ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

A+| A| A-

Benchmark Study on Adivasi History

Adivasis and the Raj: Socio-economic Transition of the Hos, 1820-1932 (Critical Thinking in South Asian History Series) by Sanjukta Das Gupta (Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan), 2011; pp xvi+367, Rs 820.

Serious scholarship on adivasi society in the uplands of eastern India started in the 19th century as British colonial rule consolidated in the region and information began to be collected through the efforts of administrators, missionaries, and occasionally, scholars. In the process, a set of narratives emerged on transformation of adivasi society in the recent past, which formed the basis for interpretive research done by anthropologists and historians in the late 20th century. The scholarship developed partly by new archival research, and partly, revising the earlier theories. The effort has gone through an especially productive phase in the last two decades when a new interest in forests reinforced the older interest in the history of forest-dependent communities.

Sanjukta Das Gupta’s study of the Hos of Singhbhum belongs in this scholarship. It is without question an important work in the field. The quality of archival research is first-rate. The framing of the study with reference to the colonial and postcolonial historiographies is effectively achieved. The book is bigger than the usual monographic work, and the author uses the extra space to enrich the stories. Its main contribution, however, lies in its arguments and hypotheses bearing on how adivasi history should be written.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here

Back to Top