This volume documents the ethnographies of regionally distinct Dalit and tribal Christian communities, raising new arguments pertaining to the autonomy and distinct identity of these communities in adverse social set-ups.

Stressing upon the plurality of identities, the essays reject the idea of determining these exclusively on the basis of religion. They also chart the multiple levels of marginality experienced by both Dalit and tribal Christians and analyze how these groups negotiate their former religious faith and practices with Christianity.

The book is a response to the urgent need for such studies in social science writings brought to the fore by contemporary political challenges and struggles facing these communities in various parts of India.

Identity, Conversion and Violence: Dalits, Adivasis and the 2007–08 Riots in Orissa

Identity, Conversion and Violence: Dalits, Adivasis and the 2007–08 Riots in Orissa

Identity, conversion and violence: Dalits, Adivasis and the 2007–08 riots in Orissa
Chad M.Bauman


In the annual Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan, sisters express devotion to their brothers by fasting and offering prayers on their behalf, and symbolize their concern by tying rakhi around their brothers' wrists. The ‘sisters’ and ‘brothers’ in the ritual need not be related by blood, and there is a long history of sisters ‘adopting’ cousins and other unrelated males, even non-Hindus, during the festival.

In 2008, I returned to Raipur, Chhattisgarh, where I had previously conducted research, to visit some old friends. My trip coincided with Raksha Bandhan, and on a warm, windless Saturday in August, I visited a Hindu ...

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