The kind of ‘development’ being imposed in tribal areas has involved much conflict in recent times including the grabbing of Adivasi lands and resources, and leading to huge Adivasi protests. The meeting will focus on iron ore mining promoted in Saranda Forest, and on aluminium and iron-ore industry projects in Odisha and in Kalinganagar , where Tata Steel built a steel plant on Adivasi lands that were taken forcibly away amidst police firing on 2nd January 2006. In Jharkhand and Orissa in particular, where adivasis make up 26 % of the population, forest reservation, dam-building, metal factories and mining projects have caused large-scale historic displacement. Since 1947 more than 5 million people (95% of them adivasi) have been forcibly removed for development projects, almost all without any compensation. This workshop will research the role of adivasi cultures in challenging these forms of economic development leading to gross structural inequities in patterns of land holding in the longue duree. It asks important questions. How has Adivasi resistance challenged such land grabs in the past? How is present Adivasi society in these areas coping with deforestation and displacement and an askewed modernity? Should Adivasis assimilate to non-tribal norms? What is an Adivasi-oriented vision of real development? Can we imagine a future for Adivasis within the current imaginings of the India nation?
Centre for World Environmental History University of Sussex, in collaboration with Sangeeta Dasgupta, Academic Visitor, FMSH and Maison Suger
Participants include GladsonDungDung (Human Rights activist) Sangeeta Das Gupta (JNU MaisonSuger) Vinita Damodaran (CWEH/ Sussex) DarleyKjosovik (Noragric) Rohan Dsouza (Kyoto) Felix Padel (Sussex)