Tribes of India: Realities and Representations
The term ‘tribe/tribal’ is at the heart of several contentious issues of contemporary Indian society. For centuries the tribal communities have been subjected to domination and control by the outsiders and been victims of cultural genocide. As a result, their relationship with forests has been violated, their lifestyle that epitomised harmony with Nature, stands denigrated causing colossal disruption of the everyday practices. Does the process of subjugation and assimilation imply a complete disintegration of tribal practices and tradition? What are the challenges posed by modernisation, sankritisation, and globalisation on linguistic realities and its effect on tribal identity and culture? What happens when the indigenous language faces threat from the outside world? Does it succumb to the pressure and becomes extinct? This book offers critical insights into questions that are fundamental as well as contemporary in the field of tribal research. From oral cultures and language issues to the radical aspects in tribal Ramayanas and Mahabharatas, to ethnographic studies on tribal monetary traditions, textile, and handicrafts, not to mention the chapters on literary studies of authors like Mamang Dai, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, and Mahasweta Devi, the book encompasses a variety of research work that is multidisciplinary, heterogeneous in scope and yet, incisive in argumentation.