[Please note that this is working draft. Comments are welcome.]
Ruhi Grover Beyond Forest Boundaries
Peoples, Markets, and the State in Himalayan Punjab, 1850-1925

Ruhi Grover
University of Virginia
E-mail: rgm2k@virginia.edu
Peasant Symposium: May 1997

[Prelude] [Forests and the Colonial State] [Forests and Peoples]
[Local Muted Fury: Timber and beyond Timber] [References] [Footnotes]

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The villagers do not divulge each other's secrets. They steal timber from the river bank at night and send it to their relatives and friends living at a distance from the river. And when stolen timber is found in the possession of any one of them they can easily obtain false receipts from petty retailers of timber which they produce in courts in their defence.

..do you mean to tell me that if I grow deodars on land for which I pay land revenue, I cannot dispose of these trees as I please..as a zamindar I am entitled to as many trees as I need at zamindari rate, you don't encourage me or any body else to grow trees for sale... 2

Scholars have increasingly realized that older notions of resistance do not explain the complexity of social and economic relations within society. 3 In the context of environmental history, resistance to the state until recently, was read off the contrast drawn between pre-colonial subsistence and colonial commercial economy. 4 Much of the recent literature on forest history

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has treated local communities with sensitivity and has highlighted the complexity of relations within and among these communities. 5 I suggest that we need to go further beyond the notion of resistance while examining local opposition to state policies. There were several ways that local communities responded which included, but were not limited to, unorganized protest or open confrontation with the state. Resistance implies a defensive and a reactionary stance. Moreover, the agency of the community (or peasant) also gets confined within state parameters of law and crime. I suggest the idea of a shadow economy, one in which peasants not only resorted to subversion, but created a distinct culture that nestled within, and in some ways overlapped that of the state. One cannot really conceive of two entirely separate economies--one anchored in the state, and the other ensconced in the local society. 6

The commoditization of timber in the middle of the nineteenth century in Himalayan Punjab was accompanied by forest policies by which the colonial state delineated distinct forest spaces for timber regeneration. The state imbued forests with its own notions of space, power, and authority--expressly stated through boundaries, laws, property, and rights. The local

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communities contested these legible state spaces not only for livelihood--for subsistence needs were taken care of through forest settlements, however inept their distribution--but also for the benefits that accrued from the commoditization of timber. The creation of informal timber markets in which the reach of the state was limited clearly points to the suggestion of a shadow economy.


The region I examine to make my argument is broadly the trans-Dhauladhar region of the Ravi, Beas and Sutlej divisions, which forms part of today's Himachal Pradesh. 7 I begin with the premise that the pre-colonial society had its own circuit of commercial exchange--hats exemplified a vibrant economy. Trading contacts between the hills and the plains had existed since ancient times, and had even influenced state formation in various micro-regions. 8 Forest products such as gum lac, turpentine, and Indian incense (jalap) formed an integral circuit of commodity exchange. 9 Boat-building industries flourished at various places in Punjab,

See Maps: The Himalayan Punjab, and a little map of Himachal Pradesh]

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Wazirabad for example, being an important center. 10 It was not the presence or the absence of money, of markets, or of cash transactions that differentiated a pre-colonial from a colonial forest economy, but the manner in which these different economies came to operate.

As forests and pastures formed an important component of the village economy's resource base, boundaries between villages evolved to demarcate their access. These boundaries were not permanent but altered with changing contingencies of the period. In general, the village society in Himalayan Punjab was not isolated, topographically marked, or bounded by maps, but fluid with adaptable social complexes that harvested trees, collected forest products, grazed livestock, and lopped trees. It used timber for domestic and agricultural purposes (cut branches, collected leaves and fallen wood for fodder and fuel, 11 and harvested honey), grazed its livestock in wasteland 12 for manure, meat, and wool, and used local herbs and flowers for fodder and general use. 13 Local artisans made ropes from bagar grass, brushwood, and the bark of small elm trees. They earned revenue by selling fruits (walnut, apricot, and peach), medicinal roots (karu, patis),

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and incense (bethar, gugal, dhup) in the market. 14 They also sold honey and ghi (clarified butter).

Forests had been the private reserves of local rajas in the pre-colonial days, but had not been really tapped as a revenue-generating resource. Rather they were retreats for royalty, and tracts for hunting (shikar). They also provided natural political boundaries for local states, which meant that forests were sometimes clear-cut to remove havens for enemies during periods of war. 15 Access to forest (and other) products was, even before the advent of an economically restricting colonialism, already quite restricted. The local rajas controlled distributive rights to land and forests, the highest form was the hereditary right of cultivation called warisi. The raja conferred the right by a pasta (deed of grant), which was never granted for a whole village or even a hamlet, but to individuals. It was always for specific fields or cultivable plots of which not only the rent, but also the name and area were specified in the deed. When an assignee or an intermediary claimant was strong enough, he could break up land and settle cultivators, but the rajas seldom ousted a cultivator so long as the latter paid his dues. 16 Local rajas derived most of their revenue from agricultural and pasture-lands, and a much smaller amount from tolls and custom taxes. However, owing to transport logistics, limited demand, and modest state requirements, the use of timber did not attain the proportions it did as under the British.

It is clear that this pre-colonial society cannot be characterized as ecologically pristine,

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maintaining idyllic harmony with nature. There were several restrictions within which it operated. In general, the raja recognized the importance of forests, and maintained the strictest system of forest conservancy. The zamindars did not have free access to forest regions; green trees could not be felled without permission. In most principalities, the raja imposed a thak. a prohibition of grazing in certain forest regions for three months during the monsoon. 17 The extent to which forest produce was appropriated remained limited to the consumption needs of society. In the absence of a large commercial demand, the sale of timber was limited. The relative contrast between production for sale and for local use was precisely that--a relative and not an absolute contrast. In other words, the accumulation of wealth through the marketing of forest products had not yet become a common form of economic activity for the hill society. 18

Forests and the Colonial State

Once the British annexed Punjab in 1849, forests came to be tapped on a much larger scale for their commercial use--railways, barracks and cantonment towns were state enterprises that needed vast amounts of timber. The novelty of timber use lay in the subsequent introduction of forest laws, the codification of forest rights, a further restriction of access to forests, and the subjection of local communities to greater taxation, fines, and imprisonment. The colonial state-represented by the forest department--defined forest space as distinctly separate from cultivated land, and imbued the former with a homogeneous character. Forest space was meant for timber

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regeneration, and not for grazing, or shifting agriculture. Furthermore the state also separated the trees from the land on which they grew, thus fracturing space into distinct units. What grew on land became significantly relevant to its legal identity. 19 In other words, forest boundaries became the norm in the new idiom of the colonial domain, in which access to forests was deeded, incorporated, and indexed by law.

However, the colonial state was by no means the only claimant to forest resources. Local rajas, zamindars (land-holding villagers), peasants, and grazers also used forests extensively. Indeed, forests connoted a different kind of wealth for the local economy, quite apart from timber. Local communities were entitled to forest use, but the nature of these rights depended on the newly constructed land-tenure system and the amount of land revenue paid to the state. No local community was allowed to directly partake in the timber economy of the state. The state drew upon a complex ideology of conservation to justify the exclusion of local communities from forest reserves.

The Kangra region particularly highlights the varied strategies adopted by the state for purposes of timber extraction and forestry. 20 Suffice it is to state here that timber did not occupy the center-stage in Kangra. In fact, the land revenue department prioritized cultivation over forestry in Kangra, and the forest department had to continuously stake its claim over forests. 21

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The various land settlements by C.G. Barnes and J.B. Lyall resulted in the creation of new bounded village communities, grazing rights in common lands, and land revenue as the prime determinant for access to forests. 22 Tenants and non-landholders were left out of this new distributive system. 23 Since the state viewed most local rights in forests as incidental to their proprietorship in the soil, they stipulated various categories of right-holders. The first class of right-holders was the proprietary body of the villages that had complete rights in the common lands in proportion to the revenue they paid. 24 The second class of right-holders were purchasers of the right to wasteland from the first-class holders; they were not required to pay any revenue. Most of the recent settlers in Kangra, including the tea-settlers, came under this category. The third class of right-holders were revenue payers who had been accessing demarcated forests and wasteland for decades. In other words, their rights were not based on the ownership of property, but that of use. The grazing community--Gaddis were one such right-holders.

