This volume explores the complexities of governance, law, and politics in India’s Scheduled Areas. The Scheduled Areas (SAs) are those parts of the country which have been identified by the Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India and are inhabited predominantly by tribal communities or Scheduled Tribes. SAs are often identified by their geographical isolation, primitive economies, and relatively egalitarian and closely knit society. Irrespective of the constitutional provision for governance and a mandate of devolution of power in terms of funds, functions and functionaries, the backwardness of these areas have remained a challenge.

This volume attempts to explore the reasons behind the disregard for legal and institutional mechanism designed for the SAs. It examines the role of the state in the neoliberal era on fund allocation and utilisation, the governance of land and forest resources, and the ineffectiveness of the existing administrative structures and processes. It also looks into the interpretations of law by the judiciary while dealing with community rights vis-à-vis the state’s prerogative of bringing development to the regions, and how development concerns are addressed in the name of ‘good governance’ by various stakeholders.

Comprehensive and topical, this volume will be useful for scholars and researchers of political studies, development studies, developmental economics, sociology and social anthropology, and for policy makers.

chapter 1|23 pages


ByVarsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Sujit Kumar

part I|75 pages


chapter 2|19 pages

Manki-Munda system of West Singhbhum

Historical overview of village governance and development
ByAsoka Kumar Sen

chapter 3|17 pages

Issues of financial governance in Scheduled Areas

ByVarsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Bhanu Shree Jain

chapter 5|22 pages

Instrumentalities of governance in a multi-ethnic nation-state

Sixth Scheduled Area governance
ByChandra Bhushan Kumar, Sonali Ghosh

part II|98 pages

Rights, legalism, and politics

chapter 6|15 pages

Mahua for Jharkhand’s Ho?

An accountability analysis of minor forest product governance
BySiddharth Sareen, Emma Jane Lord

chapter 7|18 pages

Politics of dispossession

Land, law, and protest in Jharkhand
BySujit Kumar

chapter 8|23 pages

Historical wrongs and forest rights

Nascent jurisprudence on FRA and participatory evidence making
ByShomona Khanna

chapter 9|21 pages

Left wing extremism

Re-examining challenges for development and governance in the Scheduled Areas
ByRichard Hemraj Toppo