Roshni Chattopadhyay

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Emory U.

Grant number

Gr. 10678

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Chattopadhyay, Roshni (Emory U.) "Gender and Generation in Santhal’s Manjhi-Haram: Changing Landscapes of an Adivasi Court at the margins of Hindu Rashtra in India"

This project aims to examine the impact of cultural and political economic changes in India on traditional modes of dispute mediation among Adivasis, specifically the Santhal’s manjhi-haram in West Bengal’s Birbhum district. With the coming of an authoritarian government in power, rising Islamophobia and slow osmosis of anti-Muslim sentiments within Adivasi community in India, this study seeks to understand how the changing economic and political landscape in contemporary India affects the gender dynamics across generation and arbitration of gender justice within the manjhi-haram. This project seeks to investigate the different entanglements and articulations between the contemporary Indian state, capitalist practices like mining in Birbhum, and the manjhi-haram through the manjhi-haram’s changing orientation to gender issues. The research methodology involves daily participant observations in Santhali villages, interviews with various stakeholders such as Santhali leaders, community arbitrators, government officials, Adivasi representatives in local political parties, and analysis of police records and government offices. By examining conflict and mediation within Santhali community, who rely on their traditional institutions for everyday conflict resolution, this multidimensional project aims to reveal the social, economic, and political dynamics that impact gender related conflict mediation among Adivasi communities in the Global South.