Since the 1990s, the Indigenous movement worldwide has become increasingly relevant to research in India, re-shaping the terms of engagement with Adivasi (Indigenous/tribal) peoples and their pasts. This book responds to the growing need for an inter-disciplinary re-assessment of Tribal studies in postcolonial India and defines a new agenda for Adivasi studies. It considers the existing conceptual and historical parameters of Tribal studies, as a means of addressing new approaches to histories of de-colonization and patterns of identity-formation that have become visible since national independence.
Contributors address a number of important concerns, including the meaning of Indigenous studies in the context of globalised academic and political imaginaries, and the possibilities and pitfalls of constructions of indigeneity as both a foundational and a relational concept. A series of short editorial essays provide theoretical clarity to issues of representation, resistance, agency, recognition and marginality. The book is an essential read for students and scholars of Indian Sociology, Anthropology, History, Cultural Studies and Indigenous studies.
1. Introduction: Indigenous Pasts and the Politics of Belonging Daniel J. Rycroft and Sangeeta Dasgupta Part 1: Contesting Categories, Blurring Boundaries Introduction to Part 1 Daniel J. Rycroft and Sangeeta Dasgupta 2. The Dangers of Belonging: Tribes, Indigenous Peoples and Homelands in South Asia Willem Van Schendel 3. Performative Genres as Boundary Markers: Folklore and the Production of Purulia as Border Zone Roma Chatterji Part 2: Revisiting Resistance Introduction to Part 2 Daniel J. Rycroft and Sangeeta Dasgupta 4. Rebellion as Modern Self Fashioning: A Santal Movement in Colonial Bengal Tanika Sarkar 5. Reconstructing an Event: The Great Rebellion of 1857-58 and Singhbhum Indigenes Asoka Kumar Sen Part 3: Landscape and Adivasi Agency Introduction to Part 3 Daniel J. Rycroft and Sangeeta Dasgupta 6. Customary Rights and Resistance in the Forests of Singhbhum Vinita Damodaran 7. Standpoints and Intersections: Towards an Indigenist Epistemology Darley Jose Kjosavik Part 4: Politics, Participation and Recognition Introduction to Part 4 Daniel J. Rycroft and Sangeeta Dasgupta 8. Sovereignty through Indigenous Governance: Reviving ‘Traditional Political Institutions’ in Northeast India Beppe Karlsson 9. Aid, Adivasis and aspirations for development in western India David Mosse 10. Politics, Development and Identity: Jharkhand, 1991-2009 Amit Prakash Part 5: Mainstreams and Margins Introduction to Part 5 Daniel J. Rycroft and Sangeeta Dasgupta 11. Using the Past to Win the Present: Peasant Revolt, Political Parties and the Print Media in Leftist West Bengal Abhijit Guha 12. Who Cares For a New State? The imaginary institution of Jharkhand Alpa Shah