THE OWNERSHIP OVER COMMON PROPERTY RESOURCES: INTRODUCTION

INTRODUCTION

The ownership of common property of resources is still a contested debate in India. There is no consensus regarding the ownership of common property whether it is vested with state, individual and community. All forms of resources including land and water and other natural resources went out of the hands of communities those who preserved it from centuries. The cultural history speaks about the symbiotic relationship between tribal community and natural resources. The very character of control and management shifted from a community oriented to production, accumulation and surplus. Due to these factors Dalit and tribal have been denied any permanent right over any land or territory has only compounded that matter by making them completely dependent upon the owners and controllers of the means of production and livelihood. The relation of property in the means of production and nature of its relations among the people has also been altered.

In this context it is necessary to understand the role of common property in the life of marginalized people and how these resources are being utilized and managed for the well being of the community as a whole and the individual and what are the constraints are faced by the community for its sustainability Common property resources have a great importance in the life of poor in the world today. Common property resources continue to be an important part of community’s natural resource endowment in Less Developed Countries. Despite their valuable contributions to people’s sustenance, environmental stability, the researchers and policy makers and development thinkers have not shown adequate focus in this issue. The absence of political ideas about community organizations and actions for common benefit leaves an important area of human activity on comprehended and planning disregard of CPRs and their productive potential is a major missing dimension of rural development strategies in developing countries and reflects much of the officialdom’s indifference to environmental protection (Bushal, 2009, p. 110).

Traditionally, systems of community management of Common property resources and forest land had existed indifferent forms in many parts of the country till the end of the 19th century. A very large part of the country’s natural resources was common property, in the sense that a wide variety of necessary resources were freely available to the rural population. The process of extending state control over the common resources, which began with the declaration of “reserved” and “Protected” forests in the closing years of the 19th century, has essentially been that of exclusion of villagers’ access to common resources by law. As a result, the systems of community management gradually disintegrated and are now virtually extinct (NSSO Report.452, 1999, p.7).