Rudresh Mandal & Sathvik Chandrasekhar demonstrate the brazen disdain
exhibited by the State and the mining lobby towards the violation of Adivasi Land Rights.

Abstract

The adivasis of India today constitute a community marginalised by decades of historical injustice. The forests they traditionally occupy are regarded merely as natural endowments, valuable only for resource extraction. The adivasis residing in these forests – located in the mineral rich states of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have thus had to face maximum victimization at the hands of a tyrannical development agenda. This paper argues that the eventual outcome of adherence to the anthropocentric legislations enacted for the upliftment of adivasis is ecocentric in nature. While legislations such as the Scheduled Tribes And Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition Of Forest
Rights) Act, 2006, Right To Fair Compensation And Transparency In Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation And Resettlement Act, 2013 and the Panchayat (Extension To Scheduled Areas) Act 1996 formalize inter alia the adivasis’
right to free, prior and informed consent and usage of forest resources, this paper seeks to demonstrate the brazen disdain exhibited by the State and the mining lobby towards the aforementioned laws. Contextualising the said noncompliance with the law, Part I of this paper examines the historical injustice faced by the adivasis, and subsequently elucidates the manner in which adivasis construct their
identity around their land. Part II then examines the existent legal framework on adivasi rights. It goes on to note a trend, wherein the legal regime, is largely anthropocentric in nature.
Basing itself on such finding, Part III of this paper demonstrates the chasm (and not a mere gap) that exists between precept and practice, and connects this noncompliance to the erosion of the adivasi cultural identity. Part IV puts forth that while the said legislations are underscored by anthropocentric ideologies, if complied with, they translate into a realm of environmental protection, that is, a robust ecocentric paradigm.