Looking Beyond the Present: The Historical Dynamics of Adivasi (Indigenous and Tribal) Assertions in India

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Abstract

This essay is organized into two parts that describe some of the important conceptual, historical and representational issues that relate to Adivasi assertion. The first part, 'Adivasis' as 'Indigenous and Tribal Peoples', summarizes the key conceptual and semantic debates that have enabled Adivasis to assert themselves as Indigenous peoples internationally and nationally. This paves the way for a fuller engagement with the topic of Reinterpreting Adivasi History. Here I reflect upon a statement made about 'looking beyond the present' by Shibu Soren, a leading Santal politician, to question how and why movements led by Adivasi freedom-fighters sustain discourses of indigeneity in postcolonial India. The second part, on the ICITP (Indian Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples), links up the previous strands, to assess how this indigenist organization has developed a reading of Indigenous rights as relating to history, in a range of representational contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Adivasi and Indigenous Studies
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

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