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From millennia to the millennium : an anthropological history of Bastar State Huber, Walter Alexander 1984

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FROM MILLENNIA TO THE MILLENNIUM: AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL HISTORY OF BASTAR STATE by WALTER ALEXANDER HUBER B.A., University o f f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1975 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) We accept this thesis as conforming to the )j7equ-i<ed standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA June 1984 ® Walter Alexander Huber In present ing th i s thesis in pa r t i a l fu l f i lment o f the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, I a g ree that the L ibrary sha l l make it f ree ly ava i l ab le for reference <ind study. I fur ther agree that permission for extensive copying of th i s thesis for s cho la r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representat ives . It is understood that copying or pub l i ca t ion of th i s thes i s fo r f i nanc ia l gain sha l l not be allowed without my wr i t ten permiss ion. Department of The Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n couver, Canada V6T 1W5 i i ABSTRACT In t h i s thesis I present an anthropological h i s t o r y of a remote and little-known area of India, the ex-Princely State of Bastar. While numerous ethnographic studies have been made of the predominantly t r i b a l people of Bastar, there have been no attempts to contextualize properly the anthropology of what i s now Bastar d i s t r i c t . It i s for t h i s reason that an h i s t o r i c a l approach was chosen. This approach has led to the uncovering of a number of s a l i e n t , anthropological problems: f i r s t l y , the i d e n t i f i c a -tion of t r i b e s in India, which process has engendered both d e f i n i t i o n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s in the anthropology of India and less than f e l i c i t o u s behavioural consequences for those involved in the process i t s e l f ; secondly, the nature of the p o l i t i c a l structure of Bastar State, leading to questions as to how i t , and s i m i l a r ' t r i b a l ' or 'Hindu-tribal' states of Middle India, came into being -- as well as an inquiry into the features which maintained Bastar's i n t e g r i t y ; and l a s t l y , a consideration, v i a a biographical account of the l a s t king of Bastar, of the millenarian character of con-temporary Bastar h i s t o r y and, in close r e l a t i o n , the problem of divine kingship. In response to the f i r s t problem I show that from an 'emic' perspective the term t r i b e i s an incontestably v a l i d a n d m e a n i n g f u l c o n c e p t i n u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e m a j o r i t y o f B a s -t a r p e o p l e s . F r o m a n a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l l y o b j e c t i v e p o i n t o f v i e w I t a k e o n t h e s c h o l a r l y c o n t r o v e r s y o f ' t r i b e ' v e r s u s ' c a s t e ' i n I n d i a i n o r d e r t o d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t a l s o o n t h e l e v e l o f d i s c i p l i n a r y d i s c u s s i o n t h e t e r m ' t r i b e ' h a s a m e a n i n g f u l p l a c e , a t l e a s t i n r e f e r e n c e t o B a s t a r . I n r e g a r d t o t h e s e c o n d p r o b l e m , i . e . , o f B a s t a r s t a t e f o r m a t i o n , my d e s c r i p t i o n i n i t i a l l y c o n c e n t r a t e s o n t h e p o l -i t i c a l a s p e c t s o f t h e H i n d u - t r i b a l s y m b i o s i s , s h o w i n g t h a t t h e e a r l y H i n d u ( K a k a t i y a ) m o n a r c h y o f B a s t a r a n d t h e a r e a ' s d i s t i n c t t r i b a l p o l i t y w e r e n e v e r t h e l e s s p e r m u t a t i o n s o f e a c h o t h e r l i n k e d b y w e a k c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y . T h i s i s f o l -l o w e d b y a c u l t u r a l f o c u s o n B a s t a r d i v i n e k i n g s h i p b y w h i c h i t i s s h o w n t h a t t h e t r u e i n t e g r i t y o f t h e k i n g d o m r e s t e d o n a r i t u a l p l a n e . E x t e n d i n g t h e t h e m e o f d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i n t o m o d e r n t i m e s , t h e n a r r a t i v e o f B a s t a r ' s l a s t M a h a r a j a d e t a i l s t h e c o n f r o n t a t i o n o f r e l i g i o u s w i t h s e c u l a r p o w e r , a n d h o w t h e o u t c o m e o f t h i s c o n f r o n t a t i o n l e d t o a m i l l e n a r i a n m o v e m e n t h e a d e d b y a H i n d u h o l y man b e l i e v e d t o b e t h e r e i n c a r n a t i o n o f t h e l a s t k i n g . I c o n c l u d e t h i s t h e s i s b y d r a w i n g a l l t h e s e t h e m e s t o -g e t h e r , m a i n l y i n l i g h t o f t h e w r i t i n g s o f t h e d o y e n o f I n d -i a n a n t h r o p o l o g y , L o u i s D u m o n t . W i t h p a r t i c u l a r r e g a r d t o h i s w r i t i n g s o n I n d i a n k i n g s h i p a n d h i s t h e o r y o f c a s t e , I s h o w t h e c a s e o f B a s t a r t o b e a n i m p o r t a n t e x c e p t i o n , a n d IV although not d i s p r o v i n g Dumont's t h e o r i e s , I demonstrate the need f o r t h e i r m o d i f i c a t i o n . In the l a s t a n a l y s i s , the d i s c u s s i o n i n t h i s t h e s i s centres on d i v i n e k i n g s h i p as a problem i n the d u a l i s t i c nature of power. V T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S P A G E P R E F A C E T i t l e P a g e i A b s t r a c t i i T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s v I l l u s t r a t i o n s v i C H A P T E R 1 . T h e p r o b l e m o f B a s t a r , a n i n t r o d u c t i o n 1 C H A P T E R 2. P h y s i c a l b a c k g r o u n d a n d e t h n o g r a p h i c i n t r o - 9 d u c t i o n C H A P T E R 3. H i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t a n d B a s t a r s t a t e f o r m a t i o n 36 C H A P T E R 4 . S y n c h r o n i c c o n t e x t o f d i v i n e k i n g s h i p 63 C H A P T E R 5. H i s t o r i c a l p r o l o g u e t o m o d e r n d i v i n e k i n g s h i p 97 C H A P T E R 6. T h e l a s t k i n g a n d t h e a d v e n t o f t h e m i l l e n n i u m 112 C H A P T E R 7. T h e m e a n i n g o f B a s t a r h i s t o r y a n d s ome i m p l i c a - 174 t i o n s f o r t h e a n t h r o p o l o g y o f I n d i a B I B L I O G R A P H Y 216 v i ILLUSTRATIONS MAP PAGE 1. Bastar D i s t r i c t , Madhya Pradesh 14(a) 1 Chapter 1 : The problem of Bastar, an i n t r o d u c t i o n With few exceptions, the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l study of I n d i a has been dominated by a c l o s e focus on s m a l l - s c a l e u n i t s of r e s e a r c h : an i n d i v i d u a l t r i b e , a p a r t i c u l a r v i l l a g e , a spe-c i f i c c a s t e , or, where the i n t e r e s t i s c u l t u r a l , a concept-u a l domain a b s t r a c t e d from a r e l a t i v e l y narrow context. There are good p r a c t i c a l reasons f o r t h i s , and i n f a c t i t i s the hallmark of anthropology, the ethnographic e n t e r p r i s e , which i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r such m i c r o s c o p i c approaches. A f t e r a l l , " i t i s w i t h the k i n d of m a t e r i a l produced by long-term, m a i n l y . . . q u a l i t a t i v e , h i g h l y p a r t i c i p a t i v e , and almost o b s e s s i v e l y fine-comb f i e l d study i n c o n f i n e d contexts that the mega-concepts . . . ( o f ) contemporary s o c i a l s c i e n c e . . . - -l e g i t i m a c y , modernization,, i n t e g r a t i o n , c o n f l i c t , charisma, structure,...meaning -- can be given the s o r t of s e n s i b l e a c t u a l i t y that makes i t p o s s i b l e to think not only r e a l i s t -i c a l l y and c o n c r e t e l y about them, but, what i s more import-ant, c r e a t i v e l y w i t h them" (Geertz 1974: 23). In short, " s m a l l f a c t s speak to l a r g e i s s u e s . . . " ( i b i d . ) , and t h i s , f o r the most p a r t , d e s c r i b e s my own o r i e n t a t i o n to the anthropology of Bastar, a former P r i n c e l y State of I n d i a . However, beginning w i t h W i l f r e d Grigson (1938), and continued i n the main by Elwin (1943, 1947), Thusu (1965), H a j r a (1970), Jay (1 970), Popoff (1 980), and most r e c e n t l y 2 G e l l (1981, 1982), the study of Bastar has r e a l l y not r i s e n above 'small f a c t s ' . These, i n the form of study a f t e r study of p a r t i c u l a r t r i b e s , have not addressed l a r g e r i s s u e s , nor f o r the most p a r t have they i n any d e t a i l considered the l a r g e r context of which they form p a r t s . The r e s u l t has been a s e r i e s of monographs and a r t i c l e s e x i s t i n g as fragments of a l a r g e r , u n t i l now u n t o l d , s t o r y . The l a r g e r s t o r y , or more p r e c i s e l y , the h i t h e r t o u n a v a i l a b l e one, i s i n the f i r s t i n s t a n c e the problem of B a s t a r . Although each s u c c e s s i v e study has added to the fund of knowledge concerning the t r i b e s of Bastar, they remain as i s o l a t e d cases, e x i s t i n g as i f i n a vacuum, the p e r f u n c t o r y s e t t i n g of context i n most cases q u i t e i n s u f f i c i e n t to r e a l -i z e that "there must have been some i n s t i t u t i o n s or system i n t h i s a p p a r e n t l y unordered Bastar to have kept her togeth-er and f r e e . . . " (Grigson 1938: 14). Grigson's i n s i g h t here serves to i n d i c a t e that the problem of Bastar, the l a r g e r s t o r y i n v o l v i n g the development of the s t r u c t u r e that h e l d i t s p a r t s together, i s a problem of h i s t o r y . A p p r o p r i a t e l y , as L e v i - S t r a u s s has s a i d of h i s t o r y , " i t s method...proves to be i n d i s p e n s a b l e f o r c a t a l o g u i n g the elements of any s t r u c t -ure whatever... i n t h e i r e n t i r e t y " (1 972: 262). H i s t o r y i n t h i s sense i s i n d i s p e n s i b l e f o r g e t t i n g at the h o l i s t i c aspect of s t r u c t u r e s , even while c o n c e n t r a t i n g on elements. Of course, t h i s v a r i e s w i t h the k i n d of h i s t o r y that i s presented, i n L e v i - S t r a u s s ' terms, wi t h low or high-powered h i s t o r y : 3 B i o g r a p h i c a l a n d a n e c d o t a l h i s t o r y , r i g h t a t t h e b o t t o m o f t h e s c a l e , i s l o w - p o w e r e d h i s t o r y , w h i c h i s n o t i n t e l l i g i b l e i n i t s e l f . . . ( i t ) i s t h e l e a s t e x p l a n a t o r y , b u t i t i s t h e r i c h e s t i n p o i n t o f i n f o r m a t i o n , f o r i t c o n s i d e r s i n d i v i d u a l s i n t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r i t y a n d d e t a i l s f o r e a c h o f t h e m t h e s h a d e s o f . c h a r a c t e r , t h e t w i s t s a n d t u r n s o f t h e i r m o t i v e s , t h e p h a s e s o f t h e i r d e l i b e r a t i o n s . T h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i s s c h e m a t i z e d , p u t i n t h e b a c k g r o u n d a n d f i n a l l y d o n e a w a y w i t h a s o n e p a s s e s t o h i s t o r -i e s o f p r o g r e s s i v e l y g r e a t e r ' p o w e r ' ( i b i d . : 2 6 1 ) . I n t h i s t h e s i s b o t h k i n d s o f h i s t o r y a r e t o s o m e e x t e n t p r e s e n t : t h e b i o g r a p h i c a l i n c h a p t e r f i v e a n d t h e m o r e s c h e m a t i c i n c h a p t e r t w o , a l t h o u g h i n t h e f o r m e r t h e r e a r e s o m e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s i n t e r s p e r s e d a n d i s s u e s r a i s e d w h i c h e l e v a t e b i o g r a p h y t o t h e l e v e l o f i n s t i t u t i o n s . On t h e o t h e r h a n d , t h i s t h e s i s i s n o t m e r e l y c o n c e r n e d w i t h a c a t a l o g u i n g o f h i s t o r i c a l e l e m e n t s , b u t a l s o w i t h t h e i r m e a n i n g s a n d t h e c o n t e x t s o f t h e s e m e a n i n g s i n t e r m s o f t h e i r s t a b i l i t y o v e r t i m e . T h u s , i n t h e s e c o n d i n s t a n c e , t h e p r o b l e m b e c o m e s o n e o f r e c o n c i l i n g h i s t o r y w i t h a n t h r o -i p o l o g y , d i a c h r o n y w i t h s y n c h r o n y . I d o n o t m e a n t o i m p l y t h a t t h e p r o b l e m h a s b e e n , o r e v e n c a n b e , o v e r c o m e , r a t h e r t o i n d i c a t e t h a t a n a t t e m p t i s m a d e t o t r a n s c e n d t h e m i n u t i a e o f e t h n o g r a p h y a n d h i s t o r y w i t h o u t s a c r i f i c i n g t h e i r r e l e v a n c e t o l a r g e r i s s u e s , t h e s t r u c t u r e a n d m e a n i n g o f B a s t a r s t a t e . I b e g i n i n c h a p t e r o n e w i t h a n i n t r o d u c t i o n t o B a s t a r a s a s c a r c e l y p a r a l l e l e d , s o m e w h a t p r i s t i n e b a c k w a t e r o f I n d i a n h i s t o r y a n d g e o g r a p h y . A f t e r e s t a b l i s h i n g i t s p h y s i -c a l r e m o t e n e s s a n d i n a c c e s s i b i l i t y , f a c t o r s i n i t s e n d u r i n g i s o l a t i o n a n d c u l t u r a l c o n t i n u i t i e s o v e r t h e c e n t u r i e s , I t h e n p r e s e n t a c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f i t s p r e d o m i n a n t l y t r i b a l i n h a b i t a n t s . T h i s t a k e s s h a p e a s a d i s c u s s i o n o n t h e q u e s t i o n o f i d e n t i t y o f t h e s o - c a l l e d G o n d s . O v e r t h e c e n t u r i e s t h e t e r m G o n d h a s g a i n e d a c u r r e n c y w i t h o u t a n y r e a l v a l u e , t h a t i s , w i t h o u t a n y t r u e r e f e r e n c e . I n t h e c a s e o f t h e B a s t a r ' G o n d s ' t h e l a c k o f a n e g o t i a t e d i d e n t i t y h a s b e e n s u p p l a n t e d b y a s e r i e s o f i m a g e s e m a n a t i n g f r o m t h e n o n - t r i b a l p o p u l a c e o f B a s t a r - - a n d t h e n e l a b o r a t e d a n d f i x e d b y a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l p u b l i c a t i o n . T h e r e s u l t i s a s e m a n t i c f i e l d c o m p o s e d o f a c o m b i n a t i o n o f g e n e r a l i z e d , H i n d u r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f t r i b a l p e o p l e a n d s c i e n t i f i c a t t r i b u t e s u s e d t o d i s t i n g u i s h t h e v a r i o u s t r i b e s o f B a s t a r . My a n a l y s i s o f t h i s s e m a n t i c ' j u n g l e ' i s i n t e n d e d t o p o i n t o u t t h e p r e c a r i o u s n e s s o f t h i s o n e - s i d e d e x p r e s s i o n o f i d e n t i t y m o b i l i z a t i o n a n d h o w s u c h c u l t u r a l s t e r e o t y p i n g s e r v e s t h e i n t e r e s t s o f t h e n o n - t r i b a l , t h a t i s H i n d u p o p u -l a t i o n o f t h e a r e a . I n t h e l a s t s e c t i o n s o f c h a p t e r o n e a . m o r e c o n v e n t i o n a l e t h n o g r a p h i c d e s c r i p t i o n i s o f f e r e d , f o l l o w e d b y a s t r u c t u r a l s t a t e m e n t o f t h e i d e o l o g i c a l r e l a -t i o n s b e t w e e n H i n d u i s m a n d G o n d r e l i g i o n s o t h a t s o c i o l o g i c -a l l y a p r e m i s e i s l a i d f o r t h e n a t u r e o f B a s t a r s t a t e . T h e e l a b o r a t i o n o f t h i s p r e m i s e t a k e s p l a c e i n c h a p t e r t w o w h e r e , f o l l o w i n g a n a c c o u n t o f e t h n o h i s t o r i c a l 5 c o n s c i o u s n e s s a n d a s u m m a r y t r e a t m e n t o f e a r l y B a s t a r h i s t o r y , t h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f t h e p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e o f B a s t a r i s a n a l y z e d i n t e r m s o f a m o d e l o f t e r r i t o r i a l o r g a n -i z a t i o n p r e v a l e n t i n t h e 1 5 t h c e n t u r y i n t h e C h h a t t i s g a r h a r e a n o r t h o f B a s t a r . T h e a n a l y s i s s u g g e s t s t h a t i n t h i s d e v e l o p m e n t a p o i n t o f s t a b i l i t y w a s r e a c h e d w h i c h s a w e g a l -i t a r i a n t r i b a l s o c i e t y s m o o t h l y i n t e g r a t e d w i t h h i e r a r c h i c a l H i n d u p o l i t y h e a d e d b y d i v i n e m o n a r c h y . I n a s y n c h r o n i c m o d e c h a p t e r t h r e e e n d e a v o r s t o s h o w t h a t t h e i n t e g r a l n a t u r e o f B a s t a r w a s b a s e d n o t s o m u c h o n p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c f a c t o r s a s o n a r i t u a l s y n t h e s i s o f G o n d a n d H i n d u r e l i g i o n a t t h e i r h i g h e s t l e v e l s . W h i l e a t t i m e s u n a v o i d a b l y i n f e r e n t i a l t h e a r g u m e n t i n t h i s c h a p t e r d r a w s s u b s t a n c e f r o m a n a n a l y s i s o f G o n d t h e o l o g y , a n d f r o m a n e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e r o y a l D a s a r a r i t u a l s d u r i n g w h i c h t h e d i v i n i t y o f t h e k i n g a n d h i s s y m b o l i c m a r r i a g e t o t h e d y n a s t i c t u t e l a r y g o d d e s s - - e q u i v a l e n t t o t h e G o n d g o d d e s s o f t h e e a r t h - - i s c e l e b r a t e d . C h a p t e r s f o u r a n d f i v e t a k e o n a n a r r a t i v e f o r m w h i c h c o n c e n t r a t e s o n e v e n t s i n v o l v i n g t h e p o l i t i c a l a c t u a l i t i e s o f k i n g s h i p i n B a s t a r , f o c u s i n g e s p e c i a l l y i n c h a p t e r f i v e o n t h e c h a r i s m a t i c a n d a p p a r e n t l y a t a v i s t i c q u a l i t i e s o f t h e l a s t d i v i n e k i n g o f B a s t a r , P r a v i r C h a n d r a B h a n j D e o . T o p a r a p h r a s e L e v i - S t r a u s s , t h e m o d e r n s t o r y o f P r a v i r i s a f a i r l y d e t a i l e d e x p o s i t i o n o f ' t w i s t s a n d t u r n s o f m o t i v e , p h a s e s o f d e l i b e r a t i o n a n d s h a d e s o f c h a r a c t e r ' ; b u t i t 6 d e s c r i b e s n o t s o m u c h a n a t a v i s m a s a s e t o f c o n t i n u i t i e s i n t h e n a t u r e o f B a s t a r k i n g s h i p . T h e s e c o n t i n u i t i e s , p a r t o f a s c r i p t u r a l l y - b a s e d H i n d u t r a d i t i o n o f k i n g s h i p , a r e a l s o c o n t a i n e d i n t h e f o l l o w - u p t o t h e l a s t B a s t a r k i n g s h i p : t h e m i l l e n a r i a n m o v e m e n t o f t h e r e i n c a r n a t e d k i n g , t h e m e n d i c a n t B i h a r i D a s s . A n i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f B i h a r i D a s s ' m i l l e n n i u m r o u n d s o u t t h e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l h i s t o r y o f t h e e x - p r i n c e l y s t a t e o f B a s t a r . T h e c o n c l u s i o n t o t h i s t h e s i s a t t e m p t s t o l i n k t o g e t h e r a n u m b e r o f i m p l i c a t i o n s p r e s e n t i n t h e b o d y o f t h e t e x t . T h e s e i m p l i c a t i o n s s p e a k m o r e d i r e c t l y t h a n i n t h e m a i n t e x t t o t h e ' l a r g e i s s u e s ' o f s o c i a l s c i e n c e - - a t l e a s t a s t h e l a t t e r , i n p a r t i c u l a r a n t h r o p o l o g y , h a s b e e n p r a c t i c e d i n r e l a t i o n t o I n d i a . T h e d i s c u s s i o n p r o c e e d s i n a r e f l e c t i v e m a n n e r , u s i n g a s a s o r t o f f o i l t h e w r i t i n g s o f L o u i s D u m o n t , w h o s e w o r k h a s b e c o m e a b e n c h m a r k i n I n d i a n a n t h r o -p o l o g y . D u m o n t ' s r e l e v a n c e i s t r a c e d v i a h i s p o s i t i o n o n t h r e e c l o s e l y i n t e r r e l a t e d t o p i c s : t h e t r i b e / c a s t e d i s t i n c -t i o n ; t h e n a t u r e o f t h e s t a t e i n t r a d i t i o n a l I n d i a ( h i s r e l e v a n c e h e r e i s m o r e i n d i r e c t ) ; a n d t h e c h a r a c t e r o f I n d i a n k i n g s h i p . T h e d a t a f r o m B a s t a r a r e h e l d u p a g a i n s t D u m o n t ' s p r o n o u n c e m e n t s a n d i n s ome c a s e s t h e r e s u l t i n g c o n f r o n t a t i o n s s u g g e s t t h a t t h e a u t h o r h a s c l e a r l y o v e r -r e a c h e d h i m s e l f a s , f o r e x a m p l e , i n t h e p r o b l e m o f t r i b e s a n d c a s t e s i n I n d i a . U l t i m a t e l y , D u m o n t ' s m a j o r c o n t r i b u t i o n t o I n d i a n a n t h r o p o l o g y , h i s t h e o r y o f c a s t e s o c i e t y , i s 7 a l s o c a l l e d i n t o q u e s t i o n . A r r i v e d at i n r e l a t i o n to Dumont's essay on a n c i e n t Indian k i n g s h i p (1970: 62-88), the cha l l e n g e of Bastar r e s i d e s i n i t being a c o u n t e r f a c t u a l to the ' s e c u l a r i z a t i o n ' of k i n g s h i p , which Dumont co n s i d e r s e s s e n t i a l to the e x i s t e n c e of the caste system. However, upon c l o s e r examination, d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i n Bastar i s found not so much to 'disprove' Dumont's theory as to c a l l f o r an enlargment of i t s c o n t e x t u a l scope. For the l a t t e r purpose the r e s e a r c h and a n a l y s i s presented i n t h i s t h e s i s i s only a beginning step.^ Footnotes to Chapter 1 8 A s h o r t p e r i o d of f i e l d w o r k f o r t h i s t h e s i s was under-taken between December 1979 and A p r i l 1980. The r e s e a r c h c o n s i s t e d f i r s t l y i n an e f f o r t to o b t a i n e l s e -where u n a v a i l a b l e documentary data from government a r c h i v e s , newspaper f i l e s and records i n I n d i a . A number of i n t e r v i e w s were a l s o conducted w i t h v a r i o u s i n d i v i d u a l s who were e i t h e r c l o s e l y i n v o l v e d w i t h P r a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo or who were otherwise import-ant f i g u r e s i n post-independence Bastar h i s t o r y . Much of the data on the B i h a r i Dass movement come from d i s c u s s i o n s with 'Mana' B a j p a i , a Jagdalpur lawyer r e p r e s e n t i n g B i h a r i Dass, and K i r i t Doshi, a vehemently a n t i - B i h a r i Dass j o u r n a l i s t l i v i n g i n J a g d a l p u r . The f i e l d w o r k thus d e s c r i b e d i s most evident i n chapter f i v e , although my documentary r e s e a r c h i n I n d i a occa-s i o n a l l y p l a y s a c r u c i a l r o l e i n the e a r l y chapters concerning pre-independence Bastar h i s t o r y . My acquaintance w i t h the Gonds of Bastar, r e s u l t i n g from approximately three months t r a v e l through Maria and Muria v i l l a g e s i n 1977-78, i s as yet only impression-i s t i c . For an i n i t i a l i n t r o d u c t i o n to Bastar and i t s t r i b a l people I am indebted to Vikas Bhatt, former d i r e c t o r of the Zonal A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l Museum at J a g d a l -pur. For a d d i t i o n a l help and moral support I would a l s o l i k e to r e c o r d my thanks to 'Shashi' Pandey, Sharad^ Varma and N i r a n j a n Mahawar. Although he w i l l l i k e l y never read t h i s , Mangtu Ram Dugga, Muria of Narayanpur t e h s i l , a l s o deserves a c e r t a i n g r a t i t u d e f o r managing my exposure to some of Bastar's t r i b a l v i l l a g e s . 9 C h a p t e r 2: P h y s i c a l b a c k g r o u n d a n d e t h n o g r a p h i c i n t r o d u c t i o n A p p r o a c h i n g B a s t a r w i t h i n t h e g e o g r a p h i c a l b o r d e r s o f m o d e r n I n d i a , t h e t h o u g h t a r i s e s t h a t o n e i s e n t e r i n g a r e g i o n l i t t l e a f f e c t e d b y t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f a g r i c u l t u r a l o v e r - e x p l o i t a t i o n . C o n t r a s t e d t o t h e d e n u d e d , r e l a t i v e l y f e a t u r e l e s s p l a i n s o f n o r t h e r n I n d i a w i t h i t s i m m e n s e p o p u -l a t i o n d e n s i t i e s , t h e c o o l , d e c i d u o u s f o r e s t s o f B a s t a r c o n s t i t u t e a w e l c o m i n g s a n c t u a r y . T h e m a n y a n d v a r i o u s h i l l s , v a l l e y s a n d s t r e a m s o f B a s t a r , a e s t h e t i c a l l y i n v i t i n g a n d s o o t h i n g , a r e n o t h i n g s o m u c h a s a r e f u g e ' f r o m t h e e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g p r e s s a n d c r u s h o f h u m a n i t y w i t h w h i c h s o m u c h o f I n d i a h a s b e c o m e b u r d e n e d . J o u r n e y i n g s o u t h w a r d s f r o m t h e m o n o t o n o u s G a n g e t i c h e a r t l a n d s , t r a v e r s i n g t h e l o w - l y i n g V i n d h y a r a n g e o f h i l l s , a n d o n c e m o r e s o u t h - e a s t -w a r d s a c r o s s t h e f l a t l a n d s o f w h a t u s e d t o b e c a l l e d t h e C e n t r a l P r o v i n c e s , o n e e n t e r s B a s t a r a s i f t o p e n e t r a t e a n a r e a u n t a i n t e d b y t h e r a v a g e s o f h i s t o r y . S u c h i s o f c o u r s e a n i n i t i a l i l l u s i o n , y e t o n e ' s s e n s o r y r e s p o n s e s d o s e e m t o i n s p i r e t h e r o m a n c e o f t h e p a s t o r a l v i s i o n . T o t h e I n d i a n s e n s i b i l i t y , i f o n e m a y s p e a k s o g e n e r a l l y , B a s t a r e v o k e s s o m e t h i n g m o r e t o t h e c o n t r a r y : a f e a r a n d m i s t r u s t o f n a t u r e u n t r a n s f o r m e d , o f m y s t e r i o u s , d a r k j u n g l e u n r e l i e v e d b y c i v i l i z e d c o m m u n i t y . B u t i n t h e W e s t e r n p e r s p e c t i v e , t h e r e i s u n d o u b t e d l y a t e m p t a t i o n t o 10 e u l o g i z e Bastar's n a t u r a l environment. V e r r i e r E l w i n , the E n g l i s h missionary-turned-ethno-grapher, and the man most r e s p o n s i b l e f o r b r i n g i n g Bastar to the a t t e n t i o n of the r e s t of I n d i a as w e l l as to anthropolo-gy, c e r t a i n l y e x e m p l i f i e s the p a s t o r a l sentiment. His des-c r i p t i o n of Bastar resonates with the fondness so c h a r a c t e r -i s t i c of h i s e x p l o r a t i o n s of India's t r i b a l h i n t e r l a n d s : The great p l a i n of C h h a t t i s g a r h s t r e t c h e s down past Raipur and Dhantari i n hot and dusty monotony t i l l i t spends i t s e l f a g a i n s t the h i l l s of Ranker. Thenceforward the journey i s a n e v e r - f a i l i n g d e l i g h t ; as the t r a v e l l e r moves towards the Bastar p l a t e a u the c o u n t r y s i d e breaks i n t o song about him; he i s greeted by hardy s m i l i n g woodmen s i n g i n g at t h e i r work, the s k y l i n e i s broken by f a n t a s t i c p i l e s of rock; a l l around i s the evergreen s a l f o r e s t . P r e s e n t l y he sees looming up before him a row of s h a r p l y - r i s i n g h i l l s , the s e n t i n e l s that stand guard before the country of the g h o t u l . The white p i l l a r s that mark the boundary of the State are soon passed, and the long steep ascent of the Keskal Ghat must be essayed. From the summit there i s a m a g n i f i c e n t view of the great sea of h i l l and f o r e s t below (1947: 3 ) . Even to a w r i t e r l e s s prone to s e n t i m e n t a l excess -- I am here r e f e r r i n g to W.V. Grigson, a s c h o l a r - a d m i n i s t r a t o r who made the f i r s t s e r i o u s c o n t r i b u t i o n to Bastar ethnography --the appeal of Bastar, " t h a t b e a u t i f u l land", was undeniable (Cf. G r i gson 1938). Modern day observers too, such as the present w r i t e r , have a l s o succumbed to the a t t r a c t i o n s of an environment that remains as being what much of I n d i a , long ages past, must once have been. In Bastar, one seems spared the ennui and disenchanted i r o n y of L e v i - S t r a u s s ' t r i s t e s  t r o p i q u e s . 