Many of these right-holders had to be persuaded to relinquish their rights over 'wasteland'

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either in favor of tea plantations or government forest reserves. 25 While the forest department's negotiations with zamindars centered around their own concerns of commercial value of timber. the zamindar's concerns extended beyond timber access to concerns of grazing and land-use. However, forest rights did not acquire any kind of fixity. As the demand for timber increased, the state further regulated its claims over trees, and reinterpreted earlier settlements. James Lyall's scathing note on Anderson's Report of 1897 is a classic case of how settlement reports were reinterpreted. 26 Let me cite an example. While preparing the record-of-rights, Anderson had declared that all khewatdar (person entitled to a right by virtue of a sole or joint property in the subject of the right recorded in the deed) proprietors of waste and forest land had full bartan (rights of use over land or trees in a protected forest which is or are the property of another) rights on trees on their land. Lyall insisted that their rights had to be limited. Furthermore, Anderson had recorded that the management of the grazing of sheep and goats, and the right to realize dues from shepherds was entirely in the hands of the government. Lyall asserted that there was no foundation for this with regard to the sheep and goats kept by village proprietors. These "pseudo rights," as Lyall referred to them, had to be backed by law.

The subsequent forest settlements in the Kangra and Kulu region in 1894 and 1897 capped the process of demarcating forests and delineating the rights of the people. Even in private zamindar forest land, zamindars could not sell timber without official permission. If they

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did, they forfeited the privilege of obtaining timber from demarcated forests at favorable rates. The British adopted this step to ensure that private forests continued to be maintained.

Forests and Peoples

Now this question of rights in the forest is one not easy of adjustment, especially when it assumes a political bearing from the fact that the greater portion of the people belong to those classes who inhabit the forests, and as it were, live in them.. It will be both possible and advisable, by gradually and judiciously asserting the claims of government, and avoiding any sudden enquiry into the question of prescriptive rights, to accustom the minds of the pople to our presence iin the forests, and to dispell their pre-conceived ideas of quiet and undesturbed rights to the bushwood and jungle. 27
By 1874, two years after this report by Lieutenant-Colonel Pearson, forest rights in Punjab had undergone considerable change. The forest department regulated local access to forest resources and prohibited forest harvesting for sale or monetary profit. To ensure this, it recorded local user-rights based on wajib-ul-arz (local deeds), and atempted to codify what appeared to it as rather diverse congeries of localized customs. Forests had to be preserved for conservancy reasons, for commercial extraction of timber, and for an economy of use. And for all these three purposes, local user-rights had to be identfied, and curtailed if necessary.

The aim of the forest department was to locate the rights of the villagers in one forest area, while freeing the other class for commercial treatment; and, in the case of Kulu, almost the only possible comercial treatment in the export of deodar. 28 For instance, the department listed

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62 species of trees which they considered suitable for use in building, to be given for local consumption only on payment. 29 Not only did the zamindars have to take permission, but they also had to pay a subsidized rate for the timber they received for building purposes. Earlier, there had been no limit on the number of trees that could be felled for building purposes at zamindari rates. But in Kangra tahsil, due to the presence of a sizeable European population that generated a huge demand for trees, a limit was imposed on the number of trees a zamindar could fell for building or repairing his house. For instance, a zamindar could not fell more than 25 trees, out of which no more than 10 could be of the chil species. Furthermore, a zamindar had to pay four annas per tree; the market rate for certain species of timber illustrates the differential market values assessed for different species by the colonial state:

Selling rates of trees for others than right-holders: 30

DeodarRs. 15.00 WalnutRs. 12.00
Kail Rs. 5.00 Chil Rs. 1.00
Tos annas 8 Elm Rs. 2.00

There was little or no timber export from Kangra tahsil, the forests being too far from the Beas river, and the existing selling rate for a chil tree, namely Rs. 8/-, was prohibitive. But there was a large local demand by zamindars, tea-planters, and other residents in the Kangra valley for buildings, tea-boxes, firewood, and charcoal. 31 Once the demand for tea picked up, chit became very important for the making of tea boxes, resulting in great pressure on the chil forests in the

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lower Kangra region. The British finally prohibited its sale except for building purposes in 1873. All tea planters were allowed to get rai and tos, especially suitable for tea boxes, at four annas per tree.

The issue of grazing occupied considerable ground in the debates over forestry. Some British officials like Barnes and Lyall opined that grazing in itself did not interfere with the natural production of forests. For instance, Lyall cited an example of a forest officer who was unsuccessfully attempting to grow timber in fenced land in Kulu from which deodar had recently been cut, while deodar grew naturally in a nearby area where cattle came daily, without any damage. 32 But the overwhelming view in the forest department was that grazing undermined forestry. 33 The setting of fire to grasslands was specifically considered a bane of the forest department. 34 Subsequent settlements by Lyall, and the Forest Act of 1878 not only regulated zamindari rights to grazing, but also effectively restored the state's authority to regulate pasture lands. Lyall's settlement clearly stated that since rights of bartandars were appended to

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cultivated land which was assessed, their grazing rights were also "limited to the cattle of a man's own household kept for his domestic purposes, [and] not for trade purposes, such as the sale of milk or ghi." 35 The same rules held true for khewatdars (owners of land). The zamindars were now allowed to graze their cattle in the ban kharetars (unassessed grass reserves) after the grass had been cut, provided the soil of the ban kharetars was the common property of the village or hamlet.

Since small land holdings could not fulfill the needs of the local society, they necessitated a mixed agricultural-pastoral economy. One of the ways in which local landholders ensured that their fields were manured was by allowing grazing communities such as the Gaddis to stay on their land for several days during the latter's migration to and from their alpine grasslands. It was a mutual arrangement that proved beneficial to both parties. 36 For the landholders, it meant fertilized fields; for the Gaddis, it meant free rest periods, with food, grain, and sometimes money, during their rather long journeys. 37

The Gaddis were already subjected to taxation in the pre-colonial period. They had been frequenting the Kangra region prior to the advent of the British. 38 As they migrated for fodder

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from the higher alpine regions of Chamba, Lahaul and Bashahr in the winters, to the relatively milder climate of the Kangra region, the Gaddis traded in the meat, wool, and milk of their livestock. Their rights were not appended to cultivated land at all, but were personal rights of a hereditary nature, exercised on the basis of tirni (grazing tax) payment to the raja. The Gaddis had access to demarcated grazing runs in the region, each being grazed over by the same Gaddis year after year, on payment of a small fee to the raja who collected it through the mukadam (head Gaddi). 39 Most of the grazing runs were located between the kandi (main range) and large grazing runs on the low hills towards the river Beas where the Gaddis usually spent several weeks en route to the Kangra plains. 40

With the introduction of the 1878 Forest Act and the subsequent forest settlements, especially Anderson's revised settlement of 1890, the Gaddis now held the lease of their runs directly from the government. Subsequently, detailed inventories of each shepherd's pasture area, the size of flocks, the specific migration route and the time taken to move from one area to another were made. Grazing runs were to be taxed, 41 and the Gaddis were treated as asamis or tenants of the government, who paid their tax to the muqaddam (headman), quite independent of

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the village proprietors. 42 Although the dhars were personal and hereditary in nature, it often happened that the muqaddam brought in outsiders to graze in his runs (if he felt that the dhar was being under-used, or if he got a higher revenue). 43 dispossessing the asamis of their rights, and sharpening the conflict among them, the outsiders and the muqaddams. 44 The nomadic pastoralists also did not have any access to the shamilat in the new colonial reworking of property and rights. 45 For instance, when the old Chamba forest lease of 1864 came up for renewal, provisions were made for excluding from certain tracts all grazing, and especially the vast flocks of sheep belonging to non-resident shepherds (Gaddis) who passed through the land.

The first quarter of the twentieth century witnessed a further regulation of the Gaddis' pastoral movements. The British government had to deal with two new determinants: competition for winter grazing lands, due to increasing local herds of livestock in the Kangra region, in addition to a substantial rise in the local livestock for milk and meat. The British were not really concerned with the movements of the Gaddis in the alpine regions. But they considered the Gaddi migration to the Kangra region in the winter as a threat to land increasingly coming under pressure. By the beginning of the twentieth century, they had, once again, resorted to an increase in the grazing tax. A Gaddi in Chamba had to pay Rs. 4-11-0 per 100 sheep and12-8-0 per 100 goats to the Chamba state in November at the time of his departure from the area.

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He then paid another tax of the same amount in February in Kangra. If he halted more than a day, he was subjected to a halting fee of Rs. 4-11-0 per hundred sheep and Rs. 12-8-0 per 100 goats. A Gaddi in the Kangra district had to pay comparable rates. Interestingly, this did not produce any substantial decrease in the number of sheep kept by them. Clearly, the profits which the Gaddis realized from the sale of their livestock products more than covered these additional costs.

