A fundamental principle of livelihood is that work has a foundational value. It is opposed to the labour-commodity process where the foundational value of work is thoroughly undermined and where work is disembedded from society and taken out of it. In adivasi livelihoods, work is foundational and only through work does a person know what his or her potentialities are. The current adivasi struggles are at bottom attempts to reclaim this foundational value of work and all that it entails.

This essay argues that the Forest Rights Act 2006 is designed on the principles of labour teleology. It undermines the foundational position of forests, prepares them to become a playground for profits and minimally serves the interests of the marginalised tribal and forest dwellers.