ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Ajit MenonSubscribe to Ajit Menon

Putting a Price on Tiger Reserves

The attempts by economists in India to estimate the economic value of tiger reserves must be seen in a context in which inviolate tiger reserves have imposed enormous social costs on local people. There is relative silence around the question of why one should value tiger reserves when they are already protected and who might benefit from such valuations. We call on scholars and activists working in conservation and development to question valuation approaches, given their problematic outcomes.

Blurred Boundaries

This paper critically analyses the politics of claim-making, vis-à-vis, the Forest Rights Act by illustrating how three distinct political actors in Gudalur, Tamil Nadu, have used the FRA. In this analysis the law has not been taken as an immutable category, but rather as a political instrument that various groups use to assert their identities and political imaginaries. In doing so, these imaginaries invoke unique histories and reference multiple "genealogies of belonging." By highlighting the multiple uses and interpretations of the FRA in Gudalur, this study opens up space for a discussion around some larger concerns implicated within issues of forests, rights and conservation, particularly, the limits of seeing Adivasis as the only authentic traditional forest-dwellers by highlighting the blurred boundaries between various categories--Adivasi and non-Adivasi, forest and non-forest, legality and illegality. It is in these liminal spaces, where boundaries are blurred, this study offers an analysis informed by the analytic of governmentality to argue that local actors exercise agency in either taking on or resisting environmental subjectivities framed by the FRA.

On Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

On Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Daniel Taghioff, Ajit Menon s abha. Indeed, Nilgiris district has the highest number of forest officials on these committees in the state. Thekaekara might also be surprised to hear that we fi led a right to information (RTI) to get all docu Tarsh Thekaekara

Can a Tiger Change Its Stripes? The Politics of Conservation as Translated in Mudumalai

The notification of Mudumalai Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu as a tiger reserve in 2007 has resulted in a contested politics between activists, non-governmental organisations and conservationists with regard to the future of protected area management. This paper presents an account of how these actors positioned themselves around not only the creation of the tiger reserve, but also the proposed elephant corridor and the Forest Rights Act of 2006. It suggests that due process of law has not been followed adequately and that sufficient scientific evidence has not been presented in the public domain as required. The Forest Rights Act is seen to offer an opportunity to democratise the management of natural resources with all its social and ecological complexities and provide the necessary checks and balances to bring about conservation based strongly on scientific evidence.

Reconfiguring the Coast

An enormous amount of funds (government, multilateral and non-government) flowed into the coastal areas hit by the tsunami of December 2004. But what has been the quality of rehabilitation and what lives do the survivors - the fishers - lead? A case study of one village in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu yields disturbing findings about government intervention, NGO activities and the reconfiguring of the coast in the name of development.

Engaging with the Law on Adivasi Rights

Judicial interpretations of constitutional directives towards assuring adivasi rights have been of many kinds, especially in instances when such rights have overlapped with the discourse of sustainable development or the need to ensure the greater common good. The struggle to ensure adivasi rights is one that must then seek a constant engagement with the law.

Environmental Policy, Legislation and Construction of Social Nature

Attempts to trace the changes in environment policy-making and the way social concerns have been problematised have been very few in the academic debates on the draft National Environment Policy, 2004 and the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, 2005. But such an exercise is needed to understand the possibilities and limitations of policy pronouncements and legislative action, given the current politico-economic disposition. This is an attempt to fill that void and explores the changing nature of environment policy-making and the shifts in the manner in which social concerns are addressed.

Displacement and Rehabilitation Policies-Case of the Kolli Hills Hydroelectric Project

Case of the Kolli Hills Hydroelectric Project Ajit Menon V Saravanan If hazards of displacement are to be avoided, it is not enough to provide legality to rehabilitation policies and ensure right of access to information regarding a development project Tenurial security of land belonging to tribals is to be guaranteed if their arbitrary acquisition by the government, leading to their displacement, is to be prevented.

American Scholars and South Asian Studies

DESPITE his stated intention of focusing primarily on the restrictions placed by the Indian government on American South Asian scholars (Paul Brass. EPW, September 9) goes far beyond this by characterising these restrictions as a form of victimisation. In doing so, he betrays a strong sense of paternalism and liberal sanctimony to which we would like to respond.

Constructing the Local-Decentralising Forest Management

Decentralising Forest Management Ajit Menon While the concept of joint forest management is certainly a step forward from the centralised state-centred management systems, is it as participatory and decentralised as it has been claimed to be? What has been the experience of Tamil Nadu in implementing the concept?

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