In 1915, the British differentiated goats and sheep in the levying of the autumn tax. One hundred goats were henceforth charged Rs. 6/-, while 100 sheep were charged Rs. 4/-A similar tax was formulated for winter grazing grounds as well. In the following year, the British also levied a tax on sedentary goats and sheep. Their aim was to reduce the total livestock migration into Kangra, and to pressure the shepherds to raising only sheep. The Forest Department considered goats the worst enemies of forests; they were held responsible for much of the denuded state of the Punjab plains. 46

The presence of forests in close proximity to settled agriculture resulted in a greater dislocation of local-user rights in Kulu, once the British initiated the demarcation of its forests. The average assessment per acre in Kulu in the late nineteenth century was Rs. 2/-, which was comparable to that in the Kangra tahsil, with its two crops a year, and proximity to markets with good roads (which fetched higher prices for agricultural produce). On the other hand, the populace in Kulu had more comprehensive forest rights: fuel, fodder, grazing and manure, without which they could not have existed. In his Settlement Report, H. Diack emphasized that

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without free grazing, access to fallen leaves for mulch, free firewood, and free timber for building purposes, a cultivator could not continue to pay the customary high rent. 47 In Kulu, no rights were allowed in any first-class forest which contained deodar. In fact, the Forest Department declared that its object was to convert all mixed forests as speedily as possible into deodar forests, and one way of speeding the process was to encourage the removal of other timber by villagers. 48 And as in the rest of the Kangra region, right-holders in forests were also made responsible for forest fires. But what affected the Kulu zamindars most was the official transformation of their whole area into "forest" with the exception of their homesteads and cultivated area. In a note on the Kulu Forests Settlement, the Lieutenant-Governor, D. Fitzpatrick, wrote:

The moment a man steps out of the enclosure of his house or off his field he will be in a government forest and subject to the forest law. He cannot take his plough bullocks to his field or to water without taking them through "forest." 49
The zamindars in other regions such as the Chamba and Bashahr divisions were also subjected to similar restrictions in the exercise of their rights. A code of forest rules was always appended to a lease. For instance, zamindars were not allowed to cut down forests for purposes of cultivation, nor burn jungle without the permission of the forest officer. They were not allowed even to carry any implements for cutting wood without authorization or license. 50 All

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right-holders experienced such impersonal changes, one expression of which was that they were no longer identified by individual names, but by the name of the hamlet to which they belonged. 51 Given that the average size of a holding was three acres, the importance of forest produce per house per annum for a cultivator, tabulated in a report in the early 1 930s, shows the extent to which the local economy was dependent on forests: 52

Table 4.1: Cost per Family of Forest Products (by category of use)
ItemState Forests
Rs./ A./ P.
Privately Owned
Forests or Trees
Rs./ A./ P.
Fences & Hedges
Agricultural Implements
Fodder Leaves

It is clear from the table that the greatest reliance on forests was for fuel and fodder leaves. Many of the forest products on which the local populace was dependent, remained the poor cousins of British "forest capital," and came to be classified as 'minor forest products. 53 But the state still

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had ensured that the local populace had access only through a legal and formal domain of rights. And rights, in the absence of a formal legal precedence, were conferred by the colonial state. Forest law, as it developed, was a colonial invention that eventually effaced local custom.

Local Muted Fury: Timber and beyond Timber

And yet, life in and around forests continued, even as it was restricted by laws, and disrupted by fines. Most reports on forest administration detail the forest rights enjoyed by rightholders in protected forests. For instance, rightholders received 23 per cent of the total outturn of timber, 74 per cent of firewood, and 77 per cent of minor produce. 54 By the 1890s,about 80 per cent of the forest area in the Punjab hills was allowed for grazing, and in the Kangra District zamindars were allowed a share in the timber earnings to win their support for forest policy. 55 In view of this seeming largesse, the high rate of petitions and forest offenses recorded in the very same reports seems incongruous. It is this seeming incongruity that I examine in this section. The colonial connotation of timber was at variance with the local populace. But, the availability and price of timber were the direct outcomes of colonial policies that were determined by the market. As something fundamental, basic, and even prosaic for the local

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economy, what Mintz terms "extensification," 56 wood acquired a different connotation in British nomenclature; disengaged, distinctive, and in some senses extraordinary. There was no clear way to reconcile these different world-views, and friction between the two was inevitable. Its outcome was an extensive shadow economy that included 'illegal' timber sales.

It was not always a matter of the number of rights conferred by the British; the place, timing, and manner in which they were accorded were of considerable significance as well. The zamindars in the Kulu region were given rights to fell timber, but they had to walk several miles to collect that timber. 57 They were also allowed to cultivate their land, but the moment they stepped outside their land, they were in "forest" where even carrying an axe was considered to be a crime. They were permitted to keep livestock, but by the beginning of the twentieth century, they were taxed heavily if they did. If the state was constrained by its own logic of scientific forestry, the zamindars were compelled by their imperatives of livelihood. And it seemed almost inevitable that sooner or later the latter would question the legitimacy of the British acquiring their forests and pasturelands.

The British regarded most of their problems of forest conservation arising from localresource-use. 58 Given the steady population growth in the period under study, the reason for

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"over-use" of forests can only be explained by the concomitantly decreased area of regular resource-use, which in turn was a result of the conflict between the forest department and the land revenue department. The forest department unsuccessfully tried to exclude people by constructing physical barriers and imposing high fines on offenders. However, its efforts at regulating forest rights fostered local opposition, both covert and overt, at every stage. The intrusive leviathan had its limitations and the effectiveness of the forest policies was greatly dependent on the reception of the local populace. Forest policies, in practice at the local level, were thus quite different from what was envisaged at the state level.

Let us begin with the Gaddis, who questioned the codification and regulation of their rights. They petitioned time and again against what they considered unjust laws. 59 While migrating, they could not halt at one place for more than one night without the permission of the Assistant Commissioner, and they had to travel at least five miles every day. 60 They protested against this five-mile rule, arguing that it was difficult for them to gauge the distances accurately. Sick and injured animals, as well as rain, delayed their movements. The Gaddis were concerned about obtaining grazing rights in demarcated forests near villages during their halts. 61 The fact

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that the Gaddis required more time to go up to the alpine regions than coming down to the Kangra division was never really considered. Altitude, it seemed, was not considered a factor.

In effect, though, the colonial state ensured that the pastoral cycle was regulated in terms of time and space. The state did not welcome unauthorized movement. It was clear that sedentarization was a colonial objective. Not only did state spaces have to be legible, but people had to be fixed to a given place as well. 62 The biggest problem for the nomads was not the thinness of their material existence, but the enormous changes taking place around them. 63 Their relationship to their environment was even more complicated because they were simultaneously dependent on land, forests, and pastures as they moved from one subsistence base to another, largely determined by the rhythms of the season. But now, as grasslands gave way to pastures, and pastures to feedlot, their network of social and economic relations was greatly undermined. The restrictions on Gaddis' movements also had consequences for local communities, since agricultural and pastoral activities operated on a similar schedule.

The land-holding zamindars first resorted to invoking the responsibility of the government through formal petitions. For instance in a rather detailed appeal made to the Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab, Charles Montogmery Rivaz the zamindars of Kangra expressed their dissatisfaction with Anderson's Report, and listed 20 grievances which ranged from appeals to stop public sale of dry trees from all demarcated and undemarcated forests, increasing the

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number of Ail trees for local building purposes, to extending the number of nights Gaddis could stay for the livestock to manure their fields. 64 Several right-holders also objected to the fact that although they were entitled to timber at concessional rates, there were repeated delays in giving timber, and often the timber was to be collected from remote localities. For instance in Rupi and Seraj, all trees marked for grants were only distributed after three to six months. 65 Further delays occurred due to distributions being often held in the winter. This made it necessary to wait until the snow had melted before the trees could be marked in the high-altitude forests. Furthermore, charcoal burning by the forest department interfered with local rights as it rapidly diminished the supply of khushu oak, leaves of which villagers had free access to use as fodder.

The Lieutenant Governor forwarded the complaints to the Deputy Commissioner of Kangra. 66 The manner in which the Deputy Commissioner of Kulu responded to the detailed list of complaints was quite dismissive. He concluded his reply by stating that had these complaints been addressed to him, he would have taken steps to redress any legitimate grievances that were consistent with scientific forest management. Given the fact that they were addressed to a visiting official showed that the "petitions were largely the work of a few 'irreconcilable malcontents' 67 who wished to give everybody as much trouble as possible." 68 In another instance,

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the British response was not so much dismissive as patronizing, clearly reflected in a note written by the Commissioner of the Jalandhar Division, Rai Bahadur Pandit Hari Kishan Kaul, to the Deputy Commissioner:

In Kulu I was assailed by numerous deputations and received dozens of petitions. There is no doubt that the people are obsessed by the idea that the forests originally belonged to them and that the Government has usurped them. ..in the old days the exploitation of forests was not systematic and whenever a Raja had trees cut down and sold the zamindars were able to get a good deal out of it either by working at the fellings, or by stealing wood. On the contrary they are now completely shut out of the forests and get precious little out of them. 69
The British--circumvented as they were by a host of such local issues--continued with their legitimizing ideology of scientific forestry, as clearly enunciated by Baden-Powell, Conservator of Forests, Punjab in his instructions:

..when people apply for land to cultivate, we shall say, 'certainly, I will go and lay down a line for you, that will be forest, and outside you may cultivate as you please.' In this way gradually forest after forest will become demarcated..without creating a row. 70
The British were unwilling to address grievances. They 'dealt wish' protest rather then 'respond'

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to it. 71 These "murmurs" by the local elite was one expression of local discontent.

