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

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State Policy and Adivasi Resistance in Contemporary India

First Citizens: Studies on Adivasis, Tribals, and Indigenous Peoples in India edited by Meena Radhakrishna, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016; p ix +444, ₹ 995.

As its title suggests, the book uses the nomenclature First Citizen, in preference to terms like Tribal, Adivasi, Scheduled Tribe (ST), or Indigenous People for a number of reasons. In the introduction, Meena Radhakrishna, editor of the volume, explicates the historical-political context of each of these terms, from colonial to contemporary, on global but especially the Indian scene. Bringing together discussions among colonial and postcolonial administrators, anthropologists, sociologists, and political activists concerned with Adivasi communities, she argues in favour of using the term which is somewhat new in the discourse on Adivasis. Radhakrishna observes,

The phrase “first citizen” derives from the understanding that all such communities, including in India, are amongst the world’s first, original people, and so by definition, the world’s first citizens. Terms like “tribe,” “adivasi,” and “indigenous” have genealogies which arise from specific historical-political Indian contexts. (p 2)

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Updated On : 5th Oct, 2018

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