ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Politics of Ecology-The Debate on Wildlife and People in India, 1970-95

The Debate on Wildlife and People in India, 1970-95 Mahesh Rangarajan If the older preservationist agenda looks like it is in deep trouble, it still has a lot of life left in it. The preservationists' shortcoming was their reliance on the state machinery, in particular on the legislative and executive power of the union government. But neither a technocracy or bureaucracy acting as the arbiter of conflicts nor a free market system which may tilt towards privatisation of open access resources would address ecological issues adequately, whereas the assertion of people's rights has the potential for a different kind of conservation-oriented control of their lives and lands. The question then becomes one of working out a new set of relations with the forest which will be enduring both for the people and the natural world. How this will be done at a time of demographic growth and agrarian intensification will be a major challenge and site-specific approaches will play a vital role.

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