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

Articles by Nandini SunderSubscribe to Nandini Sunder

Bastar, Maoism and Salwa Judum

Official versions of the Salwa Judum portray it as a peoples struggle against the excesses of Naxalism. It is in a covert sense an admission by the state of its failure on several fronts, especially those relating to development and the need to assure equity to its citizens. Yet in a region that has a long history of backwardness and neglect, the conflict is also over natural resources, political power and even history. The use of violence as a counterfoil to violence implies that the two sides are caught in the repetitive cycle of attack and reprisal; it also, in a more decisive sense, portends a shift in the paradigms followed thus far, of development and governance in a backward region.

'Custom' and 'Democracy' in Jharkhand

The controversy over whether and how to conduct the long stalled panchayat elections in Jharkhand has once again brought to the fore rifts between adivasis and non-adivasis and has also renewed the debate on the very nature of democracy. Traditional structures involving hereditary, non-elected headmen or chiefs appear anachronistic in the current democratic set-up. Such structures, moreover, are seen to be patriarchal and feudal, in that they bar women from holding positions of political power. At the same time, the current electoral system has been unable to provide substantive democracy as adivasis complain of being alienated from resources that had traditionally and naturally accrued to them.

Laws, Policies and Practices in Jharkhand

This paper highlights some of the critical issues that have emerged from studies of laws governing natural resource management and decentralisation in the state of Jharkhand.

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