Development and Marginalisation: Sociological Study of Tribal Land Alienation in Assam

PARTHA PRATIM BORAH

Abstract


(Abstract:

Land form an important part of the tribal life and livelihood. The nature relation that the tribes have with the land can also be seen from their high dependence in the primary sector for their livelihood. Apart from forming an important component of the tribal livelihood, land also forms an important part of the tribal culture. The distinct nature of the tribal relation with the land is characterised by their communal ownership of property that prevailed till recent times in most areas.

The process of land alienation and the associated changing ownership pattern of the land have vast impact on the tribal society and culture. The changing land ownership pattern can be traced back to the colonial rule, which brought a new pattern of revenue administration thereby creating the conditions for the changing ownership pattern from communal ownership to individual ownership. This further leads to a new pattern of class formation in the tribal society. The changing pattern of ownership of land of tribal in Assam can be categorised into three categories: alienation in the process migration, land alienation because of development projects and the changing nature of economy. They have not only changed the ownership pattern of tribal land but dispossessed them of the ownership rights that lead to the marginalisation of tribes. It is because this dispossession brings the tribes in a new cultural system which is not compatible with their social and cultural patterns.

 


Keywords


tribal society, land alienation, marginalisation

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