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Subalterns and Sovereigns: An Anthropological History of Bastar (1854-2006)
Subaletrns and Sovereigns traces the expansion of the colonial and the post-colonial state in Bastar, central India between 1854 and 2006. In particular, it looks at the manner in which the state was constituted, focusing on certain critical moments when the structures set into place by the colonial state were contested. The central themes include the...
Subaletrns and Sovereigns traces the expansion of the colonial and the post-colonial state in Bastar, central India between 1854 and 2006. In particular, it looks at the manner in which the state was constituted, focusing on certain critical moments when the structures set into place by the colonial state were contested. The central themes include the growing restrictions on popular access to land and forest, and the changing popular notions of kingship and polity, which act as the matrix through which structures of resistance are defined. The author's account of the region is at once the outcome of an intellectual as well as personal encounter with the "field." It is divided into three parts: section one, "Recreated Pasts," portrays the pre-colonial economy and polity. It dispels notions of dominant history that see Bastar and other such places as untouched and isolated prior to colonialism, showing instead, the degree of social and political fluidity in the region. Section two, "Rebellious Pasts," presents accounts of both "major" and "minor" resistance to the colonizing process. It throws light on the play of multiple histories, differently constructed and differently understood by the actors involved. The final section, "Uncertain Futures," highlights the contradictions faced by tribal society today and the processes of cultural redefinition engendered by these contradictions. This second edition includes an afterword which discusses contemporary issues concerning the formation of the state of Chattisgarh.
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