Dalit families in Marathwada in Maharashtra continue to demand regularisation of land rights for common grazing land that they have been traditionally cultivating. Vishwanath S. Todkar, director of Prayay, a nonprofit supporting the movement, told Land Conflict Watch that according to a survey conducted in 2018, approximately 10,920 people in the region are cultivating 18,631.62ha of common grazing land in four districts Osmanabad, Parbhani, Beed and Nanded.
The Jamin Adhikar Andolan (JAA) was started in the 1990s spread over eight districts. However, the practice of cultivating common grazing land and demands for private land titles date further back. During the preIndependence period, the then rulers had conferred the grazing land to Dalits, as per a TOI report. Cultivating the land since then has been a way to reduce the socioeconomic vulnerabilities that the community is subjected to, to attain resources and to challenge the monopoly of upper caste on land and other crucial resources as well as to assert their right to have a dignified status in society. Community leaders also say that conferring formal cultivation rights will help in better management of land resources in the droughtprone region.
The two resolutions passed by the Maharashtra government in December 1978 and November 1991 directed the state authorities to provide the members of Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes, Nomadic Tribes, Vimukta Jati and the Nav Bauddha community with land titles for the land in their possession, amongst other guidelines. However, according to a writ petition filed in 2010, the concerned authorities have failed to successfully implement the two resolutions, highlighting the resistance of uppercaste communities, inactive state authorities, transference of land to the forest department for afforestation and land privatisation as the reasons for the delay in implementation. The writ petition also provided instances of Dalit families cultivating common grazing land being harassed by the upper caste and forced to give up the land.
According to the petition, until April 1990, 84,230 families were collectively in possession of over 1,08,915.54 hectares of grazing/fallow land, however, Todkar stated that the movement has reduced to 30 per cent of its early reach in terms of land and people affected. He also noted that the NGOs and concerned families are refraining from filing a court case or seeking any legal aid due to the governments emphasis on increasing forested area, for which large parts of land has been diverted to the state forest department by the revenue department. Meanwhile, the families continue to demand legal recognition of their possessions.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Type of Land
Type of Common Land
Forest and Non-Forest, Non-Forest (Grazing Land)
Total investment involved (in Crores):
Type of investment:
Year of Estimation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?
Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict
Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute
What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Status of Case In Court
Whether any adjudicatory body was approached
Name of the adjudicatory body
Name(s) of the Court(s)
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Whether criminal law was used against protestors
Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Nature of Protest
Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:
Government of Maharashtra, State Revenue Department , State Forestry Department
PSUs Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?
Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Resources Related to Conflict
News Articles Related to the Conflict:
Documents Related to the Conflict:
Links Related to the Conflict: