This volume explores the complexities of governance, law, and politics in India’s Scheduled Areas. The Scheduled Areas (SAs) are those parts of the country which have been identified by the Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India and are inhabited predominantly by tribal communities or Scheduled Tribes. SAs are often identified by their geographical isolation, primitive economies, and relatively egalitarian and closely knit society. Irrespective of the constitutional provision for governance and a mandate of devolution of power in terms of funds, functions and functionaries, the backwardness of these areas have remained a challenge.
This volume attempts to explore the reasons behind the disregard for legal and institutional mechanism designed for the SAs. It examines the role of the state in the neoliberal era on fund allocation and utilisation, the governance of land and forest resources, and the ineffectiveness of the existing administrative structures and processes. It also looks into the interpretations of law by the judiciary while dealing with community rights vis-à-vis the state’s prerogative of bringing development to the regions, and how development concerns are addressed in the name of ‘good governance’ by various stakeholders.
Comprehensive and topical, this volume will be useful for scholars and researchers of political studies, development studies, developmental economics, sociology and social anthropology, and for policy makers.
Table of Contents
List of illustrations. Notes on contributors. Foreword (Virginius Xaxa). Preface. Acknowledgements. Abbreviations. Glossary.
1. Introduction (Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly and Sujit Kumar).
Part I: Governmentality: a neoliberal perspective on governance.
2. Manki-Munda system of West Singhbhum: historical overview of village governance and development (Asoka Kumar Sen). 3. Issues of financial governance in Scheduled Areas (Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly and Bhanu Shree Jain). 4. Role of tribal autonomous councils in economic development in the Sixth Scheduled Areas (Sumarbin Umdor). 5. Instrumentalities of governance in a multi-ethnic nation-state: Sixth Scheduled Area governance (Chandra Bhushan Kumar and Sonali Ghosh).
Part II: Rights, legalism, and politics.
6. Mahua for Jharkhand’s Ho? An accountability analysis of minor forest product governance (Siddharth Sareen and Emma Jane Lord). 7. Politics of dispossession: land, law, and protest in Jharkhand (Sujit Kumar). 8. Historical wrongs and forest rights: nascent jurisprudence on FRA and participatory evidence making (Shomona Khanna). 9. Left wing extremism: re-examining challenges for development and governance in the Scheduled Areas (Richard Hemraj Toppo). 10. Pathalgadi movement and conflicting ideologies of tribal village governance (Anjana Singh).
Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly was former Professor at the Centre for Rural Studies, LBSNAA, Mussorie and the Nirma University, Ahmedabad, India. She has worked as a researcher, an academician, and a development practitioner; her areas of interest include the land question, collective action for social justice, research methodology, and Gujarat. Of 14 publications, the recent ones are on protest movements in Gujarat (2015), land rights in India (2016), and on land titling. Her forthcoming publications are on the land question in neoliberal India and e-waste management in India. She has also edited and contributed to various academic journals of repute.
Sujit Kumar is affiliated with St. Joseph’s College, Department of Political Science, Bengaluru, India. His areas of research interest include Adivasi politics, political economy, political thought and Indian politics. He has studied the different aspects of Adivasi society, particularly in context of land acquisition. He has published articles in journals like Studies in Indian Politics, Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, Economic and Political Weekly, Seminar, and Journal of Adivasi and Indigenous Studies.