The issue of who benefited and who lost in the commoditization of timber is a complex one. In the process of increasing state regulation over forests, the landholding community certainly acquired more rights to forests. 72 They were already getting paid one-third share from the sale of forest proceeds from unreserved forests. In 1917, Assistant Commissioner Feyson allowed the owners of private forests to sell their trees for payment of bona fide debts. The following table shows the amount paid to flaming for the years 1922-1924: 73

Table 4.3: Amount paid by the colonial State to land-holding Zamindars
*Rs. = Rupees *A. = Annas *P. - Pies

A section of landowners in the Kangra region also took advantage of the commercial sale of trees, especially from the 1930s when transport became more affordable. Many villagers cleared their private lands and sold timber in the nearby markets, subject to approval by the local Deputy

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Commissioner. 74 The dominant communities also side-stepped colonial laws by diversifying their economic interests. For instance, once a market developed for livestock products by the third quarter of the nineteenth century, sheep farming became very popular in the Kangra district. 75

Between 1890 and 1894, livestock had increased by 12 per cent. The villagers were largely paying their revenue from the proceeds of surplus stock, and making money by supplying the local wool industry and the Shimla meat market. 76 The first Financial Commissioner, J.M. Douie, tabulated the livestock figures for various tahsils in the Kangra district at the time of O'Brien's settlement which is presented in Table 4.4. The numbers represent the total animals owned by residents wherever they happened to be at the time of the enumeration, and also included the small number of animals belonging to non-rightholders, but did not include animals owned by Gaddis. 77

The number of cattle further increased by 39.57 percent between 1893 and 1906. 78 In his1897 Settlement, Anderson had noted that grazing dues on the Gaddis could not be further enhanced, since zamindars were keeping more goats in villages near scrub jungles. Dharamsala,

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Table 4.4: Livestock figures for Kangra District, 1910
Tahsil Year Bulls &
Buffaloes Young
Sheep Goats
Dehra 1894 62,243 16,737 31,035 6,245 47,858
1904 87,416 22,966 34,174 12,413 101,255
1909 90,964 24,950 38,443 12,773 96,043
Hamirpur 1894 87,336 34,182 30,193 17,381 54,170
1904 104,672 36,438 38,117 29,631 93,647
1909 104,903 38,840 37,834 33,447 87,851
Kangra 1894 63,431 11,596 22,834 27,515 49,844
1904 83,908 14,508 25,835 33,784 86,064
1909 81,429 15,244 30,168 47,788 94,392
Palampur 1894 68,043 10,728 24,769 57,029 60,187
1904 87,952 15,602 28,904 66,545 90,420
1909 88,842 17,189 30,341 75,553 86,269
Nurpur 1894 61,644 15,435 28,613 2,011 50,345
1904 75,596 20,736 36,64 1 4,089 102,256
1909 74,222 21,696 37,256 3,003 81,005
Total 1894 342,697 88,678 137,444 110,181 262,404
1904 439,544 110,250 163,671 146,462 473,642
1909 440,360 117,919 174,564 172,564 445,560

Source: N.A.I., Rev. & Agr. (Forests), A, nos. 1-22, April 1913

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Pathankot, and the cantonments of Bakloh and Dalhousie provided the goats meat market. 79 Amritsar butchers drew a considerable amount of their meat supply from Kangra proper. 80 There were also instances of villagers who bought small pieces of land on the main range of the Dhauladhar to acquire grazing rights. Furthermore, villagers also started selling wood and grass at towns such as Dharmasala, Kangra, Sujanpur, Haripur, Nurpur, and even at Pathankot in Gurdaspur. 81

The increase in the production of ghi can also be viewed as a metaphor for another kind of life that existed in the region. In almost all the tahsils of Debra and Hamirpur, and in the Kutlehr jagir, the land-holding cultivators started keeping buffaloes in order to produce ghi for sale. These were exceptionally wealthy men who also required a great deal of milk for their ownconsumption. 82 Hundreds of man (eighty-two pounds equals one man) of ghi were exported from Changar to Jwalamukhi town (in Kangra) in which over a thousand man of ghi were consumed annually by pilgrims for offerings at the Siddhida (or Ambika) Goddess Temple. Ghi also acquired a market in the Hoshiarpur district.

Many of finials asserted that villagers were extending their pastoral pursuits at the expense of forests. Clearly, by the end of the century pastoral wealth had increased significantly, and grazing had entered a new phase of revenue generation. With the increase in the commercial

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demand for timber and other forest-related products, the local populace had the ability to adopt novel strategies to profit from such market demand. It is true that the tenurial system of zamindari did not encourage the growth or protection of trees. 83 But then, just as maintaining large livestock holdings became commonplace, one can argue that a similarly enterprising system of harvesting trees on private forest plantations for the market could have also evolved. 84 The involvement of the people as producers for sale had a precedence. They had become buyers from the colonial state; buyers of timber if their forest demand exceeded the colonial precepts of their requirements. They could also have become sellers given suitable opportunities. 85

The forest department tried to curb grazing by introducing new experimentalregulations. 86 The department soon gave up experimenting and imposed high grazing taxes. 87

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The government sanctioned the imposition of a grazing tax in 1913. A conference was convened in 1914 in which orders were issued postponing the imposition of the tax on the buffaloes of zamindars until a scheme could be worked out to tax only the surplus animals kept in excess of the legitimate domestic requirements of the owners. The tax on sheep and goats was confirmed. 88 In 1916, as an economic deterrent for zamindars keeping cattle, the government decided to levy a cattle tax on profits that accrued from grazing sheep and goats. 89 This led to a steady reduction in the number of cattle kept by local landholders. 90

Apart from these land-owning elites, many "small voices" found other ways to circumvent statist commands. 91 British documents abound with instances of non-compliance of rules; forest offenses are classified variously as 'minor' end 'major.' The following table shows

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that in 1880-81 the breaches of forest rules were registered as the highest in Punjab: 92

Table 4.5: Violations of Forest Regulations, 1880-1881
Province Prosecuted Convicted
Bengal 143 112
1,008 824
Coorg 7 3
Ajmere 285 122
Assam 121 105
Punjab 2,188 1,131
The nature of offenses varied: Injury to forests by fire, timber thefts from rivers, unauthorized felling, and appropriation of wood or minor produce (numbered the highest); grazing without permission was another offense listed in forest records. 93 What was once seen as custom now began to be artificially treated as crime, but neither the formality of the law nor the threat of its enforcement seemed entirely effective. 94 Although the rate of convictions was very high, the number of breaches increased significantly as evident in table 4.6. Over 70 per cent of the total number of offenses occurred in the lower hills (the greater portion in the Rawalpindi District). 95

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Table 4.6: Prosecutions and Convictions for Forest Crimes
Year Chamba Chamba Kulu Kulu Bushahr Bushahr Kangra Kangra
Prosec. Convic. Prosec. Convic. Prosec. Convic. Prosec. Convic.
C------P C------P C------P C------P C------P C------P C------P C------P
1873-74 17----19 16----17 --------- --------- 4-------- 4-------- --------- ---------
1876-77 18----42 14----37 6------8 3------5 --------- --------- 102-208 100-207
1879-80 44----78 32----56 --------- -------- --------- --------- 121-284 116-274
1881-82 9-----11 6------8 8------8 8------8 29----33 3-------3 --------- ---------
1884-85 25------- 21----36 118------- 90----25 101------- 27----63 --------- ---------
1888-89 41------ 21----70 177------- 130-571 330------- 121-171 68------- 60----126
1914-15 --------- --------- 238------ 209-438 478------- 375-871 2623---- 2,412-

Source: Relevant Progress Reports on Forest Administration in the Punjab

*C = Cases *P = Persons

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This was due to the inevitable antagonism between the pressure of a relatively dense population and the essential conservation of the forests in these low hills, not only for the protection of the rich agricultural lands in the plains, but also to meet the needs of the local neighboring population for timber and firewood. 96 Furthermore, given the market for timber, many of what the colonial state treated as 'thefts' were also activities undertaken for sale in the local markets. So, besides an act of redemption for what the villagers perceived to be their arbitrarily-deprived customary rights, 'theft' was also an entrepreneurial act to obtain and sell timber 'illegally.' 97 In an era of non-mechanized transport, villagers were quite successful in using animals to take away heavy pieces of timber. A letter by the Inspector-General of Police, Punjab is indicative of the widespread timber theft:

...Practically the whole of the villages along the rivers obtain their wood from the rivers, and, were a special body of Police appointed, the fact of their deputation would at once become known, and the people would suspend their thieving operations until they went away again. 98
The acts were usually committed by one or two villagers, but when entire logs were targeted, then many more people were involved, if not in the act itself, then in their colluding with and protecting the actual takers. 99 This expression of village solidarity created what Peluso calls a

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culture of conspiracy. 100 Without acknowledging crime as defined by the colonial state, peasant resistance attracted allies and sympathizers from within its own quarters. 101

Rather than identifying these thefts and frauds as mere signs of protest, let us follow the course of the stolen timber to see what were they used for eventually. For, if the issue was only one of protest, then timber should have been used only for subsistence needs, and marginally for commercial purposes. But, the local communities were not reverting to an archaic past. They had devised ingenious ways to use the timber. They either stamped timber with forged "sold" marks and then sold it in the open market. 102 Or they sawed the timber and sold it at the nearest market at a much cheaper rate, or concealed it in the ground for a few months before it was considered safe to dispose it of. Sometimes the villagers put two or even three roofs on their houses in an attempt to conceal as much timber as possible. After a year or two, when the timber was sufficiently weathered to avoid detection, the villagers sold whole houses, roofs, and posts to outsiders for considerable sums. 103 They also carried timber to small market towns and sold it to petty shopkeepers who could easily remove the ownership marks and saw them up with other

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timber. 104 The more entrepreneurial ones, whom the British referred to as "the bolder spirits," bought a little timber from Wazirabad or Sialkot, brought it to their villages, and opened small timber shops which acted as a cover for the owner to sell stolen timber. The timber the owner had legally bought was kept carefully and produced whenever any official came to questionhim. 105 The forest department report of 1902-03 showed a loss of 32 per cent of government scantlings on the Chenab and 18 per cent on the Sutlej in a decade. On the Jhelum the loss was12 per cent up to 1904, and it rose as high as 45 per cent in 1906. During the four years ending1909, the private firm of Spedding and Company alone lost more than Rs. 100,000 worth of scantlings to theft. 106

In fact, forest officials admitted that 'organized thefts' of timber on the Punjab rivers, especially on the Chenab and Jhelum were so widespread that special measures were called for quite outside the ambit of the prevailing Forest Act. 107 Such 'thefts' had occupied British interests since the late 1860s. Suggestions had been forwarded to empower forest officers with judicial authority. This implied that forest officers could enter residential premises to search for stolen timber, since it was felt that the time taken by the police in searches was always too long

++ Page 36 Grover

which gave in turn the thieves time to dispose of the stolen timber. 108 But these suggestions were not accepted by the Punjab government. 109 In fact the difficulty for the government was to prove that it was government timber, that it was stolen, and that the possessor knew or had reason to believe it to be stolen. 110

Concerns over 'timber theft' continued to dominate forest official debates, including the Punjab Forest Conference held at Lahore in 1909. 111 The issue was not only to control the transit of timber by river, but it was also recognized that the control of its transit by land was imperative. 112 The Punjab Forest (Sale of Timber) Bill was subsequently passed by the Punjab Legislative Council in 1911 to control timber theft while in river transit. 113 By this bill, forest officials essentially limited the opportunities for theft of timber in transit by river. Villagers were not allowed to saw up timber at places within a distance of three miles from the bank of a river. The procedure for applying to do otherwise was detailed and tedious, enough to dissuade most from applying. Also, all sale depots had to be registered. However, as the subsequent forest

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reports indicate, this was a problem that the forest department had to deal with regularly. In sum, local communities not only refused to accept forest laws, as Pearson had vainly hoped; they also adopted ways to circumvent rules limiting their access to forest resources.

Let me conclude here by suggesting that one can also employ the lens of a shadow economy to problematize state-society dichotomy. Of course, one cannot dismiss the state nor its domination, for local communities had to operate within and around laws. But the state was not monolithic with a coherent logic to only collect revenue. The conflict between the forest and the land revenue departments points to the disaggregated nature of the state. At the same time, one needs to go beyond the politics of policy making and examine how the implementation of laws was embedded within a societal context. The local landscape was marked by "disperseddomination." 114 The proliferation of informal timber markets clearly indicates that certain local communities created autonomous spaces to evade some of the stringent state policies. 115 These communities used the market for its benefits and along with local traders and timber dealers, created a widespread and active network to partake in the benefits from the commoditization of timber. Howsoever subsumed or fugitive its nature, this economy was also about profit. In other words, both state and society were not fixed entities, but were mutually constituted.

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Government Records

D.C.Kangra files, 1855-1933
Home Department Proceedings (Forests), 1882-1885
Progress Reports on Forest Administration in the Punjab, 1922-1927
Public Works Department Proceedings (Forests), 1867-68
Revenue and Agriculture Proceedings (Forests), 1886-1924

Primary Sources

  • Anderson, Alexander. Final Report of the Revised Settlement of Kangra Proper. Lahore, Civil &Military Gazette Press, 1897.
  • Barnes, C.G. Report of the Land Revenue Settlement of the Kangra District. Punjab. Lahore,Civil & Military Gazette Press, 1855.
  • Brandis, D. and A. Smythies eds., Report of the Proceedings of the Forest Conference held at Simla. October 1875. Calcutta, Office of the Suptd. of Govt. Printing, 1876.
  • Brandis, D., B.H. Baden-Powell and Lieut-Colonel W. Stenhouse. Suggestions Regarding the Demarcation and Management of the Forests in Kulu. Calcutta, Office of the Suptd. of Govt. Printing, 1877.
  • Diack, A.H. Final Report on the Revised Settlement of Kulu Sub-Division. Lahore, Suptd. &Govt. Printing, 1898.
  • Gazetteer of the Kangra District: Kangra Proper. 1883-84, vol. 1. Calcutta, Calcutta Central Press Co., 1884.
  • Imperial Gazetteer of India, vol. 1. Delhi, Atlantic Publishers, 1991.
  • Lyall, J.B. Report of the Land Revenue Settlement of the Kangra District. Punjab. Lahore,Central Jail Press, 1874.
  • Pearson, G.F. Report on the Administration of the Forest Department in the Several Provinces under the Government of India, 1870-71. Calcutta, Office of the Suptd. of Govt. Printing,1872.
  • Proceedings of the Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, vol. III. Simla, Punjab Govt. Press, 1913.
  • Selections from the Records of the Office of the Financial Commissioner. Punjab. new series 25. Lahore, Civil & Military Gazette Press, 1910.

    ++ Page 39 Grover

    Secondary Sources

  • Bates, Robert H. Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policies. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1981.
  • Bhattacharya, N. "Pastoralists in a Colonial World," in David Arnold and Ramachandra Guha eds., Nature. Culture. and Imperialism. Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Bhattacharya, N. "Colonial State and Agrarian Society," in Burton Stein ed. The Making of Agrarian Policy in British India. Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1992.
  • Gadgil, Madhav and Ramachandra Guha eds., This Fissured Land: Towards an Ecological History of India. Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Gidwani, V.K. "'Waste' and the Permanent Settlement in Bengal," Economic and Political Weekly, 27:4, January 25, 1992.
  • Grove, Richard. Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion. Tropical Island Edens and the origin of Environmentalism. l 600-1860. Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Guha, Ramachandra. The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Western Himalaya. Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Guha, Ranajit. Elementary Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India. Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1983.
  • Guha, Ranajit. Subaltern Studies II: Writings on South Asian History and Society. Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1983.
  • Habib, Irfan. The Agrarian System of Mughal India. 1556-1707. London, 1963.
  • Jha, D.N. ed. Societv and Ideology in India: Essays in Honour of Professor R.S. Sharma. Delhi, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1995.
  • Midgal, Joel S., Atul Kohli and Vivienne Shue eds., State power and social forces: Domination and transformation in the Third World. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1994.
  • Mintz, Sidney W. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York, Penguin Books, 1985.
  • Peluso, Nancy. Rich Forests. Poor People: Resource Control and Resistance in Java. Berkeley, University of California Press, 1992.
  • Saberwal, Vasant K, "Pastoral politics: bureaucratic agendas, shepherd land use practices and conservation policy in Himachal Pradesh, India, 1865-1994," Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, 1997.
  • Scott, James C. Domination and the Art of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. New Haven, Yale University Press, 1991.
  • Scott, James C. Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven, YaleUniversity Press, 1986.
  • Singh, Chetan, "Humans and Forests: The Himalaya and the Terai during the Medieval Period,"pp. 169-171, in Ajay Rawat ed. History of Forestry in India. Delhi, Indus Publishing Company, 1991.
  • Sivaramakrishnan, K, "Forests, politics, and governance in Bengal, 1794-1994," Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, 1996.
  • Skaria, Ajay. Hybrid Histories: Forests: Frontiers and Wildness in Western India. Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1997.

