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The Land Question in IndiaState, Dispossession, and Capitalist Transition$
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Anthony P. D'Costa and Achin Chakraborty

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198792444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198792444.001.0001

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Land and Dispossession

Land and Dispossession

The Criticalities in the Hills of Northeast India

(p.302) 13 Land and Dispossession
The Land Question in India

Gorky Chakraborty

Asok Kumar Ray

Oxford University Press

Chakraborty and Ray discuss the ‘land question’ by critically examining the appropriation of community land and subsequent dispossession of the tribes embedded in the social economy of the hills of Northeast India. They state that the historico-epistemological hiatus between the customary law abiding tribes vis-à-vis the positive law imposing state appears to be fundamental in understanding the difference between the two contrasting interpretations of property rights enacted in the highlands of the region. The trivialization of community land and dispossession of the tribal masses in Manipur, Meghalaya, and Tripura suggests that constitutional protections have fallen short in protecting the community resources of the tribes. The hydropower projects in Arunachal Pradesh and the threats of dispossession of the communities under the hegemony of state-business collusion represent the continuing process of appropriation of the community resources in the hill areas.

Keywords:   Northeast India, tribes, community land, dispossession, hydropower, social economy, property rights, customary law

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