In Savage Attack: Tribal Insurgency in India the authors ask whether there is anything particularly adivasi about the forms of resistance that have been labelled as adivasi movements. What does it mean to speak about adivasi as opposed to peasant resistance? Can one differentiate adivasi resistance from that of other lower castes such as the dalits? In this volume the authors move beyond stereotypes of tribal rebellion to argue that it is important to explore how and why particular forms of resistance are depicted as adivasi issues at particular points in time. Interpretations that have depicted adivasis as a united and highly politicised group of people have romanticised and demonized tribal society and history, thus denying the individuals and communities involved any real agency. Both the interpretations of the state and of left-wing supporters of tribal insurgencies have continued to ignore the complex realities of tribal life and the variety in the expressions of political activism that have resulted across the length and breadth of the Indian subcontinent.
This is the only book of its kind on India in Economic Geography. According to a reviewer, ‘there are some strong GIS systems, and there are strong spatial databases. This book is the first time these have come together in a satisfactory fashion.’
A singular contribution of Social & Economic Profile of India lies in the quality of its presentation. A very complex and a very wide range of data and analysis has been put forward with remarkable clarity and in a very reader friendly way. This state of the art data and analysis gives an almost complete picture of the socio-economic conditions of India in just 173 pages consisting of 84 colour-coded maps with corresponding text in colour. This book is the work of great scholarship but made accessible to a wide section of readers. It tells the story of what India has achieved since 1991. The subjects covered are of enormous public interest and also extremely useful for the framing of public policies. This book is equally indispensable to all the state departments of the government and to Indian companies wishing to invest in particular areas as well as foreign corporate organisations that wish to invest in India. It goes without saying that the researcher will find this comprehensive body of data and analysis very useful. Anyone wishing to go deeper into a particular problem has been directed to go to the relevant sources.
The book emphasizes the need to go beyond the conventional definition of poverty and look at the various human aspects of the problem. Eminent social scientists study poverty in its wider sense, in the light of the latest data available for India.
One of the only ethnographic studies of Dalit women, this book gives a rich account of individual Dalit women’s lives and documents a rise in patriarchy in the community. The author argues that as Dalits’ economic and political position improves, ‘honour’ becomes crucial to social status. One of the ways Dalits accrue honour is by altering patterns of women’s work, education and marriage and by adopting dominant caste gender practices. But Dalits are not simply becoming more like the upper catstes; they are simultaneously asserting a distinct, politicised Dalit identity, formed in directb opposition to the dominant castes. They are developing their own ‘politics of culture’.
Key to both, the author argues, is the ‘respectability’ of women. This has significant effects on gender equality in the Dalit community.