chapter  4
25 Pages

Reframing the debate

The tribal question and contemporaneity
ByRitambhara Hebbar

Tribal areas in many parts of India have been characterised by insurgency and labelled as a part of the ‘red corridor’. There have been two polarised positions on the subject of insurgency in India. One that considers insurgency as an inevitable and logical consequence of the complete disregard of tribal rights on land and forests by the state, and the other that associates insurgency as a threat to the Indian nation-state and its democratic apparatus. Tribes have been rendered disposable and dispensable in the ensuing violence between the insurgents and the counterinsurgents. This chapter seeks to explore and explicate this politics in the context of insurgency and counter-insurgency, which also provides the context to reflect on what has become of the tribal question in India and the uncertain future that awaits tribes as a people.