chapter  12
12 Pages

Politics Unlimited: The Global Adivasi and the

I am by no means a specialist on indigenous affairs. But as a student of contemporary forms of globalization and their impact on political imagination today, I remain interested in the discussion that unfolds on the pages of this stimulating collection of essays. These essays stage a debate about the category “indigenous peoples”, its origins, its applicability in countries such as India, and the kind of politics it gives rise to. Contradictory positions are staked out in these essays. What gets said in this debate has larger ramifications for politics today. One could even go further and say that what is being debated in this book is nothing short of the question of how we imagine the political today as it applies to the lives of the marginal and traditionally-oppressed classes in an age of cultural globalization. However, the issue of indigenous peoples is the immediate context for this discussion. So before I go on to analyze the larger issues at stake in this debate, let me first chart out the particular formulations that clash in the essays presented in this volume.