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|Other Comments||Varied conflicts over land and water ownership are latent in the area and couched often under ‘ecological inevitabilities’ such as natural changes in the river channels after major flooding events. However, the violence and the lack of law and order that follows such abrupt geomorphological changes are purely social impacts – they can never be justified (as politicians do sometimes) as being due to the uncertain character of the floodplain river and landscape. Fishers find their livelihoods to often be in conflict with all others, because by the very action of their occupation, they tend to straddle multiple institutional boundaries (e.g. farm lands, district/block boundaries etc.). Adaptive forms of management to recognize their dynamic practices and livelihood needs are therefore critical. Such adaptive management is exceedingly complex in a state like Bihar, where caste and class disparities are vicious in their severity, and come to haunt every step towards dialogue or co-management. |
Add to this the pernicious evil of governmental corruption and nepotism, which has historically persisted in this state. Transcending these challenges requires, above all attempts at actions here and there, a serious political will and engagement, with this matter. Without the support of political reform, all minor actions till date have appeared trivial, and the conflict has continued. Systemic changes, not only from the bottom, but also the top, are going to be critical in ensuring any success whatsoever in the management and mitigation of the severe and violent conflicts over fisheries in the area.