"SCARCITY OF LAND AND CONFLICT: CASES FROM NORTHEAST INDIA"

Authors

Konkumoni Boro
IIT Guwahati.

Abstract

Land occupies a central place in the cultural, social and political organization and economies of many nations. Beyond the economic benefits, the cultural and social values of land are enormous too. Local people and communities, who are generally decedents of the original inhabitants, have greater historic relationships to their land. Popular expressions like ‘motherland’ and ‘fatherland’ are rooted in these strong cultural and social sentiments associated with land. Because land and forests have such a critical place in human society, the access to and management of them define relationships between individuals and communities; individual and the state; and the state and communities, as well as between human society and nature. There can be two reasons for scarcity of agricultural land and forest resources; rapid population increase and governance both policy and institutional failures. This paper discusses scarcity of land and conflict caused by immigration impact on the host people and society in northeast India. The paper studies two cases one in Assam and the other in Tripura. The paper discusses how increasing resource scarcity develops a sense of insecurity among people that finally leads to conflict.