11 The modern d i s t r i c t of Bastar l i e s i n the south-east corner of Madhya Pradesh State i n C e n t r a l I n d i a . With an area of 39,060 km2 i t i s the l a r g e s t d i s t r i c t i n I n d i a , comparable to the s i z e of Belgium. The p o p u l a t i o n i s 1,515,956, of which 68.2 percent i s c l a s s i f i e d as Scheduled T r i b e s . Of the t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n , 98 percent i s r u r a l . Popu-l a t i o n d e n s i t y i s w e l l below the Indian average of 182 per km2 at 39 per km2. Bastar i s thus a r e l a t i v e l y under-popu-l a t e d area and t h i s f a c t has encouraged, over a lengthy span of time, c o n s i d e r a b l e i n - m i g r a t i o n , mainly from H i n d i or H i n d i d i a l e c t - s p e a k i n g areas to the n o r t h . In more recent times, t h i s f a c t l i k e l y played a major r o l e i n the d e c i s i o n by the Government of I n d i a to r e s e t t l e l a r g e numbers of refugees from e r s t w h i l e East P a k i s t a n , now Bangladesh. T o p o g r a p h i c a l l y , the g r e a t e r p a r t of the d i s t r i c t i s an u n d u l a t i n g p l a t e a u of about 2000 f e e t which drops to near sea l e v e l on the p l a i n s of south-west B a s t a r . However, there are a l s o a few h i l l y ranges i n the south and west, with peaks r i s i n g to 4,000 f e e t . Bastar i s b i s e c t e d by the Indra-wati R i v e r which n e a t l y p r o v i d e s the d i s t r i c t with n o r t h and south d e s i g n a t i o n s . Two other important r i v e r s d r a i n the r e g i o n : the Mahanadi i n the n o r t h f l o w i n g to the Bay of Bengal, and the S a b a r i R i v e r running south i n t o the Godavari R i v e r of Andhra Pradesh. The Indrawati o r i g i n a t e s i n the h i l l s of O r i s s a , neighbouring i n the east, and flows across Bastar's western boundary i n t o Chanda D i s t r i c t of Maharash-12 t r a S t a t e . A f t e r t h i s i t a l s o c o n j o i n s w i t h the Godvari at the l a t t e r ' s middle reaches. The c l i m a t e of the northern h a l f of Bastar, because of i t s e l e v a t i o n , i s comparatively c o o l , while the southern p l a i n s tend to be hot and humid. Average r a i n f a l l i s almost 50 inches, f a l l i n g f o r the most p a r t during the monsoon months of June to October. The winter season, which runs from November to March, i s mainly dry and temperate, while the s p r i n g months, c u l m i n a t i n g i n May, b r i n g r a p i d i n c r e a s e s i n temperature, with extremes approaching 120 degrees Fahr-e n h e i t . A l a r g e p a r t of Bastar, d i s t r i b u t e d over 56.8 percent of the area, i s covered by t r o p i c a l moist, deciduous f o r e s t s which are comprised of about 100 s p e c i e s , mostly hardwood such as teak, s a l (Shorea robusta) and l a u r e l . The balance, about 20 percent, i s made up of bamboo. T h i s degree of f o r e s t cover i s u n u s u a l l y high f o r most of I n d i a , and has always been con s i d e r e d , at l e a s t s i n c e Bastar came to out-s i d e n o t i c e , a primary t a r g e t f o r resource development. The present State and C e n t r a l Government a u t h o r i t i e s have con-t i n u e d t h i s t r a d i t i o n of f o s t e r i n g plans to e x p l o i t B a s t a r 1 s commercial wood product p o t e n t i a l . 1 In a d d i t i o n to hard-woods, Ba s t a r ' s other major resource l i e s i n m i n e r a l d e p o s i t s , i n p a r t i c u l a r the r i c h i r o n ore areas of Raoghat i n n o r t h Bastar and of B a i l a d i l a i n the south. The B a i l a d i l a d e p o s i t s have been developed and the e x t r a c t e d ore i s sent 13 to Japan on long-term c o n t r a c t , For t h i s purpose a r a i l l i n e has been c o n s t r u c t e d to connect the mines with the p o r t of Vishkapatam i n Andhra Pradesh. T h i s i s the only r a i l l i n k t h a t Bastar possesses and has only r e c e n t l y begun to i n c l u d e passenger s e r v i c e . B a s t a r ' s network of roads i s s i m i l a r l y minimal. There i s one main highway, e s s e n t i a l l y a s i n g l e lane running north-south approximately 180 m i l e s , which connects the c a p i t a l Jagdalpur (pop. 25,000) with the c i t y of Raipur to the n o r t h , the main urban centre i n C h h a t t i s g a r h . Motor t r a v e l along t h i s route can o f t e n be nerve-wracking as oncoming t r a f f i c f o r c e s each v e h i c l e onto a p r e c a r i o u s d i r t shoulder i n order to pass by without c o l l i s i o n . Secondary roads run east-west, one i n n o r t h Bastar l e a d i n g to Narayan-pur, a small town some 40 m i l e s west of Kondagaon, a s l i g h t -l y l a r g e r town s i t u a t e d on the n a t i o n a l highway about two hours by bus n o r t h of Jagdalpur. A second western running road o r i g i n a t e s at Jagdalpur and proceeds 134 m i l e s through Gidam, B i j a p u r and Bhopalpatnam up to the Maharashtra border, with a branch at Gidam which connects up to Dante-wara, s i t e of the Danteshwari goddess temple, and somewhat beyond to B a c h e l i at the f o o t of the B a i l a d i l a h i l l s . There i s a l s o a southern extension which runs from Jagdalpur 114 m i l e s to Sukma and Konta from which l a t t e r town there i s a road l i n k to Warangal i n Andhra Pradesh. In a d d i t i o n to these paved roads, there are a number of f a i r - w e a t h e r f o r e s t 14 t r a c k s which l e a d through v a r i o u s p o r t i o n s of the i n t e r i o r of Bastar, but these tend to s k i r t most areas without pene-t r a t i n g them. A s i d e from t h i s o v e r - a l l meagre network of roads upon which, except f o r the Jagdalpur-Raipur route, a r a t h e r i n f r e q u e n t bus s e r v i c e p l i e s , "the p r i n c i p l e means o locomotion ( i s ) t r a v e l by f o o t over j u n g l e paths" (Jay 1970 39).^ T h i s i s the main l o g i s t i c a l reason why there i s r e l a t i v e l y l i t t l e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e i n t e r v e n t i o n i n t r i b a l a f f a i r s and i t i s r e v e a l i n g to note that the bulk of t r i b a l v i l l a g e settlement p a t t e r n s tends to avoid p r o x i m i t y to the main roads. For purposes of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , Bastar i s d i v i d e d i n t o 8 t e h s i l s : Bhanupratapur, Ranker, Narayanpur and Rondagaon i n the n o r t h ; B i j a p u r , Dantewara, and Ronta i n the south; w i t h Jagdalpur t e h s i l s t r a d d l i n g the c e n t r a l , e a s t e r n s e c t i o n of the d i s t r i c t . The t e h s i l headquarters, a f t e r which the t e h s i l s are named and where revenue and j u d i c i a l a d m i n i s t r a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s are concentrated, are f a i r l y even l y spaced i n r e l a t i o n to the d i s t r i b u t i o n of p o p u l a t i o n . A t the apex of the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e h i e r a r c h y , l o c a t e d i n J a g d a l pur, i s the C o l l e c t o r , an o f f i c i a l who d i r e c t s and oversees a l l j u d i c i a l , revenue and developmental f u n c t i o n s i n the d i s t r i c t . The bureaucracy over which the C o l l e c t o r i s para-mount at the d i s t r i c t l e v e l i s i n l a r g e p a r t p a t t e r n e d on the B r i t i s h system of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of pre-independence I n d i a , and w i t h mostly minor v a r i a t i o n s i s s t i l l cumber-MAP 1 MAP OF BASTAR DISTRICT, MADHYA PRADESH Chhattisgarh Rajnandagaon • / \ \ Drug f s D i s t r i c t \ ^ : y/} Raipur i. ' J^'s D i s t r i c t Orissa Maharashtra State . v Kondagaoji State astar s t r i c t River Godavari d i s t r i c t highway other road r i v e r Andhra Pradesh State SOURCE: Survey of India Map, 1973 100 kilometres 15 somely p r e v a l e n t over most of the country. Although a c i v i l s ervant, the C o l l e c t o r ' s i s the most powerful p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n i n the r e g i o n . In some ways, i t i s the C o l l e c t o r who has i m p l i c i t l y succeeded, s i n c e 1948, to the mantle of the k i n g s h i p which previous to that time c h a r a c t e r i z e d the p o l i t y of B a s t a r . Before t u r n i n g to the beginnings of the h i s t o r i c a l process (or at l e a s t as much of i t as can be recovered) which culminated, indeed much l a t e r than at Indian Independence, i n the King's s u p e r s e s s i o n by the C o l l e c t o r , i t i s a p p r o p r i a t e to round out the present chapter with some ethnographic c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . G e n e r i c a l l y , the t r i b a l people of Bastar are known as Gonds, a term p e r c e i v e d as p e j o r a t i v e by many of those to whom i t i s a p p l i e d . While i t would thus be p r e f e r a b l e to use t h e i r own name f o r themselves, that i s , K o i t o r 3 , the terms Gond and Gondi (denoting the D r a v i d i a n , n o n - l i t e r a t e l a n -guage spoken by Gonds) w i l l have to be r e t a i n e d f o r reasons of t h e i r p ervasiveness and a n t i q u i t y i n the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l l i t e r a t u r e . T h i s l i t e r a t u r e (summarized by von Furer-Haimendorf 1979) r e v e a l s that the Gonds of Bastar are only a few of the many Gond groups that populate the area covered by the present s t a t e of Madhya Pradesh. There are a l s o Gond groups found i n ea s t e r n Maharashtra, northern Andhra Pradesh, and some minor branches i n O r i s s a . T h e i r t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n of over 4 m i l l i o n , out of an a l l - I n d i a t r i b a l p o p u l a t i o n that V 16 i s approaching 40 m i l l i o n , ^ along with a p o l i t i c a l promin-ence r e a c h i n g back s e v e r a l c e n t u r i e s , u n d e r l i e s the asser-t i o n t h at "among the t r i b a l p o p u l a t i o n s of I n d i a there i s none which r i v a l s (the Gonds) i n numerical s t r e n g t h and h i s t o r i c importance..." (von Furer-Haimendorf 1974: 206). On the other hand, i t i s d o u b t f u l , s t r i c t l y speaking, as to whether any such group as "the Gonds" a c t u a l l y e x i s t s . For r a t h e r than p o s s e s s i n g any apparent c u l t u r a l or l i n g u i s t i c homogeneity, l e s s than 50 percent of the s o - c a l l e d Gonds speak Gondi; and of those that do, many speak d i a l e c t s that are b a r e l y , i f at a l l i n t e l l i g i b l e to each other. To t h i s d i v e r s i t y must be added a v a r i e t y of types of s u b s i s t e n c e a c t i v i t i e s , from the axe-and-hoe, s h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n of i s o l a t e d h i l l - d w e l l i n g peoples to the sedentary, plough a g r i c u l t u r e of p l a i n s - l i v i n g groups who are h a r d l y d i s t i n -g u i s h a b l e i n most r e s p e c t s from t h e i r Hindu peasant neigh-bours. The q u e s t i o n then a r i s e s as to j u s t who are "the Gonds", and more s p e c i f i c a l l y ( i n hope of a p a r t i c u l a r s o r t of answer) where have they come from. The responses have p e r f o r c e been couched i n the u s u a l o r i g i n - a n d - m i g r a t i o n type of e t h n o l o g i c a l c o n j e c t u r e which most modern anthropology tends to eschew. This does not i n h i b i t ( n a t u r a l l y enough) the venerable Gond expert, von Furer-Haimendorf, from t a c k l -ing the q u e s t i o n : "Indeed, I b e l i e v e that we s h a l l f a i l i n our approach to the Gond problem -- one of the c a r d i n a l 17 problems of Deccan enthology -- u n l e s s we envisage the p o s s i b i l i t y that the t r i b e s now known as Gonds, f a r from being the d i s p e r s e d o f f s h o o t s of a once more homogeneous people, a t t a i n e d a c e r t a i n and very l i m i t e d measure of c u l t u r a l u n i f o r m i t y only when they came under the sway of the same dominant l i n g u i s t i c i n f l u e n c e " (1979: 2 ) . The D r a v i d i a n i n f l u e n c e , he goes on to say, need not have been the r e s u l t of wholesale m i g r a t i o n s from South I n d i a , r a t h e r i t would be " s u f f i c i e n t to p o s t u l a t e the i n v a s i o n of a people l i m i t e d i n numbers but s u p e r i o r to the o l d e r t r i b a l f o l k s i n o r g a n i z a t i o n and m a t e r i a l equipment, and the subse-quent spread of i t s D r a v i d i a n language and perhaps c e r t a i n elements of i t s c u l t u r e among the t r i b e s p r e v i o u s l y speaking one or s e v e r a l o l d e r tongues" ( i b i d . ) . In the absence of any s u b s t a n t i a l data to support t h i s hypothesis, even i f i t i s i n d i r e c t l y b u t t r e s s e d by the common Indian occurrence of a t r i b a l tongue being l o s t due to i t s replacement by a f o r e i g n language, one can o n l y agree to i t s p l a u s i b i l i t y as a specu-l a t i o n . Even so, as von Furer-Haimendorf h i m s e l f admits, the Gond q u e s t i o n " w i l l perhaps remain f o r e v e r unanswered..." (1 979: 3 ) . P a r t of the i n t r a c t a b i l i t y of the Gond 'problem 1, which f o r most purposes i s a non-problem, l i e s i n the naming pro-c l i v i t i e s of n o n - t r i b a l peoples. I s h a l l have more to say on the q u e s t i o n of names below but i t i s u s e f u l to keep i n mind the f o l l o w i n g : 18 Everywhere i t i s . . . u s u a l to c a l l p r i m i t i v e t r i b e s by the l o c a l Hindu name f o r them, and not by t h e i r own name f o r themselves. So over much of I n d i a the p r e v a i l i n g Hindu name Gond, and not K o i , i s used; and with h i s u s u a l passions f o r s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n the o f f i c i a l i n I n d i a has t r i e d g r a d u a l l y to c a l l the K o i t o r race Gonds, whatever the name by which they c a l l themselves or the l o c a l v e r n a c u l a r name f o r them, and even to i n c l u d e under the g e n e r i c term Gond other races or t r i b e s who are not K o i t o r . . . . I f o f f i c i a l and ethnographer would always use the names by which tribesmen c a l l themselves when speaking t h e i r own language, we should p o s s i b l y f i n d many of the s o - c a l l e d branches of the p r i m i -t i v e races not branches at a l l , but merely c l a s s i -f i e d as such i n the past owing to u n i n t e l l i g e n t f a i l u r e to r e a l i z e that i n d i f f e r e n t t r a c t s d i f f e r -ent Hindus have used d i f f e r e n t names f o r the same race or t r i b e (Grigson 1938: 34-35). The name Gond i t s e l f o r i g i n a l l y r e f e r r e d mainly to (a man of) a low t r i b e (Popoff 1980: 1). Whatever the causes of the co n f u s i o n , we are l e f t w ith the p r o b l e m a t i c f a c t of ethnographic d i v e r s i t y lumped under the term Gond. I n i t i a l l y at l e a s t , l i n g u i s t i c c r i t e r i a can be employed to s o r t out some of t h i s d i v e r s i t y . Thus, aside from those Hinduized Gond groups now speaking l o c a l d i a l e c t s of H i n d i , Telugu or Marathi, the true Gondi-speaking popula-t i o n s can be c l a s s i f i e d along l i n e s of broad s i m i l a r i t y . These l i n e s serve to enclose a number of blocks of Gond groupings which are i n t e r n a l l y r e l a t i v e l y homogeneous but which d i f f e r q u i t e c o n s i d e r a b l y i n language and c u l t u r e from other such groupings. In Madhya Pradesh, the Gonds of B e t u l , Chhindwara and Seoni d i s t r i c t s form one such block; the former s t a t e s of Kawardha, S a k t i , Raigarh, and Sarangarh, once known as the C h h a t t i s g a r h St a t e s and at the time 19 (pre-1947) r u l e d by Gond r a j a s , form another. In what i s known as Maharashtra, there are two d i s t r i c t s , Yeotmal and Chanda, which together with the contiguous d i s t r i c t of A d i l a b a d i n Andhra Pradesh, can a l s o be considered an area of Gond c u l t u r a l u n i f o r m i t y (von Furer-Haimendorf 1979: 3 ) . At v a r i a n c e w i t h these, as w e l l as w i t h the Gonds of the former C h h a t t i s g a r h S t a t e s and of some of the n o r t h e r n d i s t r i c t s of Madhya Pradesh, are the main Gond groups of B a s t a r : the Muria, the H i l l Maria, and the Bison-horn Maria. Here u n f o r t u n a t e l y , the naming problem r e a s s e r t s i t s e l f : ethnographer and n a t i v e have combined to give the Bastar Gonds d i s t i n c t but somewhat specious i d e n t i t i e s . The problem has the same source, the e x t e r n a l i m p o s i t i o n of names u n r e l a t e d to true d i f f e r e n c e s . However, Bastar t r i b a l names have been given a narrower and more complexly symbolic currency through ethnographic f i e l d w o r k as i n t e r p r e t e d i n , and f i x e d by, a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l p u b l i c a t i o n s (esp. Grigson 1938, i n which was introduced the d e s i g n a t i o n s H i l l and Bison-horn Maria; and Elwin 1943, 1947, which f o l l o w e d , o f t e n e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y , Grigson's more sober l e a d ) . F i r s t of a l l introduced v i a the n o n - t r i b a l (mostly Hindu) experience of t r i b a l s o c i e t y , Bastar t r i b a l names were l i t t l e more than g e o g r a p h i c a l or otherwise e x t e r n a l d i s t i n c t i o n s attached to a c e r t a i n amount of apocryphal, r e c e i v e d wisdom. Adopted by non-academic a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s (Grigson and E l w i n , the d e t e r m i n i t i v e Bastar sources) who 2 0 m o r e o r l e s s r e j e c t e d H i n d u p r e j u d i c e s , t r i b a l n a m e s w e r e t h e n t e x t u a l i z e d n o t o n l y i n p o s i t i v e , i . e . , ' o b j e c t i v e ' t e r m s , b u t a l s o i n j u d g m e n t a l l a n g u a g e t h a t s o u g h t t o m o d i f y o r c o r r e c t p r e v a i l i n g i m a g e s . N o w , a p a r t f r o m t h e d e b a t a b l e v a l i d i t y o f s e p a r a t i n g t h e s e g r o u p s o n t h e b a s i s o f s u p e r -f i c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s , t h e o u t c o m e h a s b e e n a c o n c a t e n a t i o n o f i m a g e s , s o m e a f f i r m a t i v e , s o m e d e r o g a t o r y , b u t a l l s t e r e o -t y p i c a l t o t h e e x t e n t t h a t n o n - t r i b a l a t t i t u d e s a n d b e h a v -i o u r t o w a r d s t r i b a l s h a v e b e c o m e c h a r a c t e r i z e d b y s u p e r c i l i -o u s m i s c o n c e p t i o n s . T h i s i s n o t a n u n u s u a l s i t u a t i o n o f c o u r s e , b u t i n B a s t a r i t h a s c o n t r i b u t e d t o t h e n o t i o n t h a t t r i b a l p e o p l e a r e a ' c o m m o d i t y ' o f w h i c h t o t a k e a d v a n t a g e , e s p e c i a l l y i n t e r m s o f u n s k i l l e d l a b o u r , g o o d s a n d o t h e r s e r v i c e s , a s w e l l a s i l l i c i t e n j o y m e n t s . T h i s w i l l b e c o m e c l e a r i n t h e f o l l o w i n g c o m p o s i t e p o r t r a i t s o f t h e t h r e e m a i n B a s t a r G o n d g r o u p s . I s h a l l b e g i n w i t h t h e M u r i a w h o a r e f o u n d t o t h e n o r t h o f t h e I n d r a w a t i R i v e r , m a i n l y i n t h e t e h s i l s o f N a r a y a n p u r a n d K o n d a g a o n . A l o n g w i t h t h e T o d a s o f S o u t h I n d i a a n d t h e N a g a s o f t h e N o r t h - e a s t , t h e M u r i a a r e o n e o f t h e m o s t f a m o u s t r i b e s o f I n d i a . T h e i r f a m e e x t e n d s b e y o n d t h e b o u n d -a r i e s o f a n t h r o p o l o g y i n t o t h e r e a l m o f t h e I n d i a n p u b l i c i m a g i n a t i o n . T h e s u b j e c t s o f m a n y p h o t o g r a p h i c e x p e d i t i o n s , i t i s n o t u n u s u a l t o s e e t h e M u r i a d e p i c t e d i n t h e l i t h o -g r a p h s a n d c a l e n d a r p o s t e r s s o u b i q u i t o u s a l l o v e r I n d i a . T h i s p o s i t i o n o f r e n o w n i s l a r g e l y t h e r e s u l t o f t h e h i g h l y a f f e c t i o n a t e a t t e n t i o n p a i d t o t h e M u r i a i n b o t h s c h o l a r l y 21 p u b l i c a t i o n s a n d t h e p o p u l a r p r e s s b y V e r r i e r E l w i n . E v e n n o w , f o r t y y e a r s a f t e r E l w i n ' s e x u b e r a n t a f f i r m a t i o n s o f M u r i a m o r a l i t y a n d c u l t u r e , t h i s g r o u p s t i l l e p i t o m i z e s f o r m a n y n o n - t r i b a l I n d i a n s t h e N o b l e S a v a g e p a r t o f t h e i r i m a g e o f t r i b a l l i f e . T h i s i s o f t e n a r t i c u l a t e d b y r e f e r r i n g t o t h e M u r i a a s e x e m p l a r s o f a e s t h e t i c a n d s e n s u a l e x p r e s s i o n w h i c h i s f o u n d l a c k i n g i n n o n - t r i b a l c u l t u r e . M o r e t h a n a n y o t h e r a s p e c t o f M u r i a s o c i e t y , i t i s t h e g o t u l , o r y o u t h d o r m i t o r y , w h i c h i s t h e s o u r c e o f t h i s h i g h - p r o f i l e i m a g e . M u c h l i k e M a r g a r e t M e a d ' s e a r l y r e s e a r c h i n t h e S o u t h P a c i f i c , E l w i n ' s w r i t i n g s c h a m p i o n e d w h a t h e s a w a s t h e u n -t r a m m e l l e d , y e t n o t i r r e s p o n s i b l e a d o l e s c e n t s e x u a l i t y a n d c u l t u r a l v i g o r o f t h e M u r i a g o t u l a s a h e a l t h y a n t i d o t e t o t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y H i n d u V i c t o r i a n i s m . I t w o u l d h a v e b e e n t o h i s c h a g r i n h a d E l w i n r e a l i z e d t h a t h i s p r o m o t i o n s w o u l d a t -t r a c t a s m u c h o r m o r e p r u r i e n t a s a d m i r i n g i n t e r e s t i n t h e M u r i a . 5 On t h e o t h e r h a n d , p e r h a p s h e d i d s o r e a l i z e f o r h i s w r i t i n g s o f t e n i n v e i g h e d a g a i n s t t h e H i n d u r e f o r m e r o r " u p l i f t e r " , a s w e l l a s a g a i n s t t h e p r e t e x t u a l a n d d i s r u p t i v e v i s i t s o f t h e m i n o r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e o f f i c i a l i n a c t u a l i t y i n -t e n t o n h i s d e s i r e " t o e n j o y " , a s t h e I n d i a n E n g l i s h e u p h e m -i s m h a s i t . A t a n y r a t e , i t h a s b e c o m e a s t a n d a r d M u r i a r e s -p o n s e t o s t r a n g e r s ' i n q u i r i e s t o d e n y s t r o n g l y t h e p r e v a l -e n c e o f a n y s e x u a l i t y i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e g o t u l . S i t u a t e d i n t h e m o u n t a i n o u s , s o u t h - w e s t e r n p o r t i o n o f N a r a y a n p u r t e h s i l , t h e H i l l M a r i a , k n o w n a m o n g t h e G o n d s o f B a s t a r a s M e t a K o i t o r , t h a t i s G o n d s o f t h e h i g h l a n d s , a l s o 22 have the gotul. However, although s t i l l set apart s p a t i a l l y in the v i l l a g e and remaining a locus of c u l t u r a l expression (song, myth and dance) as among the Muria, the youth dormit-ory here is not of both sexes but is r e s t r i c t e d to young, unmarried males. Seen as a simpler, more straightforward i n s t i t u t i o n , the H i l l Maria gotul has been taken as the prototype of the Muria gotul. As such, i t has been adduced as part of the evidence for regarding the H i l l Maria as the o r i g i n a l Bastar Gonds from which, following plainswards migrations, have evolved both the Muria and, to the south of the Indrawati, the Bison-horn Maria. The Abhujmar area (about 2400 kn^), which is home to the H i l l Maria, is the most inaccessible region of Bastar D i s t r i c t . It has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been shunned by non-tribals because of i t s perceived character as a wild and i n s a l u b r i -ous country, inhabited by wild savages. The h i l l y t e r r a i n , with access almost exclusively over steep, jungle paths, c e r t a i n l y discourages a l l but the most intrepid of v i s i t -ors. For the few, unannounced outsiders that may arrive at i n t e r i o r H i l l Maria v i l l a g e s , there awaits the disconcerting p r o b a b i l i t y of a sudden, headlong exodus of a l l the v i l l a g e r s that might happen to be present. This obviously gives the l i e to their 'fierce savage' reputation and evinces rather a more accurate stereotype of the H i l l Maria as a ~shy, p a c i f i c people prone more to f l i g h t from, than confrontation with, foreign intrusion. 