Chipko movement case study

Topics: Agriculture, Natural resource, Tehri Pages: 2 (595 words) Published: December 14, 2013
The Chipko movement of the Uttarakhand region in the northwest part of India began as a communal reaction of local villagers to protect their forests from commercial deforestation practices. The term "Chipko" which literally means "to embrace", was designated to these villagers who reacted by actually hugging the trees. It became so popular that the movement spread throughout all of India and different parts of Asia. Local women of the region are central to the movement's success and continue to be its backbone. In fact over the decades, Chipko has been known for its ecofeminist strategies. This case study will examine the development of the envrionmental problems over the decades and study the social and cultural elements implicit in the communities of the Uttarkhand Himalyan region. From 1815 to 1949 Uttarakhand was divided into two kingdoms, Tehri Garhwal state and the colonial territory of Kumaun (Shiva, 7). The political structure of hill society in those two kingdoms was distinct from the rest of India in that along with the prescense of communal tradition, there was an absence of sharp class division (Shiva 14). The land was understood to belong to the community rather as a whole even though there was a caste system in place. The natural environment for the hill people consisted of a system of tillage and methods of crop rotation (Shiva 15). The production was directed towards subsistence in which the surplus was exported to Tibet and southwards to the plains. In fact, the communities living in the hill usually had six months of stock in grain with a supplement of fish, fruit, vegetable, and animal meat (Shiva, 15). The hill district constituted over 60% of owner-cultivators and 80% of the total population farmed with the help of family labour. By the turn of the century, nine-tenths of the hill men cultivated with full-ownership rights . " The absence of sharp inequalities in land ownership within body cultivating propietors --who formed bulk...
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