Natural Resources are under great pressure the world over, especially so in the developing countries that are constantly battling to maintain the delicate equilibrium of conserving them vis-a-vis the needs of the dependent populations. The saga of forestry and forest conservation in India is no different as it has to cater to the conflicting demands of environmentalism on the one hand and the demands of the forest-subsistence communities on the other. This ''balancing act'' has taken a heavy toll on the forests which were ''policed'' for over a century and are now sought to be managed with the help of the primary stake-holders; the people. However this paradigm shift to ''participatory management'' of forests is not without its own set of issues and problems. This book deals with the conflict over access, use and control of forest resources in a multi-caste, multi-level and a complex ordered society that is intrinsically fractured with various cultural and social identities and lives with a colonial past and its surrogates today. It tries to assess the sustainability of such conservation exercises in terms of ''operative equity'' rather than aid, funds, or government policy alone.