Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Time: 8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Pratiti Priyadarshini, Foundation for Ecological Security – India
Harpinder Sandhu, Federation University – Australia
Kanchi Kohli, Centre for Policy Research – India
Pooja Chandran, Foundation for Ecological Security – India
Mukta Joshi, Land Conflict Watch – India
Commons constitute 25% of the Indian territory. Legally categorised as ‘government’ or ‘public’ lands and habitually treated as ‘wastelands’, Commons are largely administered by the state. Although communities govern common pool resources through customary rules and practices, their legal title and rights usually remain unrecognised. Yet, in 2011, the SupremeCourt of India [Jagpal Singh versus State of Punjab] came forth to recognise the historical, socio-cultural significance of Commons, highlight the urgency to protect them and to pave way for new laws, policies and programmes across India. However, despite giving a fresh impetus to Commons protection, a closer inspection reveals that the implementation of the judgment is also dallying due to regulatory apathy, multiplicity of claims, complexity of land tenure system, macroeconomic pressures and lack of awareness.
This session aims to bring a theoretically and empirically-grounded perspective on Commons governance in India, ten years since the historical ‘Commons judgment’ was pronounced. The panel comprises practitioners and scholars representing different disciplines and methodological approaches, discussing pertinent issues such as:
Status of Commons in India: Where are the Commons in India? Who uses the Commons? What are the ecosystem services provided by the Commons? What is their economic value?
Demystifying the judicial pronouncement: What is India’s legal perception of Commons? How did the Supreme Court ruling influence this regulatory landscape? What challenges the translation of the Court order into policies or administrative reform?
Mapping differential progress: How and why do state administrations respond differently to the Supreme Court directives? What have been the challenges and where have the strengths prevailed? How do we bridge this gap?
Perspectives from the ground: How do we transform the normative structure of judicial decisions to make them more effective, accessible and accountable? What lessons can we draw to mitigate the new strategies of resistance against Commons protection?