Chapter : 1. Forest Society and Colonialism

Forest Communities Of India

The history of Indian tribes is replete with instances of protests and rebellions due to the imposition of such rules and regulations that not only changed their lives but also increased their hardships. Some of the more famous tribal revolts were the Munda rebellion led by Birsa Munda of Chotanagpur, the Santhal rebellion led by Sidhu and Kanu, revolts in Southern states like that led by Alluri Sitarama Raju. All these raised their voice against the curbs imposed on their natural rights to forests by an alien authority. Through a case study of the tribal revolt of Bastar in 1910 an attempt has been made to explain the diverse factors involved in causing unrest amongst the forest societies. Situated in the heart of India, surrounded by the states of Orissa, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, Bastar is presently located in the state of Chattisgarh. Home to several tribes like the Gonds, Murias, Bhatras and Dhurwas, its chief river is Indravati while Godavari runs through the southern border.

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