9th Class Social Science Forest Society & Colonialism

  • question_answer 6) What  were  the  similarities  between  colonial management of the forests in Bastar and Java?  

    Answer:

    Forest management of Bastar in India was in the hands of the British and in Java it was in the hands of the Dutch.   (i) The Dutch, like the British, wanted timber to build ships and to make sleepers for railway tracks.   (ii) Both the British and the Dutch enacted forest laws to control the forests and put restrictions on the customary rights of the local people. They were prevented from entering the forests, they could not graze cattle, or cut wood or take forest produce without permission.   (iii) Both the governments banned shifting cultivation.   (iv) Both the British and the Dutch introduced scientific forestry.   (v) The villagers in Bastar were allowed to stay on in the forests on the condition that they would provide free labour for the forest department in cutting and transportation of trees and protecting the forests from fire.   Similarly, in Java the Dutch imposed rents on the cultivated land in the forests and then exempted some villages if they collectively provided free labour and buffaloes for cutting and transporting timber. This system was known as the 'blandongdiensten' system.   (vi) When the exploitation by the British in Bastar and the Dutch in Java became too much, the forest communities in Bastar and Java revolted under Gunda Dhur and Surontiko Samin respectively. Both the revolts were crushed in 1910 and 1770 respectively.  

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