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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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The Adivasi Land Question in the Neoliberal Era

The Adivasi Land Question in the Neoliberal Era

Chapter:
(p.176) 7 The Adivasi Land Question in the Neoliberal Era
Source:
The Land Question in India
Author(s):

Rajesh Bhattacharya

Snehashish Bhattacharya

Kaveri Gill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198792444.003.0008

Since the mid-1980s, the Indian state has enacted a series of radical legislations granting administrative autonomy to tribal communities (adivasis) and recognizing their community rights over natural resources. The adivasis, who are intimately connected to forest lands for their subsistence and through cultural practices, have long resisted encroachment of these resources by capital and by the state acting on capital’s behalf. These legislations are celebrated as a victory for constraining capital to access natural resources at its will. This chapter argues, however, that such politico-juridical interventions also points to the emergence of a more protean neoliberal governance structure. As commodified adivasi land refuses to be encompassed by the logic of market—the neoliberal order may seek to instrumentally use these legislations to clearly define property rights over resources, which can then form the basis of negotiations with the adivasi communities over land for the benefit of capital.

Keywords:   tribal communities, adivasis, state, radical legislations, neoliberal order, property rights

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