The Newsletter 53 Spring 2010

'Tribes', tradition and state

Virginius Xaxa

In scientific as well as societal discourses on India, ‘tribes’ are believed to be outside the realm of the state. However, contrary to this commonly held assumption, as I will outline in this paper, ‘tribes’ have actually been unequivocally incorporated into the colonial as well as postcolonial state in India. The administrative policies that have constituted the ‘tribes’ and their traditions as distinct from Indian society in general have played a major role in their marginalisation and deprivation.

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