of refugees or migrants in their own land. The heart of the problem is that people displaced by development projects are generally seen as a necessary sacrifice on the road to development. The situation worsens when the state and its representatives indulge in joining hands with the MNCs, Private business houses, middlemen, and business goons, every time, the tribals are pushed into extreme poverty and scarcity. The new economic policies of the Central and the state governments of liberalization, privatization and globalization have emerged as the gross violation of tribal rights enshrined in the PESA and FRA Acts etc. My paper attempts to bring out how the defective policies of the governments have hampered the sustainable tribal knowledge system for integral development of the whole creation.

Panel P50
Narratives of coping with marginalization: impact of state policies on natural resources and tribal lives