The panel addresses the study of the interface between state and tribal identity. Papers may address developments in identity, redistributive justice and/versus recognition, the notion of civil society, NGOs, the politicisation of cultural, religious and linguistic issues, and other relevant themes.
The modern liberal state, premised as it is on individual rights, has always struggled to find adequate responses to group claims articulated by the political process, premised on a variety of socio-cultural thematics. Without revisiting the myth of ethno-cultural neutrality of the state, most modern states have adopted a variety of policy measures − from constitutionally mandated socio-cultural rights, through policies of multiculturalism to policies of assimilation.
In South Asia a number of tribal groups have been recognised; in some cases, the Constitutions have granted them rights to sustain their cultural, religious, and linguistic characteristics while not in others. Besides, even when such formal rights are granted, education, migration, industrialisation and urbanisation change the conditions for the tribal groups.
Further, the state creates a policy environment in which a complex relationship emerges between formal rights, socio-economic change and political articulation premised on socio-economic distinctiveness. This process also impacts the premises of articulation of claims by identities, as also their self definition. Furthermore, this process while framed by statist processes and structures, is mediated by a variety of actors − social, economic and political; at various levels.
The proposed panel invites empirical investigations as well as theoretical approaches to the study of such complex state identity interface. Papers may address developments in identity and ethnicity theory, redistributive justice and/versus recognition, the notion of civil society, NGOs, the politicisation of cultural, religious and linguistic issues, how the states utilise NGOs in social and cultural development as well as other relevant themes.