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Otiter Jed or Times of Revolution: Ila Mitra, the Santals and Tebhaga Movement

Cross readings of oral narratives of the Tebhaga leader Ila Mitra with a complex history of violent encounters between the East Pakistani and a tribal population bring to light a unique historical conjuncture that took shape between Santal temporal imperatives and the communist teleology in the 1950s. Ila Mitra's articulations and determined resistance reveal a deep identification with the adivasis that runs deeper than ideological solidarity and has rarely found place in our political cultures. In the contemporary context of political crackdowns on tribal populations, the relation of political parties with the people assumes criticality. Actual political engagement across caste and tribe calls for some understanding of committed and affective processes of negotiating difference, and while there are risks involved, there are also compelling solidarities that are possible.

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Otiter Jed or Times of Revolution: Ila Mitra, the Santals and Tebhaga Movement

Kavita Panjabi

Cross readings of oral narratives of the Tebhaga leader Ila Mitra with a complex history of violent encounters between the East Pakistani and a tribal population bring to light a unique historical conjuncture that took shape between Santal temporal imperatives and the communist teleology in the 1950s. Ila Mitra’s articulations and determined resistance reveal a deep identification with the adivasis that runs deeper than ideological solidarity and has rarely found place in our political cultures. In the contemporary context of political crackdowns on tribal populations, the relation of political parties with the people assumes criticality. Actual political engagement across caste and tribe calls for some understanding of committed and affective processes of negotiating difference, and while there are risks involved, there are also compelling solidarities that are possible.

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