New Delhi: Madhav Gadgil, author of the controversial ecological panel report on Western Ghats, today advocated the need for community control over natural resources as has been done successfully in Mendha Lekha of Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra.
"In teeth of bureaucratic resistance to honest implementation of Forest Rights Act, they and hundreds of other villages of Gadchiroli have won rights over Community Forest resources and are now striving to build a thriving economy on this rich resource base," he said.
"On top of this they are voluntarily setting aside a good fraction of the land as strict nature reserves," Gadgil said delivering the 15th D S Borker Memorial lecture on "An incorrigible Optimist?s Vision of India 2047".
Manda Lekha is the first tribal village to exercise its community right in the country to harvest bamboo under the forest rights act.
He said India should learn how Switzerland rolled back its environmental degradation after huge Uttarkhand like disasters that the country witnessed 150 years ago.
On his vision of India 2047, he said the global village will also see India`s transition from "today`s flawed representative form towards a direct, a completely participatory democracy" like the Switzerland.
"Democracy will truly flourish in such a world and we will make a transition from today`s flawed representative form towards a direct, a completely participatory democracy", he said.
Gadgil visualised abolition of vote bank politics through direct democracy and politicians no longer stoking the fires of caste and communal discord. "India will develop a harmonious, albeit highly diverse society," he said.
Besides, he was of the view that in such a changed situation, there will no longer be a place in India for "highly flawed forms of patronage" such as MGNREGA and Food security Bill.