Saturday, 23 February 2019

Tribal Eviction from Forest Land

23 lakh tribal families face eviction following a Supreme Court order. Report here

I had taken this cartoon off my social media channels fearing polarization, and the lack of depth in my own understanding of the problem: the Supreme Court eviction order for 23 lakh + tribal families from forest land. What I have realized following discussions with people on both sides of the spectrum is that tribal rights, the FRA and this particular order, are extremely complex and layered, and it is impossible to sum this up in a single image. While some sources claim that most of the rejected land claims were illegal and unfounded in the first place, others counter that the rejection and illegalizing of these claims itself was achieved by means not entirely ethical. I would like to put forth a disclaimer that not having been on field where the worst effects of the order are being felt, my own understanding of the issue is not thorough. But what I do feel is that the general attitude of our government and legislature to oppress the marginalized and to facilitate the interests of corporations needs to change. The confusion surrounding this issue is not helping the conservation movement at all, and is in fact, turning out to be a huge blot on it. Wildlife organizations who have chosen to remain silent need to speak up and distill the minutes of the situation. I hereby request conservationists, organizations and communicators to put forth their views and perspectives in the public domain, so that extreme polarization on social media surrounding the issue is averted and readers get a better understanding of the complexities of the SC order. 

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