Subalterns and the State in the Longue Durée: Notes from “The Rebellious Century” in the Bhil Heartland
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Focusing on recent debates over the ways in which subaltern groups engage with the state in India, the article proposes that it is imperative to historicise our conceptions of subaltern politics in India. More specifically, the argument is made that it is imperative to recognise that subaltern appropriations of the institutions and discourses of the state have a longer historical lineage than what is often proposed in critical work on popular resistance in rural India. The article presents a detailed analysis of Adivasi rebellions in colonial western India and argues that these took the form of a contentious negotiation of the incorporation of tribal communities into an emergent “colonial state space.” The conclusion presents a sketch of a Gramscian approach to the study of how subaltern politics proceeds in and through determinate state–society relations.
CitationJournal of Contemporary Asia 2015
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Copyright 2015 The Author(s)