1st Edition

The Politics of Belonging in India
Becoming Adivasi

ISBN 9780415600828
Published April 27, 2011 by Routledge
256 Pages

USD $190.00

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

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


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Daniel J. Rycroft is Lecturer in South Asian Arts and Cultures at the School of World Art Studies and Museology, University of East Anglia, UK.

Sangeeta Dasgupta is  Assistant Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India.