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

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Mapping the Politics of Adivasiyat in Jharkhand

The contemporary articulation of Adivasiyat advances the claims of Adivasis on multiple levels based on the discourse of indigeneity. The politics of Adivasiyat, however, immersed in the regional specificity broadens the framework of making political claims. This framework envisages the idea of self-governance, not simply as the incorporation of locals in the administration but the simultaneous inclusion of community logic and institutions in the process of governance. Additionally, on the ideological ground, it postulates an emancipatory project from the burden of the colonial construct of “tribe” or the notion of “backward Hindus.” The paper, therefore, strives to make sense of how the politics of Adivasiyat and self-governance are entangled in Jharkhand, tracing the collective history of Adivasis genealogically.

None of the authors have any conflict of interest to disclose.

The authors are thankful to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions that have helped them improve the content and organisation of the paper.


In his renowned “The Gettysburg Address,” Abraham Lincoln (1863) once intimated that democracy entails self-determination calling for a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” The proclamation normatively accepts the moral authority of the people to govern themselves. However, the proposition it makes is abstract in nature because it raises some fundamental questions. It does not provide clarity as to the scope and the extent of such self-determination. Can we expect a true self-governing arrangement in which all the social groups would share adequate stakes in the building up of the governing institutions meant for them? And more importantly, the question of whom the said quote refers to as “the people.” Is it all the people living under the geographical entity? If the answer is in the affirmative, how does the existence of numerous social groups get accommodation in terms of self-governance? 

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Published On : 29th Mar, 2024

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