Discuss how the life of pastoralists changed dramatically under the colonial rule.
- The colonisers wanted to transform all grazing lands into cultivated farms. Land revenue was one of the main sources of income for them. By expanding cultivation, it could increase the revenue collection. To the colonial people, all uncultivated land appeared to be unproductive.
- Through Forest Acts, some forests which produced commercially valuable timber like deodar or sal, were declared "Reserved”. No pastoralist was allowed to enter these forests. The colonisers believed that grazing destroyed the saplings and young shoots of trees that germinated on the forest floor.
- The colonisers wanted nomadic tribes to live in villages, in fixed places with fixed rights. Those who were settled were seen as peaceable and law abiding.
- Pastoralists had to pay tax on every animal they grazed on the pastures. In most pastoral tracts of India, grazing tax was introduced in the mid-19th century. This tax per head of cattle went up rapidly and the system of collection was made more efficient.