For the last few decades and more particularly since 1990’s the issue of human rights-violation of rights to life and livelihood of tribal peoples’ is a central concern. Therefore, the discourse on tribal movements and issues of tribal livelihood revolved around securing their well-defined rights on land and forest resources. This paper attempts to critically review major tribal policies and programmes of the state of Orissa. It tries to assess the impact of and changing perspectives regarding development programmes that affect the livelihood resources of the tribal people. The paper also tries to review various methods of articulation of collective concerns of tribal people with regard to the promotion and protection of their natural resources based livelihood.
The experience in Orissa shows that tribal peoples’ protest movements, however well organised, have to take cognisance of the powerful interests of economic elite and industrial capital - both domestic and foreign - that wield considerable political power. Protest movements by the tribal people of Orissa in different pockets have attracted the attention of policy makers, bureaucrats, academia and activists across the world. These movements have contributed to strengthening the sporadic articulations by tribal people to organised protests and have led to the recognition that there is need to review the approaches and strategies of development interventions of the state as well as streamline the development programmes.
CPRC-IIPA Working Paper 51. 49 pp.