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Will Adivasis Be Able To Stave Off Attempts To Saffronise Them?

Tug-of-war

Will Adivasis Be Able To Stave Off Attempts To Saffronise Them?

The assertion of an Adivasi identity has stonewalled the Sangh Parivar’s project in Jharkhand to incorporate Adivasis into the larger Hindu fold

Symol of Resistance: An Adivasi village declares that the land is theirs Photo: Kunal Shahdeo

One of the important subscripts of the present political juggernaut of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the concomitant dominance of political Hinduism has been Sangh Parivar’s increasing reach among Adivasis. The fatal attraction of the BJP among them, whose identity and interests are alien to the conservative Hindu nationalist party, has long been an issue of academic debate. Social science research reveals that the embedding of Hindutva politics among Adivasis in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha has been due to the organisational strength of the Sangh Parivar in these states.

However, this does not wholly explain the growth of saffron politics in Jharkhand. The complex political space of Jharkhand that showcases the plurality of social movements and the enduring history of Adivasi identity assertion provide a much trickier political terrain for the Hindutva brigade to gain support among Adivasis in Jharkhand. The strength of the Church and the continued popularity of regional Jharkhandi parties also pose difficulties to the Sangh Parivar.

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