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Cultural Positioning of Tribes in North-east India

Mapping the Evolving Heraka Identity

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While the vast majority of Naga tribes converted to Christianity, the Zeliangrong people follow an indigenous religion known as the Heraka that was formed out of a movement to reform their traditional religion. Since many of the practices of the Heraka are derived from Hinduism, the Sangh parivar has declared them to be vanvasi (forest-dwellers) and sought to assimilate them into the Hindu fold. This article examines the close association of RSS and the Heraka's followers, their convergence and difference, and more particularly, the impact on the cultural positioning of the Heraka. It also examines the construction of the Heraka identity along the distinct lines of Hindus and Christians.

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