23 Given the prevalence of the a n c i e n t Indian t r i b a l tendency to r e t r e a t from the aggressive newcomer i n t o r e l a t i v e l y i n a c c e s s i b l e refuge, i t i s not improbable that the H i l l Maria regard t h e i r h a b i t a t as a sanctuary. I t i s d e f i n i t e l y the case that some of the e a r l y B r i t i s h adminis-t r a t o r s of Bastar State so viewed the H i l l Maria's choice of domain, and thus introduced i n the l a t e 1920's c e r t a i n a d m i n i s t r a t i v e measures to maintain the p r o t e c t i v e f u n c t i o n of i t s i s o l a t i o n . These steps were taken i n f a v o r of a very g r a d u a l i s t p o l i c y of t r i b a l development, which was formulat-ed to prevent the all-too-common occurrence of c u l t u r a l and economic d e v a s t a t i o n attendant upon the u n r e s t r i c t e d open-ing-up of r e l a t i v e l y untouched t r i b a l areas. Even today, the Abhujmar, with i t s s t a b l e p o p u l a t i o n of about 13,000, remains mostly unsurveyed and s p e c i a l p e r m i s s i o n i s r e q u i r e d from the D i s t r i c t C o l l e c t o r f o r any n o n - o f f i c i a l entry i n t o the area.6 The; H i l l Maria, considered the most ' p r i m i t i v e ' of Bastar Gonds, are, as mentioned, thereby assigned p r o t o t y p i -c a l s t a t u s i n the p r o g r e s s i v e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of Bastar t r i b a l c u l t u r e ( s ) . The Muria immediately to t h e i r east, epitomized by the more complex g o t u l system, are thus viewed as one o f f s h o o t , w h ile the Bison-horn Maria to the south are seen as another. The Bison-horn get t h e i r name from the impressive head-dress worn by male dancers, p a r t i c u l a r l y at marriage c e l e b r a t i o n s . Elwin d e s c r i b e d (1943: 18-19) the 24 dance as a "superb s p e c t a c l e " : The men, i n t h e i r s p l e n d i d head-dresses of b i s o n horns and c a r r y i n g t h e i r long drums, move i n a l a r g e c i r c l e w i t h a great v a r i e t y of turns and changes: the 'bison' charge and f i g h t each other, p i c k up r i n g s or leaves on the p o i n t s of t h e i r horns, and chase the g i r l dancers. The g i r l s , each wi t h a dancing s t i c k i n her r i g h t hand, form a long l i n e and go round and through the men dancers w i t h many d i f f e r e n t movements and s t e p s . . . . Masked mummers, clowns dressed i n straw, naked acrobats w i t h enormous g e n i t a l i a , add to the g a i e t y of the scene. Elwin, i n another context (1964: 161), goes on to remark th a t " t h i s headdress, and the dance, i s the s o l e e x p r e s s i o n of the Maria's a e s t h e t i c s e n s i b i l i t y . . . . E v e r y t h i n g they have to say goes i n t o the dance." T y p i c a l of Elwin's hyper-b o l i c e nthusiasn f o r t r i b a l c u l t u r e , such exaggeration serves to i n d i c a t e the b i a s towards the e x t e r i o r which marks the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of Bastar Gonds. The name Bison-horn was o n l y comparatively r e c e n t l y coined (Grigson 1938) and w i t h i t a s u p e r f i c i a l d i s t i n c t i o n has s i n c e been r a i s e d to the l e v e l of emblematic yet seemingly i n t r i n s i c i d e n t i t y . 7 On the other hand, although somewhat analogously, the Bison-horn Maria have come to be known i n a d e c i d e d l y darker l i g h t . In t h i s i n s t a n c e , i t i s t h e i r h o m i c i d a l p r o c l i v i t i e s that have s i g n i f i e d "Bison-horn" as a d i s t i n c t i o n s u i  g e n e r i s . Reacting to h i s d i s c o v e r y of a r e l a t i v e l y h i g h murder r a t e among the Bison-horn, Grigson r e s o r t e d to a kind of p s y c h o l o g i c a l p o r t r a i t u r e to account f o r i t : . . . t h e B i s o n - h o r n i s a man o f f a r s t r o n g e r f e e l i n g s t h a n t h e H i l l M a r i a . T h e f o r m e r a c t u a l l y r u n s a m u c k o n o c c a s i o n l i k e t h e M a l a y ; . . . ( H e ) i s s u b j e c t t o s u d d e n f i t s o f b l i n d r a g e . . . c a p a b l e o f n u r s i n g h i s r e v e n g e f o r a l o n g t i m e . . . ( a n d ) w i l l i n h i s f u r y d e c l a r e a n i m p l a c a b l e e n m i t y b y s t a l k i n g a r o u n d h i s f o e ' s h o u s e t h r e e t i m e s , e i t h e r p l u c k i n g s t r a w s f r o m t h e t h a t c h , o r w h i s t l i n g t h e p e c u l i a r s u ' i w h i s t l e , o r t h r o w i n g s o m e o f h i s o w n p u b i c h a i r s a t t h e h o u s e ; a n d t h e i n e v i t a b l e r e s u l t i s m u r d e r ( 1 9 3 8 : 9 4 ) . I f i t w a s n o t f o r G r i g s o n ' s e x p r e s s d i s t a s t e f o r t h e t r a v e l -l e r ' s t a l e , o n e m i g h t s u s p e c t t h a t s o m e t h i n g o f t h e s o r t w a s h e r e c o l o r i n g h i s a c c o u n t . O f c o u r s e , s u c h i s t h e p r o b l e m w i t h t h i s k i n d o f p o r t r a i t u r e t h a t t h e e m o t i o n - l a d e n s p e c i f -i c c o m e s t o s t a n d f o r ( a n d a g a i n s t ) a m o r e p r o p o r t i o n a t e , d i s i n t e r e s t e d w h o l e . T h u s h o m i c i d e b e c a m e t h e o v e r r i d i n g b e h a v i o r a l m e t a p h o r f o r t h e B i s o n - h o r n M a r i a . T h i s i m a g e w a s f i r m l y e n t r e n c h e d w h e n E l w i n , m a d e c u r i o u s b y G r i g s o n ' s f i n d i n g s , c o n d u c t e d h i s o w n i n v e s t i g a t i o n s w h i c h w e r e p u b -l i s h e d u n d e r t h e t i t l e M a r i a M u r d e r a n d S u i c i d e ( 1 9 4 3 ) . I n t e r e s t i n g l y e n o u g h , b e s i d e s t h e s e v e r a l p r o x i m a t e c a u s e s o f ( r a t h e r t h a n m o t i v e s f o r , s i n c e f e w w e r e p r e m e d i -t a t e d ) h o m i c i d e l i s t e d b y E l w i n - - i n c l u d i n g q u a r r e l s o v e r p r o p e r t y , w o m e n a n d " f a m i l y " m a t t e r s a s w e l l a s d r u n k e n n e s s a n d s u s p i c i o n o f w i t c h c r a f t - - h e p o s i t s a n u n d e r l y i n g g e n e r a l e x p l a n a t i o n : t h e r o o t p r o b l e m i s t h a t t h e B i s o n - h o r n d o n o t h a v e t h e M u r i a g o t u l . A s E l w i n s a w i t , t h e M u r i a d o r m i t o r y w a s " a n i d e a l m e t h o d o f t r a i n i n g t h e y o u t h o f t h e t r i b e i n t h e c i v i c v i r t u e s , i n e l i m i n a t i n g j e a l o u s y a n d i n 26 t e a c h i n g e v e r y o n e t o l i v e t o g e t h e r a s a f a m i l y " ( 1 9 4 3 : 3 8 - 3 9 ) . W h a t e v e r t h e m e r i t s o f t h i s e x p l a n a t i o n , w h a t i s i n t e r e s t i n g i s t h a t t h e e p i t o m i z e d i n s t i t u t i o n a l s y m b o l o f o n e g r o u p i s u s e d i n i t s a b s e n c e t o a c c o u n t f o r t h e e p i t o m -i z e d b e h a v i o r a l i d e n t i t y o f t h e o t h e r . I n t h i s w a y , t h e w a y o f e t h n o g r a p h i c " i n s c r i p t i o n " ( t o b o r r o w a n o t i o n f r o m B o o n 1 9 8 2 : 2 6 ) , t h r o u g h w h i c h " a l l c u l t u r e s m a y s t a n d a s m o i e t i e s , e a c h p l a y i n g t o a n o t h e r t h e v i s - a - v i s " , r e p l e t e w i t h e x a g g e r a t i o n a n d s u p e r f i c i a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s , a r e t h e t r i b e s o f B a s t a r ' c r e a t e d ' . T o o b j e c t t h a t s u c h a f o r m u l a -t i o n c o n f u s e s i m a g e w i t h r e a l i t y i s t o s u b m i t t o a c r i t e r i o n o f f a l s e c o n s c i o u s n e s s . T h e i m a g e m a y b e f a l s e b u t f o r a l l t h a t i t i s n o l e s s r e a l . R e a l i t y , i n t h e d i s s e m i n a t i o n o f a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l k n o w l e d g e a t l e a s t , l i e s n o t s o m u c h i n t r u t h o r f a l s i t y a s i n t h e w r i t i n g ( c r e a t i n g ) o f a m o r e p e r s u a s i v e i m a g e . B e y o n d t h i s ' m e t a - e t h n o g r a p h i c ' c o m m e n t a r y , i t i s a l s o n e c e s s a r y t o e n t e r i n t o t h e a c c o u n t s o m e a d d i t i o n a l e t h n o -g r a p h i c e l a b o r a t i o n s . T h e f i r s t o f t h e s e i s t h a t w h i l e t h e t h r e e g r o u p s s o f a r d i s c u s s e d c a r r y t h e s a l i e n t s y m b o l i c w e i g h t o f t r i b a l i m a g e r y , t h e r e a r e a n u m b e r o f o t h e r t r i b e s i n B a s t a r t h a t a l s o b e a r m e n t i o n . T h e s e c o n d r a i s e s a n a l y t i -c a l i s s u e s i n t h a t t a k e n a l t o g e t h e r t h e ' t r i b e s ' o f B a s t a r , t h e n u m b e r r a n g i n g f r o m s e v e n o n w a r d s d e p e n d i n g o n t h e k i n d s o f d i s t i n c t i o n s u s e d t o s p e c i f y t h e m , c a n r o u g h l y b e a s s i g n e d a p l a c e o n a s c a l e b o u n d e d a t e a c h e n d w i t h 27 c r i t e r i a o f ' l e a s t - H i n d u i z e d 1 a n d ' m o s t - H i n d u i z e d ' . ( T h e H i l l M a r i a w o u l d c l e a r l y b e f o u n d a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e f o r m e r e x t r e m e w h i l e t h e M u r i a a n d B i s o n - h o r n w o u l d b e s i t u a t e d s o m e w h e r e a r o u n d t h e m i d d l e . ) T h e t h i r d p o i n t , w h i c h i s m o r e a c o m p l i c a t i o n t h a n e l a b o r a t i o n , h a r k s b a c k t o t h e i m p o r t -a n c e o f n a m e s . O n e s o c i o l o g i c a l c o n s e q u e n c e i s t h a t , o v e r t i m e , t h e t r i b a l s o f B a s t a r h a v e b e g u n t o u s e o u t s i d e r t e r m s f o r t h e m s e l v e s a n d h a v e a c c e p t e d t h e s i m i l a r l y f o r e i g n s t a t u s i m p l i c a t i o n s i n v o l v e d . I n s h o r t , t h e y h a v e a c c e p t e d t h e i d i o m o f c a s t e , d e f i n e d b y i n t e r - t r i b a l f o o d a n d m a r -r i a g e p r o h i b i t i o n s , w h i l e n o t b e i n g i n t r a - t r i b a l l y c a s t e -s t r u c t u r e d . N o n e t h e l e s s , t h e r e s u l t i s a l o o s e f o r m o f s t a t u s - r a n k i n g w h i c h i s a n e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l f a c t t h a t B a s t a r w a s a H i n d u k i n g d o m . I t i s a c o r o l l a r y t o t h i s f a c t t h a t t h e c l o s e r t h e g r o u p e i t h e r s p a t i a l l y o r c o n c e p t -u a l l y w a s t o t h e c e n t r e o f t h e k i n g d o m , t h e m o s t i m p o r t a n t s i t e f o r w h i c h w a s J a g d a l p u r , t h e h i g h e r s t a t u s i t w a s ( a n d i s ) a c c o r d e d . I n t h e c o n t e m p o r a r y c o n t e x t , s t a t u s c o m p e t i -t i o n i s o f t e n p l a y e d o u t i n e m u l a t i o n i s t s t r a t e g i e s w h e r e b y o n e g r o u p m a y d e n y i n f e r i o r i t y ( o r H i n d u - p e r c e i v e d i n f e r i o r p r a c t i c e s , s u c h a s b e e f - e a t i n g ) a n d l a y c l a i m t o a s u p e r i o r t i t l e t h r o u g h ( o f t e n d i s s e m b l e d ) s u p e r i o r p r a c t i c e s . I n p r a c t i c e t h e n , t h e H i l l M a r i a , B i s o n - h o r n M a r i a a n d t h e M u r i a a r e e t h n o g r a p h i c a l l y j o i n e d b y a n d w i t h t h e B h a t t r a , t h e H a l b a , t h e D h u r w a , a n d t h e D o r l a . A m b i g u i t y , a n d t h u s t h e p r o b a b i l i t y o f s t a t u s c o m p e t i t i o n , m o s t 28 s u r r o u n d s t h e M u r i a t i t l e , w h i c h a l s o r e f e r s t o , a n d i s u s e d b y , t h e v e r y H i n d u i z e d t r i b a l p e o p l e l i v i n g i n t h e J a g d a l p u r a r e a . F o r e x a m p l e , a B i s o n - h o r n l i v i n g i n D a n t e w a r a t e h s i l b u t c l o s e t o t h e J a g d a l p u r b o r d e r may d e n y h i s a p p e l l a t i o n a n d s a y i n s t e a d t h a t h e i s a M u r i a , w h i l e a J a g d a l p u r M u r i a m a y f u r t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h h i m s e l f b y s a y i n g h e i s a R a j a M u r i a , a M u r i a h a v i n g b e e n i n c l o s e a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h t h e k i n g s o f B a s t a r . T h e R a j a M u r i a , i n t u r n , m a y c a l l h i m s e l f a B h a t t r a i n a n a t t e m p t a t s e l f - p r o m o t i o n , w h i l e B h a t t r a s , a n d h e r e we r e a c h t h e m o s t - H i n d u i z e d e x t r e m e , s u b d i v i d e i n t o h i g h e r a n d l o w e r c a t e g o r i e s b o t h o f w h i c h a r e m o r e H i n d u p e a s a n t c a s t e t h a n t r i b a l . N o n e o f t h e s e s o - c a l l e d M u r i a s o u t h o f t h e I n d r a w a t i h a v e t h e g o t u l . A l s o f o u n d s o u t h o f t h e I n d r a w a t i a r e t h e D h u r w a a n d t h e D o r l a w h o b o t h h a v e a c o m p a r a t i v e l y l o w s t a t u s i n t h e B a s t a r c a s t e h i e r a r c h y . T h e D o r l a , t h e l o w e r o f t h e t w o , a r e l o w - l a n d K o i t o r i n h a b i t i n g t h e s o u t h e r n p l a i n s ( K o n t a a n d B i j a p u r t e h s i l s ) o f B a s t a r a n d d i f f e r f r o m t h e B i s o n - h o r n M a r i a m a i n l y b y t h e i r T e l u g u - i n f l u e n c e d G o n d i . T h e D h u r w a o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , o c c u p y a s o m e w h a t u n i q u e p o s i t i o n i n B a s t a r e t h n o g r a p h y i n t h a t t h e y d i s p l a y a c u l t u r a l h o m o g e n e i t y a n d e x c l u s i v e n e s s w h i c h i s e x p r e s s e d i n o r i g i n m y t h s p r o c l a i m i n g a b s o l u t e a b o r i g i n a l , a n d t h u s h i g h , B a s t a r s t a t u s . T h e s i m u l t a n e o u s e x i s t e n c e o f a n o t h e r m y t h , p r e v a l e n t a m o n g m o s t o f t h e g r o u p s i n p r o x i m i t y t o J a g d a l p u r , b y w h i c h t h e D h u r w a a r e s a i d t o b e a g r o u p o f r o y a l r e t a i n e r s w h o a c c o m p a n i e d 29 t h e c o n q u e r i n g K a k a t i y a k i n g s o f B a s t a r f r o m a d j a c e n t W a r a n g a l ( s e e c h a p t e r 2 ) , l i k e l y r e p r e s e n t s a n a c c o m m o d a t i o n m a d e t o H i n d u s u p r e m a c y . T h i s m y t h a l s o ' r e t a i n s a n a s s e r t i o n o f h i g h e r s t a t u s t h a n i s a c t u a l l y a c c o r d e d . T h e l a s t g r o u p h e r e n e e d i n g m e n t i o n i s t h e H a l b a . T h e i r o r i g i n s a r e m o s t c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e B a s t a r k i n g s i n t h a t t h e y a r e c o n s i d e r e d t o h a v e b e e n a t t a c h e d t o t h e m o n a r c h y a s a k i n d o f n a t i v e m i l i t i a . A l t h o u g h t h e y h a v e a r e l i g i o u s c e n t r e a t B a r e D o n g a r i n n o r t h B a s t a r , H a l b a g r o u p s a r e l o c a t e d i n s m a l l p o c k e t s s c a t t e r e d a l l o v e r t h e d i s t r i c t . T h i s ' t r i b e ' - - t h e t e r m i n t h i s c a s e h a v i n g a m o r e o f f i c i a l t h a n s o c i o l o g i c a l d e n o t a t i o n - - r a n k s i n t h e u p p e r s e c t i o n s o f t h e c a s t e s t r u c t u r e , c o n s o n a n t w i t h i t s r e l a t i v e l y p r o s p e r o u s a g r i c u l t u r a l i n f r a s t r u c t u r e a n d i n t e -g r a t e d H i n d u c o d e f o r c o n d u c t ( d h a r m a ) . R e l a t e d t o t h e i r d i f f u s e d p o p u l a t i o n p a t t e r n , t h e H a l b a s h a v e h a d t h e i r n o n -D r a v i d i a n l a n g u a g e a d o p t e d a s common c u r r e n c y i n B a s t a r s o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e . I n t h i s c o n n e c t i o n , n o t e s h o u l d b e m a d e o f t h e ' p u r e l y ' H i n d u c a s t e s o f t h e a r e a , w h i c h i n c l u d e t h e B r a h m a n , D a k a r ( ' W a r r i o r 1 C u l t i v a t o r ) , K a l l a r o r S u n d i ( D i s t i l l e r ) , R a w a t ( C o w h e r d ) , M u s l i m a n d C h r i s t i a n ( I s a i ) , M a h a r a n d G a n d a ( b o t h W e a v e r ) , t h e G h a s i a ( O r n a m e n t - m a k e r ) , L o h a r ( B l a c k -s m i t h ) , a n d C h a m a r ( L e a t h e r - w o r k e r ) . A d i s t i n c t i o n m u s t b e d r a w n b e t w e e n m e m b e r s o f t h e f o r e g o i n g c a s t e s w h i c h h a v e i m m i g r a t e d t o B a s t a r , s u c h a s , f o r e x a m p l e , t h e O r i y a 3 0 B r a h m a n s a n d v a r i o u s B a n i a ( M e r c h a n t ) c a s t e s f r o m M a h a r a s h -t r a , n o r t h e r n M a d h y a P r a d e s h a n d U t t a r P r a d e s h w h o a r e s e t t l e d i n J a g d a l p u r a n d o t h e r s e m i - u r b a n a r e a s , a n d m e m b e r s o f t h e s e c a s t e s w h i c h a r e i n d i g e n o u s , i n a s e n s e , " h o m e g -r o w n " . E x c l u d i n g B r a h m a n s , w h o h a v e a l w a y s b e e n i m p o r t e d i n s o m e f a s h i o n o r o t h e r , m o s t o f t h e s e c a s t e s h a v e b e e n m a d e u p o f t r i b a l p e o p l e w h o h a v e t a k e n t o H i n d u o c c u p a t i o n s , b u t h a v e n o t l o s t t h e i r t r i b a l s o c i o - c u l t u r a l i n t e g r i t y e x c e p t i n r e g a r d t o t h a t l o s s e n t a i l e d b y a m i n i m a l m e a s u r e o f r i t u a l e x c l u s i o n f r o m t r i b a l l i f e . A m u c h s m a l l e r p e r c e n t a g e ( t h e e x a c t f i g u r e i s n o t a v a i l a b l e ) o f t h e s e s a m e c a s t e s i s r e p r e s e n t e d b y t h o s e c a s t e m e m b e r s w h o a r e o f n o n - t r i b a l o r i g i n , a n d t h u s o n l y t h e y c a n s t r i c t l y - s p e a k i n g b e c a l l e d , p u r e H i n d u . T o r e p h r a s e a n e a r l i e r p o i n t , w h i l e t h e i d i o m o f c a s t e h a s p e n e t r a t e d t r i b a l s o c i e t y r i g h t u p t o t h e f o o t -h i l l s o f t h e A b h u j m a r , t h e i d e o l o g i c a l o r s o c i o l o g i c a l s u b s t a n c e o f c a s t e ( c o n c e p t s o f p u r i t y a n d p o l l u t i o n , t h e c o m p l e m e n t a r y s e p a r a t i o n o f s t a t u s a n d a u t h o r i t y , i n o t h e r w o r d s , a r i g o r o u s s t r u c t u r e o f h i e r a r c h y ) i s l a r g e l y u n d e t e c t a b l e b e y o n d t h e c o n f i n e s o f i m m i g r a n t H i n d u p o p u l a -t i o n c e n t r e s . A n d s o t o r e t u r n t o t h e G o n d s o f B a s t a r , s p e c i f i c a l l y t o t h e m a i n t h r e e g r o u p s a n d t h e i r m o r e n o r m a t i v e e t h n o -g r a p h y : a l l t h e G o n d s o f B a s t a r h a v e a t r a d i t i o n o f s w i d d e n a g r i c u l t u r e , t h e H i l l M a r i a s t i l l p r a c t i s i n g i t a l m o s t e x c l u s i v e l y , w h i l e t h e M u r i a a n d B i s o n - h o r n , e v e n t h o u g h 31 s t r o n g l y attached to t h e i r "axe-and-burn" p r e f e r e n c e s , have taken to n o n - s h i f t i n g r i c e c u l t i v a t i o n as t h e i r predominant mode of food p r o d u c t i o n . I t i s important to note that a l l Bastar t r i b a l s r e l y h e a v i l y on f o r e s t f o r a g i n g to supplement food s u p p l i e s ( e s p e c i a l l y i n lean p e r i o d s such as the mon-soon), f o r c o n s t r u c t i o n and f u e l sources, and f o r minor com-m e r c i a l e x p l o i t a t i o n . S o c i a l o r g a n i s a t i o n i n a l l three groups i s based on p a t r i l i n e a l c l a n exogamy, a l l c l a n s being e i t h e r akomama or dadabayi to each other, that i s e i t h e r " w i f e - c l a n " or " b r o t h e r - c l a n " , the system t a k i n g on a m o i e t y - l i k e c h a r a c t e r with a p a t r i l o c a l , b i l a t e r a l , c r o s s - c o u s i n marriage ensuring an e g a l i t a r i a n b i a s . Clan s t r u c t u r e i s t y p i c a l l y segmentary, o l d c l a n s s p l i t t i n g up i n t o new c l a n s under the pressure of p o p u l a t i o n growth, or i n some cases becoming e x t i n c t due to a d m i n i s t r a t i v e , p o l i t i c a l or b i o l o g i c a l d i s r u p t i o n s . S p a t i a l o r g a n i s a t i o n of s o c i a l groups f o l l o w s b a s i c a l l y two p a t t e r n s : H i l l Maria c l a n s tend to preponderate each to an e n t i r e v i l l a g e , a group of a g n a t i c a l l y r e l a t e d c l a n -v i l l a g e s forming a " t e r r i t o r i a l brotherhood" (Popoff 1980); much more densely populated, Bison-horn and Muria areas c o n t a i n non-nucleated v i l l a g e s with p l u r a l c l a n r e s i d e n c e , although a l s o (at l e a s t c o n c e p t u a l l y ) bounded w i t h i n t e r r i -t o r i a l brotherhoods l i n k e d to a founding c l a n . Again, i n t y p i c a l f a s h i o n , t r i b a l s o c i e t y i s at one with t r i b a l r e l i g i o n , f o r the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of c l a n i s 32 i d e n t i c a l with, at t h i s l e v e l , the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of d e i t y . Clans are both u n i f i e d and separated by c l a n d e i t i e s , more broadly, " a n c e s t r a l d e i t i e s " , d i s p l a y i n g a continuum of conception and conceptual t r a n s f o r m a t i o n c u l m i n a t i n g i n the a l l - i n c l u s i v e n e s s of the Ea r t h , s p e c i f i c a l l y the E a r t h Goddess T a l l u r Mutte among the Muria, T a l l i n Ochur among the Bison-horn, and T a l o Dai among the H i l l M a r i a. These are only the more g e n e r i c names among many f o r the supreme female d e i t y , and there are as w e l l many ' r e f r a c t i o n s ' which occur i n more l o c a l i z e d contexts such as to be represented as " V i l l a g e Mother". As posed by Grigson f o r both types o f Maria (1.938: 1 97; and s i m i l a r l y , i f more complexly f o r the Muria by Popoff 1980: 164), "...the fundamental r e l a t i o n between the E a r t h , the clan-god and the V i l l a g e Mother...is that the clan-god i s the E a r t h i n i t s d e a l i n g s with the c l a n , and the Mother the E a r t h i n i t s d e a l i n g s with the v i l l a g e " . As a p a r t of these r e l a t i o n s of equivalence, brought i n t o r e l a t i o n by the same t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l process, are the Hindu t u t e l a r y goddess Danteshwari, and, u n t i l q u i t e r e c e n t l y , the Bastar k i n g s , who were c r e d i t e d with d i v i n e s t a t u s . While i t i s true that Danteshwari has as yet f u l l y to enter the H i l l Maria pantheon, the s i g n i f i c a n c e of the Maharajas (or Feudal C h i e f s , R u l i n g C h i e f s , or Rajas, as the B r i t i s h over time s u c c e s s i v e l y came to c a l l them) has been p e r v a s i v e . An apprehension of t h i s s i g n i f i c a n c e can be seen 33 i n the i n t u i t i v e statement that to any Bastar Gond, "the human p o p u l a t i o n . . . i s the crop of men that the Bhum or E a r t h r a i s e s f o r the c l a n , or f o r the R u l i n g C h i e f " (Grigson 1938: 125). S o c i o l o g i c a l l y i m p l i c i t i n t h i s statement i s that r e l a t i o n s of equivalence here enter i n t o (or are encompassed by) r e l a t i o n s of h i e r a r c h y proper. The whole (the e r s t w h i l e State of Bastar) that r e s u l t s i s c o n s t i t u t e d by a r e l a t i o n o f u n i f i e d , complementary o p p o s i t i o n . T h i s sets the stage f o r the next chapter i n t h i s t h e s i s , which w i l l d e al h i s t o r i c a l l y with the formation of Bastar S t a t e , and with how such a complementary o p p o s i t i o n (or, i n another sense, r e c i p r o c a l dichotomy) was made to s t r u c t u r e i t . The f o l l o w i n g chapter w i l l then present a d e s c r i p t i v e a n a l y s i s of how i t was maintained over a p p r o x i -mately 20 gen e r a t i o n s , while i n so doing the f o r e g o i n g ethnographic sketch w i l l be f i l l e d out to the extent that i s r e l e v a n t to the c o n s t i t u t i o n (synchrony) and contemporary t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s (diachrony) of B a s t a r . 34 Footnotes to chapter 2 However, most of these plans, i n c l u d i n g a recent attempt to set up a modern pulp and paper p r o j e c t , have foundered on an inadequate t a k i n g i n t o account of t r i b a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s to the f o r e s t . These r e l a t i o n s h i p s are of major importance i n the ecology of Bastar and have long been a c o n t e n t i o u s issue i n the h i s t o r y of the r e g i o n . Jay i s here r e f e r r i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y to the mountainous Abhujmar area, but i n my experience h i s d e s c r i p t i o n r e a d i l y a p p l i e s to most of B a s t a r . T h i s t r a n s c r i p t i o n f o l l o w s an o l d e r s t y l e of represent-ing the Gondi language, such as i n Grigson 1938, and does not make any c l a i m to l i n g u i s t i c accuracy. F i g u r e s here are d e r i v e d from the 1961 Census of I n d i a . In subsequent enumerations, no f i g u r e s f o r i n d i v i d u a l t r i b e s are a v a i l a b l e . The l a t e D.N. Majumdar, a noted Indian a n t h r o p o l o g i s t , seems to have u n g r a c i o u s l y succumbed to the t i t i l l a t -i ng a t t r a c t i o n s of the g o t u l . Under the pretense, one suspects, of s c i e n t i f i c c u r i o s i t y , Majumdar had the t e m e r i t y to b u r s t i n upon a g o t u l l a t e one n i g h t and to i l l u m i n a t e the scene w i t h i n by a powerful f l a s h l i g h t . See Majumdar 1939: 205. Perhaps acceptable i n an era of the 'sexual l i f e of savages', such ethnographic proced-ures can today h a r d l y be considered d e f e n s i b l e . Regret-t a b l y , the legacy s t i l l p e r s i s t s , as i n a recent p u b l i -c a t i o n , The Night L i f e of Indian T r i b e s (Sashi 1980), of which the author i s a l s o a p p a r e n t l y an anthropolo-g i s t . I t i s not l i k e l y that the H i l l Maria w i l l much longer be allowed to maintain t h e i r s e l f - e l e c t e d i s o l a t i o n , nor t h e i r s t r o n g attachment to swidden a g r i c u l t u r e . They are among the l a s t t r i b a l groups i n I n d i a who have as yet to undergo the 'modernization' process, a process, as has been w e l l documented, fraught with ambivalence, ambiguity and, almost i n v a r i a b l y (except i n the n o r t h - e a s t ) , a good deal of trauma. E x a c t l y when t h i s process w i l l begin i s d i f f i c u l t to p r e d i c t , although the timing w i l l probably c o i n c i d e with the c o n c l u s i o n of n a t u r a l resource surveys p r e s e n t l y being conducted. At any r a t e , the "immunisation (from d e v e l -opment) of the (Abujhmar) area through a d m i n i s t r a t i v e t r a d i t i o n i s f r a g i l e s i n c e i t has no l e g a l base" (Sharma 1979: 145). P o s s i b l y the most trenchant otnotes, con't, and informed treatment of t r i b a l modernization, i n both i t s p o s i t i v e and (mostly) n e g a t i v e aspects i s found i n von Furer-Haimendorf, T r i b e s of I n d i a , The S t r u g g l e For  S u r v i v a l 1982. In t h i s book, Furer-Haimendorf f i n d s h i m s e l f i n the dep r e s s i n g p o s i t i o n of having to chron-i c l e "the d e c l i n e and u l t i m a t e d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of t r i b e s " , mostly i n Andhra Pradesh. However, a f t e r having the unexpected o p p o r t u n i t y to r e v i s i t an area "which has been saved from the i l l s a f f l i c t i n g the t r i b e s of that s t a t e " , i n other words, a f t e r having r e d i s c o v e r e d the "unblemished t r i b a l haven" of Bastar D i s t r i c t , he was convinced that i n " P e n i n s u l a r I n d i a , t o o , D t h e r e are s t i l l r e g i o n s -- r a p i d l y s h r i n k i n g , u n f o r t u n a t e l y -- where t r i b a l people lead a l i f e i n accordance w i t h t h e i r own t r a d i t i o n s and i n c l i n a t i o n s " ( i b i d . : 200-201). For the most p a r t I would agree w i t h t h i s assessment but must unhappily repeat that the Bastar t r i b a l s 1 "economic independence and j o i e de v i v r e " ( i b i d . ) i s not l i k e l y to s u r v i v e i n d e f i n i t e l y . I t should be ev i d e n t that my d i s c u s s i o n here i s l o c a t e d i n contemporary time. What needs s p e l l i n g out i s that as y e t there i s no account which o f f e r s a Bastar t r i b a l worldview i n any s o r t of comprehensive manner. G e l l (1980, 1982) and Popoff (1980) c o n t a i n some remedy f o r t h i s d e f i c i e n c y but remain fragmentary. 