Colonialism and conservation: Commercialisation of forests and decline of tribals in Madras Presidency, 1882–1947
Velayutham Saravanan, , Saravanan.JMI@gmail.com
Velayutham Saravanan (2011), "Colonialism and conservation: Commercialisation of forests and decline of tribals in Madras Presidency, 1882–1947", Journal of Forest Economics: Vol. 17: No. 4, pp 337-362. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jfe.2010.12.001
This article attempts to analyse the colonial forest policy and its impact on the environment and tribals in Madras Presidency during the post-Forest Act period (1882–1947). During this period, the colonial regime has actively encouraged commercialisation of forest resources while several restrictions were clamped up on the tribals and other forest users. Here it is argued that the initiatives of the state towards conservation were primarily intended to curtail the access enjoyed by tribals and other forest users to facilitate commercial exploitation. Plunder of forest wealth continued unhindered in a systematic manner leading to denudation of vast stretches of green cover and a drastic decline in the living conditions of the tribals in Madras Presidency.