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Title: Forest, Land Use, and Water: A Study of the Santal Adivasi World of Colonial Maldah, 1900-1947
Authors: Sarkar, Ashim Kumar
Keywords: Santal
Adivasi Traditional Rights
Adivasi Movement
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Vidyasagar University , Midnapore , West Bengal , India
Series/Report no.: Vidyasagar University Journal of History;2015-2016
Abstract: Environmental narratives on the anthropocentric modification of nature are now a significant trend in South Asian history writing. Large gaps, however, continue to persist – a major one being the interaction between adivasis/forest-based communities and their environments. While studies on adivasi protests against encroachments on their natural resources abound, few have ventured into exploring the ecological basis of such struggles. This paper aims to provide, concentrating on Maldah Santal adivasis, a far more defining role for the environment by exploring how notions about the adivasi communal self were marked by specific ecological features, involving the recurrent modification of their lived and productive ecological spaces. Attempt will be made to show that though the Santal adivasis of Maldah retained their subsistence-based environmental ideology, they could not contend against the settled agriculture-centric colonial policies. On the backdrop of forested landscape of Barind region of Maldah, the present paper seeks to argue that the Santal discontent in the early years of the 20th century inevitably simmered as they repeatedly sought to recover their traditional rights on forest, land, free access to fisheries, and preference for a pre-colonial environmental ideology.
ISSN: 2321-0834
Appears in Collections:Vidyasagar University Journal of History Vol 4 [2015-2016]

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