Cultural Rights vs. Development: The Dilemma of Tribal Lands and Sacred Spaces

  • Owenson Malang and Dr. Ratnesh Kumar Srivastava
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  • Owenson Malang

    Student at Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

  • Dr. Ratnesh Kumar Srivastava

    Assistant Professor at Law College Dehradun, Uttaranchal University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India

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Using India as a case study, this book looks at the role of the state in finding a balance between the process of achieving economic development and the preservation of the rights of tribal peoples to enjoy their cultural heritage. The book attempts to identify those elements within their cultural context, which define their identity; and ‘how the process of development, often through infrastructure projects, mining and urbanization and expansion, affected the lands and places of spiritual and cultural significance’. The book focuses on development projects – energy, mining and hydroelectric projects, roads, factories, and settlements – that often threaten cultural, spiritual and historical context of the lands of tribes, which are essential for the preservation of their identity and livelihood. The vague phrase ‘unnecessary destruction of the character of any such place’ presumed that around certain sacred places there could be significant differences between a majority view of how a space should be perceived and the perception held by certain minorities who saw their identity, history and religious values tied to that space Developing Inclusive Growth and Preserving Cultural Autonomy, written by Baxi, employs analysis of the constitutional and legal frameworks of India, key judicial pronouncements, and a cross-country comparison with Brazil and Canada, to delineate the means for ‘state-led commercial activity designed to promote growth while respecting cultural diversity’. The book aims to lay the foundations of a development model ‘while subverting the colonial and inequitable partitions of rights-based entitlements. The book argues that achieving access to social and economic resources by tribal peoples and the preservation of their cultural rights can go hand in hand. It shows that the recognition of distinct identity of tribal peoples through their culture and religion is crucial for the equal political, economic and social participation for tribal peoples. Enabling tribal peoples to practice their religion, live according to their customs, and to use their sacred sites and lands is essential for the preservation of their rights.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 1484 - 1498


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