36 Chapter 3: H i s t o r i c a l context and Bastar s t a t e formation E a r l y beginnings being what they are, that i s , g e n e r a l -l y obscure or at best debatable, i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t the h i s t o r y of Bastar s t a r t s with a reach i n t o the unknown. In the case of Bastar, and i n much of Indian h i s t o r y i n t h i s r e s p e c t , the r e s u l t i n g "shrouded-in-the-mists-of-time 1 1 c h a r a c t e r of i t s h i s t o r i o g r a p h y i s i n p a r t marked by Hindu s c r i p t u r a l s p e c u l a t i o n . L a r g e l y i n l a y t r a d i t i o n , but a l s o r e p resented i n amateur s c h o l a r l y p u b l i c a t i o n s ( f o r example, T r i p a t h i Prachya P r a t i b h a , V o l . V, No. 2) Bastar has been t e n t a t i v e l y (yet f o n d l y ) i d e n t i f i e d as the l o c a t i o n of some of the major events i n the Ramayana e p i c . Dandakaranya, as the e a r l y Bastar i s p u t a t i v e l y known, was the p l a c e of f o r e s t e x i l e f o r the god-king of the Ramayana, Rama, who came there to l i v e out h i s 14 years of banishment. However, as i n most e f f o r t s to l a y c l a i m to sacred geography, there are enough u n c e r t a i n t i e s and c o u n t e r - p o s s i b i l i t i e s such that h i s t o r i c a l accuracy has been overshadowed by the products of mythic m a n i p u l a t i o n s . T h i s other k i n d of t r u t h serves to a l l e v i a t e somewhat the a i r of mystery that pervades Bastar o r i g i n s , as w e l l as to endow the area with a sense of r e l i g -ious r e s p e c t a b i l i t y . On the other hand, the hopefulness of t h i s ' t r u t h ' i s made conspicuous by the absence i n Bastar of any p i l g r i m a g e s i t e a s s o c i a t e d with the Ramayana. Moreover, 37 c u l t u r a l geographic r e s e a r c h on p i l g r i m a g e i n I n d i a has shown, v i a the e p i c l i t e r a t u r e , namely i n the more r e l e v a n t Mahabharata, that p i l g r i m routes have avoided "the areas which even today c o n t a i n most of the scheduled t r i b e s popu-l a t i o n s of I n d i a " (Bhardwaj 1973: 56). That there are a few Rama t i r t h a s (sacred s i t e s ) j u s t beyond, but d e f i n i t e l y out-s i d e , the southern boundaries of a n c i e n t Bastar, and that these were p a t r o n i z e d by s ome of the Bastar kings (Thakur 1909: 3), only f u r t h e r i n d i c a t e s the makeshift q u a l i t i e s of H i n d u i s t i c a l l y - i n s p i r e d , e a r l y Bastar h i s t o r y . These e x p e d i e n t i a l q u a l i t i e s , which transform h i s t o r y i n t o e t h n o h i s t o r y , f i n d t h e i r locus i n and a r i s e from the t r a d i t i o n of i n - m i g r a t i o n to the r e g i o n . Never i n great numbers, the n o n - t r i b a l s , mostly Hindu and a few Muslim t r a d e r s , began a r r i v i n g i n the l a s t decades of the 19th Century. For them, as f o r the n o n - t r i b a l s of neighbouring d i s t r i c t s , B a star was "a land of savages, seeking s t i l l f o r human v i c t i m s to s a c r i f i c e to t h e i r f e t i s h e s , s k i l l e d i n herbs and simples, and potent p r a c t i t i o n e r s of magic and w i t c h c r a f t " (Grigson 1938: 3 ) . G r a f t e d on to t h i s r e l a t i v e l y t i m e l e s s set of assumptions were those c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s contained i n the e q u a l l y more or l e s s atemporal Hindu d i s c o u r s e . In f a c t , except as stages i n the process of the p r o d u c t i o n of knowledge, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to separate the two sets of i d e a s . For example, the ideas of the m a g i c a l l y potent savage i s as much an outcome of t r a v e l l e r s ' t a l e s , 38 that i s , the word-of-mouth spread of 'knowledge' from the p e r i p h e r i e s to the centres of Hindu i n h a b i t a t i o n , as i t i s an a c t u a l p a r t of S a n s k r i t i c l i t e r a t u r e . In the l a t t e r one can f i n d f u l l - b l o w n the n e g a t i v e stereotype of the a b o r i g i n -a l s . They were: l i k e ' a l l the n i g h t s of the dark f o r t n i g h t r o l l e d i n t o one,' 'a crowd of e v i l deeds coming together,' 'a caravan of curses of the many hermits d w e l l i n g i n the Dandaka F o r e s t . . . t h e i r one r e l i g i o n i s o f f e r i n g human f l e s h to Durga; t h e i r meat i s a meal loathed by the good; t h e i r s h a s t r a ( s c i e n c e or law) i s the c r y of the j a c k a l ; t h e i r teachers of good and e v i l are owls; t h e i r bosom f r i e n d s are dogs; t h e i r kingdom i s i n deserted woods; t h e i r f e a s t i s a d r i n k i n g - b o u t ; . . . t h e i r wives are the wives of others taken c a p t i v e ; t h e i r d w e l l i n g i s with savage t i g e r s ; t h e i r worship of the gods i s with the blood of beasts, t h e i r s a c r i f i c e s with f l e s h , t h e i r l i v e -l i h o o d by t h e f t ; and the very wood wherein they dwell i s u t t e r l y destroyed r o o t and branch' (Bana's Kadambari, c. 6th Century A.D., quoted i n Elwin 1960: 29-30). Taken a l t o g e t h e r , these conceptions, and/or v a r i a t i o n s thereof, c o n s t i t u t e d the l i m i t s of e t h n o h i s t o r i c a l awareness f o r s e v e r a l generations of Bastar immigrants. Aside from t h i s perdurable corpus of d i s t o r t i o n s ^ ( f o r that i s how they must o b j e c t i v e l y be judged) the Bastar s e t t l e r s were almost e n t i r e l y " i g n o r a n t of the customs and h i s t o r y of B a s t a r " (Thakur 1909: 9 ) . As f a r as could be determined, that i s by an e a r l y 20th Century observer, "even the n a t i v e s of Bastar, who l i k e t h e i r f o r e f a t h e r s have l i v e d here s i n c e b i r t h , are j u s t as ignorant of c o n d i t i o n s i n Bastar as are these newcomers..." ( i b i d . ) . Thus d i d ignorance compounded 39 by pro magnified s t y l i z a t i o n s of Hindu c u l t u r e f i n d t h e i r p l a c e i n the e t h n o h i s t o r i c a l consciousness of Bastar's n o n - t r i b a l p o p u l a t i o n . More a b t r a c t l y , f o r a lack of known events, a d i a c h r o n i c understanding had been supplanted by a synchronic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of Bastar ethnography. T h i s i s not to say that there i s an absolute l a c k of e a r l y h i s t o r y as such. The remnants of temples at Barsur, Bhairamgarh and Dantewara i n south Bastar provide evidence f o r the e x i s t e n c e of an outpost of c l a s s i c a l Hindu c i v i l i z a -t i o n . I n s c r i p t i o n s and copper p l a t e s found at these r u i n s (recorded i n E p i g r a p h i c a I n d i c a , V o l s . IX and X) i n d i c a t e that a Telegu kingdom, o r i g i n a t i n g i n what i s now Andhra Pradesh, t h r i v e d i n Bastar and i n f a c t was r a i d e d many times between 844 A.D. and 1150 by E a s t e r n Chalukya, Chola, West-ern Chalukya, and Hoysala p r i n c e s -- a l l from South Indian d y n a s t i e s (Grigson 1938: 4 ) . There i s a l s o mention of a Karnatak (Mysore) kingdom i n no r t h e r n B a s t a r . However, very l i t t l e i s known of these e a r l y i n f i l t r a t i o n s i n t o the t r i b a l f o r e s t s of a n c i e n t B a s t a r . Hence, while "there were times when pi o n e e r s of advanced c i v i l i z a t i o n s s e t t l e d among the a b o r i g i n a l tribesmen... there were ( a l s o ) p e r i o d s when such outposts of higher c u l t u r e shrank i n t o i n s i g n i f i c a n c e . . . . There can indeed be l i t t l e doubt that throughout a n c i e n t and medieval times the l a r g e r p a r t o f . . . ( B a s t a r ) remained a land of v a s t f o r e s t s and poor communications" (von Furer-Haimen-d o r f 1979: 5 ) . I t i s only i n the 15th Century that Bastar 40 a t t a i n e d a s i g n i f i c a n c e that can be t r a c e d , though s t i l l s k e t c h i l y , up to modern times. T h i s s i g n i f i c a n c e came about as a consequence of the Muslim p e n e t r a t i o n s of the Deccan r e g i o n of South I n d i a . The Mughal emperor, Ahmad Shah Bahmani, sent h i s armies to engage the Hindu K a k a t i y a kingdom of Pratap Rudra at Waran-g a l j u s t south of Bastar which at that time, about 1425, was "an o u t l y i n g and l o o s e l y - h e l d group of f e u d a l dependencies of Warangal" (Grigson 1938: 4 ) . Warangal was taken, as was Pratap Rudra's l i f e , i n the ensuing b a t t l e s , but a younger bro t h e r , Anam Deo, managed to escape w i t h a small army of f o l l o w e r s northwards across the Godavari R i v e r i n t o what became known f o r the f i r s t time, as a r e s u l t of Anam Deo's subsequent c o n s o l i d a t i o n , as the independent kingdom of B a s t a r . However, even so, up u n t i l t h i s time Bastar's s u b o r d i n a t i o n to Warangal had been more nominal than a c t u a l , "the r e a l a u t h o r i t y r e s t i n g with l o c a l c h i e f s or i n the heads of the o l d t r i b a l o r g a n i s a t i o n that was so marked a f e a t u r e of the medieval kingdoms of the e a s t e r n C e n t r a l Provinces and some of the Chhota Nagpur and O r i s s a S t a t e s " ( i b i d . ) . Although " r e a l a u t h o r i t y " was a matter of p a r t i c u -l a r r e f e r e n c e and i n terms of t r i b a l o r g a n i z a t i o n remained w i t h i n roughly e g a l i t a r i a n s o c i a l c a t e g o r i e s , the p o i n t here i s that Anam Deo's f l i g h t i n t o and conquest of Bastar secured f o r him and h i s successors o v e r - a l l a u t h o r i t y f o r twenty generations to come. In other words, t h i s c o n t i n u i t y 41 of B a s t a r ' s p o l i t i c a l i d e n t i t y l a s t e d from approximately 1425 u n t i l 1948 -- and u n o f f i c i a l l y u n t i l 1966. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , between 1425 and 1853, when Bastar entered i n t o d i r e c t p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s with the B r i t i s h , there i s a p e r i o d of over f o u r hundred years d u r i n g which the kingdom once again enters what i s l a r g e l y an h i s t o r i c a l vacuum. I t has been noted, however, that the process of c o n s o l i d a t i o n tended to move i n a northward d i r e c t i o n , presumably to s i t u a t e the seat of power as f a r away as p o s s i b l e from any f u r t h e r c o n f r o n t a t i o n with Muslim f o r c e s . These d i d i n f a c t , i n 1610, attempt to take Bastar, but were overcome, not so much by K a k a t i y a defenders as by the "heavy r a i n , the d i f f i c u l t y of communications and dearth of p r o v i s i o n s i n t h i s h e a v i l y f o r e s t e d and t h i n l y - p o p u l a t e d t r a c t " (Grigson 1938: 5 ) . The expansion northwards a l s o had the e f f e c t of changing the c u l t u r a l and l i n g u i s t i c c h a r a c t e r of the K a k a t i y a kingdom by r e p l a c i n g Telugu w i t h H i n d i i n f l u e n c e s . The l i m i t was reached i n contact with the Rajput kingdoms of Raipur and Ratanpur ( i n C h h a t t i s g a r h ) and Ranker. In conquest over Ranker the Rakatiyas took the areas around Bare Dongar which was the centre of the Halba peoples, a m a r t i a l group of mixed a b o r i g i n a l and non-aborig-i n a l o r i g i n whose language, H a l b i , became the l i n g u a f r a n c a of B a s t a r . Despite the p a u c i t y of data, i t i s p o s s i b l e to l a y out some of the l i k e l y s t r u c t u r a l developments of t h i s p e r i o d 42 which c o u l d be designated, a f t e r Sinha (1962: 35-79), as the era of Bastar s t a t e f o r m a t i o n . As noted above, the e a r l i e s t known kingdoms i n Bastar were of a c l a s s i c a l Hindu, temple-b u i l d i n g type. The breakdown of these e a r l y extensions of Hindu c i v i l i z a t i o n around the end of the 12th century was concurrent w i t h s i m i l a r degenerations of J a i n and Buddhist kingdoms i n other p a r t s of C e n t r a l I n d i a . Again more or l e s s c o n c u r r e n t l y , these areas, l i k e Bastar, a l s o witnessed the r i s e i n l a t e medieval times of t r i b a l , or more a c c u r a t e l y , H i n d u - t r i b a l , kingdoms. U n l i k e Bastar, which came i n t o e x i s t e n c e by way of conquest, the other kingdoms emerged e i t h e r "mainly through i n t e r n a l developments out of a t r i b a l base" or as a r e s u l t of immigrant Rajput adventurers (from western India) " g a i n i n g power i n the t r i b a l t r a c t s by manoeuvering the narrow-range clan-bound t r i b a l " o r g a n i z a -t i o n of these areas (Sinha 1962: 71). In a l l cases, however, the processes of formation were more or l e s s a l i k e i n e s s e n t i a l f e a t u r e s : a f e u d a l i s t i c s u p e r s t r u c t u r e b u i l t upon a t r i b a l f o u n d a t i o n . In Bastar i n p a r t i c u l a r then, two r e l a t e d q u e s t i o n s a r i s e . One i s how "the e q u a l i t a r i a n p r i m i t i v e clan-based o r g a n i z a t i o n . . . adjusted i t s e l f to the c e n t r a l i z e d , h i e r a r c h i c , t e r r i t o r i a l l y o r i e n t e d p o l i t i c a l developments"; and the other concerns the s p e c i f i c s of the " . . . i n t e r a c t i o n between the p r i m i t i v e r i t u a l symbols of the t r i b e and the advanced symbols sponsored by the S t a t e " ( i b i d . : 37). Before proceeding w i t h these questions, the 43 f i r s t i n t h i s chapter, the second mainly i n the next, i t i s necessary to enter here a few q u a l i f y i n g remarks of a more gene r a l nature. I have used above the a d j e c t i v e ' f e u d a l i s t i c ' advised-l y . T h i s i s because the p o l i t i c a l economy of f e u d a l i s m has connotations i n a p p l i c a b l e to Indian monarchy ( r e g a r d l e s s of t r i b a l f o u n d a t i o n s ) . In Bastar, as elsewhere i n I n d i a , 'feudalism' was not rooted i n any economic e x c l u s i v i t y i n h e r i n g i n the r e i g n i n g monarch. The k i n g was not the owner of a l l the land, " i n e f f e c t , no one owned the l a n d " ( T y l e r 1973: 96). Rather, the system was one i n which economic c o n t r o l r e v o l v e d around r i g h t s to shares i n the produce of the l a n d . "The k i n g was merely the preeminent landholder who apportioned a share of the revenue among h i s servants i n the c i v i l a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . The land i t s e l f was a d e i t y and c o u l d not be possessed by m o r t a l s " ( i b i d . ) . While these statements r e f e r to a much e a r l i e r p e r i o d of Indian h i s t o r y than p r e s e n t l y under d i s c u s s i o n -- a p e r i o d when the models f o r p o l i t i c a l economy were f i r s t formulated2 -- t h e i r core r e l i g i o s i t y i s evident throughout the development of Indian k i n g s h i p . I t would be i n v a i n to attempt to s p e c i f y the o r i g i n of these r e l i g i o u s i d e a s . Whether or not, f o r example, they emerge from a t r i b a l 'sub-stratum', i s a q u e s t i o n beyond the scope of the present d i s c u s s i o n . However, i t i s a f a c t , over most of c e n t r a l I n d i a , that i n t r i b a l i d e o l o g y the e a r t h i s a l s o a d e i t y . 44 A t a n y r a t e , i n g e n e r a l , t h e r e w a s n o q u e s t i o n o f ' d i v i n e r i g h t ' i n I n d i a n m o n a r c h y a n d i t s e c o n o m i c r e l a t i o n -s h i p s . I t w a s m o r e a q u e s t i o n o f t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n o f d i v i n -i t y , o r , m o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y , t h e e x c h a n g e o f t h e p r o d u c t s o f d i v i n i t y , a s e x p r e s s e d a n d f a c i l i t a t e d b y a s t r u c t u r e o f r i t u a l . A s s u m m a r i z e d b y T y l e r , " . . . t h e d e v o l u t i o n o f r i g h t s t o t h e p r o d u c e o f t h e l a n d w a s u l t i m a t e l y n o t a r t i c u l a t e d w i t h i n a p a r a d i g m o f f e a l t y , v a s s a l a g e , a n d o v e r l o r d s h i p . I n s t e a d , t h e s e r i g h t s w e r e h o m o l o g i z e d t o r i t u a l i n t e r d e p e n -d e n c e . . . . E a c h l e v e l i n t h e h i e r a r c h i c d e v o l u t i o n o f r i g h t s t o r e v e n u e w a s s i m p l y a s m a l l s c a l e r e p l i c a o f t h e l e v e l a b o v e i t . . . . T h e ' k i n g ' s ' p o s i t i o n a n d r i g h t t o r e v e n u e a t w h a t e v e r l e v e l i n t h i s h i e r a r c h y w a s c o n d i t i o n a l o n h i s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a s y s t e m o f e x c h a n g e " ( i b i d . ) . K e e p i n g t h i s i n m i n d , we c a n n o w t u r n m o r e d i r e c t l y t o B a s t a r s t a t e f o r m a t i o n . A s m e n t i o n e d a b o v e , t h e K a k a t i y a s r e a c h e d t h e l i m i t s o f t h e i r m i l i t a r y e x p a n s i o n w h e n t h e y c a m e i n t o c o n t a c t w i t h t h e m e d i e v a l k i n g d o m s o f R a i p u r a n d R a t a n p u r . I n y s o d o i n g , t h e y e m p l o y e d a s a m e a n s o f o r g a n i z i n g a n d m a i n t a i n i n g t h e a r e a s t h e y h a d c o n q u e r e d t h e m o d e l o f t e r r i t o r i a l c o n t r o l t h a t w a s p r e v a l e n t i n t h o s e ( C h h a t t i s g a r h ) k i n g d o m s . W h i l e t h e r e i s l i t t l e e v i d e n c e t o d o c u m e n t t h e d e t a i l s o f t h i s a d a p t a t i o n , t h e r e i s n o t m u c h d o u b t t h a t t h e s y s t e m a s e m p l o y e d w a s n o t a t a n y s u b s t a n t i a l v a r i a n c e w i t h t h a t o f t h e C h h a t t i s g a r h m o d e l . F o r t h i s i n s i g h t , a n d t h e 45 r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of the model i t s e l f , Bastar h i s t o r i o g r a p h y i s indebted to the p a i n s t a k i n g work of C.U. W i l l s (1919). In h i s small monograph on the s u b j e c t , W i l l s notes that the medieval system, e s s e n t i a l l y a h i e r a r c h i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n conforming c l o s e l y to c l a s s i c a l p r e s c r i p t i o n s , was not at any time e x e m p l i f i e d i n f u l l d e t a i l everywhere i n C h h a t t i s g a r h . I t was no more than a 'theory'...on which the system worked: ' i t i s w e l l known to a l l who have enquired i n t o Indian i n s t i t u t i o n s that they are d i r e c t e d by a g e n e r a l understanding, seldom i f ever by p r e c i s e r u l e s ; and that understanding i s so l o o s e l y acted upon that amongst the innumerable d e v i a t i o n s that are met with, i t i s no easy task to d i s c o v e r the most u n i v e r s a l and e s t a b l i s h e d p r a c t i c e 1 (1919: 199; i n t e r n a l quote Vans Agnew 1820). I t i s doubtless a d i f f i c u l t s i t u a t i o n , as Vans Agnew and numerous l a t e r w r i t e r s have remarked on the understanding of Indian s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , but the problem of d e v i a t i o n and u n i v e r s a l i t y (or " u n i t y and d i v e r s i t y " , as contemporary authors put i t , c f . Mason 1967) i s here exacerbated by the h i g h l y p r e c a r i o u s q u a l i t y of the h i s t o r i c a l data. I t must be emphasized, as w i t h W i l l s , that ...we are f o r c e d . . . t o recognize the e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y u n r e l i a b l e c h a r a c t e r of much of the evidence we possess. We can put f u l l t r u s t i n no one. The whole p e r i o d which we are i n v e s t i g a t i n g i s . . . s o much legendary that at most we can hope to glean a h a l f - t r u t h here and a h a l f - t r u t h t h e r e . The e a r l y w r i t e r s were men with few o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r study or comparative enquiry. They e i t h e r l i k e Capt. Blunt i n Ratanpur i n 1794 f i l l one w i t h dismay at the o p p o r t u n i t i e s they l e t s l i p or l i k e Motte they w r i t e i n columns of d i s c u r s i v e matter i n f l o w i n g Georgian s t y l e without ever coming to a c l e a r statement of a c t u a l f a c t ( W i l l s 1919: 226). 46 However, i n W i l l s h i m s e l f we have at l e a s t one exception to t h i s g e n e r a l s t a t e of a f f a i r s . What emerges q u i t e c l e a r l y then, i s a t e r r i t o r i a l model of p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n that was being f o l l o w e d i n the kingdoms to the n o r t h of Bastar even before the Kaka t i y a kings a r r i v e d from Warangal. The f i r s t evidence of the deployment of that model i n Bastar i n d i c a t e s that i t was i n pl a c e s h o r t l y a f t e r the Kakatiya's a r r i v a l : "In 1502 A.D. Pratap Rajdeo came to the throne. He conquered 18 f o r t s around Dongar and assigned them to h i s younger brother as appanage... i n 1856 we again read that the Rajah of Bastar Rajah Bhyro Deo i n v e s t e d h i s younger b r o t h e r Dalganjan Singh with '18 Garhs as an appanage f o r h i s l i v e l i h o o d ' " ( i b i d . : 200). T h i s evidence a l s o serves to i n d i c a t e the c o n v e n t i o n a l -i t y of the system. The number 18 i s used r e p e a t e d l y i n d e s c r i p t i o n s of t e r r i t o r i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n i n C h h a t t i s g a r h and rep r e s e n t s a d i c h o t o m i z a t i o n of domain. In other words, Ataragarh, or eighteen f o r t s , i s one-half o f C h h a t t i s g a r h , which means t h i r t y - s i x f o r t s . W i t h i n the garh or f o r t the number 84 i s a l s o r e p e a t e d l y used and i t represented the next l e v e l of s u b d i v i s i o n , an area of ' e i g h t y - f o u r ' v i l l a g e s (Chaurasi) h e l d by a Diwan ( m i n i s t e r ) or Thakur ( l o r d ) . At the lowest l e v e l of the model, the Chaurasi was subdivided i n t o u n i t s of 12 v i l l a g e s (Barhons, l a t e r known as Taluqs) each h e l d by Barhainhas or Taluqdars, grantees c a l l e d by 47 W i l l s "minor c h i e f s " ( i b i d . : 199). E a r l y w r i t e r s were o f t e n i n c l i n e d to take these numerical d e s i g n a t i o n s l i t e r a l l y , but i n f a c t they were a p p l i e d to s u b d i v i s i o n s of a kingdom r e g a r d l e s s of a c t u a l numbers. Furthermore, although Bastar was to become one of the C h h a t t i s g a r h Feudatory S t a t e s , at the time of B a s t a r ' s formation C h h a t t i s g a r h was l e s s a p l a c e name than a term f o r a system of t e r r i t o r i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . Another important f e a t u r e of the system was that, at the higher l e v e l s at l e a s t , i t was a r t i c u l a t e d through k i n s h i p t i e s . As the system p r o l i f e r a t e d i n Bastar, the v a r i o u s s u b d i v i s i o n s being p a r c e l l e d out -- i n 1821 there were 48 -- the c h a r a c t e r of these l i n k s became more and more a f f i n a l , and, i n a number of senses, d i s t a n t from the r o y a l house. Each new r o y a l marriage saw a f u r t h e r c o n s o l i d a t i o n of Bastar t e r r i t o r y and a new d i s t r i b u t i o n of r i g h t s to revenue shares, as w e l l as a f u r t h e r h i e r a r c h i c d e v o l u t i o n of power. Of the o r i g i n a l 48 Zamindars (a term synonomous with but l a t e r than T a l u q ) , Vans Agnew wrote that "each pay r e n t long s i n c e e s t a b l i s h e d and which does not vary. They e x e r c i s e an almost u n l i m i t e d a u t h o r i t y w i t h i n t h e i r r e s p e c t -i v e Zamindaris but are s u b j e c t to the Rajah i n a l l that r e f e r s to the g e n e r a l i n t e r e s t s of the S t a t e . At the present they are a l l obedient to h i s o r d e r s " (quoted i n W i l l s 1919: 236). These l a t t e r statements b r i n g us to the q u e s t i o n of the king's a u t h o r i t y . In order to s i t u a t e t h i s q u e s t i o n i n i t s proper 48 context, i t must be a p p r e c i a t e d that the Rajput t e r r i t o r i a l model was being i n t e g r a t e d with n o n - h i e r a r c h i c , t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s . On the other hand, the d i s s i m i l a r i t i e s between these two types of s o c i e t i e s were not as great as has o f t e n been assumed. Couched i n the r a c i a l terminology of the time the f o l l o w i n g remarks r e v e a l both the context of the author i t y o f Bastar k i n g s h i p and what has been a t e n a c i o u s l y - h e l d misconception of p o p u l a t i o n d i f f e r e n c e s i n I n d i a : ...we must f i r s t disabuse our minds of the popular view which regards the Aryans as f a i r - s k i n n e d , h i g h l y - c i v i l i z e d invaders overrunning a country peopled by b l a c k - f a c e d and squat-nosed b a r b a r i a n s . The more we get to know of medieval h i s t o r y the more we have reason to minimize the divergence i n p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l c a p a c i t y between the Aryan and non-Aryan peoples. The Aryan had developed a monarchical form of r u l e which, so f a r as we can l e a r n , was f o r e i g n to the indigenous t r i b e s i n t h i s p a r t of the country. Being thus organized under a s i n g l e head i t was impossible f o r the non-Aryan t r i b e s to make any p r o t r a c t e d r e s i s t -ance to them. But i n many r e s p e c t s the non-Aryan s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , though independ-e n t l y developed, bore a remarkable resemblance to the Aryan; and when the two systems met they presented no r e a l antagonism to one another ( i b i d . : 231 ) . With r e f e r e n c e to p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , what t h i s amounts to i s that i n n e i t h e r case, t r i b a l nor n o n - t r i b a l , was auth-o r i t y , t h i s i s , c e n t r a l i z e d a u t h o r i t y over a whole domain, very s t r o n g i n s t i t u t i o n . As a r e s u l t , "the weakness of cent r a l authority...(became) an e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the medieval p o l i t i c s i n and around C h h a t t i s g a r h " ( i b i d . : 234). 