chapter  10
22 Pages

Self-Government, Indigeneity And Cultural Authenticity: A Comparative Study Of India And The United States

Ambedkar’s remarks, articulated during the Constituent Assembly debates on the Sixth Schedule, make for fascinating comparison. They reveal the complex issues involved in the dominant society’s and state’s conceptualization of, and reaction to, “tribes” in India and “Indians” in the United States. From Columbus’s blunder in labeling the indigenous population in the Americas “Indians”, to today’s in-vogue label of IP (indigenous peoples), “tribes” in India and North America have had a conceptual affinity. Comparing how Indian tribes and North American Indian tribes are conceptualized may help clear some of the confusion over, or at least elucidate some of the thorniest problems of, `one of the key issues, perhaps even the central issue, for states in the twenty-first century’ (Kymlicka 2000:223).1