From an ancient time, Indian farmers were using the forest for their cultivation. In the British period, the government thought that the farmers are destroying the forest for agriculture. To put a restriction on the farmer’s use of the forest, the Britishers made several laws. Also, they formed a society to supervise all the laws and their execution, which was named the forest society. It was established in 1946. It was incorporated in 1955. The society was mainly for forest preservation. Though conservation was the sole purpose, the British Government used it for their commercial purpose. In this article, we are going to discuss the rise of commercial forestry, and forest society and colonialism.
Deforestation Under the British Rule
During British rule, there was major deforestation in India. The problem of deforestation has become more complicated for some reasons. For a huge increase in population, the food demand increased and the cultivation area was extended by clearing forests. The British government started cultivating commercial crops for which they had to clear a huge forest area. These were the two main reasons for deforestation in the British period. They went for deforestation and increased the land for cultivation. Between 1880 and 1920, this deforestation occurred.
The Rise of Commercial Forestry
The British rulers restricted the overused forests by the Indians. They started it for the conservation of the forest. But later, they started using the forest for commercial purposes. The British rulers had requirements of wood and some commercial crops. They used the forest area for commercial crop cultivation, which increased the rate of deforestation. In 1865, they enacted the Indian Forest Act. After that, they introduced the term commercial forestry in 1878. By this act, the forest was divided into three areas- reserved, protected, and village forests.
Explanation of Forest Society and Colonialism
The British rulers restricted the forest area with the thought that the farmers are wasting the area by cultivation. Therefore, the British Government made a rule so that the forest areas are not destroyed. Though the forest area was preserved, the colonial Government started using it for their commercial purpose. Thus, the forest act and the forest society turned into colonialism. The British rulers were taking advantage of the forest society and colonialism for their commercial crop and wood production.
Forest Society and Colonialism Summary
In this process of the forest society and colonialism, the large areas of forest were cleared for cultivating commercial crops such as rubber, tea, coffee, etc. The British rulers used the areas because they can produce the crops at cheap rates and sell them in Europe at a high price.
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Questions and Answers
1. What Were the Main Reasons for Deforestation in India?
Solution: The main reasons for deforestation in India were the increasing population, huge food demand, commercial crop and wood production, etc.
2. Name the Categories of Forest Area.
Solution: In 1878, the forest act was enacted. According to this act, the forest area was divided into three parts, which are protected forests, reserved forests, and village forests.
3. Define the Reserved Forest and Village Forest.
Solution: The forest, which is reserved for commercial purposes, is called a reserved forest. Village forest is the area, where the Indians can live and use the forest for their purpose such as cutting and transporting trees.