Redefining Tribal Identity: The Changing Identity of the Santhals in South-West Bengal
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Professor of History, The University of Burdwan
This book seeks to explore the evolution of Santhal ethnic identity, taking into account the changes that the Santhals have undergone in their mental and material world as a result of the impact of the forces of modernization – both during the colonial as well as the post-colonial periods. The major events of Santhal history, like the Santhal Hool (1855), the Jharkhand movement, and Santhal participation in the Indian National Movement have been focused upon in this book to explore changing notions of Santhal ethnic identity, including the twists and turns in the process of their identity assertion. The demand for Constitutional recognition of the Santhali language, their separate religion as well as for a territory of their own in the post-Independence period are all part of their changed mode of identity assertion. Accordingly, this study tries to cover almost all the debates, from different perspectives, that have raged about the tribal world in recent times.