The Newsletter 53 Spring 2010

Taking root in Bangladesh: states, minorities, and discourses of citizenship

Ellen Bal

Recently, a Garo friend of mine became a high-profile adivasi representative. He’s considered by (non-Garo) donors, politicians, academics and media to be an important spokesperson for indigenous people(s) and is frequently consulted on a variety of ‘indigenous’ issues. When I visited Bangladesh last year, my friend and his wife asked me to stay with them. As a result of their generous offer, I gained unexpected insights into current changes concerning indigenous people’s politics in Bangladesh, not least, how drastically the recently introduced international discourse on indigenous peoples has impacted identity formation amongst the Garos.

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