“The Forest Dwelling Tribes and Their Present Situation”
Authors: Dr. Suparna Sanyal Mukherjee
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India is a vast Country with all Geographical definitions contained within it. The Country is adorned with Mountains, Deserts, Runns, Estuaries, deltas and Forests, India is the biggest Peninsula in the world. It also houses rich deposition of minerals, ores and fossil fuels.
The Indian Forest with all its treasure attracted the then rulers British, who realized the immanence economic potentiality contained within it, the possible outcome which could derive out of it.
The aboriginals, the tribes, with forest as their own abode developed age-old rights over it generation wise. When the British Government realized that the tribes were a step ahead in the knowledge of forest, they quickly formed a rule regarding the forest to establish their absolute supremacy, ultimately which became the Indian Forest Act 1865 as amended in 1878 and 1927 respectively.
The innocent, illiterate, poor tribes were uprooted and dislodged from the forest; they were pushed into jeopardy, without any known method of sustaining livelihood was in utter dismay.
After Independence there were Forest Policies and Five Year Plans each of which had specific space for the forest and tribes, but rehabilitation remained far away from them. More over Forest Rights Act 2006 also has generated a puzzled situation for these men. Thus, it is clearly visualized the present plight of the forest dwelling tribes continue to be unsecured due to advent of the Indian Forest Act 1865.