FOREST POLICY IN INDIA: RIGHTS FOR THE RIGHTFUL OWNERS
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High Court of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana
India owns approximately 10.4 million tribal land, which accounts for 8.6% of the total population and extends over 15% of its geographical area. Tribe has a very close relationship with the forest and their life and livelihood availability is in accordance with forest resources. The continuing effort for economic development and market pressure in the government has forced policy-makers to shift policy roles to large corporations. Since the colonial era forest policy has destroyed tribal rights on the forest and neglected their voices when making laws. In colonial times, legal and policy instruments transferred proper forest areas to the hands of the government from the hands of communities. Post-colonial law has given honor to the tribals but has not addressed human rights and livelihood issues of tribal people without any progress or development in law and administration in other areas such as land acquisition, development-induced displacement and political autonomy. . The government and our policy makers should not ignore the importance of the tribals and have the right to the latter by proper implementation of the law.