Historically, the Indian Himalayan region which was under the control of foreigners, especially Britishers and Germans, since 1855, used to produce lumber for railroads. Further, the then government nationalized one-fifth of the total forest area and enacted legislation in this regard. To make things still worse, the Indian Forests Act of 1878 restricted the peasant access to those forest areas not deemed commercially economical and sanctions were levied on those who violated such restrictions. As a step forward, the Forest department passed an order to excavate the complete forest land area, mainly by cutting down the ash trees, to utilise the same for commercial purposes. Source :nvsecase.htm The main indication of empowerment as a result of Chipko has been the increasing and the effect of village level womens organizations called Mahiula Mangal Dals (MMDs). Irrespective of the intentions of the Chipko workers, the women who participated in the Chipko meetings, protests and other programs became aware of their strengths and began demanding a share in the decision making process at the community level.
All this resulted into emergence of several forest management initiatives in India where some are initiated at the State level while some are at Panchayat level. By 1998, around 10,000 of these types of initiatives are in existence covering about two million hectares of degraded forest land. Documented evidences from the movement sources do not indicate any influences of the brand of thinking known as deep ecology. Dependable historical account of this widely written about movement is, surprisingly, scanty. Among the early writers on the history of the movement, Bandyopadhyay (1992) as well as Guha (1989) have not indicated any link with deep ecology. 2. Is Chipko a social movement based on gender collaboration or a ‘feminist movement’ based on gender conflicts? In the early literature on the Chipko Movement no serious questions were raised about the movement being based on gender conflict. There was no lack of recognition of then fact the issue of forests in the Garhwal and Kumaon Himalaya touches the women much more intensely than the men.
It was not a question of planned organization of the women for the movement, rather it happened spontaneously and the men were out of the village so the women had to come forward and protect the trees. The presence of large number of women in the forest action at Reni, and the large scale participation of the village women have led to some analysts claiming Chipko to be a womens movement. However, inspite of that, Shiva (1992) identified Chipko as a women movement though no activist woman from the movement has made any such claim. 3. Has anyone in the Chipko movement actually hugged trees at the risk of her/his life and not for waiting photographers? All the photographs of Chipko Actions represent enactments. When the only reported incidence of embracing trees to protect them from felling occurred in Salet forests in the Garhwal Himalaya, and human life was at risk, there was no photographer around in the remote mountain forests. Source : bandj99a.htm The initial start of the Chipko Movement was with the conflicts over mountain forests between the economic interests of the mountain communities and the ecology of the plains.
This fundamental basis gradually resulted from contract system of felling being stopped to the establishment of public sector Forest Department Corporation. The fellings were then onwards undertaken with the help of local village cooperatives. Chipko though not in original form still continues in the form of the traditional custom of tree hugging besides taking part in more project oriented work including large-scale educational work with local governments. Women are still the active participants of the Chipko Movement because they are the ones who are mostly involved in agriculture and connect deforestation with environmental and society problems. Infact, they are the first to identify the environmental problems with deforestation and fought against commercial logging and development. They are the tough fighters in the protection of forests. As a womens movement, Chipko Movement is still continuing to fight for proper forestry policies. Environmental Harm, i.e.,harm to forests, wild life, etc, effects not only the private individual but the society as a whole. A conflict pertaining to environment goes beyond the individual and acquires the dominion of public law. There exists five legal remedies for individual citizens of India towards environmental harm such as constitutional remedies, civil litigation, criminal prosecution, citizen suit under environmental statutes and judicial review of administration. Constitutional Remedies : The subject of forests was included in the State List in the seventh schedule of the Constitution. But during the emergency, the subject was transferred from the state list to the concurrent list through the 42nd amendment to the Constitution.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 proved to be a boon to China and the PLAAF. Apart from a formidable enemy being neutralised, many displaced scientists, engineers and technicians from the erstwhile Soviet Union found employment in the Chinese military industrial complex. The Russian aircraft industry struggling to survive, was more than willing to sell modern aeroplanes and technology to China. And the booming Chinese economy could afford to import the best that was on offer. China is determined in developing modern military aerospace capabilities. In 1999, PLAAF operated over 3500 combat aircraft comprising mainly the J-6 (MiG-19 equivalent) and the J-7 (based on the MiG-21). A deal with Russia saw the induction of 100 Su-27 fighters. PLAAF also had in its inventory the H-6(Tu-16 based) bombers. China had no precision-guided munitions(PGMs) and only the Su-27 was BVR compatible. Modernisation of the PLAAF has been propelled by China’s astounding economic growth. The 21st century has witnessed the acquisition of 105 Su-30MKK from 2000 to 2003 and 100 upgraded Su-30MKK2 in 2004. China produced more than 200 J-11s from 2002 onwards. The PLAAF also bought a total of 126 Su-27SK/UBK in three batches. The production of the J-10 combat aircraft began in 2002 and 1200 are on order. The H-6 bombers (Tu-16 Badger) were converted into flight refuelling aircraft. In 2005, the PLAAF unveiled plans to acquire 70 Il-76 transport aircraft and 30 Il-78 tankers to significantly upgrade strategic airlift capability and offer extended range to the fighter force. The US Department of Defense has reported that Su-27 SKs are being upgraded to the multi-role Su-27 SMK status.