49 . T h i s e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c w a s c o n c o m i t a n t t o t h e t e r r i t o r i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . E a c h l e v e l , b y v i r t u e o f t h e a u t h o r i t y d e l e g a t e d t o i t s h e a d , a c t e d a s a r e s t r a i n i n g i n f l u e n c e o n t h e l e v e l a b o v e i t . U l t i m a t e l y , t h e k i n g " w a s n o t a n a u t o c r a t b u t w a s r a t h e r p r i m u s i n t e r p a r e s - - t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e , s o c i a l a n d r e l i g i o u s h e a d b u t n e v e r t h e l e s s b o u n d t o r e g a r d t h e c u s t o m s o f h i s p e o p l e w h o s e w e l f a r e a n d t h e m a i n t e n a n c e o f w h o s e c u s t o m a r y r i g h t s w e r e o f e v e n m o r e i m p o r t a n c e t h a n t h e m a i n t e n a n c e a n d e x t e n s i o n o f t h e p e r s o n -a l a u t h o r i t y o f k i n g s h i p " ( i b i d . : 2 5 0 ) , a n d a s W i l l s c o n -c l u d e s , " w e m a y c a l l t h i s a f e u d a l s y s t e m i f we l i k e b u t , a s i t w a s a r e l a t i o n m o r e o f s t a t u s t h a n o f c o n t r a c t " ( i b i d . ) . T o a n t i c i p a t e s o m e w h a t , i n t h e I n d i a n c o n t e x t s t a t u s i m p l i e s r e l i g i o u s v a l u e s , w h i c h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f B a s t a r r e f e r t o t h e d i v i n i t y o f k i n g s h i p . D e s c e n d i n g t o t h e l o w e s t l e v e l s o f t h i s f e u d a l i s t i c s y s t e m , t o i t s f o u n d a t i o n i n t r i b a l s o c i e t y , we f i n d a n h o m o l o g o u s s i t u a t i o n . T h e h o m o l o g u e w a s i n r e s p e c t t o G o n d c l a n o r g a n i z a t i o n , w h i c h w a s t o u c h e d u p o n i n t h e i n t r o d u c -t i o n . T o s p e a k i n e v o l u t i o n a r y t e r m s - - r e a d i n g ' e v o l u t i o n ' b r o a d l y a s s o c i o - c u l t u r a l c o m p l e x i f i c a t i o n - - B a s t a r t r i b a l s o c i e t y a t t h e t i m e o f t h e b e g i n n i n g s o f m o n a r c h y w a s a r e l a t i v e l y r e c e n t s o c i e t a l p r e d e c e s s o r o f t h a t k i n d o f m o n a r c h y . T h i s i n f a c t i s W i l l s ' o b s e r v a t i o n s o n A r y a n / n o n -A r y a n s i m i l a r i t i e s c a s t i n m o r e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l l a n g u a g e . I n s u c h t e r m s t h e G o n d s o f B a s t a r c a n b e r e p r e s e n t e d a s a 50 t r i b a l segmentary s o c i e t y , "a permutation of the gen e r a l model i n the d i r e c t i o n of extreme d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n , to the extent that the burden of c u l t u r e i s c a r r i e d i n small, l o c a l , autonomous groups while higher l e v e l s of o r g a n i z a t i o n develop l i t t l e coherence, poor d e f i n i t i o n , and minimum f u n c t i o n " ( S a h l i n s 1968: 20). A l s o i n such terms, the Kak a t i y a Rajputs which overran Bastar (as w e l l as those Rajput adventurers which took p a r t i n the formation of the C h h a t t i s g a r h s t a t e s ) represented at t h i s time merely another permutation taken i n the other d i r e c t i o n : a chiefdom, with " . . . i n t e g r a t i o n of the segmentary system at high e r l e v e l s . A p o l i t i c a l s u p e r s t r u c t u r e i s e s t a b l i s h e d , and on that b a s i s a wider and more e l a b o r a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n of economy, ceremony, ideology, and other aspects of c u l t u r e " ( i b i d . ) . Neverthe-l e s s , what remains more or l e s s constant across the v a r i o u s permutations of the t r i b a l segmentary model l i e s i n the nature of a u t h o r i t y . Thus, the p o l i t i c a l aspects of c l a n o r g a n i z a t i o n are simply r e p l i c a t e d at hig h e r l e v e l s . Among the Gonds on Bastar, whether i t was among the H i l l Maria, Bison-horn Maria or Muria, the e x e r c i s e of a u t h o r i t y was the preroga-t i v e of one o f f i c e , that of the 'headman', who was g e n e r a l l y the " p r i e s t of the V i l l a g e Mother" (Grigson 1938: 196). How-ever, the k a s y e q - g a i t a (perma among the Bison-horn, kesser  g a y t a l among the Muria) or v i l l a g e headmen d i d not so much possess a u t h o r i t y as w i e l d i t , and at that o n l y i n s o f a r as 51 the d e c i s i o n s that they handed down had been a r r i v e d at through a consensus-reaching c o n s u l t a t i o n with a group of v i l l a g e e l d e r s known as the panchayat. Without the concur-rence of t h i s venerable Indian i n s t i t u t i o n , the headman had l i t t l e i n f l u e n c e . As S a h l i n s l i g h t l y remarks of the p o s i t i o n of t r i b a l headman, "one word from him and everyone does as he p l e a s e s " (1968: 21). More s e r i o u s l y , the p o i n t i s that the o f f i c e of the headman was homologous to the o f f i c e of k i n g s h i p ; each, i n a sense, i s modeled on the other. For c o n f i r m a t i o n of t h i s p o i n t , we may r e f e r back to W i l l s ' c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of the k i n g as "primus i n t e r pares", r e s t r i c t e d from autocracy by the i n t e r v e n i n g l e v e l s of a u t h o r i t y below him, and make the comparison with what Grigson c a l l s the " n a t u r a l democratic tendencies of the t r i b e " : "In the v i l l a g e the k a s y e q - g a i t a or the g a i t a i s merely primus i n t e r pares i n regard to the v i l l a g e e l d e r s and i n the c l a n or pargana the pargania g a i t a i n regard to the g a i t a s and kasyeq-gaitas of the other v i l l a g e s of the c l a n or pargana" (1938: 290). Furthermore, Grigson i s here i n f a c t c o n f i r m i n g through ethnographic o b s e r v a t i o n i n the e a r l y t w e n t i e t h century what W i l l s ' documentary r e s e a r c h uncovered n e a r l y one hundred years e a r l i e r : t h a t i n the t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s of the area "'government ( i s ) by the moral i n f l u e n c e of i t s n a t u r a l heads alone to the e n t i r e e x c l u s i o n of the p r i n c i p l e of c o e r c i v e a u t h o r i t y 1 " ( W i l l s 1919: 248; i n t e r n a l quote Macpherson 1845). There i s no reason nor 52 evidence to suggest that t h i s s i t u a t i o n was any d i f f e r e n t from c o n d i t i o n s p r e v a i l i n g at the time of i n c i p i e n t monarchy i n B a s t a r . Again to quote W i l l s , those c o n d i t i o n s were: ...a k i n g r e s t r a i n e d by the powers of h i s Zamindars and the Zamindars i n f l u e n c e d by t h e i r Taluqdars and the Taluqdars i n f l u e n c e d i n turn by t h e i r v i l l a g e Headmen, and the whole s u b j e c t to the customary a u t h o r i t y of a r e g u l a r system of Panchayats which at any r a t e administered j u s t i c e a c c o r d i n g to the c o n v i c t i o n s and p r e j u d i c e s c u r r e n t at the time among the mass of the people..." ( i b i d . : 254). Of course, one must r e c a l l the nature of the evidence upon which W i l l s was f o r c e d to base these o b s e r v a t i o n s . But i t must a l s o be remembered that he was w r i t i n g about a model, h i s r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of i t an u n a s s a i l a b l y well-argued one, the v a l i d i t y of which i s p e r s u a s i v e l y c o r r o b o r a t e d by i t s a p p l i c a b i l i t y to Bastar s o c i a l h i s t o r y and ethnography.3 In my g e n e r a l remarks on the background of k i n g s h i p i n I n d i a there was o c c a s i o n to r e f e r to the s t r u c t u r a l s i m i l a r -i t i e s of normative a n c i e n t monarchy wi t h the monarchies of the medieval C h h a t t i s g a r h S t a t e s . I t i s important to add that there are d i f f e r e n c e s as w e l l which f o r d i a c h r o n i c reasons need to be taken i n t o account. In the f i r s t p l a c e , i t should be s a i d that n e a r l y a l l v e r s i o n s of a n c i e n t k i n g -ship i n I n d i a are s i t u a t e d i n caste s o c i e t i e s . Thus, what-ever the a c t u a l s o c i e t a l accomodations necessary to conform to the p r e s c r i p t i o n s set down i n the t e x t s of a n c i e n t p o l i t y , they are a l r e a d y assumed to have occurred and be 53 present i n c a s t e s o c i e t y . The r e s u l t i s that k i n g s h i p and ca s t e s o c i e t y are i n e x t r i c a b l y i n t e r l i n k e d and are given as a seemingly immutable s t r u c t u r e the standards f o r which are enshrined i n the r i t u a l s of the king's c o u r t . In Hocart's well-known statement on t h i s s t r u c t u r e , the king's s t a t e i s reproduced i n m i n i a t u r e by h i s v a s s a l s : a farmer has h i s c o u r t , c o n s i s t i n g of the personages most e s s e n t i a l to the r i t u a l , and so present even i n the s m a l l e s t community, the barber, the washerman, the drummer and so f o r t h (1950: 68). I t i s p l a i n that i n d e a l i n g w i t h the s m a l l community i n Bastar we are not, f o r the most p a r t , d e a l i n g w i t h caste s o c i e t y and o c c u p a t i o n a l s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . T r i b a l s o c i e t y i n Bastar, which had comparatively l i t t l e or no s p e c i a l i z a t i o n whatsoever, presented Hindu monarchy, e s p e c i a l l y the so to speak disembodied one that had to s t a r t a f r e s h i n Bastar, w i t h the problem of a d a p t a t i o n . Even at the p o i n t of great-est s t r u c t u r a l s i m i l a r i t y , at the l e v e l of r e l a t i o n s of a u t h o r i t y , the K a k a t i y a monarchy, having been reduced to mere c h i e f s h i p by the v i c i s s i t u d e s of conquest,^ was at a c o n s i d e r a b l e remove from " c l a s s i c a l " Hindu c o n d i t i o n s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the c l a s s i c a l model remained a standard toward which the Bastar monarchy was i n c l i n e d , and a c c o r d i n g to which i t made i t s adjustments to Gond t r i b a l s o c i e t y . Thus, on the l e v e l of a u t h o r i t y , the Bastar kings e v e n t u a l l y began to make appointments of headmen i n v a r i o u s t r i b a l and s e m i - t r i b a l groupings. 'Caste headmen 1, as they came to be 54 c a l l e d , were given i n s i g n i a of o f f i c e , such as p a r t i c u l a r l y c o l o r e d turbans, and had c o n f e r r e d upon them powers q u i t e beyond the keeping of t r a d i t i o n a l l e a d e r s . While the extent of t h i s p o l i t i c a l p e n e t r a t i o n i n t o t r i b a l s o c i e t y was l i m i t -ed to a proximate r a d i u s centered f i n a l l y ^ at Jagdalpur, w i t h i n t h i s sphere of d i r e c t c o n t r o l , the k h a l s a p o r t i o n of an Indian kingdom, the nature of t r i b a l s o c i e t y became transformed along the l i n e s of c a s t e o r g a n i z a t i o n . 6 i t was i n the k h a l s a , being the f i r s t area of i n f l u e n c e i n which the standards of k i n g s h i p could be f i r m l y e s t a b l i s h e d , that the normative model of k i n g s h i p w i t h a f u l l complement of castes could be c l o s e s t approximated. W r i t i n g of O r i s s a between the seventh and t w e l f t h c e n t u r i e s , Kulke's comments on the o r g a n i z a t i o n of O r i s s a n kingdoms 7 apply to Bastar between the f i f t e e n t h and seven-teenth c e n t u r i e s : "These l i t t l e r a j a s organized t h e i r sub-r e g i o n a l power a c c o r d i n g to the Hindu law books ( s a s t r a s ) which s t r e s s e d the dominant r o l e of the Hindu r a j a and h i s c o u r t " (1978: 31-32). In so doing, i n o r g a n i z i n g t h e i r power ac c o r d i n g to the Hindu law books, the Kakatiyas began to e f f e c t the s o c i a l t r a n s i t i o n from c h i e f s h i p to monarchy --mainly that i s , w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s of the k h a l s a . Beyond the c o n f i n e s of the k h a l s a (and beyond the k h a l s a e q u i v a l e n t s i n the zamindaris) a d i f f e r e n t system p r e v a i l e d . The H i l l and Bison-horn Maria, f o r i n s t a n c e , d i d not have caste headmen appointed to t h e i r v i l l a g e s . Instead, 55 most a u t h o r i t y remained vested i n the t r i b a l panchayat, represented by the v i l l a g e headman as spokesman. In these areas, the "panchayats d i d not, l i k e those of Hindu c a s t e s , d e a l o n l y w i t h s o c i a l matters, but a l s o with p e t t y crime and with the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and a g r i c u l t u r a l management of the v i l l a g e s and c l a n s , as w e l l as w i t h t h e i r r e l a t i o n s with the o f f i c e r s of the S t a t e " (Grigson 1938: 286). In the regions beyond the k h a l s a then, t r i b a l headmen remained primus i n t e r  pares, whereas w i t h i n the k h a l s a the K a k a t i y a kings were beginning to become true Hindu monarchs, that i s , with strong c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y . As the development of monarchy continued, i n c l u d i n g the r e g u l a r i z a t i o n of revenue c o l l e c t i o n and growth i n the requirements of v i l l a g e labour and s u p p l i e s f o r State p r o j e c t s , the demands on the t r i b a l p o p u l a t i o n s i n c r e a s e d . In t r i b a l v i l l a g e s , these demands (o f t e n unconscionable, a c c o r d i n g to Grigson 1938: 285) f e l l upon the shoulders of t r a d i t i o n a l headmen who found themselves having to accept the bulk of o f f i c i a l anger f o r , e s s e n t i a l l y , not being i n a p o s i t i o n to meet those demands. Over time, t h i s i n t o l e r a b l e s i t u a t i o n l e d to an i n n o v a t i o n i n the t r i b a l a u t h o r i t y s t r u c t u r e . As noted above, v i l l a g e l e a d e r s h i p r e s t e d i n the k a s y e q - g a i t a or perma i n H i l l and Bison-horn v i l l a g e s , and the kesser g a y t a l i n the Muria areas where to some extent caste headmen had not been appointed. Along w i t h these l e a d e r s , there e x i s t e d (and s t i l l e x i s t s ) a secondary 56 f i g u r e w i t h complementary f u c t i o n s . The pen p u j a r i , peda (among the Bison-horn) or g a i t a (among the H i l l maria) l e d and performed the r i t u a l s concerning the c l a n ( a n c e s t r a l d e i t i e s ) , but were not charged with v i l l a g e l e a d e r s h i p , or were at best sources of support to the k e s s e r - g a y t a l , e t c . , to whom they stood i n a c l a s s i f i c a t o r y (and subordinate) k i n r e l a t i o n s h i p . In response to the growing economic i n t e r v e n -t i o n and e x p r o p r i a t i o n of t r i b a l goods and s e r v i c e s by the Stat e , e s p e c i a l l y along the more w e l l - t r a v e l l e d routes through the kingdom, many v i l l a g e panchayats put forward the pen p u j a r i (or h i s e q u i v a l e n t ) as the v i l l a g e l e a d e r . In t h i s pseudo-leadership c a p a c i t y , the pen p u j a r i -- sometimes even the v i l l a g e i d i o t -- became a k i n d of "dummy as the headman f o r s e c u l a r a f f a i r s , the r e a l l e a d e r s h i p remaining with the r e l i g i o u s headman...but the dummy being a v a i l a b l e to bear the brunt of o f f i c i a l wrath, though powerless to e f f e c t anything without the consent of the v i l l a g e e l d e r s " (Grigson 1938: 285). I t was upon t h i s deception that the d i s t i n c t i o n between s e c u l a r and r e l i g i o u s t r i b a l headman came i n t o b e i n g. As Grigson saw i t , "Formerly there seems l i t t l e doubt, t h e . . . ( r e l i g i o u s headman) a l s o discharged the f u n c t i o n s of the s e c u l a r headman; the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the two f u n c t i o n s was the r e s u l t of the State o f f i c i a l s ' t r e a t -ment of the a b o r i g i n a l " ( i b i d . ) . Of s u p p o r t i v e , conceptual evidence f o r t h i s development, i t i s worthy of note that the Muria, as one, though very l i k e l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , i n s t a n c e , 57 "do not d i s t i n g u i s h between p r i e s t s and l a i t y . . . " (Popoff 1980: 18). T h i s i s contemporary evidence, to be sure, but there i s no reason to b e l i e v e that i t i s not a l s o t r a d i t i o n -a l . R e c a l l i n g now the o r i g i n a l q u e s t i o n as to how c l a n -based t r i b a l o r g a n i z a t i o n adapted i t s e l f to h i e r a r c h i c , p o l i t i c a l developments, we have come at l e a s t p a r t way to an answer. In Bastar, subsequent to making a s e r i e s of minor, l o c a l conquests, a r e l a t i v e l y small company of m i l i t a r y r e t a i n e r s headed by a f u g i t i v e Hindu p r i n c e and h i s c l o s e f a m i l y i n i t i a t e d a process of monarchical development. S t a r t i n g out as a f a l l e n a r i s t o c r a c y , i n other words as reduced monarchs without a body p o l i t i c and thus i n f a c t having l i t t l e a u t h o r i t y , the Kakatiyas adopted as a model of p o l i t i c a l development the Rajput t e r r i t o r i a l system of the C h h a t t i s g a r h S t a t e s . The app r o p r i a t e n e s s of t h i s choice was that the Rajput model was a s o l u t i o n to the same problem faced by the K a k a t i y a s : the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of t r i b a l s o c i e t -i e s under c e n t r a l i z e d , h i e r a r c h i c a u t h o r i t y . The s o l u t i o n to the problem i n v o l v e d the f a c i l i t a t i n g of that i n c o r p o r a t i o n by means of weak c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y s t r u c t u r a l l y congruent w i t h t r i b a l p o l i t y . The next stage of p o l i t i c a l development saw the K a k a t i -yas e s t a b l i s h i n g themselves at a centre and beginning the process of moving to the more c l a s s i c a l model of Hindu k i n g -s h i p . S t i l l not on a la r g e s c a l e , a Hinduized domain began 58 to be c r e a t e d , p a r t i a l l y through the importation of O r i s s a n Brahmins and other s e r v i c e castes and t h e i r i n f l u e n c e on surrounding t r i b a l s . The l a s t p o l i t i c a l step i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n was to c o n s t r u c t a network of ca s t e headmen f o r the Hinduized domain and i n d i r e c t l y to cause an adjustment i n a u t h o r i t y r e l a t i o n s i n the non-Hinduized, t r i b a l areas. C o n c u r r e n t l y , a r o y a l bureaucracy took shape which was i n t e r p o s e d between the c o u r t and the v i l l a g e mainly f o r purposes of revenue c o l l e c t i o n but which i n the k h a l s a a l s o e x e r c i s e d c i v i l and c r i m i n a l powers. The r e s u l t of these p o l i t i c a l developments was that the kingdom of Bastar came to be i m p l i c i t l y d i v i d e d i n t o two p a r t s . I do not mean simply the k h a l s a and non-k h a l s a , f o r the zamindaries were a l s o d i v i d e d i n t o a Hindu centre and an outer, t r i b a l p a r t . Thus one p a r t took on more and more a Hindu c h a r a c t e r w i t h c l o s e connections to the S t a t e , w hile the other remained d i s t i n c t l y t r i b a l and i n p o l i t i c a l and economic terms experienced comparatively l i t t l e i n t e r v e n t i o n i n t o customary p r a c t i c e s . T h i s i s not, of course, a complete p i c t u r e . In the next chapter s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s d e t a i l w i l l be added to f l e s h out t h i s s k e l e t a l frame. A l s o , i t w i l l have been n o t i c e d that the f o r e g o i n g account of Bastar s t a t e formation has been presented without much temporal s p e c i f i c i t y . There are few dates of any consequence p r i o r to 1853 and fewer s t i l l which would help to p i n p o i n t the chronology of Bastar p o l i t i c a l 59 development. Nonetheless, on the b a s i s of what data do e x i s t , i t would seem q u i t e probable that the sequence i n i t i a t e d i n 1425 took p l a c e as d e s c r i b e d , and that a c e r t a i n measure of s t a b i l i t y of p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e was entrenched by the time of the coming of the B r i t i s h . -Writing not long a f t e r t h e i r a r r i v a l as the new paramount power, Chapman (1898, c i t e d i n de B r e t t 1909: 61) noted t h a t : The whole of the k h a l s a was d i v i d e d i n t o parganas or t a l u k s . There were 5 l a r g e parganas under p a i d o f f i c i a l s c a l l e d Diwans or t a l u k d a r s , who e x e r c i s e d c i v i l and c r i m i n a l powers besides c o l l e c t i n g the revenue. The w i l d e r and more d i s t a n t parganas were f o r purposes of revenue c o l l e c t i o n under o f f i c i a l s c a l l e d thanedars, negis and hikmis. Under a l l these o f f i c i a l s , who were themselves remunerated by f i x e d s a l a r i e s , were p a i d servants c a l l e d p aiks who r e c e i v e d a monthly s t i p e n d . T h i s serves to i n d i c a t e the k i n d of dual s t r u c t u r e which had developed over the four c e n t u r i e s of Bastar s t a t e forma-t i o n . T h i s formation saw a vaguely demarcated area of broad-l y homogeneous, 'acephalous', Gond t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s organ-i z e d and transformed i n t o a p o l i t i c a l whole c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a dominant Hindu core l o o s e l y connected to, and supported by, an outer t r i b a l e n c i r c l e m e n t . The outcome can be under-stood as an i m p l i c i t s o c i e t a l b i f u r c a t i o n , the halves of which had reached a f a i r l y s t a b l e , interdependent e q u i l i b -rium. 60 Fpotnotes to chapter 3 These d i s t o r t i o n s are produced out of the c o n f r o n t a t i o n of s u p e r f i c i a l l y observed t r i b a l behaviour w i t h the Hindu moral system or code. Bana's metaphors are c u l t -u r a l c o n s t r u c t i o n s imposed on t r i b a l l i f e so as to accentuate i t s a n t i t h e t i c a l n a t u r e . For i n s t a n c e , to the Hindu the owl i s i d i o m a t i c of e v i l and s t u p i d i t y ; the dog i s the most despised c r e a t u r e i n I n d i a ; and the meat 'loathed by the good' i s of course beef, r e l i s h e d by t r i b a l s but i t s consumption abhorred by most Hind-us. The d r i n k i n g of a l c o h o l , as much a r e l i g i o u s as a s o c i a l a c t i v i t y f o r the t r i b a l , i s a l s o an abomination to orthodox Hindus f o r whom the intake of even the s m a l l e s t drop of l i q u o r i s s u f f i c i e n t to brand the imbiber an a l c o h o l i c . The r e f e r e n c e to the d e s t r u c t i o n of f o r e s t s i s a s i m i l a r exaggeration, r e f e r r i n g to the p r a c t i c e of swidden c u l t i v a t i o n . The ambivalence of n o n - t r i b a l a t t i t u d e s i s r e v e a l e d by the simultaneous e x i s t e n c e of the noble savage id e a : the c a r e f r e e , joyous, t o t a l l y honest, n o n - m a t e r i a l i s t l i v i n g h a p p i l y and harmoniously among the syl v a n g l a d es. However, the n e g a t i v e s i d e tends to predominate. As one p s y c h o l o g i c -a l l y - i n c l i n e d commentator would have i t , t h i s complex of a t t i t u d e s i s maintained by the d e s i r e of upper-caste Hindus to have t r i b a l s "remain as they imagine them --l a z y , f e c k l e s s , l i b i d i n o u s -- because i t confirms t h e i r s e lf-image as i n d u s t r i o u s , o r d e r l y , a d u l t , and s o c i a l l y o r g a n i s e d . The c o r o l l a r y i s that the subject-people r e p r e s e n t a n e g a t i v e i d e n t i t y i n the unconscious of the dominant -- what i t has been warned not to become" (Lannoy 1974: 169). While t h i s seems p l a u s i b l e , Lan-noy's c o n c l u s i o n i s based on l i t t l e more than an i n t u i t i v e and undemonstrated assumption. The most important e a r l y work i s the A r t h a S h a s t r a . I t should be noted that "though the k e r n e l o f . . . ( t h i s ) work may perhaps look back to the f o u r t h century B.C., i n i t s present form i t i s p o s s i b l y as l a t e as the f o u r t h century A.D." (de Bary 1958: 232). More s i g n i f i -c a n t l y , " t h i s work i s of e x c e p t i o n a l i n t e r e s t and valu e , f o r i t has almost r e v o l u t i o n i z e d the t r a d i t i o n a l view r e g a r d i n g c e r t a i n aspects of a n c i e n t Indian h i s t -ory and c u l t u r e " ( i b i d . ) . However, i t i s a l s o important to p o i n t out that i n terms of k i n g s h i p , the t r a d i t i o n a l " m a g i c o - r e l i g i o u s " aspect was d e f i n i t e l y not 'usurped' by t h i s t e x t u a l r e v o l u t i o n . See Dumont 1970: 71-73. W i l l s a l s o c i t e s i n s c r i p t i o n a l data which f u r t h e r supports t h i s a s s e r t i o n : "There i s . . . i n Bastar (vide No. 213 of Rai Bahadur H i r a l a l ' s d e s c r i p t i v e L i s t of Footnotes, con't. 61 I n s c r i p t i o n s ) a . ..record of a n o t i f i c a t i o n of the 'elders of the 5 great assemblies' i n which they denounce the e x a c t i o n s of the King's o f f i c e r s on the o c c a s i o n of h i s c o r o n a t i o n and d i r e c t that such e x t r a -o r d i n a r y l e v i e s s h a l l only be c o l l e c t e d from w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d r e s i d e n t s of the v i l l a g e s " (1919: 249). A c c o r d i n g to a source c i t e d by W i l l s (1919: 138) the f i r s t kings of Bastar p a i d t r i b u t e (along with Sumbal-pur, Rs. 5105) i n 1563 A.D. to the Rajas of Ratanpur --the paramount locus f o r medieval C h h a t t i s g a r h kingdoms. The c a p i t a l of Bastar moved a number of times, from Dantewara to Bare Dongar, Chintapur and Rajnar, and Bastar ( p r e s e n t l y a s m a l l v i l l a g e 12 m i l e s n o r t h of J a g d a l p u r ) , before being f i x e d at Jagdalpur about 280 years ago (Kedarnath Thakur 1908: 11). The methods of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n i n c l u d e d a very d i r e c t form of H i n d u i z a t i o n , the c r e a t i o n of caste s t a t u s by patronage and purchase: "The Raja used...to dispose of the sacred thread to men of low caste and as a solace i n cases where f i n e s were i n f l i c t e d f o r o f f e n c e s a g a i n s t law or r e l i g i o n " (de B r e t t 1909: 65). Kulke d i s a g r e e s w i t h Sinha that i t was only upon the breakdown of e a r l i e r , ' c l a s s i c a l ' Hindu-Buddhist-Jain c i v i l i z a t i o n s i n C e n t r a l I n d i a that H i n d u - t r i b a l k i n g -doms came i n t o e x i s t e n c e . I t may i n p r i n c i p l e be accepted that "there had been a continuous yet very slow process of H i n d u i z a t i o n s i n c e the f i r s t m i l l e n i u m A.D. which r a d i a t e d from the c a p i t a l s of the Hinduized c h i e f s and r a j a s " (Kulke 1978: 36); but i n the case of Bastar there i s as y e t no h i s t o r i c a l data a v a i l a b l e s u f f i c i e n t l y to i l l u m i n a t e the nature of n i n t h century Telugu 'Bastar' k i n g s h i p , nor adequately to d e s c r i b e c o n d i t i o n s i n Bastar d u r i n g the p e r i o d between the d e c l i n e of those Telugu Nagvanshis i n the t w e l f t h cent-ury and the coming of the Kakatiyas i n the f i f t e e n t h . Consequently, we must f o r the time being at l e a s t s t i l l a ccept the p l a u s i b i l i t y of Sinha's 'breakdown' theory to account f o r the lacuna i n the h i s t o r i c a l r e c o r d . At the r i s k of o v e r l o a d i n g t h i s note, I w i l l i n c l u d e most of what i n f o r m a t i o n e x i s t s i n the area of f i r s t m i l l e n -nium B a s t a r . What f o l l o w are mainly fragments of dyn-a s t i c chronology found i n the O r i s s a D i s t r i c t Gazet- t e e r , Koraput (1966). P o s s i b l y the e a r l i e s t r e f e r e n c e to what i s now c a l l e d Bastar mentions the Vakatakas, a minor South Indian r o y a l l i n e a g e , e s t a b l i s h i n g a seat of power i n the Bastar-Koraput area i n the t h i r d cent-ury A.D. (p. 45). On the b a s i s of numismatic evidence, Footnotes, con't. 62 i t i s p o s s i b l e to a s s e r t that the Vakatakas were succeeded by the Nalas who e s t a b l i s h e d a strong kingdom i n the South Kosala (Chhattisgarh) and K a l i n g a ( O r i s s a ) regions between the f i f t h and seventh c e n t u r i e s (p. 41). As learned from another hoard of gold coins found i n 1957, i t can be confirmed that the Telugu Nagas, or Nagvanshis, took over from the Nalas i n the eleventh century. The s c r i p t on these coins belong to the south-ern type of c h a r a c t e r s of the t w e l f t h century and a s i m i l a r type i s used i n the i n s c r i p t i o n s of the Chaluk-yas and K a k a t i y a s . 