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    1. Oriental and India Office Collection (henceforth O.I.O.C.), Rev. & Agr. Proc., (Forests), A, nos.4-12, file 26, July 1914, letter from the Extra-Deputy Conservator of Forests, Chenab Division, to the Deputy Commissioner, Gujranwala, p. 10. [BACK]

    2. Himachal Pradesh State Archives (henceforth H.P.S.A.), Shimla, D.C. Kangra, file no. 81,'Preservation of trees growing on private lands in Kulu,' remark by a Kulu zamindar to the Deputy Commissioner of Kangra District, 1908. [BACK]

    3. The work by James C. Scott has indeed enriched the ideas of resistance and domination, but given the complexities of domination, forms of exploitation and control cannot be reduced to the binary opposition between a physical and mental form of power; see his Domination and the Art of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986). For a critique of Weapons of the Weak see Timothy Mitchell, "Everyday Metaphors of Power," Theory and Society, 19:5, October 1990, pp. 545-578.In India, the Subaltern Studies have highlighted the ideology informing subaltern(including peasant) groups, but again, the hierarchies within subaltern groups have not been fully explored; see Subaltern Studies: Writings on South Asian History and Society, vols. I-IX (Delhi: Oxford University Press). [BACK]

    4. For instance see Ramachandra Guha, The Unquiet Woods: Ecological Change and Peasant Resistance in the Western Himalaya (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989); Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha eds., This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1992); Vandana Shiva, Staving Alive: Women. Ecology and Survival in India (Delhi: Kali for Women, 1988). [BACK]

    5. See Ajay Skaria, Hybrid Histories: Forests, Frontiers and Wildness in Western India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997); Atluri Murali, "Whose Trees? Forest Practices and Local communities in Andhra, 1600-1922," in David Arnold and Ramachandra Guha eds., Nature, Culture and Imperialism: Essays on the Environmental History of South Asia (Delhi: Oxford university Press, 1995), pp. 86-122; K. Sivaramakrishnan, "Forests, politics and governance in Bengal, 1794-1994," Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, 1996. [BACK]

    6. Local areas rarely bear the marks of only one form of socio-economic structure; they are the products of long and varied histories. The layers of history which are sedimented over each other are not just economic, but also cultural, political, and ideological. See Doreen Massey, Spatial Divisions of Labour: Social Structure and the Geography of Production (London: Macmillian, 1995). [BACK]

    7. I specifically examine the Kangra district which the British directly acquired from the Sikhs in 1849. Since Chamba and Bashahr were under the control of local rajas, the colonial state could not introduce new land and forest settlements, although forest rights were restricted and specified in appendices of forest leases between the rajas and the British. The only deodar forests of any importance in the Punjab that belonged to the colonial government were situated in Hazara and in Kulu. The forests in Hazara were the joint property of government and zamindars,and they were not very extensive. Moreover, they were situated along the borders, and no forest officer approached them except under the protection of a strong police guard; National Archives of India (henceforth N.A.I.), Home Dept. (Forests), nos. 86-90, Dec. 1882, p. 13. [BACK]

    8. D.N. Jha, "State Formation in Early Medieval Chamba," in D. N. Jha ed. Society and Ideology in India: Essays in Honour of Professor R.S. Sharma (Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 1995), pp. 125-134. [BACK]

    9. Irfan Habib, The Agrarian System of Mughal India. 1556-1707 (London, 1963), pp. 1-24. [BACK]

    10. Chetan Singh, "Humans and Forests: The Himalaya and the Terai during the Medieval period," pp. 169-171, in Ajay Rawat ed. History of Forestry in India (New Delhi: Indus Publishing Company, 1991), pp. 163-178. [BACK]

    11. For instance, leaves of three oak trees known as Am, of the horse chestnut, mulberry, elm, and khark known as chor, were lopped for fodder. [BACK]

    12. In the pre-colonial period, the term 'wasteland' applied to uncultivated (including long fallow land), and unmeasured land. It was land that did not yield any tax; see Irfan Habib, The Agrarian System of Mughal India, pp. 16-17. [BACK]

    13. For instance in Kulu, an iris known by different names such as kadari in Jagatsukh, gulsosini in Nagar, and churwachi in Sahraj was used as fodder for sheep in winter; see Punjab State Archives (henceforth P.S.A.), Patiala, Selections from the Records of the Office of the financial Commissioner. Punjab, n.s. 25, 'Kulu Forest Settlement,' (Lahore: Civil & Military Gazette Press, 1910), p. 64. [BACK]

    14. P.S.A., Patiala, Selections, n.s. 25, 'Kulu Forest Settlement,' p. 34. [BACK]

    15. Rapid and extensive ecological transition was frequently a feature of pre-colonial landscape and states, either as a consequence of the development of agriculture or as indicated here, for purposes of war. See Richard Grove, Green Imperialism: Colonial expansion, tropical island Edens and the origins of environmentalism. 1600-1860 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995), p.7. [BACK]

    16. Imperial Gazetteer of India, vol. 1 (Delhi: Atlantic Publishers, reprint, 1991), p. 101. [BACK]

    17. Gazetteer of the Kangra District: Kangra Proper. 1883-84, vol. 1 (Calcutta: Calcutta Central Press Co., 1883-84),p. 110. [BACK]

    18. Chetan Singh, "Humans and Forests: The Himalaya and the Terai during the Medieval period," p. 171, in Ajay Rawat ed. History of Forestry in India, pp. 163-178. [BACK]

    19. See Vinay Krishin Gidwani, "'Waste' and the Permanent Settlement in Bengal," p. pe-41, Eonomic and Political Weekly, vol. 27, no. 4, January 25, 1992, pp. pe-39-46. [BACK]

    20. For instance a high population density in the Kangra region resulted in a greater pressure on forests and pasture lands. In 1921 the average density per square mile of cultivated land in Kangra was 984 compared to an average density of 460 in the rest of Punjab. [BACK]

    21. See Vasant Kabir Saberwal, "Pastoral politics: bureaucratic agendas, shepherd land use practices, and conservation policy in Himachal Pradesh, 1865-1994," Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, May 1997. Also see Mark Baker, "Mistaken Rights: The Effects of Colonial Redefinitions of Property and Community on Agriculture and Forest Resources in Kangra," in forthcoming Arun Agarwal and K. Sivararamakrishnan eds., Agrarian Environments: Resources, Representations and Rule in India. [BACK]

    22. C.G. Barnes, Report of the Land Revenue Settlement of the Kangra District. Punjab(Lahore: Civil & Military Gazette Press, 1855), p. 19; J.B. Lyall, Report of the Land Revenue Settlement of the Kangra District. Punjab (Lahore: Central Jail Press, 1874). [BACK]

    23. For instance shopkeepers, who paid nominal land revenue in Kulu were denied timber use at zamindari rates for their shops and buildings. This was to cause a lot of problem for the state in the early 1930s once the shopkeepers became influential in local politics; see H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 108 (II), 'Timber Supply Arrangements in Kulu, 1933.' [BACK]

    25. P.S.A., Patiala, Selections, n.s. 25, 'Kulu Forest Settlement,' p. 22. [BACK]

    25. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 10 (47), 'Kangra Forest Settlement,' 1833, p. 9. [BACK]

    26. A. Anderson, Final Report of the Revised Settlement of Kangra Proper (Lahore: Civil Military Gazette Press, 1897); P.S.A., Patiala, Selections, n.s. 26, 'Kangra Forest Settlement,' Note by James Lyall on Anderson's Report of 20th August 1897 on Forest Settlement of Kangra Proper, pp. 27-28. [BACK]

    27. Lieutenant-colonel G.F. Pearson, Report on the Administration of the Forest Department in the Several Provinces under the Government of India, 1870-71 (Calcutta: Office of the Suptd. of Govt. Printing, 1872), p. 27. [BACK]

    28. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 10(46), 'Forest Settlement Report of Kulu, 1894,' p. 3. [BACK]

    29. P.S.A., Patiala, Selections, n.s. 26, 'Kangra Forest Settlement,' p. 24. [BACK]

    30. P.S.A., Patiala, Selections, n.s. 25, 'Kulu Forest Settlement,' p. 62. [BACK]

    31. Gazetteer of the Kangra District, Part I, 1883-84 (New Delhi: Indus Publishing Company, 1883-84, reprint, 1994), p. 168. [BACK]

