Tribal Peoples, Nationalism and the Human Rights Challenge The Adivasis of Bangladesh Tone Bleie ISBN 984 05 1747 3 2005 410pp 215x136mm HB Tk.600.00 US$30.00
The mapping of the changing historical relationships between people, lands and identities in the central tribal belt of India and in north-eastern parts of the South-Asian subcontinent, sets the context for this study’s investigation of one of the world’s least known minority situations. The currently muted drama of human rights violations and escalating livelihood crisis among the Adivasis in north-western Bangladesh unfolds within a sub-region of bewilderingly many and interconnected ethnic and ethno-nationalistic struggles for political recognition. Tribal Peoples, Nationalism and the Human Rights Challenge documents the massive loss of agricultural and forested land, through circumvention of protective land laws in the post-colonial period. This resulted in erosion of indigenous knowledge systems, forced migration and escalating poverty. The persistent discrimination of the Adivasis and their inability so far to partake directly in the international indigenous movement is explained in the light of cultural homogenous nationalisms and internal institutional fragmentation as a result of ethnic and religious divisions. The book unravels how the Adivasis have not been given their due recognition inspire of their history as Bengal’s earliest inhabitants and their prominent role in mass rebellions leading up to the nationalist movement.
Tone Bleie (PhD) has been a Senior Researcher of the Chr. Michelsen Institute for Development Studies and Human Rights in Bergen and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Tromsø, Norway. Having lived and worked in Norway, Bangladesh, Nepal and Thailand, her professional engagements range from theoretical feminist studies and teaching to development studies, advisory work for international development organisations and aid administration. Dr. Bleie’s published academic works include the edited volume Carved Flesh-Cost Selves: Gendered Symbols and Social Practices (Berg Publishers, 1993), articles in several international journals, and volumes on topics as varied as evolutionary perspectives on sex and gender, the historical causes for the violent political conflict in Nepal, and livelihood-environment dynamics in Bangladesh and in the Himalayas.