Colonialism, Environment and Tribals in South India,1792-1947: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Colonialism, Environment and Tribals in South India,1792-1947

1st Edition

By Velayutham Saravanan

Routledge India

224 pages | 1 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138697515
pub: 2016-08-23
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This book offers a bird’s eye view of the economic and environmental history of the Indian peninsula during colonial era. It analyses the nature of colonial land revenue policy, commercialisation of forest resources, consequences of coffee plantations, intrusion into tribal private forests and tribal-controlled geographical regions, and disintegration of their socio-cultural, political, administrative and judicial systems during the British Raj. It explores the economic history of the region through regional and ‘non-market’ economies and addresses the issues concerning local communities.

Comprehensive, systematic and rich in archival material, this book will be useful to scholars and researchers in history, especially those concerned with economic and environmental history.


‘This important study brings together decades of assiduous research to provide key insights. It is essential reading for environmental and social historians of modern India, and should be useful to scholars of marginalized groups and environmental politics in other parts of Asia.’

K. Sivaramakrishnan, Dinakar Singh Professor of India and South Asia, Yale University, USA

‘Southern India has been inadequately researched in terms of work across the colonial period and into the present vis-à-vis forests and peoples reliant on or resident in or near them. Scheduled Tribes have had a rich and significant history of struggles in relation to land, labour and forests and Professor Saravanan has a complex, sophisticated approach drawing on archival work. A book that will evoke wide interest among scholars and informed citizens alike.’

Mahesh Rangarajan, Professor of History and Environmental Studies, Ashoka University, Sonepat, India

Table of Contents

List of tables List of Abbreviations Preface Acknowledgement Introduction 1. Pre–colonial tribal system (prior to 1793) 2. Geographical encroachment 3. Colonial agrarian policies (1793–1872) 4. Colonial agrarian policies (1872–1947) 5. Commercialization of forests 6. Commercial forest policy and tribal private forests 7. Plantation collision and appropriation of tribals 8. Impact of external factors Conclusion Bibliography Glossary Index

About the Author

Velayutham Saravanan is Professor and Director at Centre for Jawaharlal Nehru Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia (Central University), New Delhi, India. With interdisciplinary research interests, he has made significant contributions to the fields of economic history and environmental history, especially pertaining to South India of the late eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries as also the contemporary period. He has published more than 60 research articles in national and international journals and presented over 40 papers at national and international forums.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General