BR Hills

Revisiting the tigers-versus-tribals trope

by MD Madhusudan, NS Prashanth & Pavithra Sankaran   (An edited version of this article appeared in Down To Earth on 24 July, 2019)   The Supreme Court petition filed by hardline conservationists questioning the constitutional validity of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 (FRA) is stoking fears that recognising the land and other rights of […]

At a crossroads

 Siddhesha loaded his belongings on a bullock cart and looked at his home. A flood of memories flowed before his eyes. He saw himself as a child running in the courtyard of their village home while his mother pleaded with him to finish the last ball of raagi . He saw a rebellious and angry […]

Islands in peril

It is not often that our national newspapers carry informed and thoughtful articles about ecology and conservation, especially concerning our islands and coasts. The Hindu, taking a lead on this, has published a series of six articles in the Sunday Magazine spanning concerns in ecology and society in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The articles […]

இடைவெளியும் இடையூறும்

அண்ணாந்து பார்த்துக் கிடந்தது அந்த அணில், சாலையின் நடுவில். அது சாதாரண அணில் அல்ல, மேற்குத்தொடர்ச்சி மலைத் தொடரில் வாழும் மலையணில். வண்டியை விட்டு இறங்கி அருகில் சென்று பார்த்தபோது அதன் முகத்திலிருந்து இன்னமும் இரத்தம் வடிந்து கொண்டிருந்தது, வயிற்றின் உள்ளிருந்து குடல் பகுதி வெளியே வந்து கிடந்தது. சாலையைக் கடக்கும் போது ஏதோ ஒரு வாகனத்தில் அடிபட்டு பரிதாபமாக இறந்து போய், அதன் வெண்மஞ்சளான அடிப்பாகம் தெரிய வானத்தைப் பார்த்து அண்ணாந்து கிடந்தது அந்த மலையணில். […]

Conserving wildlife as if democracy matters

Since 2006, the environment ministry has demarcated and declared thirty-nine Critical Tiger Habitats—the core of our tiger reserves. Every one of them, wrote activist CR Bijoy recently, is illegal. To understand this extraordinary allegation, we need to step back in time, to our most recent “tiger crisis”. One morning in the summer of 2005, our […]

Nobody’s heroes: our forgotten forest watchers

M D Madhusudan & Pavithra Sankaran It was an hour after dawn. Siddarama, a forest watcher, was walking to the Tiger Reserve’s headquarters from his village a good six kilometres away, when he heard the faint sound of voices. Suspicious, he approached quietly, and saw three men sitting by a stream, smoking and chatting. Two […]