63 Chapter 4: Synchronic context o f d i v i n e k i n g s h i p To p o s i t the i m p l i c i t s o c i e t a l b i f u r c a t i o n of Bastar i n t o a t r i b a l p o r t i o n and a Hindu p o r t i o n , the whole l o o s e l y i n t e g r a t e d under f l e x i b l e p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c arrangements, i s a necessary but not s u f f i c i e n t l y meaningful a n a l y s i s w i t h r e s p e c t to Bastar s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y . In the present chapter I w i l l f u r t h e r the d i s c u s s i o n of the wholeness or u n i t y of Bastar S t a t e i n a more synchronic manner. To t h i s end, i t i s now a p p r o p r i a t e to take up the second of Sinha's q u e s t i o n s : the nature of the " i n t e r a c t i o n between the p r i m i t i v e symbols of the t r i b e and the advanced symbols sponsored by the S t a t e " (1962: 37). The f o l l o w i n g response to t h i s q u e s t i o n i s made i n a l a r g e l y synchronic mode f o r the main reason that there i s even l e s s c h r o n o l o g i c a l and d i a c h r o n i c s p e c i f i c i t y i n the t e x t u a l m a t e r i a l s on c u l t u r e than i n those d e a l i n g with p o l i t i c a l development. We can s t a r t with the ' p r i m i t i v e symbols of the t r i b e ' . In the ethnographic i n t r o d u c t i o n some of these i n the form of conceptions of d i v i n i t y were d e s c r i b e d . Focusing on the E a r t h Goddess, i t was a s s e r t e d that the conceptual process that generates d i v i n i t y i n t r i b a l r e l i g i o n a l s o allows i t to accept the i n t r o d u c t i o n of n o n - t r i b a l d e i t i e s . Taking the Muria example f i r s t , i n which i n many r e s p e c t s the i n t e r a c t i o n between ' p r i m i t i v e ' and 'advanced' symbols 64 i s g r e a t e s t , Bastar Gond r e l i g i o n can be delved i n t o some-what more deeply i n order to analyze the nature and charac-t e r of symbol c o n s t r u c t i o n . The d i s c u s s i o n i s i n the ethno-g r a p h i c present but i t w i l l be assumed that c e r t a i n aspects n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g the broad c o n d i t i o n s d e s c r i b e d are e q u a l l y v a l i d f o r any p o i n t i n the temporal continuum s t a r t i n g with, though probably p r e - d a t i n g , the a r r i v a l of the K a k a t i y a s . Although i t i s true as s t a t e d e a r l i e r that Muria v i l -lages tend toward p l u r a l c l a n r e s i d e n c e , i t i s a l s o the case that a s i n g l e clan,- u s u a l l y the founding c l a n , i s dominant, r i t u a l l y i f not a l s o e c o n o m i c a l l y . V i l l a g e s are made up of a -number of hamlets, or para, to one or some of which belong the descendants of the founding c l a n a n c e s t o r . The c l a n , or par, of any s i n g l e v i l l a g e i s o f t e n o n l y one of many inhab-i t i n g a c l a n t e r r i t o r y , the pargana. At the l e v e l of the pargana, however, a l l c l a n s are r e l a t e d i n a c l a s s i f i c a t o r y manner, that i s by an acknowledgement of common descent from an a l l - e m b r a c i n g " a n c e s t r a l d e i t y " , namely Barha Pen (Popoff 1980: 139). Now, Muria r e l i g i o n c ould be s a i d to correspond to the t r i b a l ' i d e a l type'. R e l i g i o u s conceptions are organized at v a r i o u s segmentary l e v e l s at which " d i f f e r e n t c l a s s e s of s p i r i t have as t h e i r primary congregations s o c i a l groupings of d i f f e r e n t o r d e r " ( S a h l i n s 1968: 18). At the most over-a r c h i n g l e v e l , r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a l l c r e a t i o n but now having the l e a s t to do w i t h i t , i s the supreme, male d e i t y , Ispur-65 i y a l . T y p i c a l l y more or l e s s o t i o s e , I s p u r i y a l i s i n e f f e c t superseded by the a c t i v e power of h i s c l o s e s t o f f s p r i n g , the female d e i t y , T a l l u r Mutte. As the goddess of the e a r t h , she i s the source of a l l f e r t i l i t y , although to be accurate she i s viewed by the Muria l e s s as c r e a t r i x , than as g e n e t r i x . L i f e was c r e a t e d by I s p u r i y a l , whereas the f u n c t i o n or power of making i t manifest i s l e f t over to T a l l u r Mutte (Popoff 1980: 40-41). Together, I s p u r i y a l and T a l l u r Mutte form a complementarity i n r e f e r e n c e to which the e n t i r e Muria people a c t as a c o n g r e g a t i o n . N e v e r t h e l e s s , i t i s only T a l l u r Mutte who i s the d i r e c t focus of p r o p i t i a t i o n at t h i s l e v e l . Proceeding from T a l l u r Mutte, the process of segmenta-t i o n and d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n begins i n e a r n e s t . Thus the a f o r e -mentioned Barha Pen, i n a sense the summation of a l l ancest-r a l d e i t i e s , i s a l s o equated with T a l l u r Mutte but i s a c t i v e i n more l o c a l i z e d c o n t e x t s . These are twofold: one i s the pargana u n i t i n which a l l c l a n s are l i n k e d ; and the other i s the v i l l a g e u n i t i n which Barha Pen a c t s as e i t h e r the p r o g e n i t o r or s i b l i n g of v a r i o u s , s p e c i f i c a l l y named ancest-r a l d e i t i e s . Moving g e n e a l o g i c a l l y c l o s e r to the l i v i n g , though u n s p e c i f i a b l e u n t i l they make t h e i r troublesome pres-ence f e l t , there are the ghosts of r e c e n t l y departed ancest-ors, the anask. These anask " g e n e r a l l y . . . are s a i d to wander the e a r t h i n search of food and to give s i c k n e s s to k i n , p a r t i c u l a r l y those who f a i l to remember them s u f f i c i e n t l y , 66 i n order to o b t a i n food given i n appeasement..." (Popoff 1980: 150). For the most p a r t , however, the anask do not remain i n t h i s u n f u l f i l l e d s t a t e i n d e f i n i t e l y . The' o c c a s i o n f o r t h e i r d e l i v e r a n c e i s a s e r i e s of r i t u a l s , c o l l e c t i v e l y known as kam'k, the purpose of which i s to r a i s e the anask to the l e v e l of pen-anask, the g e n e r i c term f o r a n c e s t r a l d e i t i e s ( i b i d . : 156). Some no t a b l e aspects o f the kam'k w i l l be d e a l t with s h o r t l y , but here the p o i n t i s that when wor-shipped or p r o p i t i a t e d i n d i v i d u a l l y , the pen-asnak are given s p e c i f i c names and v a r i o u s male or female forms which behave, marry and reproduce l i k e human beings. The c o n t i n u -i t y of the d i v i n e 'hierarchy' i s engaged when a l l these a n c e s t r a l d e i t i e s are u n i f i e d by way of common 'ascent' i n t o Barha Pen. In a sense, they 'become' Barha Pen as, through time, they l o s e t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l i t y and taken together as an i d e n t i t y of masculine and feminine p r i n c i p l e s , r epresent the ti m e l e s s t o t a l i t y of Muria theology. In the same way, through a b s o r p t i o n at a higher l e v e l , t h i s i s how Barha Pen becomes equated w i t h T a l l u r Mutte, who i n turn but re p r e s e n t s the m a n i f e s t i n g form of unmanifested c r e a t i v e power, I s p u r i y a l . 1 Here i s completed the c i r c u i t which d e l i n e a t e s Muria theology: a r i s i n g from the e x e r c i s e d power of unmanifested c r e a t i o n , the Muria see themselves f o r e v e r moving through a set of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l experiences which e v e n t u a l l y r e t u r n them to unmanifest, transcendent d i v i n i t y . As an i n s t r u m e n t a l stage i n t h i s c i r c u i t , the kam'k 67 r i t u a l s a l s o present an o p p o r t u n i t y to i n t r o d u c e some d i a c h r o n i c o b s e r v a t i o n s . The kam'k i n simple terms i s a set of commemorative acts performed i n honor of the dead ancest-ors and t a k i n g p l a c e before a number of e r e c t e d , unevenly s i z e d stones, i n some cases q u i t e l a r g e . (Having found s i m i l a r p r a c t i c e s a l l over t r i b a l , p e n i n s u l a r I n d i a , e a r l y a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s termed such r i t u a l s i n c l u s i v e l y as p a r t of " m e g a l i t h i c " c u l t u r e . ) In Maria areas these stones are c a l l e d k o t o k a l , a word t r a n s l a t e d by Grigson (1938: 139) as "Stones of the Dead". In a l l areas, whatever the v a r i a t i o n s i n the r i t u a l a c t s , the manifest purpose remains the same, that i s to render benevolent and e l e v a t e to d i v i n i t y the r e c e n t l y departed. However, among the Muria, at l e a s t those of Benur Pargana i n Naryanpur T e h s i l , the kam'k has undergone an e l a b o r a t i o n which c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e s the i n t r u s i o n and subse-quent i n c o r p o r a t i o n of Hindu c u l t u r e . T h i s e l a b o r a t i o n i s i n the form of a d r a m a t i z a t i o n " i n which the v i l l a g e r s and t h e i r a f f i n e s a c t out a market scene (atum karsna, to p l a y market)" (Popoff 1980: 157). The 'play market' 2 has become p a r t of the kam'k due to i t s connection to the parent a n c e s t r a l d e i t y , whose v i l l a g e , some Muria say, was the f i r s t market i n Benur Pargana. During the a c t u a l r i t e by which the deceased "are s a i d to be 'permitted to j o i n the company of t h e i r e l d e r s ' " ( i b i d . : 156), the Muria perform t h e i r market s k i t . As Popoff d e s c r i b e s i t , i t 68 . . . i s f o r the most p a r t a l i g h t - h e a r t e d and p l a y f u l a f f a i r -- the a f f i n a l r e l a t i v e s of the 'true owners of the e a r t h ' (the founding c l a n ) assume v a r i o u s caste r o l e s higher than those of the Muriya which are played by the a g n a t i c k i n of the deceased. An a f f i n a l r e l a t i v e dresses as a member of the K a l l a r caste (Liquor S e l l e r ) and s e l l s l i q u o r to the Muriya who purchase i t with l e a v e s . Other a f f i n e s dress as Hindu government servants who s t r u t around the bazaar sampling food and dr i n k without paying f o r i t . Throughout the market these kos'k or 'government agents' march up to the Muriya and i n a mixture of H a l b i and H i n d i ask why they don't speak H i n d i and qu e s t i o n t h e i r beef e a t i n g h a b i t s . Mar-r i e d s i s t e r s and daughters who have returned to t h e i r n a t a l v i l l a g e assume the dress of higher caste women and set up p l a c e s i n the market with 'baskets' (goppa) of r o o t s , v e g e t a b l e s , g r a i n s and f r i e d breads. Some Muriya women a l s o attempt to s e l l t h e i r produce i n the p l a y but no one wants to buy from them ( i b i d . : 158). In t h i s socio-economic s a t i r e the Muria are acknowledging t h e i r s u b o r d i n a t i o n to the Hindu world and i t s caste h i e r -archy. At the same time, by surrounding the a c t u a l a n c e s t r a l r i t e w i t h t h i s s a t i r e , they are a s s o c i a t i n g and i n c o r p o r a t -ing the Hindu world with the Gond world i n terms of the pro-cess of a n c e s t r a l d e i f i c a t i o n . The b a s i s of t h i s i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n r e s t s on the s i m i l a r i t i e s i n the o b j e c t s of v e n e r a t i o n on the one hand, and those of po i n t e d r i d i c u l e on the ot h e r . Both anask and Hindu o u t s i d e r s are considered potent-i a l l y troublesome, meddling i n f l u e n c e s , and are both d e s i r e d to be kept at a d i s t a n c e -- and both are i n a sense apotro-p a i c a l l y p l a c a t e d i n an attempt to ensure they remain at a d i s t a n c e . These s i m i l a r i t i e s come to l i g h t i n the ge n e r a l semantic f i e l d of the market, which i n the Muria view i s 69 at the same time...an environment that p r o v i d e s food and...one that i s t h r e a t e n i n g . The market i s seen as a p l a c e where f o r e s t products are s o l d to o u t s i d e merchants and where p r e s t i g e items such as g h i , c l o t h and coconuts are purchased from o u t s i d -e r s . I t i s l i k e n e d to the f o r e s t which i s a source of food and a source of danger f o r here the Muriya and other " j u n g l i people" come i n contact with kos'k -- ' o u t s i d e r s ' , ' s t r a n g e r s ' . The ambivalence towards the market and i t s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the f o r e s t i s i n d i c a t e d by the market f e s t i v a l f o r Barha Pen which i s h e l d i n the f o r e s t and i n the way the Muriya speak of market t r a n s a c t i o n s (Popoff 1980: 168-9). I t i s of course true that the o r d i n a r y Hindu o u t s i d e r i s not d e i f i e d , 3 but i t i s q u i t e r e l e v a n t that the Maharajas of Bastar -- c l e a r l y r e p r e s e n t i n g a l l Hindus -- were d e i f i e d . ^ In order to demonstrate the a f f i n i t y between t r i b a l gods and Hindu kin g s , we can c o n s i d e r i n a more gen e r a l a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l context the process of d e i f i c a t i o n i n a t r i b a l r e l i g i o u s system: The "system" i s the segmentary system of the t r i b e , the r a n k i n g of s p i r i t s a symbolic t r a n s p o s i t i o n of the segmentary h i e r a r c h y . The high gods are t r i b a l gods, s p i r i t s of everyone, concerned w i t h things that happen to everyone. A n c e s t r a l s p i r i t s are t u t e l a r i e s of the c l a n or l i n e a g e , concerned w i t h the p a r t i c u l a r d e s t i n i e s of these groups; while ghosts of the r e c e n t l y d e p a r t e d . . . p a r t i c u l a r l y i n f l u e n c e f a m i l i a l or i n d i v i d u a l f a t e ( S a h l i n s 1968: 18). Now t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n accords w e l l with what has been presented of the Muria r e l i g i o u s system and i n no systemic way d i f f e r s from the r e l i g i o n s of the H i l l Maria or 70 Bison-horn Maria. I t i s i n f a c t i n a c c u r a t e to suggest that Bastar t r i b a l r e l i g i o n e x i s t s i n the p l u r a l . I t s s t r u c t u r e and theology are r e p l i c a t e d throughout Bastar t r i b a l s o c i e t y . The degree of r e p l i c a t i o n can be seen i n the uniform presence i n a l l three major groups of i ) a n c e s t r a l d e i t i e s l i n k e d to c l a n segmentation; i i ) the fundamental conceptual importance of the Earth , or the E a r t h Goddess and her a s s o c i a t e d t e l l u r i a n ( ' f i r s t f r u i t s ' ) r i t u a l s ; and i i i ) the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l q u a l i t y o f the E a r t h ' c u l t ' as represented i n the m u l t i p l i c i t y of d e i t y or pen (glossed by Popoff as " d i v i n e feminine power", 1980: 48). T h i s l a s t commonality, the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l p o t e n t i a l , allows at the hi g h e s t p r a c t i c a l l e v e l the acceptance of the Hindu r o y a l t u t e l a r y Danteshwari as e q u i v a l e n t to, yet u l t i m a t e l y s u p e r o r d i n a t e over, the Gond E a r t h Goddess. R e l a t e d l y , by way of symbolic marriage to Danteshwari, the Maharajas of Bas t a r were a l s o considered d i v i n e and thus at the apex of the Bastar r e l i g i o u s h i e r a r c h y . At the kam'k the non-divine, recent mortals are u n i f i e d with the d i v i n e ancestors a c c o r d i n g to the metaphor of marriage. For the Muria t h i s takes p l a c e e x p l i c i t l y on the f i r s t day of the kam'k i n the maringa marmin, the 'second marriage' ceremony: ...the 'earth master 1 circumambulates the ' a n c e s t r a l stones' f o l l o w e d by s i s t e r s and daughters of the deceased i n whose memory the ceremony i s performed. The 'earth master' p l a c e s 71 a 'mark' ( t i k a ) of r i c e on each stone and, i n accordance w i t h marriage r i t e s , anoints i t with ' f i r e t u r m eric', a mixture of o i l and t u r m e r i c . . . t h i s r i t u a l . . . a c t i v i t y . . . c o m e s to be thought of as purposive and p r o d u c t i v e with the union of mascu-l i n e and feminine p r i n c i p l e s (Popoff 1980: 163). In Popoff's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , "the union of o p p o s i t e s that the Muria have i n mind i n speaking of ' j o i n e d ' or 'married' a n c e s t o r s i s more than that of r e c e n t l y departed 'ancestors' as wandering s p i r i t s j o i n e d with a g n a t i c ' e l d e r s ' i n the ' a n c e s t r a l - d e i t y 1 . For them i t i s a marriage that c a l l s to mind the r e c e n t l y departed 'ancestors' as a g n a t i c kinsmen and u n i t e s them with the e a r t h , the p r i m o r d i a l a n c e s t r e s s " ( i b i d . ) . A c c e p t i n g that Popoff's assumptions concerning the mental workings of the Muria are more or l e s s v a l i d (and there i s i n Grigson 1938: 197, some sup p o r t i v e agreement), h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the 'second marriage' leads d i r e c t l y to an almost i d e n t i c a l , m e t a p h o r i c a l process i n the d e i f i c a -t i o n of k i n g s . However, to suggest that there are two processes i s o n l y somewhat of an a n a l y t i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n . I t i s q u i t e l i k e l y t h a t we have here the reconvergence of two branches of the same d e i f i c a t i o n a l p r o c e s s . I t i s i n t h i s k i n d of context that we can accept Dumont's e a r l y dictum " t h a t most s o - c a l l e d ' p r i m i t i v e s ' i n I n d i a are o n l y people who have l o s t c o n t a c t . . . " (1957: 8 ) . In the context of the f o r g i n g of the Bastar d i v i n e kingdom, they are o b v i o u s l y r e g a i n i n g c o n t a c t . In any event, Hindu k i n g s h i p enters i n t o i t s d i v i n i t y b y t h e s a m e r o u t e : a s y m b o l i c m a r r i a g e o f m o r t a l t o d e i t y , o r m o r e p r e c i s e l y , t h e G o d d e s s . I n a c o n t e m p o r a r y , c o m p a r a -t i v e I n d i a n s e t t i n g , M a y e r g l o s s e s t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f s a c r a l k i n g s h i p a s " t h e s p e c i f i c c o m b i n a t i o n o f m a l e a n d f e m a l e p r i n c i p l e s i n r o y a l r u l e " (1981: 147); t h e f e m a l e p r i n c i p l e r e s i d i n g i n t h e n a t u r e o f t h e G o d d e s s , a n d t h e u n i o n w i t h i t a c h i e v e d i n t h e r i t u a l c o n t e x t o f t h e k i n g a s c e n d i n g h i s g a d d i ( t h e t h r o n e ) , " t h e S e a t o f t h e D e v i " ( i b i d . : 146), t h e G o d d e s s . I f we t a k e a s t e p b a c k c l o s e r t o t h e t i m e u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n , t o t h e m e d i e v a l t e x t u a l s o u r c e s , t h e m a r i t a l n a t u r e o f t h i s c o m b i n a t i o n c o m e s m o r e c l e a r l y i n t o f o c u s , a n d a l m o s t l i t e r a l l y ' g r o u n d s ' d i v i n e k i n g s h i p a t t h e j u n c -t u r e o f t r i b a l a n d H i n d u t h e i s t i c c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n . I n h i s c o m m e n t a r y o n a m a j o r t r e a t i s e c o n c e r n i n g e a r l y m e d i e v a l k i n g s h i p , R o n a l d I n d e n o b s e r v e s t h a t , T h e k i n g i s s a i d t o b e t h e " h u s b a n d " a n d " l o r d " ( V a l l a b h a , p a t i ) o f t h e l a n d o r e a r t h a n d t h e s e t w o a r e r e g a r d e d a s t h e " f a t h e r " ( p i t a ) a n d " m o t h e r " ( m a t a ) o f t h e p e o p l e , t h e i r " c h i l d r e n " ( p r a j a ) . . . . L i k e h u s b a n d a n d w i f e , t h e k i n g a n d t h e e a r t h w e r e t o a c t a s a s i n g l e , c o r p o r a t e e n t i t y , g u i d e d b y h i m , i n p r o d u c i n g g o o d o f f s p r i n g a n d g o o d c r o p s . . . . T h e p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f t h e e a r t h a n d h e r s u b o r d i n a t i o n t o t h e k i n g s u g g e s t s t h a t . . . a r e l a -t i o n s h i p t o t h e b o d y o r p e r s o n o f t h e k i n g t h a t we w o u l d c o n s i d e r m y s t i c a l o r s u p e r n a t u r a l , . . . w a s t h e f e a t u r e t h a t d e f i n e d t h e H i n d u k i n g d o m . . . ( 1 978: 3 0 ) W h a t t h i s a l s o s u g g e s t s , i f e n t e r e d i n t o a s t a t e m e n t o f s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n s c o n n e c t i n g t h e G o n d t h e i s t i c s y s t e m w i t h t h e H i n d u m o n a r c h y o f B a s t a r , i s f i r s t l y t h a t t h e k i n g i s t o t h e e a r t h a s t h e a n c e s t o r s a r e t o t h e a n c e s t r a l 73 d e i t y -- that i s , by v i r t u e of hierogamy. Furthermore, the k i n g (the Maharaja of Bastar) i s to the Goddess (the t u t e -l a r y , Danteshwari), as Danteshwari i s to T a l l u r Mutte -- by v i r t u e of the h i e r a r c h y of equivalences generated by the ' i n t e r a c t i o n of p r i m i t i v e and advanced symbols'. The r e s u l t i s that i n Bastar both Hindu and t r i b a l symbols are brought together on the same plane of d i v i n i t y . But on that plane, they form a h i e r a r c h y , f i g u r a t i v e l y something l i k e the m u l t i p l e ascending heads of Brahma, i n which the Maharaja encompasses Danteshwari, Danteshwari encompasses T a l l u r Mutte -- and T a l l u r Mutte, i s a l l of c r e a t i o n . T h i s a n a l y s i s has been intended to show how the u n i t y of Bastar State was c o n c e p t u a l l y f o r g e d . However, while i t r e v e a l s a h i e r a r c h y at the h i g h e s t l e v e l s , t h i s should not obscure the f a c t that at lower l e v e l s , that i s t r i b a l l e v e l s , the h i e r a r c h y i s much attenuated by r e l a t i o n s of e q u i v a l e n c e . Gond r e l i g i o u s s t r u c t u r e -- and I am here i n t e r p r e t i n g Popoff's v e r s i o n of i t -- has a more h o r i z o n -t a l than v e r t i c a l dimension, c o n s i s t e n t w i t h i t s e g a l i t a r i a n s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . The ' r e f r a c t i o n s ' of d e i t y are d i f f e r e n t -i a t e d a c c o r d i n g to context and behaviour r a t h e r than to a t t r i b u t e s of s u p e r i o r i t y and i n f e r i o r i t y . Thus, i n c o n t r a s t to Hindu h i e r a r c h y where q u a l i t i e s of p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n v e r t i c a l l y order h i g h gods and low gods, t r i b a l 'hierarchy' i s more a p e r v a s i v e , omnipresent continuum d i v i s i b l e i n t o segments by the predominance of c e r t a i n moral q u a l i t i e s . 74 M o v e m e n t a l o n g t h e c o n t i n u u m i s m o t i v a t e d a n d f u e l e d b y t h e d e s i r e t o p e r p e t u a t e i t , t o p e r p e t u a t e i n o t h e r w o r d s , l i f e , w h i c h n e v e r c e a s e s a s s u c h b u t i s e t e r n a l l y t r a n s f o r m a b l e b y v i r t u e o f t h e d i v i n e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l s t a t e s i n t e r m s t h a t a r e s h a r e d t h r o u g h o u t t h e c o n t i n u u m b u t a r e v a r i a b l y c o n c e n -t r a t e d i n t h e v a r i o u s s e g m e n t s o f i t . A t t h e h u m a n e n d o f t h e d i v i n e c o n t i n u u m , t h a t i s t o s a y n o t r a d i c a l l y s e p a r a t e f r o m d i v i n i t y , men a n d w o m e n a r e b y t h e i r n a t u r e a n d b y t h e d e m a n d s o f t h e i r l i f e - c y c l e s s e e n , i n p o t e n t i a l , a s v a r i o u s l y b o t h m o r a l a n d i m m o r a l , b e n e v o l e n t a n d m a l e v o l e n t . T h e f i r s t t r a n s f o r m a t i o n t o w a r d s d i v i n i t y o c c u r s a t d e a t h , u p o n w h i c h h u m a n s b e c o m e a n c e s t r a l g h o s t s w h o a r e p r i m a r i l y i m m o r a l a n d m a l e v o l e n t . I n t h e f a s h i o n d i s c u s s e d a b o v e , a n c e s t r a l g h o s t s b e c o m e a n c e s t r a l d e i t i e s w h o a r e p r i m a r i l y m o r a l a n d b e n e v o l e n t . A n c e s t r a l d e i t i e s , g e n e r i c a l l y , g e n e a l o g i c a l l y a n d s e x u a l l y s u m m e d , b e c o m e , i n t h e s e n s e o f ' a r e e q u i v a l e n t t o ' , t h e G o d d e s s o f t h e E a r t h , w h o , l i k e h u m a n b e i n g s , i s p o t e n t i a l l y b o t h m a l e v o l e n t a n d b e n e v o l e n t . T h e p o i n t i s t h a t i n G o n d r e l i g i o n a l l e x i s t e n c e i s c o n c e p t u a l i z e d d u a l i s t i c a l l y a n d t h a t t h e v a r i o u s s t a t e s o f m a t e r i a l a n d s p i r i t u a l b e i n g a r e d i s t i n g u i s h a b l e n o t w i t h r e s p e c t t o a n y h i e r a r c h y o f p u r i t y a n d p o l l u t i o n , b u t i n t e r m s o f v a r y i n g c o n c e n t r a t i o n s o f t h e p o t e n t i a l t o e f f e c t b e n i g n a n d / o r m a l i g n a n t c h a n g e i n t h e q u a l i t y o f e x i s t e n c e . T h i s k i n d o f p o t e n t i a l i s a c t u a l i z e d b y h u m a n b e h a v i o u r 75 which i s either morally acceptable or unacceptable (polo), a c c e p t a b i l i t y being defined by a code of and for conduct applicable to the s a t i s f a c t i o n of desire -- for food and progeny, in the Muria model of desire (Popoff 1980: 189 f f . ) . This interpretation can be taken further by positing in the moral code a tension between self-willedness and s e l f -r e s t r a i n t (Burridge 1976: 658 f f . ) . In this view, morality is contained in the exhortative, 'thou shalt not', injunc-tion against the usurpation of the divine prerogative of independent action. Expressed in p o s i t i v e terms, the moral prescription of s e l f - r e s t r a i n t in Gond society involves an ideal construction of pre-eminently s o c i a l behaviour which, because i t is ' t r i b a l ' and r e l a t i v e l y undifferentiated (as in the lack of d i s t i n c t i o n between p r i e s t s and l a i t y ) , must also be e g a l i t a r i a n . However, this e g a l i t a r i a n system became encapsulated or encompassed by i t s growing interpenetration and conceptual synthesis with Hindu monarchy. The conceptual synthesis, being operational almost solely at the apex of the two systems, allowed the populations of both these systems to co-exist in a separate-yet-unified symbiosis over a very long period of history (in some respects u n t i l 1965). In short, one has synthesis at the highest conceptual levels, and symbiotic, vaguely h i e r a r c h i c a l relations at the socio-economic levels of the two otherwise independent yet interdependent systems. 