Understanding the importance of land-rights for Adivasi communities: Colonial laws that continue to affect various indigenous groups of Chotanagpur – Jharkhand

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Source: Irish Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 19(2) 2016 Autumn/Winter
EDITORIAL NOTE, LIDIA GUZY, MARINE CARRIN, HARALD TAMBS-LYCHE
https://www.anthropologyireland.org/images/2016_2/2016_2_1_Editorial%20Note.pdf
Accessed: 17-12-17

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Exploitation, land rights, and identity assertion

Since the colonial period the question of land-rights has been crucial for Indian Adivasis. Attempts to regain lost lands have provoked successive rebellions from 1832 to 1905. Stressing that these forms of resistance and rebellion, as alternative forms of identity assertion, must be ‘understood and analysed on the basis of the specific histories of individual communities,’ Sanjukta Das Gupta deals with the agrarian claims and insurrections of the Ho of Chotanagpur, as well as with the legal frameworks imposed by the British. She argues that the Chotanagpur Tenancy act intended to protect Adivasi land tenures produced different results for the various indigenous groups of the area. Unlike the Munda and Santal, who continued to lose land, the Ho, with their internal stratification and strong leadership, succeeded in negotiating a settlement through redefining their past, reshaping their identity, and developing a subaltern agency which allowed them to retain most of their land as well as their social organisation and polity.

Source: Irish Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 19(2) 2016 Autumn/Winter
EDITORIAL NOTE, LIDIA GUZY, MARINE CARRIN, HARALD TAMBS-LYCHE
https://www.anthropologyireland.org/images/2016_2/2016_2_1_Editorial%20Note.pdf
Accessed: 17-12-17

Adivasi and “tribal” are not interchangeable as explained by Dr. Ivy Hansdak:

Tribal” is a very broad term in the English language, as we all know, and includes all the different indigenous groups of India.
Adivasi” – which is derived from Sanskrit – is applied to the dark-skinned or Austro-Asiatic indigenous groups of India (usually those from Eastern India). It is a commonly-used term in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha. It is also used by the local Mongoloid tribes of North Eastern India for the migrant workers who were brought in as indentured labourers to work in tea plantations during the colonial period. 

Source: personal message (email dated 27 March 2020)

See also

Research the above issues with the help of Shodhganga: A reservoir of theses from universities all over India, made available under Open Access >>

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