Overview for State Formation Among Tribals: A Quest for Santal Identity
The Santals became a focal point of discussion among the scholars after the Santal Rebellion of 1855-56. Even at that time, the urge for setting up a kingdom for themselves was quite discernible. This attitude of the Santal has remained unchanged and there has been a continuum in the endeavour of the tribe in achieving its goal as would be evident from its participation in the Jharkhand movement. This study throws new light on: the Santal efforts of establishing a kingdom for the tribe; The social engineering aspect of the tribe that at once stopped social disintegration, allowing for internal solidarity and preparing the society for both defensive and aggressive roles; the gap in time between the Santal rebellion of 1855-56 and the Jharkhand movement; the rise of a charismatic leader in one of the districts of Bengal (Malda) in the early twenties whose advent was through a religious sect founded by him. The religious movement swivels into a political nature, confronting the British government. The leader pronounces himself a king; how a myth develops around the ruins of a mosque, projecting it to be an erstwhile palace of Ramchandra of yore.
A.B. Chaudhuri (Author)
A. B. Chaudhuri, presently a Consultant Ecologist was a member of Indian Forest Service and served the country in various capacities. As the Director, Forest Survey of India he has done several short term assignments in the National and interational Fields. Besides being the author of eleven books mostly on biota of this region and many technical papers, his significant contribution has been in the field of terrestrial and aquatic ecology, wildlife coservation and management, besides Environmental Impact Assessment and preparation of management plan in various Industrial and mining sites covering about 50 projects all over the Country.