How did the forest rules affect hunting in india?

Their usual practice of hunting deer, partridges and other small animals was prohibited by forest laws. Under colonial rule, the scale of hunting increased to such an extent that some species became extinct. When British control reached the forests, they banned hunting. They found wild animals as a reason why forest people are uncivilized.

They thought that by killing these animals they could civilize people. So hunting was only allowed to British officials and their allies. People who lived near forests survived by hunting deer, partridges, and a variety of small animals. The practice was prohibited by forest laws and those caught hunting were punished for poaching.

In India, hunting for tigers and other animals has been part of court and nobility culture for centuries. The scale of hunting increased under colonial rule to such an extent that several species almost became extinct. Rewards were awarded for killing wild animals. Some areas of the forest were reserved for hunting.

In many places, all over India, from Mizoram to Kerala, dense forests have survived only because villages protected them in sacred forests known as mange, devarakudu, kan, rai, etc. If people in one village want to drink some wood from the forests of another village, they pay a small fee called devsari, dand or man to change. Some villages protected their forests by involving watchmen and each household had to provide some grain to pay for them. First, the Dutch imposed rents on land that was cultivated in the forest and then exempted some villages from these rents if they worked collectively to provide free labor and buffalo for cutting and transporting wood.

If people in one village wanted to take wood from the forests of another village, they paid a small fee called devsari, dand or man in return. In 1905, the colonial government proposed reserving two-thirds of the forest and stopping changes in the cultivation, hunting and harvesting of forest products. Villagers grazing cattle in youth stalls, transporting timber without permission, or traveling through wooded land with carts for horses or cattle were punished. However, trade was fully regulated by the government, giving many large European trading companies the exclusive right to trade forest products from certain areas.

Every year there is a big hunt where village chiefs from a pargana (group of villages) meet and discuss topics of interest, including forests. The forests were taken over by the colonial government and gave vast areas to European planters at cheap prices to plant tea or coffee. Some villages have been patrolling their own forests, and each household has taken it in turns, rather than leaving it to the forest guards. Local villagers take care of all the natural resources within their limits and people pay a small fee called devsari, dand u hombre in exchange for taking some wood from the forests of another village.

In many cases, all over India, from Mizoram to Kerala, dense forests have survived only because villages protected them in sacred forests known as mange, devarakudu, kan, rai, etc. The people of Bastar were very worried when the colonial government proposed to reserve two-thirds of the forest in 1905, and stop changing the cultivation, hunting and harvesting of forest products.

Dorothy Magni
Dorothy Magni

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