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5) Displaced and hounded out of their original habitats, Adivasis are now largely internally-displaced refugees. Critically comment.(250 words)

Topic – poverty and developmental issues

5) Displaced and hounded out of their original habitats, Adivasis are now largely internally-displaced refugees. Critically comment.(250 words)



Why this question

The article discusses the issues related to forest rights and how the tribal population of India has ended up getting the raw deal when it comes to forest rights. The article discusses the viewpoints of various stakeholders and how we have not been able to do justice to the tribal panchsheel policy.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the plight of the adivasi population and how by denying them their forest rights, they have been reduced to a status of refugee in their own country. The question expects us to discuss how forests have, over the past two decades, become the new contested arenas between a range of people and the impact that such contests have had on the adivasi population.

Directive word

Critically comment – When you are asked to comment, you have to pick main points and give your ‘opinion’ on them based on evidences or arguments stemming from your wide reading. Your opinion may be for or against, but you must back your argument with evidences. When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – Explain about the issue – In a writ petition (civil) No. 109/2008, filed before the SC by some ‘conservation’ groups and a few relics of the forest bureaucracy, the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 or the Forest Rights Act was assailed as being contrary to the Constitution and therefore outside the powers of Parliament to legislate.


  • Explain about the forest rights act and how it seeks to protect the interests of the traditional forest dwellers.
    • The Forest Rights Act (FRA) was an attempt to remedy this ‘historical injustice’ to the forest dwellers it recognised as ‘integral to the very survival and sustainability of the forest ecosystem’.
    • It set up a mechanism — with the Gram Sabhas as the nodal bodies — for the recognition (rather than the paternalistic ‘granting’) of the rights of these peoples to use forests in a sustainable way, for their livelihoods. It also charged these same people and the Gram Sabhas with the conservation of these natural resources.
    • procedural rights under the FRA under Rule 13 has been fraught with issues related to bureaucratic insistences
  • Discuss the viewpoint of the conservationist and the impact that lack of forest rights has had on the tribal population of the country. Explain about the tribal panchsheel policy of Nehru and how we have not implemented it in letter and in spirit. Highlight that efforts to oust the tribals have been motivated by mineral wealth exploitation etc

Conclusion – Give your view and discuss way forward.