ARTICLE : « India: Democratic Assertions – The Making Of India’s Recognition Of Forest Rights Act »

Kundan Kumar and John M. Kerr  (2012), « India: Democratic Assertions – The Making Of India’s Recognition Of Forest Rights Act », Development and Change, Volume 43, N°. 3, pp. 751 – 771.

Abstract: Inclusion of marginalized sections and minorities remains one of the most vexing problems for democratic politics. This article discusses the enactment of a recent Indian law, ‘The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Rights) Act, 2006’, as exemplifying the possibilities of inclusion of marginalized groups in democratic processes. The law was enacted in response to a nationwide mobilization of marginalized forest dwellers and their advocates demanding rights over forests. Grassroots-level formations representing forest dwellers came together across scales and spaces to form a network that successfully negotiated India’s democratic politics to achieve the passage of the law. The case illustrates the role of grassroots mobilizations in creating alternate discourses of legitimacy, networking across scales and locations, and using spaces provided by representative democracy to include the voices and demands of the marginalized in democracies.

Source : Development and Change

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