76 Having s a i d a l l t h i s , however, i s not having s a i d any-t h i n g much about necessary r e l a t i o n s , about concrete aspects of i n t e n t i o n and c a u s a l i t y . S h i f t i n g the l e v e l of symbolic a n a l y s i s a few notches lower on the s c a l e of a b s t r a c t i o n w i l l a l l o w some access to these a s p e c t s . Thus, besides the evidence of economic and symbolic p e n e t r a t i o n of Hindu monarchy i n t o t r i b a l s o c i e t y that i s present i n the r u r a l market and the market r i t u a l , there were other, more mani-f e s t l y purposive l i n k a g e s that came to be e f f e c t e d . \ One such l i n k a g e came about through the adoption by the Kak a t i y a kings of a p a r t i c u l a r Gond god c a l l e d Anga. Anga Pen was (and i s ) perhaps the most dramatic of Gond d e i t i e s , i n a c t i o n as w e l l as shape. In a r e l i g i o n of very l i t t l e i c o n o g r a p h i c e l a b o r a t i o n , the Anga t r u l y stands out as the most v i s i b l e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , and a c t u a l i t y , of d e i t y . A c c o r d i n g to Elwin (1947: 189), The Anga i s i n form and c h a r a c t e r unique among the a b o r i g i n a l gods of I n d i a . In form i t i s an arrange-ment of three p a r a l l e l p o l e s . . . o v e r which are t i e d . . . c r o s s - p i e c e s of bamboo or s a j a . The c e n t r a l p ole i s the a c t u a l god, the two s i d e - p o l e s being simply intended to enable h i s two or fo u r bearers to r a i s e him and c a r r y him about. T h i s c e n t r a l pole has a c u r i o u s head c a l l e d koko which resembles that of a snake or b i r d . At the j u n c t i o n s of the logs and c r o s s - b a r s there are t u f t s of peacock f e a t h e r s . S i l v e r ornaments, symbols of the sun and moon and sometimes p l a i n rupees, are n a i l e d to the ends of the p o l e s . Bands of s i l v e r may be hammered round them.... Sometimes the Anga i s two-headed: husband and wif e l i v e t o g e t h e r . . . . Sometimes the Anga's wif e i s made in. the form of a pole and placed upon him. On the b a s i s of appearance alone i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t 77 the Anga among a l l the other Gond d e i t i e s was chosen to be taken i n t o the king's palace at Jagdal p u r . There i s no h i s t -o r i c a l data to s p e c i f y when t h i s f i r s t took p l a c e but o r a l testimony takes i t as f a r back as the Bare Dongar c o u r t of the s i x t e e n t h century (Grigson, i n t r o d u c t i o n to Elwin 1943: X). With perhaps more r e l i a b i l i t y , i t i s s a i d that one such i n s t a l l a t i o n o c c u r r e d i n the time of Raja Bhairon Deo (of the mid-nineteenth century) who, upon "hearing of the fame of the Anga i n the w i l d s , had a copy made and i n s t a l l e d i n the palace at Jag d a l p u r " (Elwin 1947: 182). In any event, i t i s of course more than j u s t appearance that l e d to the adop-t i o n of Anga Pen as a r o y a l d e i t y . The nature of Anga and i t s c a p a b i l i t i e s were such as to warrant i t s a c q u i s i t i o n . Known as the "clan-god" i n the o l d e r a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e , Anga f i t s i n t o the above d i s c u s s i o n of Bastar Gond theism as a pen-anal ( p i . pen anask) or a n c e s t r a l d e i t y . Often r e f e r r e d to as the o f f s p r i n g or s i b l i n g of Barha Pen, Anga Pen however does not denote j u s t one ancest-r a l d e i t y , but many, each named and s p e c i f i c to the v a r i o u s Gond c l a n s and v i l l a g e s where those c l a n s predominate. As guardians of m o r a l i t y , the Anga are e s p e c i a l l y "capable of d e t e c t i n g t r u t h or f a l s e h o o d . Thus i t i s s a i d that i f a wi t c h or t h i e f r e s i d e s i n a v i l l a g e and an anga... i s c a r r i e d to each household, the e v i l presence i s i n d i c a t e d by the pen m a n i f e s t i n g i t s e l f i n the a c t i o n s of i t s b e a r e r s . . . t o whom the ' a n c e s t r a l d e i t y ' comes" (Popoff 1980: 161). Elwin's d e s c r i p t i o n of such a w i t c h hunt i s witness to t h i s o r a l 78 evidence (Cf. Elwin 1947: 192-3). The m o t i v a t i o n f o r the t r a n s f e r of t h i s t r i b a l symbol to the domain of Hindu kings was on one l e v e l q u i t e s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d : i t generated revenue. Grigson r e c a l l s h i s "amused astonishment when i n 1927 d u r i n g an i n s p e c t i o n of the accounts of the Jagdalpur temples managed by the S t a t e Court of Wards I found that the v i l l a g e r s around Jagdalpur f r e q u e n t l y r e q u i s i t i o n e d h i s (the Anga's witch-hunting) s e r v i c e s . . . p a y i n g f o r them a fee of Rs. 5 i n t o the S t a t e T r e a s u r y " (Elwin 1943: X-XI). On another l e v e l , the a c q u i s i -t i o n of the Anga Deo (the H a l b i term f o r t h i s d e i t y ) acknowledged and r e f l e c t e d the very marked i n f l u e n c e of t r i b a l symbols on s t a t e r e l i g i o n . 5 T h i s a l s o i n d i c a t e s t h at the i n t e r a c t i o n of symbols was d e f i n i t e l y a two-way pro c e s s . The acceptance of Anga Deo matches i n the reverse d i r e c t i o n the t r i b a l acceptance of Danteshwari as the para-mount goddess.^ In the most complexly symbolic, r i t u a l i n t e r a c t i o n of t r i b a l and State d e i t i e s , i n the king's Dasara f e s t i v a l , 7 Danteshwari and Anga Pen and a multitude of other Hindu and t r i b a l d e i t i e s are brought together. In f a c t , so much of the s o c i a l and r e l i g i o u s l i f e of Bastar i s brought together i n the Dasara that i t would r e q u i r e a separate t h e s i s or mono-graph to do i t f u l l j u s t i c e . And t h i s would o n l y be p o s s i b l e i n l i g h t of systematic f i e l d r e s e a r c h of only the more s a l -i e n t aspects of the Dasara as can be gleaned from the l i t t l e (and incomplete) documentation that e x i s t s . 79 The i n t r o d u c t i o n o f Dasara i n Bastar, or more acc u r a t e -l y the beginnings of i t s development s i n c e i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t i t a r r i v e d f u l l y formed, can p l a u s i b l y be t r a c e d to the middle of the f i f t e e n t h century. I t was about t h i s time that an e a r l y k i n g o f Bastar, Purushottamdeva, i s s a i d to have inaugurated the Ja g a n n a t h - s t y l e , c h a r i o t p r o c e s s i o n -- a c e n t r a l f e a t u r e of the Bastar Dasara (Kedarnath Thakur 1908: 111). In g e n e r a l the Dasara was a development of e a r l y medi-e v a l r i t u a l s of the " l u s t r a t i o n " or n i r a j a n a type which took p l a c e toward the end of the monsoon. "These had as t h e i r o b j e c t i v e the renewal and r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of cosmos, s o c i e t y , and kingdom" (Inden 1978: 59). As the ceremony of medieval k i n g s h i p , the Dasara i n Bastar d i d i n c o r p o r a t e such l o f t y o b j e c t i v e s , but i t d i d so by means of a concrete i n c o r p o r a -t i o n of symbols that c r o s s c u t the e n t i r e conceptual e n v i r o n -ment and the whole of the t r i b a l - H i n d u sacred pantheon. Taking p l a c e a n n u a l l y i n October,8 the Dasara f e s t i -v a l ' s most prominent sacred f i g u r e i s Danteshwari, i n whose honor i t i s h e l d . As the t u t e l a r y of the Kakatiyas, she i s s a i d to have accompanied the founding k i n g , Annam Deo, on h i s f l i g h t from Warangal. A c c o r d i n g to t r a d i t i o n , i t was Danteshwari who advised Annam Deo to f l e e from Warangal and the oncoming Muslim f o r c e s . I n d i r e c t l y , Dasara i s homage to Bastar i t s e l f , which name i n f o l k t r a d i t i o n means 'ornament of the Goddess.' To give some atmosphere to the Dasara, I w i l l begin by quoting from the Bastar Bushan (Kedarnath Thakur 1908: 101), 80 a H i n d i h i s t o r y not without a good l a c i n g of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c hyperbole: At the time of Dashara, Jagdalpur becomes as i f heavenly. The nine days of c e l e b r a t i o n i n Jagdalpur i s even b i g g e r than the one (Durga Puja) i n C a l c u t -t a . From w i t h i n a l l the 13,000 square miles of B a s t a r the v i l l a g e r s come, i n c l u d i n g the Mukhiya Manjhi, P a l k i Chalan, Pargannia Hikmi, Samat Naik, Kamdar, T e h s i l d a r , Zamindar and other l e a d e r s ; s i r a h a and p u j a r i a l s o come....All the top l e a d e r s come to Jagdalpur b e a r i n g presents, r i d i n g on elephants or horse-drawn c a r t s , accompanied by the p l a y i n g of drums. They used to b r i n g deer, ante-lope, r a b b i t , f a l c o n , doves, peacocks.... The merchants and v i s i t o r s , dancers and c e l e b r a n t s come from great d i s t a n c e s . . . . Thousands of goats are given i n s a c r i f i c e . The nearby v i l l a g e s and j u n g l e s are a l s o f i l l e d w ith people. At the present time there are twenty to twenty-five thousand v i s i t o r s . Immediately preceeding the Dasara proper, though very much a p a r t of i t , a p r o c e s s i o n takes p l a c e to the Kachin temple on the o u t s k i r t s of Jagdalpur. Kachin i s the goddess of the Mahara (Weaver) cast e which, s t i l l l a r g e l y t r i b a l i n i d e n t -i t y , p r o v i d e s f o r the o c c a s i o n a young g i r l dressed i n new c l o t h e s . The Maharaja a r r i v e s with an entourage at the temple grounds, upon which a wooden swing has been e r e c t e d w i t h a seat covered i n thorns ( i n l a t e r times studded with n a i l s ) . The g i r l circumambulates the swing, a g e n e r i c symbol of the Goddess, and on her l a s t round r e c e i v e s a s t a f f and s h i e l d . From the crowd accompanying the Maharaja, a s p i r i t medium ( s i r a h a ) comes forward s i m i l a r l y armed and engages the g i r l i n mock b a t t l e . A f t e r an i n c o n c l u s i v e outcome to the f i g h t i n g , the g i r l e x h i b i t s p o s s e s s i o n behaviour 81 (foaming at the mouth, swooning) and l i e s down on the thorn-covered seat of the swing. "The Raja now asks the (temple) p r i e s t to pray to the goddess to ensure an a u s p i -c i o u s Dusserah f e s t i v a l . . . . S h e (the possessed g i r l ) pretends to l i s t e n to the prayer of the Raja communicated by the p r i e s t and slowly takes o f f a flower g a r l a n d from her neck, o f f e r s i t to the Raja through the p r i e s t and grants that the Dusserah s h a l l proceed smoothly" (Majumdar 1939: 212). In short, the goddess Kachin, i d e n t i f i e d i n the Mahara g i r l , c o n f e r s upon the k i n g the s a n c t i o n and b l e s s i n g s to proceed with the f e s t i v a l . R e turning to h i s p a l a c e , the k i n g holds a Darbar (court assembly) at which i s announced the programme f o r the f e s t i v a l . A f t e r t h i s , the k i n g c e r e m o n i a l l y t r a n s f e r s the d u t i e s of s t a t e management to h i s Diwan, or C h i e f M i n i s t e r , and then removes h i s r o y a l f i n e r y to emerge dressed i n a d h o t i (a voluminous l o i n - c l o t h ) , h i s upper body w e l l - a n o i n t -ed w i t h sandal p a s t e . In e f f e c t , the k i n g s p l i t s h i s r o l e as combined r e l i g i o u s and s e c u l a r head of s t a t e and r e t a i n s o n l y h i s s p i r i t u a l f u n c t i o n . T h i s i s made q u i t e manifest when a f t e r midnight on the second day a surrogate a s c e t i c (from the Halba castes) i s i n s t a l l e d i n a low, o b v i o u s l y c a v e - l i k e p i t i n the Darbar h a l l where f o r the next nine days he i s to s i t i n m e d i t a t i o n a l pose and undertake the a u s t e r i t i e s and hardships i n v o l v e d on b e h a l f of the k i n g ( i b i d . : 213). The k i n g , however, does not l o s e h i s a s c e t i c persona and i n f a c t he takes on (one might say, usurps) a 82 Brahmin type s t a t u s i n being the s o l e r i t u a l o f f i c i a n t at a l l subsequent Danteshwari pujas (honoring ceremonies). T h i s i s a s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l and needs emphasis: "As long as the Devi i s on t h i s v i s i t to Jagdalpur, the k i n g h i m s e l f does her puja" (Kedarnath Thakur 1908: 105). 9 On the t h i r d day the f i r s t c h a r i o t p r o c e s s i o n s t a r t s . On the square p l a t f o r m forming the top of the l a v i s h l y decorated, f i v e metre high c h a r i o t , the k i n g s i t s on a throne which has been set on top of a j h u l a , or swing. Not o n l y w i t h r e s p e c t to the symbolism of the swing i t s e l f , i n Bastar "...the occupancy of an e l e v a t e d p o s i t i o n atop some mobile p l a t f o r m i s a very cogent exp r e s s i o n of s u p e r i o r or d i v i n e s t a t u s . . . " ( G e l l 1980: 230). On t h i s f i r s t day of c h a r i o t p r o c e s s i o n , which p r o c e s s i o n i s repeated f o r the next f i v e days, the c h a r i o t i s p u l l e d by both Muria and Dhurwa t r i b a l s . ' The route taken by the c h a r i o t on most days c i r c l e s the centre of Jagdalpur, around the four square b l o c k s that enclose the Jagannath and M a o l i (a ' r e f r a c t i o n ' of Danteshwari) temples as w e l l as the c e n t r a l , d a i l y market. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that the temples and market are adjacent to each other f o r i t i n d i c a t e s the a s s o c i a t i o n of food w i t h d i v i n i t y . A l s o , one of the f i n a l r i t u a l a c t s of the k i n g i s to perform a r a t i , the puja of flame, at the entrance to the c e n t r a l market.10 On the e i g h t h and n i n t h days of Dasara the c h a r i o t i s kept immobile. Instead, these are days of concentrated r i t u a l and worship. At midnight of the e i g h t h day the k i n g 83 performs, along with the o f f i c i a l s of s t a t e , puja at the Danteshwari temple w i t h i n the palace compound. There p a r t i a l l y completed, the king's worship i s continued u n t i l dawn at a garden s i t e a q u a r t e r mile d i s t a n t from the p a l a c e . The n i n t h day i s one of climax. I t s t a r t s w i t h Kumari Puja, at which nine v i r g i n g i r l s , r e p r e s e n t i n g nine mani-f e s t a t i o n s of the Goddess, are worshipped, fed and c l o t h e d (Majumdar 1939: 214). The Brahmin o f f i c i a n t s at t h i s puja are a l s o given food and c l o t h e s , " a f t e r which the Raja i s given a d i s h of cooked r i c e which r e p r e s e n t s the f i r s t hand-f u l of the newly cropped r i c e " ( i b i d . ) . T h i s i s an important symbolic event and warrants immediate ex e g e s i s . The king's ceremonial meal i s rooted i n t r i b a l ' f i r s t f r u i t s ' , or more l i t e r a l l y , 'new e a t i n g ' (nawa khanna) ceremonies. These are the l a r g e s t and most important occasions i n the Bastar Gond r i t u a l c y c l e . They occur throughout the a g r i c u l t u r a l year to mark the ^ t r a n s i t i o n when un r i p e or immature crops become "thought of as food that i s ' r i p e ' (pakka or pand), 'mature' or 'married'" (Popoff 1980: 1 8 1 ) . 1 1 In p a r t i c u l a r , the Muria "connect a l l f i r s t e a t i n g ceremonies with p r o c r e a t i o n and the p e r p e t u a t i o n of the l i n e a g e and the c l a n . With each f i r s t e a t i n g ceremony, a f e s t i v a l i s h e l d and a l l v i l l a g e s i n the pargana are r e q u i r e d to b r i n g t h e i r ' a n c e s t r a l d e i t y ' to the parent ' a n c e s t r a l d e i t y ' , Barha Pen. V i l l a g e s of the pargana, i r r e s p e c t i v e of c a s t e , come 'to see' and to be i n the presence of the ' a n c e s t r a l d e i t i e s ' " ( i b i d . : 182). Here 84 again we see the a s s o c i a t i o n of d i v i n i t y w i t h food and how the Dasara f e s t i v a l c e l e b r a t e s t h i s idea at the highest l e v e l , that o f r o y a l d i v i n i t y . For many t r i b a l s , the Dasara i s a time "when t h e i r k i n g eats the new r i c e and when they go 'to see' him and Danteshwari" ( i b i d . : 185). T h i s again demonstrates the conceptual c o n t i n u i t y of t r i b a l thought and how at the Dasara the s y n t h e s i s o f H i n d u - t r i b a l symbolism i s e f f e c t e d . A f t e r the king's new e a t i n g ceremony on the n i n t h day, the Halba a s c e t i c i s p r o p i t i a t e d and r e l e a s e d from h i s a u s t e r i t i e s i n the p i t , "care being taken that the Raja may not meet him or recog n i z e him i n the r o l e of an a s c e t i c " (Majumdar 1939: 215). T h i s care i s taken because i t i s the ki n g who at t h i s p o i n t re-assumes the overt r o l e of the a s c e t i c , thereby absorbing the surrogate's accumulated s t o r e of m e r i t o r i o u s s a n c t i t y , by once again appearing i n d h o t i , bare-bodied and ba r e - f o o t e d . So prepared, the k i n g walks out to the o u t s k i r t s of Jagdalpur to meet the image of the goddess Danteshwari who has been c a r r i e d i n a palanquin ( d o l i ) the 54 mi l e s from the main temple at Dantewara. Around nine i n the evening, the k i n g a r r i v e s at the Dante-wara road and r e s p e c t f u l l y g reets the palanquin and performs a r a t i . He then takes one pole of the palanquin upon h i s shoulder and together with the Danteshwari p r i e s t and the J i a (temple manager) from Dantewara, they c a r r y the d i v i n e burden back to the palace where the goddess i s placed i n a s p e c i a l throne i n the Darbar h a l l . A f t e r the k i n g i s given 85 D a n t e s h w a r i p r a s a d ( s a n c t i f i e d o f f e r i n g s w h i c h h a v e b e e n g i v e n t o t h e d e i t y a n d r e d i s t r i b u t e d t o i t s w o r s h i p e r s ) , a n a u s p i c i o u s t i m e i s f i x e d f o r t h e n e x t d a y w h e n t h e k i n g r e s u m e s h i s f u l l i d e n t i t y . A t t h a t t i m e , i n o t h e r w o r d s , h e w i l l a g a i n p u t o n t h e f u l l r e g a l i a o f h i s d i v i n e o f f i c e a n d i n s o d o i n g r e - i n c o r p o r a t e s e c u l a r a u t h o r i t y ( d a n d a ) a s p a r t o f h i s m a n d a t e . T h u s , o n t h e t e n t h d a y , " c l a d i n p u r p l e a n d r e d , d e c k e d w i t h a l l j e w e l s a n d o r n a m e n t s " ( i b i d . ) t h e k i n g r e t u r n s t o t h e D a r b a r h a l l a n d t h e n p r o c e e d s t o a s c e n d t h e l a r g e r o f t h e t w o c h a r i o t s u s e d i n t h e D a s a r a , t h e s m a l l e r o n e h a v i n g b e e n r i d d e n u p t o t h i s p o i n t . On t h i s o c c a s i o n t h e c h a r i o t i s p u l l e d b y B i s o n - h o r n M a r i a . T h e c h a r i o t m a k e s t w o r o u n d s o f i t s r o u t e a r o u n d t h e m a r k e t a n d m a i n t e m p l e s . T h e k i n g i s t h e n r e t u r n e d t o h i s p a l a c e a n d h e e n t e r s t h e D a r b a r w h e r e h e r e c e i v e s a d e l e g a t i o n o f p a l a c e m e m b e r s , o f f i c i a l s a n d m e m b e r s o f t h e p u b l i c w h o p a y t r i b u t e t o h i m a n d o f f e r g i f t s . A f t e r r e c i p r o c a t i n g w i t h c o u r t e s i e s a n d c o u n t e r - g i f t s t h e k i n g r e t i r e s t o h i s r o y a l a p a r t m e n t s . T h e e l e v e n t h d a y o f D a s a r a h e r a l d s a r a t h e r s p e c i a l e v e n t . L a t e i n t h e e v e n i n g , w h i l e t h e k i n g i s a s l e e p h e i s a b d u c t e d b y a g r o u p o f t r i b a l s , M a r i a , M u r i a a n d B h a t t r a s , w h o c a r r y h i m o n a p a l a n q u i n t o K u m r a K o t , a f e w m i l e s f r o m J a g d a l p u r . K u m r a K o t i s t h e p l a c e w h e r e " t h e k i n g ' s a n c e s t -o r s a r e s a i d t o h a v e c a m p e d w h e n t h e y f i r s t c a m e ( t o J a g d a l p u r ) a n d w h e r e t h e k i n g l i s t e n e d t o t h e g r i e v a n c e s o f h i s s u b j e c t s a f t e r p e r f o r m i n g t h e c e r e m o n i a l h u n t ( p a r a d ) 86 i n the f o r e s t s , "and any game, b i r d s or animals they can secure are o f f e r e d to the Raja along w i t h r i c e , vegetables and c o i n s which they can a f f o r d " (Majumdar 1939: 216). In the morning, the k i n g i s taken back to Jagdalpur on the b i g c h a r i o t . He s i t s on a swing on top of the c h a r i o t p l a t f o r m and i s dressed i n y e l l o w c l o t h e s with bow and arrow i n hand. The r e t u r n p r o c e s s i o n i s a matter of "triumphant j o y to the people and huge crowds (which) greet the p r o c e s s i o n while the c h a r i o t i s dragged home....As the c h a r i o t s l o w l y winds i t s way back through l i v e l y crowds the day fades i n t o t w i l i g h t and the palace as w e l l as the houses l i n i n g the route are i l l u m i n e d by garlands of l i g h t s and f e s t o o n s " ( i b i d . ) I n t e r e s t i n g l y , the c h a r i o t makes one stop on the way at a Hanuman temple where an o f f e r i n g i s made i n r e c o g n i t i o n of the help Hanuman (the monkey god) gave to Rama i n h i s b a t t l e s with Ravana, the demon k i n g of Lanka. I t i s l i k e l y that t h i s r i t u a l r e c o g n i t i o n i s very much bound up with the Muria " s e l f - p e r c e p t i o n as lowly descendants of the demon k i n g Ravan... (Popoff 1980: 220), which n o t i o n i s probably shared by most Bastar Gonds. At any r a t e , the k i n g soon a r r i v e s back at the palace where he immediately makes obeisance at the Danteshwari temple. He i s then greeted i n the Darbar h a l l by the more important female members of h i s household, one of whom performs a small r i t u a l designed to ensure the s a f e t y of the k i n g a f t e r h i s f o r a y i n t o the 'dangerous' t r i b a l encampment i n the 'jungle' of Kumra Kot. The t h i r t e e n t h and f o u r t e e n t h days see a winding down 87 o f t h e D a s a r a c e r e m o n i e s . On t h e t h i r t e e n t h , K a c h i n , t h e g o d d e s s o f t h e o p e n i n g o f D a s a r a , i s a g a i n w o r s h i p p e d , b u t n o w i n a t h a n k s g i v i n g m a n n e r . T h e f o u r t e e n t h , a n d l a s t d a y o f t h e f e s t i v a l , i s t h e t i m e f o r K u t u m b Y a t r a P u j a , a t w h i c h a l l t h e m i s c e l l a n e o u s d e i t i e s , n a t i v e a n d b o r r o w e d , a r e j o i n t l y w o r s h i p p e d b y t h e r o y a l h o u s e . T h e l a s t a c t o f t h e D a s a r a , b e f o r e t h e v a r i e d s o c i a l a n d s y m b o l i c c o m p o n e n t s o f B a s t a r o n c e a g a i n d i s s o c i a t e , i s t h e c e l e b r a t i o n o f t h e r e t u r n o f t h e D a n t e s h w a r i p a l a n q u i n t o t h e g o d d e s s 1 s e a t a t D a n t e w a r a . ^ 2 A s s t a t e d e a r l i e r , t h i s a c c o u n t o f t h e B a s t a r D a s a r a o n l y t o u c h e s u p o n , a t i t s m o s t s a l i e n t p o i n t s , t h e c o m p l e x i -t y o f t h e f e s t i v a l . I h a v e i n t e r w o v e n s o m e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n h o w e v e r , a n d c a n n o w d r a w m o s t o f t h e r e m a i n i n g t h r e a d s t o g e t h e r . T h e a b d u c t i o n s e q u e n c e l e a d i n g t o K u m r a K o t i s p l a i n l y a r e - e n a c t m e n t o f t h e o r i g i n a l e n c o u n t e r b e t w e e n t h e K a k a t i y a s a n d t h e t r i b a l s o f B a s t a r . T h e s c e n e r e p r e s e n t s a c l a s h o f a n t a g o n s t i c f o r c e s ^ w h i c h m a n a g e t o r e c o n c i l e a n d s u p p o r t e a c h o t h e r . T h i s s a m e t h e m e o n t h e l e v e l o f d i v i n i t y i s e n a c t e d i n t h e r i t u a l f l i g h t a t t h e K a c h i n t e m p l e . On a b r o a d e r c o n c e p t u a l l e v e l , t h e D a s a r a r e c o n c i l e s a n u m b e r o f o p p o s i t i o n s a t v a r i o u s p l a n e s o f a b s t r a c t i o n : H i n d u / t r i b a l s o c i e t y a n d r e l i g i o n , s e c u l a r a u t h o r i t y / d i v i n e a u t h o r i t y , l o w c a s t e / h i g h c a s t e , a n d u n i t y / f r a g m e n t a t i o n . T h e D a s a r a r i t u a l s c o l l a p s e e a c h d i s t i n c t i o n u n d e r t h e o v e r a l l i n s t r u -m e n t a l i t y o f d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . T h i s c a n p e r h a p s b e s t b e i l l u s t r a t e d i n l i g h t o f a 88 fundamental (and almost everywhere u b i q u i t o u s ) o p p o s i t i o n between i n s i d e and o u t s i d e . At numerous p o i n t s we can d e t e c t a k i n d of o s c i l l a t i o n between these two r e f e r e n t s . The very f i r s t r i t u a l performance, the Kachin ceremony, takes p l a c e o u t s i d e of Jagdalpur, as does the penultimate, the Kumra Kot a b d u c t i o n . Pujas to Danteshwari take p l a c e both i n s i d e the palace as w e l l as o u t s i d e i n the garden, p a t e n t l y a symbol f o r the j u n g l e . Kutumb Y a t r a Puja, b r i n g i n g together under the r o y a l umbrella n e a r l y a l l the d e i t i e s of Bastar, u n f o l d s o u t s i d e the palace i n a t r e e d s e t t i n g (Majumdar 1939: 216). And of course c o n v e r s e l y , throughout the Dasara there are many r i t u a l performances -- many more than can be d e s c r i b e d here -- which i n l o c a t i o n and focus emphasize the 1 i n t e r i o r i t y ' or c e n t r i c i t y of power, p r o s p e r i t y and mater-i a l w e l l - b e i n g . However, u l t i m a t e l y , the source of power which the k i n g must absorb comes from o u t s i d e , from Dante-shwari, who i s seated more than f i f t y m i les away from Jagdalpur and whom the k i n g must meet on the o u t s k i r t s of h i s c a p i t a l . In a sense, the Dasara i s the o c c a s i o n of a hierogamy whereby the k i n g assumes h i s d i v i n i t y and h i s d i v i n e superordinance by way of a marriage to the G o d d e s s . 