Resource conflicts and the indigenous peoples‘ autonomy movement in Jharkhand, India
Talk by Sanjay Basu Mullick (in English)
Thursday, 25. October 2012, 18:30 – 20:00,
Room F 012, Universität Bern, Unitobler, Lerchenweg 36.
The Indian state of Jharkhand was founded in 2000 after a long struggle for independence.
Jharkhand is part of the central Indian ‚tribal belt‘ with a high proportion of ‚Adivasi‘ (or
‚original inhabitants‘) and extensive forests. It’s rich in natural resources, especially coal and
other minerals and metals. The historic resistance of the Adivasi against the expropriation
of their ancestral lands and forest took the form of a series of insurrections against the British
colonizers, such as the famous ‚Birsa Munda‘ uprising from 1895 to 1900, and turned into
a civil disobedience movement in independent India.
With the neoliberal economic reforms from the mid 90ies and the subsequent economic
boom, the pressure on Jharkhands‘ resources has increased. Various grassroots movements
try do defend the Adivasis rights over land, water and forest by democratic means.
Simultaneously, the armed conflict between the Maoist guerrilla and the state’s security
forces puts them under heavy pressure due to the militarization of the forest areas – what
some observers believe to be a strategy to displace the rightful owners of the land to clear
the way for the exploitation of natural resources by mining corporations.
Sanjay Basu Mullick, activist and researcher, was one of the most notable
leaders of the Jharkhand autonomy movement. Currently he is a senior adviser for the grass-
roots organization „Jharkhand Save the Forest Movement“ and the „Institute of Community
Forest Governance“. He published various books on the Jharkhand Movement and forest rights.
organized by infoe CH (Institut für Ökologie und Aktions-Ethnologie)
- Website of „Jharkhand Save the Forest Movement“ (Jharkhand Jangal Bachao Andolan, JJBA) and „Institute of Community Forest Governance“: forestmovement.com; presentation of activities on FoE Finland website.
- Bindrai Institute for Research Study & Action (B.I.R.S.A.), Jharkhand
- Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination Committee (JMACC)
- Jharkhand Mirror blog on indigenous issues
- National Forum for Forest People and Forest Workers on Delhi Solidarity Group blog and on New Trade Union Initiative website, and its Dehradun Declaration
- Mines, Minerals and People (mm&P)
- Article on coal extraction in central India and impact on forests, MinesandCommunities.org