Decolonising Decentralised

Decolonising Decentralised Governance : Insights from the Forests of Maharashtra

Sharachchandra Lele , Anuja Anil

Economic and Political Weekly | July 9, 2022

Three decades since the initiation of decentralised governance, and more than a decade since the first community forest resource right was recognised in Maharashtra, forest-dwelling communities still have limited space in decision-making about their forest resources. This article describes three cases from Maharashtra where bureaucratic overreach has impeded emerging forest management by forest dwellers holding community forest resource rights. It reflects on the need for changing the prevalent colonial mindset in the bureaucracy to facilitate genuine decentralised democratic governance.