In Savage Attack: Tribal Insurgency in India the authors ask whether there is anything particularly adivasi about the forms of resistance that have been labelled as adivasi movements. What does it mean to speak about adivasi as opposed to peasant resistance? Can one differentiate adivasi resistance from that of other lower castes such as the dalits? In this volume the authors move beyond stereotypes of tribal rebellion to argue that it is important to explore how and why particular forms of resistance are depicted as adivasi issues at particular points in time. Interpretations that have depicted adivasis as a united and highly politicised group of people have romanticised and demonized tribal society and history, thus denying the individuals and communities involved any real agency. Both the interpretations of the state and of left-wing supporters of tribal insurgencies have continued to ignore the complex realities of tribal life and the variety in the expressions of political activism that have resulted across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent.
Introduction-Savage Attack: Adivasis and Insurgency in India - Crispin Bates and Alpa Shah 1. We Shall Fight Them on the Beach: Counterinsurgency, Colonisation and the Andaman Islanders, 1771–1863 - Satadru Sen 2. ‘Natural Boundaries’: Negotiating Land Rights and Establishing Rule on the East India Company’s North-Eastern Frontier 1790s–1820s - Gunnel Cederlöf 3. From ‘Natural Philosophy’ to ‘Political Ritual’: An Ethno-Historical Reading of the Colonial Sources on the Konds’ Religion (Orissa) - Raphaël Rousseleau 4. Locating Adivasi Identity in Colonial India: The Oraons and the Tana Bhagats in Chhotanagpur, 1914–1919 – Sangeeta Dasgupta 5. Tribal Armed Rebellion of 1922–1924 in the Madras Presidency: a Study of Causation as Colonial Legitimation - Atlury Murali 6. Events, Incidents and Accidents: Re-Thinking Indigenous Resistance in the Andaman Islands - Vishvajit Pandya 7. The Making and Unmaking of an Adivasi Working Class 200 in Western Orissa - Christian Strümpell 8. Adivasis and Communists in Post-Reform Kerala: Neoliberalism, Political Disillusionment, and the Indigenist Challenge - Luisa Steur 9. Thoughts on Religious Experience and ‘Politics’ in Adivasi India: an Anthropologist Attempts a Rereading of History - Amit Desai 10. Alcoholics Anonymous: The Maoist Movement in Jharkhand, India - Alpa Shah