    32. P.S.A., Selections, n.s. 25, 'Kulu Forest Settlement,' p. 37. [BACK]

    33. For an erudite argument on why the Forest Department espoused this view see Vasant K. Saberwal, "You can't grow timber and goats in the same patch of forest: Grazing policy formation in Himachal Pradesh, India, 1865 to the present," in the forthcoming book by Arun Agarwal and K. Sivaramakrishnan, eds., Agrarian Environments: Resources. Representations and Rule in India. [BACK]

    34. Fire control was the other dominant concern of the colonial state. In fact fire control was one of the first issues to be addressed in the first conference on forest administration in 1871-72.The practice of setting annual fires to grass was considered important for a better undergrowth. The Forest Department felt that as long as a forest or 'wasteland' was burnt annually, its improvement was stunted, its capacity to retain soil hampered, and its usefulness in regulating the surface drainage compromised. See D. Brandis & A. Smythies eds., Report of the Proceedings of the Forest Conference held at Simla, October 1875 (Calcutta: Office of the Suptd. of Govt. Printing, 1876), p. 4. Also see Stephen J. Pyne, World Fire: The Culture of Fire (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1995), p. 161. [BACK]

    35. P.S.A., Lyall, Report on the Land Revenue of the Kangra District, p. 46, para 6. [BACK]

    36. It is very difficult to differentiate between tenure and territoriality in terms of social and natural' relations. Tim Ingold gives primacy to modes of production, and explains nomadism in terms of resource 'appropriation' rather than resource ' extraction;' see his The Appropriation of nature: Essays on Human Ecology and Social Relations (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1986). [BACK]

    37. P.S.A., Selections, n.s. 25, 'Kulu Forest Settlement,' paras 174-177. [BACK]

    38. The migratory grazers were the Gaddis of Chamba, the Kanwars of Upper Bashahr and the Labanas from Mandi and Suket divisions. They usually owned small agricultural holdings in their villages which were insufficient to support them. They kept large flocks of sheep and goats which were their principal source of revenue. For this study I am focusing on the Gaddis ofChamba, Kangra and Kulu. [BACK]

    39. Usually the Gaddis paid one anna per goat and nine Pin per sheep per annum. [BACK]

    40. P.S.A;, Patiala, Selections, n.s. 26, 'Kangra Forest Settlement,' Appendix, March 1897, p. 4. [BACK]

    41. It was argued that wool fetched a high price in the market. For instance, two seers (one seer equaled 4.4 pounds) of wool fetched one rupee. The gross annual income from wool per sheep ranged from fifty to one hundred rupees. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 10 (125), 'Sheep and Goat Grazing and Taxation,' 1885. [BACK]

    42. P.S.A., Patiala, Selections, n.s. 26, 'Kangra Forest Settlement,' pp. 23-24. [BACK]

    43. Selections from the Records of the Office of the Financial Commissioner. Punjab, vol. 1(Lahore: Civil & Military Gazette Press, 1911), p. 32. [BACK]

    44. N. Bhattacharya, "Pastoralists in a Colonial World," p. 56, in David Arnold & R. Guha eds.,Nature, Culture, Imperialism, pp. 49-85.45 Ibid., p. 68. [BACK]

    46. H.L. Stewart, The Economic Value of Goats in the Punjab (Board of Economic Inquiry, Punjab, 1926), p. 2. [BACK]

    47. A. H. Diack, Final Report on the Revised Settlement of Kulu Sub-Division (Lahore: Suptd. & Govt. Printing, 1898), p. 21. [BACK]

    48. P.S.A., Selections, n.s. 25, 'Kulu Forest Settlement,' p. 35. [BACK]

    49. P.S.A., Selections, n.s. 25, 'Kulu Forest Settlement,' p. 95. [BACK]

    50. O.I.O.C., Rev. & Agr. Proc., (Forests), A, pp. 21-27. [BACK]

    51. P.S.A., Selections, n.s. 25, 'Kulu Forest Settlement,' p. 34. [BACK]

    52. The Board of Economic Inquiry, Punjab, Bhai Mul Raj, "An Economic Survey of the Haripur and Mangarh Taluqas of the Kangra District of the Punjab, " publication no. 9, (Lahore: Civil and Military Gazette Press, 1933), p. 101. [BACK]

    53. The British systematically inspected all forest products for their economic potential. For instance in Kulu, they inspected all forest products from the yew, walnut, ash, and boxwood, finally to conclude that deodar was the most important article of trade from Kulu. See D. Brandis, B.H. Baden-Powell and Lieut-Colonel W. Stenhouse, Suggestions Regarding the Demarcation and Management of the Forests in Kulu (Calcutta: Office of the Suptd. of Govt. Printing, 1877), pp. 10-11. [BACK]

    54. P.S.A., Chandigarh, B/10282, Progress Report on Forest Administration in the Punjab for the year 1926-27 (Lahore: Suptd. Govt. Printing, 1928), p. 4. [BACK]

    55. N. Bhattacharya, "Colonial State and Agrarian Society," pp. 129-130, in Burton Stein, ed.The Making of Agrarian Policy in British India, pp. 113-149. [BACK]

    56. Sidney W. Mintz, Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History (New York: Penguin Books, 1985), p. 173. [BACK]

    57. The villagers accessed the nearest forests in Kulu which comprised of deodar and kail trees, while the Forest Department redefined the regions which could be tapped for local use. They delineated rai and tos forests that were at a greater distance, and at a much higher elevation; see D.C. Kangra, file no. 10 (46), 'Forest Settlement Report of Kulu, 1894,' p. 3. [BACK]

    58. This is reminiscent of the Enclosure Movement in England which was designed to give greater scope to improved methods of arable farming and sometimes to convert arable land into pasture. It made farming subservient to the needs of the markets in which merchant capital dominated the scene. [BACK]

    59. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 114, 1904. [BACK]

    60. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 125, 1908, letter from the Conservator of forests, Punjab to the Chief Secretary to the Govt. of India. [BACK]

    61. Messrs Lace & McIntire, Revised Working-Plan for the Upper Ravi Forests. Chamba Division. Punjab (Lahore: Civil & Military Gazette Press, 1895), p. 2. Vasant Saberwal has argued that access was more important for the Gaddis than formal property rights, and they did find means to circumvent the restrictive grazing laws; see his "Pastoral politics: bureaucratic agendas, shepherd land use practices and conservation policy in Himachal Pradesh, India, 1865-1994," Ph.D. Dissertation, Yale University, May 1997, p. 336. [BACK]

    62. James C. Scott, "The Demography of Oppression," The Page Barbour And Richard Lectures, University of Virginia, March 25, 1997. This was part of a series of three lectures by James Scott on 'The State and People Who Move.' [BACK]

    63. Similar problems are being faced by other nomads in the contemporary period. For instance, see Robyn Davidson's work on the rabari community in Rajasthan inDesert Places (New York: Viking, 1996). [BACK]

    64. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 114, 'Forest Bartan Rights of Zamindars,' 1904. [BACK]

    65. The British stance over collection of timber from remote areas was that trees could not be felled from the nearest line of forest, but fellings were of necessity spread over the forests. [BACK]

    66. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 108(1), 'Timber Supply and Arrangements in Kulu,' 1882. [BACK]

    67. For a nuanced understanding of the manner in which the colonial state interpreted local rebellion see, See Ranajit Guha, ELementarv Aspects of Peasant Insurgency in Colonial India(Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983). Also see his "Prose of Counter-Insurgency," in which he discusses the manner in which the colonial state dealt with the peasant rebel merely as an empirical person or member of a class. Economic and political factors were enumerated for rebellion, but these causes were never related to the peasant's consciousness. On the other hand, the reactions were regarded as passive to some initiative of the superordinate enemy; Ranajit Guha ed. Subaltern Studies II: Writings on South Asian History and Society (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1983),pp. 1-42. [BACK]

    68. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 13, Nov. 1920. [BACK]

    69. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 10(134), 1923. [BACK]

    70. O.I.O.C., E/4/813, Despatches to India and Bengal, no. 47, letter from Baden-Powell, Conservator of Forests, Punjab, to the Commissioner and Superintendent, Amballa division, 4 Jan. 1878. [BACK]

    71. See Michael J.G. Parnwell and Raymond L. Bryant eds., Environmental Change in SouthEast Asia,(London: Routledge, 1996), p. 14. [BACK]

    72. For instance, permission for felling trees had to go through the tahsildar (village headman)-who was also the subordinate district official--of the village, in which the forest was situated. Furthermore, forest rights were directly dependent on the revenue a zamindar paid to the state. Inthe bargain, among many others, tenants lost to a considerable extent. [BACK]

    73. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), Delhi, Punjab Legislative Council Debates, vol. VIII, Part B. nos. 23-34, p. 1378. [BACK]

    74. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no. 10, March 1933, letter from A.M. David, Deputy Conservator Forests, to the Deputy Commissioner, Kangra. [BACK]

    75. N.A.I., Rev. & Agr. Proc., (Forests), B. nos. 36-37, Aug. 1875, Appendix A. [BACK]

    76. H.P.S.A., D.C. Kangra, file no.10 (46), 1896, letter from Lieut. Colonel C.F. Massey, Commissioner and Suptd. Jalandhar Division, to the Senior Secretary to Financial Commissioner, Punjab. [BACK]

    77. D.C. Kangra, file no. 10(31), 'Forest Conservancy,' 1906. [BACK]

    78. Ibid. [BACK]

    79. Ibid. [BACK]

    80. ibid. [BACK]

    81. P.S.A., Patiala, Selections, n.s. 26, 'Kangra Forest Settlement Report,' p. 37. [BACK]

    82. Along with the Gujars which was the only community that made a trade of selling milk or ghi. See Lyall, Report of the Land Revenue Settlement of the Kangra District, p. 44. [BACK]

    83. N.C. Saxena, Farm-Forestry in North-West India (New Delhi: Ford Foundation, 1990), p.32. [BACK]

    84. Such relationships within the local society and economy were being perpetually reorganized, even though the initiative for many changes came from the British. Given the alterations in the factors of production, the zamindars could have made a better use of opportunities, as clearly evident in the tremendous increase of livestock; See Samuel L. Popkin, The Rational Peasant: Political Economy of Rural Society in Vietnam (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1979). [BACK]

    85. In Appalachian Kentucky, logging and farming were equally important to household subsistence in pre-industrial families. Farmers provided most of the financing, labor, management and organization of timber operations, while they depended on external markets and contacts with corporate mills and industry to make a profit. Timber was called the Appalachian's staple crop. Timber species found in this region were oak, walnut, chestnut and poplar. See Robert Spencer Weise, "Economy and Society in Appalachian Kentucky,1850-1915," Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia, 1995, chapter four, 'Logging and the Debt Economy.' [BACK]

    86. Trihais or one-third of the forest area was closed for a period of thirty years. No green wood could be felled in the trihais except for state purposes. But since most trihais were located near village settlements, the Forest Department found it difficult to prevent villagers from grazing their cattle in the area, notwithstanding the heavy penalties and cattle pound charges levied on them. The fact that no part of the arable land in the hills was especially devoted to growing fodder for cattle (unlike in the plains) partially explains the position of both the state and the grazers. [BACK]

    87. The rates charged at the time of Barnes' Settlement were two rupees per hundred sheep and goats. Although Anderson had recommended an increase in his 1897 Settlement, rates were only increased in 1911 to Rs. 2-5-6 per hundred sheep, and Rs. 3-14-6 per hundred goats. Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Proceedings of the Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, Nov. 1898, p. 23. [BACK]

    88. N.A.I., Rev. & Agr. Proc., (Forests), A, nos. 16-18, Feb. 1916. [BACK]

    89. Two annas were charged on each goat, and nine Rice on each sheep. [BACK]

    90. For instance in 1914 zamindars in Kangra owned 8,67,866 horned cattle, while by 1930 the number had reduced to 78,643 cattle. Report of the Punjab Erosion Committee (Lahore: Suptd. Govt. Printing, 1933), Appendix, p. vii. [BACK]

    91. Ranajit Guha, "The Small Voice of History," p. 3, in Shahid Amin & Dipesh Chakrabarty eds., Subaltern Studies IX: Writings on South Asian History and Society (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 1 -12. [BACK]

    92. N.A.I., Home Dept. Proc.,(Forests), A, nos. 6-7, Aug. 1882, p. 21. [BACK]

    93. N.A.I., Home Dept. (Forests), A, nos. 6-9, Sept. 1885; N.A.I., Rev. & Agr. Proc.,(Forests),A, nos. 4-7, Oct. 1886. There were similar trends in eighteenth-century England where there was considerable infringement of forest laws. While this was viewed as "crime" by the state, it was an assertion of customary rights and it represented an incipient form of social protest; Douglas Hay and E.P. Thompson in Albion, Fatal Tree (Harmondsworth, 1976); Thompson, Whigs and Hunters (Harmondsworth, 1976). [BACK]

    94. Nancy Peluso, Rich Forests, Poor People, p. 11. [BACK]

    95. Although this study does not include the Chenab and Jhelum divisions, I have included examples from these regions for an understanding of local activities, which the records refer to as forest crime. [BACK]

    96. Progress Report on Forest Administration in the Punjab for the year 1922-1923 (Lahore: Suptd. Govt. Printing, 1923), p. 7. [BACK]

    97. F.R.I., Punjab Forest Conference. Feb. 8-13. 1909, Appendix A; 30 per cent of timber thefts were for local markets, especially around the Chenab and Jhelum rivers. [BACK]

    98. O.I.O.C., Rev. & Agr. Proc., (Forests), A, nos. 12-20, file 10, Jan. 1912, letter from E. Lee French, Inspector-General of Police, Punjab to The Under-Secretary to Govt., Punjab, Rev. Dept. [BACK]

    99. Timber brought in logs would have been bulky enough to attract the attention of neighboring villagers. [BACK]

    100. Nancy Peluso, Rich Forests. Poor People: Resource Control and Resistance in Java(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), p. 236. [BACK]

    101. As Marx wrote, "If popular customary rights are suppressed, the attempt to exercise them can only be treated as the simple contravention of a police regulation, but never punished as a crime... The punishment must not inspire more repugnance than the offense, the ignominy of crime must not be turned into the ignominy of law. The basis of the state is undermined if misfortune becomes a crime or crime becomes a misfortune," in 'Debates on the Law on Thefts of Wood,' in Marx and Engels, Collected Works I (Moscow, 1975), p. 235. [BACK]

    102. O.I.O.C., PWD Proc. (Forests), A, no. 3, 1868. [BACK]

    103. O.I.O.C., Rev. & Agr. Proc.,(Forests), A, no. 362, Jan. 1911, p. 44. [BACK]

    104. O.I.O.C., Rev. & Agr. Proc. (Forests), A, April 1911, 'Difficulties of Forest Administration in the Punjab.' In the course of several interviews in villages around Chamba and Dalhousie in1995-96, residents of villages like Khajjiar were quite open about their willingness to sell their share of timber to whoever wanted to buy it from them. [BACK]

    105. O.I.O.C., Rev. & Agr. Proc., (Forests), A, no. 51. [BACK]

    106. N.A.I., Rev. & Agr. (Forests), B. nos. 8-9, file 110, Appendix P. 'Extract from the Abstract of the Proceedings of a meeting of the Legislative Council of the Punjab held at Govt. House, Lahore', 10 April, 1912. [BACK]

    107. O.I.O.C., Rev. & Agr. Proc., (Forests), A, nos. 35-67, 7 July 1912, letter from J. Copeland, Conservator of Forests, Punjab, to the Revenue Secretary to Govt. Punjab. [BACK]

    108. O.I.O.C., P.W.D. Proc., (Forests), A, nos. 22-23, 1867,'Thefts of Wood in Forests,' p. 17. [BACK]

    109. O.I.O.C., P.W.D. Proc., (Forests), A, no. 29, May 1868. [BACK]

    110. O.I.O.C., Rev. & Agr. Proc., (Forests), A, no. 40, August 1912, letter from H. Calvert, Deputy Commissioner, Rohtak, to The Commissioner, Delhi Division. [BACK]

    111. Forest Research Institute, Minute of the Proceedings of the Punjab Forest Conference. February 8-13. 1909 Appendix A (Lahore, 1910); 30 per cent of timber thefts were for local markets, especially around the Chenab and Jhelum rivers. [BACK]

    112. F.R.I., Minutes of the Proceedings of the Punjab Forest Conference, Lahore, 8-13 Feb.1909; Proceedings of February 8, 1909. [BACK]

    113. O.I.O.C., V/913410, proceedings of the Legislative Council of the Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab, 1912, vol. m (Simla: Punjab Govt. Press, 1913). [BACK]

    114. Joel S. Midgal, "introduction: Developing a state-in-society perspective," p. 9, in Joel S. Midgal, Atul Kohli, and Vivienne Shue eds., State Power and social forces: Domination and transformation in the Third World, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), pp. 7-36. [BACK]

    115. Robert H. Bates, Markets and States in Tropical Africa: The Political Basis of Agricultural Policies (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), p. 82. [BACK]

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