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Common Property Resources in Delhi: With Special Reference to the Bisagama Cluster

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Chakravarty-Kaul, Minoti
Conference: Designing Sustainability on the Commons, the First Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Duke University, Durham, NC
Conf. Date: September 27-30, 1990
Date: 1990
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/2309
Sector: Social Organization
Region: Middle East & South Asia
Subject(s): IASC
village organization
common pool resources
social change
Abstract: "Indian villages in the shadow of expanding metropolitan centers exemplify the confrontation of a traditional past with the powerful trends of modernization and urbanization. This conflict is especially apparent on village common lands. Often considered artifacts of historic feudal relations, these lands and associated institutions have gone through a long process of transformation reflecting national economic and social changes as well as evolution according to traditional rules. "The following history of a group of villages, the Bisagama, in the northwest portion of the Union Territory of Delhi, illustrates some of these changes. The Bisagama is a natural cluster of twenty villages covering 24,558 acres of partially irrigated upland. The villages have a long history with the major land owning villagers identifying themselves with a common ancestor, Dabas, a Rajput who was the great-grandson of Prithvi Raj Chauhan, the Hindu ruler of Delhi in the late part of the twelfth century. The Dabas progeny do not call themselves Rajputs but identify with the Jats of Delhi. Bisagama was chosen for study because it is relatively removed from direct urban pressures and has had a lower demographic growth rate than most of rural Delhi. The focus is on the impact of changing political control over village common lands as the central government began to play a larger and larger role."

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