The Potential of the Forest Rights Act

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Neoliberalism in India, rather than consisting of a wholesale withdrawal of the state, has seen its rollback in some spheres and an expansion in others. In the last few decades the state has withdrawn from providing basic goods and services, but has taken a much more active role in promoting new avenues of profitable investment (e.g., those associated with free market environmentalism, facilitating the process of commodification of goods and services that were previously outside the ambit of the capitalist market, and facilitating the privatization of state property). The Indian state has therefore played an active role in original accumulation, which involves the dispossession and expropriation of land from marginalized people in rural and urban areas, as well as ensuring that adequate resources (e.g., natural resources) are available to satisfy the ever-increasing demands of capital. It is in this context that the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA), hailed as a “historic” legislation was passed. - See more at: