NCERT Textbook - Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes | EduRev

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Class 9 : NCERT Textbook - Forest Society and Colonialism Class 9 Notes | EduRev

 Page 1


 Forest Society and Colonialism
75
In Section II we will shift our focus to the study of livelihoods and economies. We
will look at how the lives of forest dwellers, pastoralists and peasants changed in the
modern world and how they played a part in shaping these changes.
All too often in looking at the emergence of the modern world, we only focus on
factories and cities, on the industrial and agricultural sectors which supply the market.
But we forget that there are other economies outside these sectors, other people too
who matter to the nation. To modern eyes, the lives of pastoralists and forest dwellers,
the shifting cultivators and food gatherers often seem to be stuck in the past. It is as
if their lives are not important when we study the emergence of the contemporary
world. The chapters in Section II will suggest that we need to know about their
lives, see how they organise their world and operate their economies. These
communities are very much part of the modern world we live in today. They are
not simply survivors from a bygone era.
Chapter IV will take you into the forest and tell you about the variety of ways the
forests were used by communities living within them. It will show how in the
nineteenth century the growth of industries and urban centres,  ships and railways,
created a new demand on the forests for timber and other forest products. New
demands led to new rules of forest use, new ways of organising the forest. You will
see how colonial control was established over the forests, how forest areas were
mapped, trees were classified, and plantations were developed. All these developments
affected the lives of those local communities who used forest resources. They were
forced to operate within new systems and reorganise their lives. But they also rebelled
against the rules and persuaded the state to change its policies. The chapter will give
you an idea of the history of such developments in India and Indonesia.
SECTION II
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
Page 2


 Forest Society and Colonialism
75
In Section II we will shift our focus to the study of livelihoods and economies. We
will look at how the lives of forest dwellers, pastoralists and peasants changed in the
modern world and how they played a part in shaping these changes.
All too often in looking at the emergence of the modern world, we only focus on
factories and cities, on the industrial and agricultural sectors which supply the market.
But we forget that there are other economies outside these sectors, other people too
who matter to the nation. To modern eyes, the lives of pastoralists and forest dwellers,
the shifting cultivators and food gatherers often seem to be stuck in the past. It is as
if their lives are not important when we study the emergence of the contemporary
world. The chapters in Section II will suggest that we need to know about their
lives, see how they organise their world and operate their economies. These
communities are very much part of the modern world we live in today. They are
not simply survivors from a bygone era.
Chapter IV will take you into the forest and tell you about the variety of ways the
forests were used by communities living within them. It will show how in the
nineteenth century the growth of industries and urban centres,  ships and railways,
created a new demand on the forests for timber and other forest products. New
demands led to new rules of forest use, new ways of organising the forest. You will
see how colonial control was established over the forests, how forest areas were
mapped, trees were classified, and plantations were developed. All these developments
affected the lives of those local communities who used forest resources. They were
forced to operate within new systems and reorganise their lives. But they also rebelled
against the rules and persuaded the state to change its policies. The chapter will give
you an idea of the history of such developments in India and Indonesia.
SECTION II
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
India and the Contemporary World
76
Chapter V will track the movements of the pastoralists in the mountains and deserts,
in the plains and plateaus of India and Africa. Pastoral communities in both these
areas form an important segment of the population. Yet we rarely study their lives.
Their histories do not enter the pages of textbooks.  Chapter V will show how their
lives were affected by the controls established over the forest, the expansion of agri-
culture, and the decline of grazing fields. It will tell you about the patterns of their
movements, their relationships to other communities, and the way they adjust to
changing situations.
In Chapter VI we will read about the changes in the lives of peasants and farmers. We
will discuss the developments in India, England and the USA. Over the last two
centuries there have been major changes in the way agriculture is organised. New
technology and new demands, new rules and laws, new ideas of property have
radically changed the rural world. The growth of capitalism and colonialism have
altered rural lives. Chapter VI will introduce you to these changes, and show how
different groups of people ? the poor and rich, men and women, adults and children
? were affected in different ways.
We cannot understand the making of the contemporary world unless we begin to see
the changes in the lives of diverse communities and people. We also cannot understand
the problems of modernisation unless we look at its impact on the environment.
Page 3


 Forest Society and Colonialism
75
In Section II we will shift our focus to the study of livelihoods and economies. We
will look at how the lives of forest dwellers, pastoralists and peasants changed in the
modern world and how they played a part in shaping these changes.
All too often in looking at the emergence of the modern world, we only focus on
factories and cities, on the industrial and agricultural sectors which supply the market.
But we forget that there are other economies outside these sectors, other people too
who matter to the nation. To modern eyes, the lives of pastoralists and forest dwellers,
the shifting cultivators and food gatherers often seem to be stuck in the past. It is as
if their lives are not important when we study the emergence of the contemporary
world. The chapters in Section II will suggest that we need to know about their
lives, see how they organise their world and operate their economies. These
communities are very much part of the modern world we live in today. They are
not simply survivors from a bygone era.
Chapter IV will take you into the forest and tell you about the variety of ways the
forests were used by communities living within them. It will show how in the
nineteenth century the growth of industries and urban centres,  ships and railways,
created a new demand on the forests for timber and other forest products. New
demands led to new rules of forest use, new ways of organising the forest. You will
see how colonial control was established over the forests, how forest areas were
mapped, trees were classified, and plantations were developed. All these developments
affected the lives of those local communities who used forest resources. They were
forced to operate within new systems and reorganise their lives. But they also rebelled
against the rules and persuaded the state to change its policies. The chapter will give
you an idea of the history of such developments in India and Indonesia.
SECTION II
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
India and the Contemporary World
76
Chapter V will track the movements of the pastoralists in the mountains and deserts,
in the plains and plateaus of India and Africa. Pastoral communities in both these
areas form an important segment of the population. Yet we rarely study their lives.
Their histories do not enter the pages of textbooks.  Chapter V will show how their
lives were affected by the controls established over the forest, the expansion of agri-
culture, and the decline of grazing fields. It will tell you about the patterns of their
movements, their relationships to other communities, and the way they adjust to
changing situations.
In Chapter VI we will read about the changes in the lives of peasants and farmers. We
will discuss the developments in India, England and the USA. Over the last two
centuries there have been major changes in the way agriculture is organised. New
technology and new demands, new rules and laws, new ideas of property have
radically changed the rural world. The growth of capitalism and colonialism have
altered rural lives. Chapter VI will introduce you to these changes, and show how
different groups of people ? the poor and rich, men and women, adults and children
? were affected in different ways.
We cannot understand the making of the contemporary world unless we begin to see
the changes in the lives of diverse communities and people. We also cannot understand
the problems of modernisation unless we look at its impact on the environment.
 Forest Society and Colonialism
77
Take a quick look around your school and home and identify all
the things that come from forests: the paper in the book you are
reading, desks and tables, doors and windows, the dyes that colour
your clothes, spices in your food, the cellophane wrapper of your
toffee, tendu leaf in bidis, gum, honey, coffee, tea and rubber. Do
not miss out the oil in chocolates, which comes from sal seeds, the
tannin used to convert skins and hides into leather, or the herbs
and roots used for medicinal purposes. Forests also provide bamboo,
wood for fuel, grass, charcoal, packaging, fruits, flowers, animals,
birds and many other things. In the Amazon forests or in the
Western Ghats, it is possible to find as many as 500 different plant
species in one forest patch.
A lot of this diversity is fast disappearing. Between 1700 and 1995,
the period of industrialisation, 13.9 million sq km of forest or 9.3
per cent of the world?s total area was cleared for industrial uses,
cultivation, pastures and fuelwood.
Forest Society and Colonialism
Forest Society and Forest Society and Forest Society and Forest Society and Forest Society and
Colonialism Colonialism Colonialism Colonialism Colonialism
Fig.1 ? A sal forest in Chhattisgarh.
Look at the different heights of the trees and plants in this
picture, and the variety of species. This is a dense forest,
so very little sunlight falls on the forest floor.
Chapter IV
Page 4


 Forest Society and Colonialism
75
In Section II we will shift our focus to the study of livelihoods and economies. We
will look at how the lives of forest dwellers, pastoralists and peasants changed in the
modern world and how they played a part in shaping these changes.
All too often in looking at the emergence of the modern world, we only focus on
factories and cities, on the industrial and agricultural sectors which supply the market.
But we forget that there are other economies outside these sectors, other people too
who matter to the nation. To modern eyes, the lives of pastoralists and forest dwellers,
the shifting cultivators and food gatherers often seem to be stuck in the past. It is as
if their lives are not important when we study the emergence of the contemporary
world. The chapters in Section II will suggest that we need to know about their
lives, see how they organise their world and operate their economies. These
communities are very much part of the modern world we live in today. They are
not simply survivors from a bygone era.
Chapter IV will take you into the forest and tell you about the variety of ways the
forests were used by communities living within them. It will show how in the
nineteenth century the growth of industries and urban centres,  ships and railways,
created a new demand on the forests for timber and other forest products. New
demands led to new rules of forest use, new ways of organising the forest. You will
see how colonial control was established over the forests, how forest areas were
mapped, trees were classified, and plantations were developed. All these developments
affected the lives of those local communities who used forest resources. They were
forced to operate within new systems and reorganise their lives. But they also rebelled
against the rules and persuaded the state to change its policies. The chapter will give
you an idea of the history of such developments in India and Indonesia.
SECTION II
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
India and the Contemporary World
76
Chapter V will track the movements of the pastoralists in the mountains and deserts,
in the plains and plateaus of India and Africa. Pastoral communities in both these
areas form an important segment of the population. Yet we rarely study their lives.
Their histories do not enter the pages of textbooks.  Chapter V will show how their
lives were affected by the controls established over the forest, the expansion of agri-
culture, and the decline of grazing fields. It will tell you about the patterns of their
movements, their relationships to other communities, and the way they adjust to
changing situations.
In Chapter VI we will read about the changes in the lives of peasants and farmers. We
will discuss the developments in India, England and the USA. Over the last two
centuries there have been major changes in the way agriculture is organised. New
technology and new demands, new rules and laws, new ideas of property have
radically changed the rural world. The growth of capitalism and colonialism have
altered rural lives. Chapter VI will introduce you to these changes, and show how
different groups of people ? the poor and rich, men and women, adults and children
? were affected in different ways.
We cannot understand the making of the contemporary world unless we begin to see
the changes in the lives of diverse communities and people. We also cannot understand
the problems of modernisation unless we look at its impact on the environment.
 Forest Society and Colonialism
77
Take a quick look around your school and home and identify all
the things that come from forests: the paper in the book you are
reading, desks and tables, doors and windows, the dyes that colour
your clothes, spices in your food, the cellophane wrapper of your
toffee, tendu leaf in bidis, gum, honey, coffee, tea and rubber. Do
not miss out the oil in chocolates, which comes from sal seeds, the
tannin used to convert skins and hides into leather, or the herbs
and roots used for medicinal purposes. Forests also provide bamboo,
wood for fuel, grass, charcoal, packaging, fruits, flowers, animals,
birds and many other things. In the Amazon forests or in the
Western Ghats, it is possible to find as many as 500 different plant
species in one forest patch.
A lot of this diversity is fast disappearing. Between 1700 and 1995,
the period of industrialisation, 13.9 million sq km of forest or 9.3
per cent of the world?s total area was cleared for industrial uses,
cultivation, pastures and fuelwood.
Forest Society and Colonialism
Forest Society and Forest Society and Forest Society and Forest Society and Forest Society and
Colonialism Colonialism Colonialism Colonialism Colonialism
Fig.1 ? A sal forest in Chhattisgarh.
Look at the different heights of the trees and plants in this
picture, and the variety of species. This is a dense forest,
so very little sunlight falls on the forest floor.
Chapter IV
India and the Contemporary World
78
The disappearance of forests is referred to as deforestation.
Deforestation is not a recent problem. The process began many
centuries ago; but under colonial rule it became more systematic and
extensive.  Let us look at some of the causes of deforestation in India.
1.1 Land to be Improved
In 1600, approximately one-sixth of India?s landmass was under
cultivation. Now that figure has gone up to about half. As population
increased over the centuries and the demand for food went up,
peasants extended the boundaries of cultivation, clearing forests and
breaking new land. In the colonial period, cultivation expanded
rapidly for a variety of reasons. First, the British directly encouraged
1  Why Deforestation?
Fig.2 ? When the valleys were full. Painting by John Dawson.
Native Americans like the Lakota tribe who lived in the Great North American Plains had a diversified economy. They
cultivated maize, foraged for wild plants and hunted bison. Keeping vast areas open for the bison to range in was seen by
the English settlers as wasteful. After the 1860s the bisons were killed in large numbers.
Page 5


 Forest Society and Colonialism
75
In Section II we will shift our focus to the study of livelihoods and economies. We
will look at how the lives of forest dwellers, pastoralists and peasants changed in the
modern world and how they played a part in shaping these changes.
All too often in looking at the emergence of the modern world, we only focus on
factories and cities, on the industrial and agricultural sectors which supply the market.
But we forget that there are other economies outside these sectors, other people too
who matter to the nation. To modern eyes, the lives of pastoralists and forest dwellers,
the shifting cultivators and food gatherers often seem to be stuck in the past. It is as
if their lives are not important when we study the emergence of the contemporary
world. The chapters in Section II will suggest that we need to know about their
lives, see how they organise their world and operate their economies. These
communities are very much part of the modern world we live in today. They are
not simply survivors from a bygone era.
Chapter IV will take you into the forest and tell you about the variety of ways the
forests were used by communities living within them. It will show how in the
nineteenth century the growth of industries and urban centres,  ships and railways,
created a new demand on the forests for timber and other forest products. New
demands led to new rules of forest use, new ways of organising the forest. You will
see how colonial control was established over the forests, how forest areas were
mapped, trees were classified, and plantations were developed. All these developments
affected the lives of those local communities who used forest resources. They were
forced to operate within new systems and reorganise their lives. But they also rebelled
against the rules and persuaded the state to change its policies. The chapter will give
you an idea of the history of such developments in India and Indonesia.
SECTION II
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
LIVELIHOODS, ECONOMIES AND SOCIETIES
India and the Contemporary World
76
Chapter V will track the movements of the pastoralists in the mountains and deserts,
in the plains and plateaus of India and Africa. Pastoral communities in both these
areas form an important segment of the population. Yet we rarely study their lives.
Their histories do not enter the pages of textbooks.  Chapter V will show how their
lives were affected by the controls established over the forest, the expansion of agri-
culture, and the decline of grazing fields. It will tell you about the patterns of their
movements, their relationships to other communities, and the way they adjust to
changing situations.
In Chapter VI we will read about the changes in the lives of peasants and farmers. We
will discuss the developments in India, England and the USA. Over the last two
centuries there have been major changes in the way agriculture is organised. New
technology and new demands, new rules and laws, new ideas of property have
radically changed the rural world. The growth of capitalism and colonialism have
altered rural lives. Chapter VI will introduce you to these changes, and show how
different groups of people ? the poor and rich, men and women, adults and children
? were affected in different ways.
We cannot understand the making of the contemporary world unless we begin to see
the changes in the lives of diverse communities and people. We also cannot understand
the problems of modernisation unless we look at its impact on the environment.
 Forest Society and Colonialism
77
Take a quick look around your school and home and identify all
the things that come from forests: the paper in the book you are
reading, desks and tables, doors and windows, the dyes that colour
your clothes, spices in your food, the cellophane wrapper of your
toffee, tendu leaf in bidis, gum, honey, coffee, tea and rubber. Do
not miss out the oil in chocolates, which comes from sal seeds, the
tannin used to convert skins and hides into leather, or the herbs
and roots used for medicinal purposes. Forests also provide bamboo,
wood for fuel, grass, charcoal, packaging, fruits, flowers, animals,
birds and many other things. In the Amazon forests or in the
Western Ghats, it is possible to find as many as 500 different plant
species in one forest patch.
