Decolonising Forest Geographies: Explorations of Colonial and Post-colonial North-East India
The North-Eastern region of India, a home to about 145 tribal communities, often referred to as indigenous tribes had a distinct colonial and postcolonial experience in terms of its forest administration. Forests in the region have both economic and cultural attachments but these forest-dependent tribal communities in the region have been subjects of colonial and post-colonial monopoly of forests and itsresources. The current doctoral study focuses on the colonial forest policies and contemporary forest legislations namely, timber ban of 1996 and Forest Rights Act 2006 in the North-East states of India. This study looks at forest policies from decolonial perspective. Decolonial refers to the act of the researcher in decolonising the forest policies and the acts of the forest communities in negotiating with these forest policies. By adopting decolonial lens, this study aims to show that the tribal communities have been decolonising forest policies according to their own terms on the lines of forest practices and resistance. This contributes to decolonial geography of tribal communities in the postcolonial non-settler North-East India.
Combining archival work and historical research, this research aims to unpack coloniality of forests and its contestations in the North-East region by providing plurality of voices rather than depending only on archival materials, which are only a product of one-sided collection of records.
Supervisors: Prof. Stephen Legg and Prof. Sarah Jewitt
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