ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Adivasis, on Their Own Terms

Adivasis, on Their Own Terms Hybrid Histories: Forests, Frontiers and Wildness in Western India by Ajay Skaria; Oxford University Press, New Delhi, pp XXIV+324, Rs 595.

This important new book represents the fruits of a decade of research on the adivasis of the Dangs region of south Gujarat. Ajay Skarias interest in the adivasis of Gujarat was awakened in the mid-1980s, while a student at the University of Baroda. This was the time when the movement against the dam on the Narmada river was taking off, and many committed young men and women were turning their energies towards fighting for the rights of the displaced adivasis and disputing the environmental wisdom of large dams. Amongst them was Ajay Skarias younger brother, Manosh, who was drowned most tragically in the Narmada in 1991 while engaged in such work. The book is very appropriately dedicated to him.

In the meantime, Ajay himself was given the chance to study the history of the adivasis through a scholarship at Cambridge University, which he took up in 1988. An initial interest in ecology was soon replaced by a realisation that environmentalism, as pursued in the adivasi tracts of western India had been a highly violent and oppressive force, opposed most strongly by the people themselves. It was not possible to portray the adivasis as some form of proto-ecologists as was fashionable at the time. Instead, he realised that it was more important to try to study the adivasis on their own terms. In particular, he realised that there was a whole politics of what he distinguished as wildness which needed elucidation. This book is the result.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.