A lot of this diversity is fast disappearing. Between 1700 and 1995,
the period of industrialisation, 13.9 million sq km of forest or 9.3
per cent of the world?s total area was cleared for industrial uses,
cultivation, pastures and fuelwood.
Forest Society and Colonialism
Forest Society and Forest Society and Forest Society and Forest Society and Forest Society and
Colonialism Colonialism Colonialism Colonialism Colonialism
Fig.1 ? A sal forest in Chhattisgarh.
Look at the different heights of the trees and plants in this
picture, and the variety of species. This is a dense forest,
so very little sunlight falls on the forest floor.
Chapter IV
India and the Contemporary World
78
The disappearance of forests is referred to as deforestation.
Deforestation is not a recent problem. The process began many
centuries ago; but under colonial rule it became more systematic and
extensive.  Let us look at some of the causes of deforestation in India.
1.1 Land to be Improved
In 1600, approximately one-sixth of India?s landmass was under
cultivation. Now that figure has gone up to about half. As population
increased over the centuries and the demand for food went up,
peasants extended the boundaries of cultivation, clearing forests and
breaking new land. In the colonial period, cultivation expanded
rapidly for a variety of reasons. First, the British directly encouraged
1  Why Deforestation?
Fig.2 ? When the valleys were full. Painting by John Dawson.
Native Americans like the Lakota tribe who lived in the Great North American Plains had a diversified economy. They
cultivated maize, foraged for wild plants and hunted bison. Keeping vast areas open for the bison to range in was seen by
the English settlers as wasteful. After the 1860s the bisons were killed in large numbers.
 Forest Society and Colonialism
79
Source A
The idea that uncultivated land had to
be taken over and improved was popular
with colonisers everywhere in the world.
It was an argument that justified
conquest.
In 1896 the American writer, Richard
Harding, wrote on the Honduras in
Central America:
?There is no more interesting question of
the present day than that of what is to
be done with the world?s land which is
lying unimproved; whether it shall go to
the great power that is willing to turn it
to account, or remain with its original
owner, who fails to understand its value.
The Central Americans are like a gang of
semi-barbarians in a beautifully furnished
house, of which they can understand
neither its possibilities of comfort nor its
use.?
Three years later the American-owned
United Fruit Company was founded, and
grew bananas on an industrial scale in
Central America.  The company acquired
such power over the governments of
these countries that they came to be
known as Banana Republics.
Quoted in David Spurr, The Rhetoric of
Empire, (1993).
the production of commercial crops like jute, sugar, wheat and
cotton. The demand for these crops increased in nineteenth-century
Europe where foodgrains were needed to feed the growing urban
population and raw materials were required for industrial
production. Second,  in the early nineteenth century, the colonial
state thought that forests were unproductive. They were considered
to be wilderness that had to be brought under cultivation so that
the land could yield agricultural products and revenue, and enhance
the income of the state. So between 1880 and 1920, cultivated area
rose by 6.7 million hectares.
We always see the expansion of cultivation as a sign of progress.
But we should not forget that for land to be brought under the
plough, forests have to be cleared.
1.2 Sleepers on the Tracks
Box 1
The absence of cultivation in a place does not mean the land was
uninhabited. In Australia, when the white settlers landed, they
claimed that the continent was empty or terra nullius. In fact, they
were guided through the landscape by aboriginal tracks, and led
by aboriginal guides. The different aboriginal communities in
Australia had clearly demarcated territories. The Ngarrindjeri
people of Australia plotted their land along the symbolic body of
the first ancestor, Ngurunderi. This land included five different
environments: salt water, riverine tracts, lakes, bush and desert
plains, which satisfied different socio-economic needs.
Fig.3 ? Converting sal logs into sleepers in the Singhbhum forests, Chhotanagpur, May 1897.
Adivasis were hired by the forest department to cut trees, and make smooth planks which would serve as sleepers for the
railways. At the same time, they were not allowed to cut these trees to build their own houses.
New words
Sleepers ? Wooden planks laid across railway
tracks; they hold the tracks in position
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