Categorisation in Forest Areas: A Study of the ‘OTFDs’ in the Forest Rights Act

DOI10.1177/00195561211051518
Date01 December 2021
Publication Date01 December 2021
AuthorKamal Nayan Choubey
SubjectArticles
Categorisation in
Forest Areas: A Study
of the ‘OTFDs’ in the
Forest Rights Act
Kamal Nayan Choubey1
Abstract
There are certain demarcated tribal areas in our country where the Scheduled
Tribes (STs) have special community rights to live their lives according to their
customs and maintain control over local natural resource management. The Sixth
Schedule and Fifth Schedule are examples of such areas, and after the enactment
of the Forest Rights Act, (FRA), 2006, there are crucial preferential provisions
for the STs in forest areas of the whole country too. This article probes the
historical development of categorisations in India, particularly in the context of
forest-dwelling communities, and attempts to examine constitutional provisions
and the provisions of different laws passed by the Parliament to evaluate the
situation of other minority communities, particularly dalits, living in ‘forest areas’.
In this context, the article primarily focuses on the genesis and practice of the
Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFDs) category. Based on the field study
of the Taungya village, the article shows the problem of categorisation in forest
areas and marginalisation of dalits due to this process and emphasises the need
for a more dialogical and democratic process of categorisation in India.
Keywords
Scheduled tribes, adivasis, dalits, OTFDs FRA
Introduction
Forest Governance has always been a contentious issue due to clashes of different
stakeholders for forest land, its resources and its habitat. For the state and entre-
preneurial classes, the valuable resources of the forests must be exploited to
ensure the enhancement of growth rate and development in the country. On the
Article
Indian Journal of Public
Administration
67(4) 639–651, 2021
© 2021 IIPA
Reprints and permissions:
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DOI: 10.1177/00195561211051518
journals.sagepub.com/home/ipa
1 Department of Political Science, Dyal Singh College, Delhi University, Delhi, India.
Corresponding author:
Kamal Nayan Choubey, 123, DA Block, Sheeshmahal Apartment, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi 110003, India.
E-mail: kamalnayanchoubey@gmail.com

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