Fri|10 Jul|6PM| Dynamics of inclusion and exclusion of Dalit forest dwelling communities in the making of the Forests Act

Dynamics of inclusion and exclusion of Dalit forest dwelling communities in the making of the Forests Act
Friday the 10th of July at 6 pm
About the Talk
The Forest Rights Act came into being in 2006 as a law whose objective to address the historical injustice  meted out to Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers. It was a product of a legal and political struggle lead by the Campaign for Survival and Dignity. The Act saw many versions and was a
site of intense debate balancing interests of conservationists, tribal rights advocates and Scheduled caste and OBC interests. The eventual Act resulted in the creation of two categories of beneficiaries Scheduled Tribe and OTFD. Where OTFDs had to provide evidence of 75 years to be able to access tenurial rights under the Act. OTFDs include pastoral communities, non-scheduled tribes and Dalit forest dwelling communities
This talk examines the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion of Dalit forest dwelling communities in the making of the Act and in the contexts of Sonebhadra and Chitrakoot in Uttar Pradesh as well as Khandamal in Odisha. It will provide a mosaic of experiences of how Dalit forest dwelling communities are navigating the evidentiary barrier of 75 years in their efforts to assert their rights over resources whilst establishing links between the assertion of forest rights and caste atrocities. These scripts of resistance are chronicled in the narratives of land reclamation efforts underway in Uttar Pradesh (The Axe), the efforts to conserve the Kanahar Valley and attempts to navigate religious and legal identity in Khandamal post the communal riots of 2008 triggered by the death of Swami Laxmanand Saraswati (The Sage).
About the Speaker
Arpitha Kodiveri is an environmental lawyer working at the intersection of environmental issues and tribal rights and was previously working with Natural Justice. As a public policy scholar with The Hindu Center she has been researching on the perspectives of Dalit forest dwelling communities in the making and implementation of the Forest Rights Act,2006.