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 The RoFR act recognizes the dwelling site, religious places, burial grounds, village council sites along with places of MFP, water resources, biodiverisity etc and also PVT tenures. As the implementation boils down to title deeds for house sites and lands under cultivation, SAKTI engaged the Chenchu youth to document their traditional knowledge in their idiom and dialect, in encouraging them to assert as inborn foresters, capable of managing these resources as envisaged in the Act.

"Since SAKTI activities are mostly issue based and covering a large area, here we concentrate on the forest-related programmes of SAKTI for the present study."


The Tribal Struggle for Property Rights

-Arun Kumar

SAKTI: Review Report by: Mukta Srivastava, Programme Officer, Oxfam GB in India - Hyderabad . DATE : 20-25 November 2002




Bhukya Bhangya

Asst. Professor of History

Nizam College,

Osmania University,


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Women and Governance in South Asia

Edited by:

Yasmin Tambiah

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Saying boo to the babus

- By C.Lokeswara Rao.
- Newstime, Wednesday 9th April, 1997.


Recent goings on in the tribal tract of West Godavari district can be viewed as a classic case of the lower rungs of administration at the grassroots level doing things their way in handling the confrontation between tribals and non-tribals over land, saying boo to the thinking of the Andhra Pradesh government as expressed in important documents like a note prepared by the chief secretary for an all-party meeting.

Officials and non-officials at various levels in the power structure had a hand in the process of alienation and encroachment of land in scheduled areas which took place over several decades and the current round of confrontation was triggered nearly two years ago, when tribals were convinced of bias in functioning of bureaucracy and felt the need to supplement legal campaigns with a show of militancy. That led to actions like preventing non-tribals from cultivating fields or harvesting crops in encroached lands in scheduled areas.

When non-tribals protested against distribution of land to tribals in Jillelagudem village of Jeelugumilli village of Jeelugumilli mandal in May, 1995, Section 145 was imposed and the SDM observed in his order that while non-tribals were unable to establish ownership of land, they could continue in the land till the appropriate authorities cancelled their title deeds. The order was passed by the very same bureaucracy which was supposed by the very same bureaucracy which was supposed to initiate such proceedings and they still have not carried out their duty in this regard.

The gravity of the problems caused by the ongoing confrontation can be assessed from the fact that cultivation has been abandoned for the last two years in about 10,000 acres of land in areas beyond Kovvada canal.

A note prepared by M.S.Rajajee, chief secretary, for a meeting in the chief minister's chamber on February 17 gives ample indications of the government's thinking, though the all-party meeting called on February 17 did not take place for some reasons. The decisions made by the government with the approval of chief minister Chandrabau Naidu reflect keenness to help tribals who have suffered due to apathy and bias on the part of the administration.

The government was to initiate measures like verification of claims of tribals pertaining to lands held by non-tribals, identification of government lands which could be assigned in favour of tribals, action to keep tribals in possession of (government, cases decided under LTR and ceiling surplus) where ownership has been given to tribals and identification of poromboke lands where ek-sala(one year) lease can be granted to tribals.

The chief secretary's note also mentioned that the West Godavari collector was to identify all the criminal cases booked against, tribals and non-tribals (except serious cases relating to murder, grievous hurt and rape) in consultation with public prosecutor, peace monitoring committees headed by Revenue Divisional Officers and the SP, and send details to government for a decision to withdraw the cases as per legal provisions. The collector had informed the government that 146 cases booked against tribals and 176 cases booked against non-tribals were under examination by the public prosecutor and that those would be finalised and sent to government for withdrawal.

While making up its mind to withdraw cases filed in connection with the West Godavari confrontation, the government was aware of three major incidents which were listed in the note the chief secretary prepared: trespass by about 300 tribals nto the lands of non-tribals in Buttayagudem and Reddiganapavaram mandal (14-12-96) tension in Reddyganapavaram and neighboring villages leading to promulgating of Section 144 (28-12-96) and tension in Dharbagudem and Panduvarigudem villages of Jeelugumilli mandal which was brought under control after the intervention of RDO, Kovvuru. These clashes formed the backdrop for a high level meeting called in Hyderabad on December 30, 1996 and the various decisions listed by the chief secretary, including the decision to ask collector to send details for initiation of the legal process for withdrawal of criminal cases, were taken at that meeting on 30-12-96.

Though the all-party meeting convened by government in the chief minister's chamber was not held for some reasons which had for some reasons which had nothing to do with the West Godavari developments, the failure to hold meeting of legislators had no bearing on the decisions listed in the chief secretary's note. The government never said anything about reversing any of the decisions mentioned by the chief secretary.

And yet, the local administration unleashed repression in the agency areas in March, i.e. long after the circulation of the chief secretary's note spelling out the government's decisions and hundreds of arrests were made towards the end of march in connection with the clashes which took place in December last.

That is, arrests were made in relation to cases which were to be withdrawn after the government had initiated the process by getting collector to have details verified by collector in consultation with public prosecutor.

The chief secretary's note mentions that the chief minister and the chief secretary had held periodical and regular reviews to monitor the situation and the note concludes with the lines, "The situation is being monitored regularly at the highest level in the Government".

If the bureaucracy at mandal level can get away with actions contrary to the spirit of government's decisions, so much for monitoring.

The tragedy is that the charade of concern at the state government's level and repression at the grassroots level is being enacted in one tribal tract where Naxalites have not yet gained a foothold and the struggle for land is led by mainstream elements like voluntary agency Sakthi and CPM though a couple of splinter Naxal groups have a presence.




W.P. No. 5515/87 M.P.No.7398/87 Date:May 1987

W.P. No. 6175/87 M.P.No.8273/87 Date:May 1987

 "Managing Director Godavari plywoods ltd. Rampachodavaram E.G.Dt. be and hereby is directed not to cut any mango trees, jamun and jack trees and cutting the forests of Maredumilli mandal, E.G.Dt."

 Only matured or dying trees were to be felled. Jeelugu (Caryota urens) palm, trees yielding minor forest produce like tamarind or cane brakes, creepers were not to be touched. A gap of 20 meters from a stream.)         --Times of India, April 30, 1991.


The candidate has chosen a topical subject, very relevant to our thinking on culture, cognition and language. He has red widely and is familiar with the literature that matters. His linguistic and anthropological reasoning is sound. His language is clear and simple.

...evidence of the investigator's ability as a linguist by special training and as a linguistic anthropologist by self - cultivated interest.

Prof. A.Munirathnam Reddy, Head, Department of Social Anthropology,S.V.University, Tirupati - 517502


Enabling the Community to Gain Command Over the Administrative Process is Empowerment.


"Today the development is manaement without governance and governanace is without proper participation."



A.P.Cabinet Sub - Committee Report on Left Wing Extrremists. - P.Sivaramakrishna.

The only information the government or media always compile carefully is on Naxalite encounters, never the violations of the instruments of rule of law such as minimum wages, fifth schedule, mismanagement of forests, equity in the distribution of welfare benefits, displacement, fragmentation of Socio-economic entities etc. 



if the R & R is found to be lagging with reference to the fixed bench marks, the construction should accordingly be deferred / stopped;



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