Lying in the Margins: Environmentalism and Making of Adivasi Subjectivities in India

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Anju BARA, Central University of South Bihar, India
This paper tries to reflect on the question of how the new development intervention through Forest Department is affecting the rural subjects. How this is affecting the forest management and how it is changing the relation between State and tribals. Taking Foucault’s notion of power I argue in this paper that in this transnational developmental regime, the developmental State and transnational flows are transforming the adivasis community by creating new subjectivities.Here I will bring into the notion of domination. I understand ‘being subject’ as being dominated and subjugated. There is an argument that subjectivity of tribals started with colonial rule (Bose, 2011; Skaria, 2009; Sivaramakrishnan, 2005). I argue that even before the colonial rule, subjectivity of the tribals had started. In Odisha, we see the making of the subjects among the tribals. First, through forest regulation and laws which categorized them into various categories like backward groups then to scheduled tribes. The current forest regulation which needs people’s participation is another technique of state to make them subjects. This is another technology for surveillance and control. I argue that through villagers participation state wants to monitor each and every movement of the villagers, keep them in good terms hence to avoid resistance. On the other side, they take people’s help in protecting forest which is physically and economically not possible for the forest department. However, we also see people not resisting and they want to be controlled. Why they are not resisting. People themselves want to be subjects. This paper tries to bring this antagonism and reflect among the making of subjects in tribal belt of Odisha in India.