"Displacement due to development has been one of the key reasons of loss of home, livelihood and means of survivals for tribals in India."Discuss with examples.

Published: February 7, 2016

Model Answer:
Various development activities led by government has been one of the key reasons of loss of home, livelihood and their displacement from the native places. The Nehruvian development envisaged rapid industrialization of the country by construction of big dams and setting up of heavy industries. This process resulted in displacement of millions of tribals by the big dams, hydroelectric projects and public sector mining activity. On the other hand, the forest laws restricted their access to the forests and common property resources. The process of this displacement further accelerated with the economic liberalization and with more and more contracts given for mineral extraction, setting up of industries, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) etc. This had a devastating effect on the on tribals living in mineral-rich areas. However, the major problem does not only lies in their displacement, but it resides in the government’s inability to rehabilitate the displaced ones. The best example to understand the link between displacement, development and Maoism is presented by the tribals living in the Chitrakonda in Malkangiri. In 1940s, the tribals had first displaced from Koraput by Machkund Hydel Project. Most of them moved to Chitrakonda, but then in 1960s, they were again replaced by the Balimela Hydel Project. Since then their villages have remained water-locked by the Chitrakonda reservoir and are accessible only by boat. No rehabilitation or socio-economic development has taken place here for decades. There are no roads, water supply or electricity. No official visits these villages. Only the Maoists bother to come to these villages and listen to the peoples’ grievances.

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