1 4 The o p p o s i t i o n ' i n s i d e / o u t s i d e ' has venerable f o r e b e a r -ers i n Indian t e x t u a l t r a d i t i o n s , e s p e c i a l l y those concern-ing k i n g s h i p . As Heesterman (1978: 10) p o i n t s out: \ 89 I n d i a n c i v i l i z a t i o n o f f e r s a b a s i c p a r a d i g m , u s e d i n m a n y c o n t e x t s , f o r s u c h a n o p p o s i t i o n , n a m e l y t h e o p p o s i t i o n b e t w e e n t h e s e t t l e d a g r i c u l t u r a l c o m m u n i t y ( g r a m a ) a n d t h e a l i e n o u t s i d e s p h e r e o f t h e j u n g l e ( a r a n y a ) . . . t h e t w o s p h e r e s c o m p l e m e n t e a c h o t h e r i n a n u m b e r o f w a y s . T h e s e t t l e d c o m m u n -i t y n e e d s t h e j u n g l e f o r g r a z i n g g r o u n d , s o u r c e o f n e w l a n d , m a n p o w e r a n d f o r e s t p r o d u c t s , l i n k b e t w e e n s e t t l e d a r e a s a n d f i n a l l y a s r e f u g e . T h e j u n g l e a n d i t s " t r i b a l " i n h a b i t a n t s o n t h e o t h e r h a n d l o o k t o t h e s e t t l e d a r e a s a s a s o u r c e o f a g r i c u l t u r a l p r o d u c e , c a t t l e , a n d o t h e r r i c h e s a s w e l l a s e m p l o y m e n t e i t h e r i n a m i l i t a r y c a p a c i t y o r a s a g r i c u l t u r a l l a b o u r . " I n o t h e r w o r d s , " t h e a u t h o r c o n t i n u e s , " g r a m a a n d a r a n y a a r e c o m p l e m e n t a r y " ( i b i d . ) . A s e x p r e s s e d i n t h e D a s a r a r i t u a l s , t h i s c o m p l e m e n t a r i t y t r a c e s t h e k i n g ' s p a t h a s a c y c l i c p a t t e r n , a l t e r n a t i n g b e t w e e n t h e t w o . H i s a u t h o r i t y a n d d i v i n i t y a r e c e n t e r e d i n t h e g r a m a ( o r p u r a ) , b u t t h e s o u r c e o f t h e s e a s w e l l a s t h e i r m a t e r i a l b a s i s m u s t b e s o u g h t i n t h e a r a n y a o r f o r e s t . T h u s t h e D a s a r a , a l s o c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h e s y m b o l i s m o f f o o d , i s a c e r e m o n y o f r e g e n e r a t i o n , r e - d i v i n i s a t i o n a n d c o n t i n u i t y o f b o t h t h e k i n g a n d t h e i n s t i t u t i o n o f k i n g s h i p . T o r e t u r n t o my o p e n i n g s t a t e m e n t i n t h i s c h a p t e r i n r e g a r d t o t h e i m p l i c i t s o c i e t a l b i f u r c a t i o n o f B a s t a r , t h e s u b s e q u e n t d i s c u s s i o n h a s s h o w n h o w t h i s b i f u r c a t i o n w a s c u l t u r a l l y e x p r e s s e d i n t h e o p p p o s i t i o n s o f k i n g l y a n d t r i b a l r i t u a l . 1 5 T h e u l t i m a t e e f f e c t o f t h e s e r i t u a l s , h o w -e v e r , w a s t o u n i f y t h e o p p o s i t i o n s a n d b i f u r c a t i o n s u n d e r t h e l e g i t i m a c y a n d a u t h o r i t y o f d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . W h a t c o u l d n o t b e a c h i e v e d o n t h e p l a n e o f s e c u l a r a u t h o r i t y ( p o l i t i c s 9 0 a n d e c o n o m i c s ) w a s a c h i e v e d o n t h e p l a n e o f r i t u a l a n d r i t u a l m e a n i n g s . 1 ^ T h e r e s u l t , o v e r a p p r o x i m a t e l y a f o u r h u n d r e d y e a r p e r i o d o f t i m e , w a s t h e u n i t y a n d v i r t u a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y o f B a s t a r S t a t e . 91 Footnotes to chapter 4 1 The d i s c u s s i o n s which have to do with Muria r e l i g i o n mainly attempt to f o l l o w T e r r e l P o p o f f s d i s s e r t a t i o n on Muria theism (1980). I t i s d i f f i c u l t to be very c o n f i d e n t of my re a d i n g of Popoff because, perhaps, of h i s o v e r - r e a d i n g of h i s own data. His c o n s t r u c t i o n s , e l a b o r a t i o n s and q u a l i f i c a t i o n upon q u a l i f i c a t i o n of Muria t h e i s t i c conceptions impress one as r e v e a l i n g a great depth of i n s i g h t . But at the same time they make f o r a very s l i p p e r y and e l u s i v e semantic f i e l d w i t h which to g r a p p l e . That i n such manner h i s a n a l y s i s a c c u r a t e l y r e f l e c t s the s i t u a t i o n on the ground u n f o r t -u n a t e l y does l i t t l e to assuage the r e l a t e d need f o r constant c l a r i f i c a t i o n and c o n c i s i o n . On the other hand, wi t h enough i n t e r n a l c r o s s - r e f e r e n c i n g , checking and r e - c h e c k i n g , a number of conceptual c o n s i s t e n c i e s emerge i n Popoff's work which, when l i n k e d together, form a s e n s i b l e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n on a general l e v e l . S ubject to the aforementioned i n s e c u r i t i e s , of t h i s I am c o n f i d e n t . 2 An a r t i c l e has r e c e n t l y appeared by A l f r e d G e l l (1982: 470-491) on an a c t u a l Muria market at Dhorai, not f a r south of Benur Pargana. G e l l s ' r e s e a r c h i s i l l u m i n a t i n g i n i t s emphasis on markets as l o c a t i o n s f o r symbols of the s o c i a l order which i d e o l o g i c a l l y emanate from the former seat of monarchy, Ja g d a l p u r . N e v e r t h e l e s s , h i s argument takes on some i r o n i c t w i s t s . While he does b r i n g out the symbolic aspects of the market, i n order to defend h i m s e l f a g a i n s t p o s s i b l e charges of m y s t i f i -c a t i o n of the s o c i a l order that the market d i s p l a y s , he i n s i s t s on grounding the market as a " s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d l y i n s t r u m e n t a l i n s t i t u t i o n " (p. 489). Yet, by s u b t l e y t r a n s p o s i n g h i s a n a l y s i s of the market with the e f f e c t he purports the market to produce, he goes on to d e c l a r e that the market i s "profoundly m y s t i f y i n g " ( i b i d . ) . T h i s i s not the p l a c e to launch a f u l l - s c a l e review of G e l l ' s a n a l y s i s . However, I should say that h i s assumptions r e s t on some very debatable i n t e r p r e t a -t i o n s of Muria ethnography. Furthermore, had G e l l been aware of the Muria kam'k r i t u a l s , at the very l e a s t he would have found i t r a t h e r d i f f i c u l t to a s s e r t that "there i s no element of make-believe, no communicative i n t e n t , behind t h e . . . m a t t e r - o f - f a c t t r a n s a c t i o n s which c o l l e c t i v e l y make up f o r the market" ( i b i d . ) . The kam'k r i t u a l s are p r e c i s e l y such a communicative i n t e n t . On the s u b j e c t of G e l l ' s ethnographic underpinnings I should make a f i n a l p o i n t . A l s o t a k i n g i n t o account G e l l ' s e a r l i e r paper on Muria shamanistic p o s s e s s i o n (1980: 219-248), one f i n d s major ethnographic d i s c r e p -a n c i e s , i n p a r t i c u l a r with Popoff's work. As a r e s u l t of my own o b s e r v a t i o n s i n Bastar and f o r reasons having to do wit h G e l l ' s a p p a r e n t l y l e s s s u s t a i n e d and l e s s Footnotes (con't.) 92 G o n d i - o r i e n t e d f i e l d w o r k , that i s l e s s so than Popoff's, I f i n d myself s i d i n g with the l a t t e r . S t i l l , i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g that G e l l seems to have a n t i c i p a t e d something of the problem when he suggests that the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the "symbolic statements made i n the course of a ceremony are always, and only, c l a i m s , f o r which no v a l i d a t i o n can ever be f i n a l l y found" (1982: 489; o r i g i n a l emphasis). U n f o r t u n a t e l y f o r G e l l , t h i s does not r e a l l y get him o f f the hook. There are, a f t e r a l l , some claims which are b e t t e r than o t h e r s . I t i s not i m p o s s i b l e , on the other hand, that d e i f i c a -t i o n of an ' o r d i n a r y ' o u t s i d e r c o u l d take p l a c e . There was a phase i n the t r i b a l iconography of C e n t r a l I n d i a when c a r i c a t u r i z e d wooden images of important govern-ment o f f i c i a l s were e r e c t e d at the boundaries of t r i b a l v i l l a g e s . U s u a l l y of the B r i t i s h s e n i o r c i v i l servant and h i s w i f e , these statues were p r o p i t i a t e d at r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s , m o s t l y i n the w i n t e r t o u r i n g season, with the i n t e n t to keep such o u t s i d e r s away from the v i l l a g e (Elwin 1951). In Bastar there i s a l s o the i n t e r e s t i n g example of the d e i f i c a t i o n of a Muslim s u b - a s s i s t a n t surgeon which occured at the turn of the l a s t century. F o l l o w i n g h i s death from c h o l e r a on the Keskal pass at the n o r t h e r n entry to Bastar, t h i s surgeon became d e i f i e d as Doctor Deo, and h i s s p i r i t was "attached by the surrounding Murias as a peon or servant to the s h r i n e of Bhangaram at the head of the pass, where from generations past the f i n a l scene of d i s e a s e - r i d d a n c e or bohorani ceremonies...had taken p l a c e . . . " (Grigson 1938: 193). Before proceeding, I should c l a r i f y the d i a c h r o n i c i m p l i c a t i o n s of the kam'k r i t u a l s . The changes they underwent as a r e s u l t of the i m p o s i t i o n of Hindu hegemony are more or l e s s impossible to c h r o n i c l e w i t h much p r e c i s i o n . One can o n l y p o i n t out the before the advent of the B r i t i s h i n 1853 -- and consequently before the economic m o t i v a t i o n to open up Bastar --there were very few markets i n the kingdom. See a l s o Footnote 10 below. W r i t i n g on d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i n the t r i b a l areas of neighbouring O r i s s a , L.K. Mahapatra sees the patronage of t r i b a l d e i t i e s by Hindu kings as a r e s u l t of the f e e l i n g " t hat the t r i b a l component of the p o p u l a t i o n would become overpowering i s allowed to remain too long o u t s i d e the Hindu f o l d " (1977: 176). He goes on to say that "a s i m i l a r process might have been at work i n Bastar i n e l e v a t i n g the goddess Danteswary beyond the t r i b a l p ale (compare Sinha 1962)" ( i b i d . : 174). In the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , although i t seems s u p e r f i c i a l l y V Footnotes (con't.) 93 p l a u s i b l e , I would argue that Mahapatra o v e r s t a t e s h i s case. The m a j o r i t y of Indian t r i b a l p o p u l a t i o n s never a s p i r e d to overcome Hindu domination, r a t h e r throughout n e a r l y a l l of Indian h i s t o r y they attempted to a v o i d , and r e t r e a t from Hindu domination. In the second i n s t a n c e , Mahapatra i s p l a i n l y wrong. As we have seen above, Danteshwari was not e l e v a t e d but extended, not beyond, but i n order to encompass, 'the t r i b a l p a l e ' . Mahapatra has s e r i o u s l y mis-read h i s source, Sinha, who e x p l i c i t l y speaks of the " r o y a l goddess Danteswari..." (1 962: 69). 6 The word 'anga' has an i n t e r e s t i n g S a n s k r i t etymology and a c c o r d i n g l y i s taken to mean 'body' or 'limbs'. In Inden's usage as 'limbs', there were seven anga which were seen to comprise medieval Hindu k i n g s h i p . Some of these were made i n t o "an extension of the king's person" (1978: 30), and i t i s a tempting s p e c u l a t i o n that the Bastar Anga co u l d be taken p r e c i s e l y as such an e x t e n t i o n . 1 There are numerous d i f f e r e n t s p e l l i n g s of t h i s f e s t i v a l i n c l u d i n g 'Dussehra', 'Dasehra', 'Dassera', and so on. I have chosen to use the s i m p l e s t , probably S a n s k r i t c form, Dasara, f o l l o w i n g Inden (1978). 8 There i s mentioned a p e r i o d i n recent h i s t o r y when the Dasara was he l d i n C h a i t , or April-May,, as a r e s u l t of a young king's e d u c a t i o n a l schedule o u t s i d e Bastar (Kedarnath Thakur 1908: 110). T h i s gives some idea of the importance of the Dasara to the kingdom, and a l s o i n d i c a t e s to some degree the c o n t r o l over i t e x e r c i s e d by Bastar k i n g s h i p . I should a l s o mention that there i s another major f e s t i v a l , C h a i t r a i , which i s the more u s u a l f e s t i v a l to take p l a c e i n April- M a y . I suspect the C h a i t r a i has much the same s i g n i f i c a n c e as Dasara. U n f o r t u n a t e l y , besides the f a c t that i n contemporary h i s t o r y the C h a i t r a i f e s t i v a l i n c l u d e d a l a r g e amount of M a h a r a j a - t r i b a l i n t e r a c t i o n , there i s very l i t t l e d e t a i l a v a i l a b l e to confirm t h i s s u s p i c i o n . 9 Majumdar c o r r o b o r a t e s t h i s statement when he remarks t h a t "worship i n the temple of Dhanestwari...is performed by the Raja" (1939: 214). 1° T h i s market r i t u a l i s an aspect of Dasara that obvious-l y came i n t o being before the time p e r i o d i n which the present d e s c r i p t i o n i s s i t u a t e d . However, as mentioned e a r l i e r , i t i s l i k e l y not p r i o r to the l a t e e i g h t e e n t h century s i n c e i t was only a f t e r that time that a market system was developed under the impetus given by the Footnotes (con't.) 94 B r i t i s h . Both G l a s f u r d (1863) and E l l i o t (1861) r e p o r t -ed very few markets i n B a s t a r . Those few that d i d e x i s t were minor developments that had grown up around revenue depots at which g r a i n l e v i e s were c o l l e c t e d and s t o r e d . From these depots revenue would proceed to the r o y a l granary at Jagdalpur. From these v a r i o u s r e p o s i t -o r i e s , however, a c e r t a i n amount of r e d i s t r i b u t i o n a l s o took p l a c e . T h i s was i n payment f o r s e r v i c e s rendered by the revenue bureaucracy, or i n consequence of cere-monial o b l i g a t i o n s , or i n response to extreme hardship such as n a t u r a l d i s a s t e r . In the f o l l o w i n g model of the r e d i s t r i b u t i v e f u n c t i o n of ' c h i e f t a i n s h i p ' S a h l i n s p r o v i d e s the a p p r o p r i a t e o r i e n t a t i o n to the development of Bastar monarchy i n the p r e - B r i t i s h p e r i o d : Rights of c a l l on the produce of the u n d e r l y i n g p o p u l a t i o n , as w e l l as o b l i g a t i o n s of g e n e r o s i -ty, are everywhere a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c h i e f t a i n -s h i p . The organized e x e r c i s e of these r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s i s r e d i s t r i b u t i o n . . . . T h i s . . . takes v a r i o u s forms: s u b s i d i z i n g r e l i g i o u s ceremony, s o c i a l pageantry or war; underwrit-ing...the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f . . . p u b l i c and r e l i g i o u s e d i f i c e s ; r e d i s t r i b u t i n g d i v e r s e l o c a l products; h o s p i t a l i t y and succour of the community ( i n s e v e r a l t y or i n general) d u r i n g shortage. Speaking more broadly, r e d i s t r i b u t i o n by powers-that-be serves two purposes, e i t h e r of which may be dominant i n a given i n s t a n c e . The p r a c t i c a l , l o g i s t i c f u n c t i o n -- r e d i s t r i b u -t i o n -- s u s t a i n s the community, or community e f f o r t , i n a m a t e r i a l sense. At the same time, or a l t e r n a t i v e l y , i t has an i n s t r u m e n t a l f u n c t i o n : as a r i t u a l of communion and of s u b o r d i n a t i o n to c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y , r e d i s t r i b u -t i o n s u s t a i n s the corporate s t r u c t u r e i t s e l f , t h a t i s i n a s o c i a l sense. The p r a c t i c a l b e n e f i t s may be c r i t i c a l , but, whenever the p r a c t i c a l b e n e f i t s , c h i e f l y p o o l i n g generates the s p i r i t of u n i t y and c e n t r i c i t y , c o d i f i e s the s t r u c t u r e , s t i p u l a t e s the c e n t r a l i z e d o r g a n i z a t i o n of s o c i a l order and s o c i a l a c t i o n (quoted i n Appadurai 1981a: 34; w i t h a d d i t i o n a l e l l i p s e s ) . Appadurai comments that t h i s " ' c h i e f l y ' model of r e d i s t r i b u t i o n f i t s the d e i t y of a South Indian temple p e r f e c t l y " ( i b i d . ) . With equal p e r f e c t i o n i t f i t s the Bastar d i v i n e monarchy and i n c u l t u r a l terms i s conceived and organized i n the Dasara. 95 Footnotes (con't.) 1 1 In P o p o f f s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , the semantic burden c a r r i e d by food has f a r - r e a c h i n g i m p l i c a t i o n s : "From the Muriya p o i n t of view i t becomes food i n the sense that i t i s s u i t a b l e f o r 'true men' or men of c u l t u r e who have assumed the moral r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of a married house-h o l d e r . For the householder, that which ' r i p e n s ' to become food, a product of c u l t u r e , i s something that i s u s e f u l and purposive i n s t e a d of dangerous and 'morally unacceptable' to eat" (Popoff 1980: 181). 1 2 C e r t a i n l y a monograph could have been w r i t t e n on the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n of the Dasara; and could s t i l l be w r i t t e n of the contemporary v e r s i o n of the f e s t i v a l except f o r c e r t a i n p o l i t i c a l s e n s i t i v i t i e s which have turned i t i n t o an aerna of c o n f l i c t . Majumdar, at any r a t e , leaves us with l i t t l e more than a l i s t i n g of s o c i a l u n i t s : The c o n s t r u c t i o n of the c h a r i o t i s l e f t w ith the Saonras, the Lohars make the i r o n n a i l s and bars f o r the c h a r i o t . Dhakars su p e r v i s e the c o n s t r u c t i o n . The K h a t i s are the s p e c i a l p u j a r i s of the c h a r i o t s . . . . The Gadabas supply bearers f o r the Rajas p a l a n q u i n . The Halbas supply the J o g i and a l s o guard the Raja with drawn swords when the l a t t e r camps i n the Muria s e t t l e m e n t s . They a l s o take p a r t i n the s a c r i -f i c e as a Halba i s i n v a r i a b l y engaged to k i l l animals f o r s a c r i f i c e . The Murias, Dhurwas and Dandami (Bison-horn) Marias p u l l the c h a r i o t w h i l e the Bhatras f i g u r e prominently on the o c c a s i o n of the triumphant entry of the Raja to the c a p i t a l a f t e r the kidnapping by the Murias. The Maharas supply the g i r l who determines the a u s p i c i o u s n e s s or otherwise of the f e s t i v a l (1939: 217). From e a r l i e r (Kedarnath Thakur 1908) and l a t e r d e s c r i p -t i o n s (Popoff 1975) of Dasara i t i s p o s s i b l e to d i s c e r n a f a i r amount of v a r i a t i o n i n the s o c i a l d i v i s i o n of l a b o u r . Some of t h i s v a r i a t i o n i s accountable as a r e s u l t of the d e c l i n e of c e r t a i n groups, f o r instance the Gadabas, who f o r the most p a r t are now found only i n O r i s s a . In any case, Majundar's l i s t does not exhaust the t r i b e s and c a s t e s i n v o l v e d , but i t i s i n d i c a t i v e of the almost t o t a l s o c i a l u n i t y brought about by the Dasara ceremonies. Only the H i l l Maria, whose attendance has always been s p o r a d i c and l i g h t , are the p a r t i a l e x c e p t i o n . 96 Footnotes (con't.) 13 The p a r t i c u l a r s of the Kumra Kot abduction, which i n g e n e r a l r e c o g n i z e s the importance and r e s o u r c e f u l n e s s of the king's t r i b a l s u b j e c t s , should not obscure an a n c i e n t s i g n i f i c a n c e of the triumphant r e t u r n of the c h a r i o t . In Vedic thought, the c h a r i o t d r i v e ceremony of the r a j a s u y a ( r o y a l i n v e s t i t u r e ) r i t u a l c y c l e " . . . i s c l e a r l y marked as a symbolic war e x p e d i t i o n . . . " (Heesterman 1978: 66). ^ I f there were more d e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n on the Dasara, which were to be c l o s e l y analyzed, t h i s t e n t a t i v e statement could be confirmed. As i t i s , there are enough h i n t s of marriage symbolism i n the extant d e s c r i p t i o n s to support my i n f e r e n c e as a v a l i d one. 15 i n modern, n a t i o n a l i s t I n d i a , the q u e s t i o n of t r i b a l versus Hindu r e l i g i o n i s complicated by p o l i t i c a l m o t i v a t i o n which seeks to subsume the former under the l a t t e r . "The r e a l problem however," a c c o r d i n g to Elwin ( i n Grigson 1944: 8), " i s not whether Gonds or Muria are Hindus or not, but how f a r contact with Hinduism has a f f e c t e d t r i b a l r e l i g i o n . " T h i s i n s p i r e s Elwin to pose "a very c u r i o u s q u e s t i o n . Why i s i t that Gonds, Pardhans and Baigas of Mandla, who l i v e along the main p i l g r i m route to sacred Anarkantak, have h a r d l y any r e l i g i o n at a l l , e i t h e r Hindu or t r i b a l , while the Murias who l i v e i n Bastar f a r from Hindu i n f l u e n c e , have a h i g h l y developed, a u t h o r i t a t i v e and r i c h l y f u r n i s h e d system of worship that i s a c t u a l l y , while wholly t r i b a l , f a r more akin to r e a l Hinduism? The Mandala a b o r i g i n a l i s completely h i n d u i s e d , yet he knows no t h i n g of the r e l i g i o n ; the Bastar a b o r i g i n a l i s q u i t e unhinduised, yet h i s care of the gods, h i s b e a u t i f u l l i t t l e s h r i n e s , h i s s a c r i f i c e s and f e s t i v a l s , h i s p r i e s t s and p i l g r i m a g e s have much i n common with Hinduism" ( i b i d . ) . In one sense i t i s c u r i o u s indeed that i n h i s d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s q u e s t i o n Elwin omits r e f e r e n c e to the long p e r i o d of Bastar d i v i n e monarchy, which was beginning i t s development at the time when Mandla, a l s o a prominent ' t r i b a l ' kingdom, was b e g i n n i n g to d i s i n t e g r a t e . In another sense i t i s not very c u r i o u s at a l l , f o r although Elwin knew the background of the C h h a t t i s g a r h kingdoms q u i t e w e l l --i n 1940 he was appointed Honourable Ethnographer to Bastar State -- h i s o r i e n t a t i o n to the anthropology of the time precluded much of an a p p r e c i a t i o n of h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t . 16 As remarked of the e f f e c t of Dasara, " i n a c e r t a i n sense, the e n t i r e d i s t r i c t with i t s p o p u l a t i o n of over a m i l l i o n i s l i k e a s i n g l e v i l l a g e o n . . . t h i s . . . o c c a s i o n " (Jay 1972: 163). 97 Chapter 5: H i s t o r i c a l prologue to modern d i v i n e k i n g s h i p The developments i n Bastar d i s c u s s e d i n the l a s t two chapters took t h e i r course over a p e r i o d of time d u r i n g which the h i s t o r i c a l " c u r t a i n f e l l upon the country" (Grigson 1938: 4 ) . The r e s u l t i n g o b s c u r i t y was, as has been shown, not complete: a d i f f e r e n t k i n d of h i s t o r i o g r a p h y produced a d i f f e r e n t k i n d of h i s t o r y , more s t r u c t u r a l than c h r o n o l o g i c a l . I t i s thus n e v e r t h e l e s s true that h i s t o r y i n the sense of dates and events i s not much evident i n Bastar p r i o r to the n i n e t e e n t h century. In t h i s chapter, which i s an h i s t o r i c a l prologue to the s t o r y of the l a s t d i v i n e k i n g , I w i l l resume the c h r o n i c l e of events begun i n chapter two and take i t to the advent of the most well-known, modern yet very t r a d i t i o n a l Maharaja of B a s t a r . The f i l e s and records of the B r i t i s h government that h e l d sway over I n d i a u n t i l 1947 are the p r i n c i p a l sources for.mention of Bastar from about 1795 onwards. I t was at that time that Captain J.T. Blunt made the e a r l i e s t recorded attempt to e x p l o r e the kingdom. Captain Blunt was sent out by the Bengal government to explore a route to south I n d i a that would a l s o f i l l i n the blank that represented Bastar on B r i t i s h maps, as w e l l as to determine i t s u s e f u l n e s s to the growing B r i t i s h hegemony over I n d i a . Blunt's m i s s i o n was d i r e c t e d by a p o l i c y t hat, s h o r t of o u t r i g h t annexation, regarded the P r i n c e l y S t a t e s , of which there were about 98 600 l a r g e and s m a l l , as " u s e f u l props of the empire" ( J e f f r e y 1978: 1). T h i s was the beginning of K i p l i n g ' s day when the P r i n c e l y (or Native) St a t e s were the 'dark p l a c e s of the e a r t h ' . R e l a t i o n s were to be e s t a b l i s h e d which expressed that 'darkness' as a negative example f o r the p o p u l a t i o n of B r i t i s h I n d i a . As E l p h i n s t o n e put i t : I t appears to me to be i n our i n t e r e s t as w e l l as our duty to use every means to preserve the a l l i e d Governments. T h e i r t e r r i t o r i e s a f f o r d a refuge to a l l those whose h a b i t s of war, i n t r i g u e or depreda-t i o n make them incapable of remaining q u i e t i n ours; and the c o n t r a s t of t h e i r Government has a f a v o u r a b l e e f f e c t on our s u b j e c t s , who, w hile they f e e l the e v i l s they are a c t u a l l y exposed to, are apt to f o r g e t the g r e a t e r ones from which they have been d e l i v e r e d (quoted i n Thompson 1944: 271 )'. In a c e r t a i n sense, Bastar conformed to t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n : Blunt's attempt to enter i t was met with f o r c e f u l Gond r e s i s t a n c e , which persuaded him to go around Bastar r a t h e r than through i t . The reasons f o r the Gond r e p u l s i o n of Blunt's p a r t y were not merely ones of plunder and p i l l a g e , nor even the a l l e g e d 'habits of war'. 1 The main reason was that Blunt was a s s o c i a t e d with the Maratha empire which had e s t a b l i s h e d i t s e l f over C e n t r a l I n d i a , i n p a r t i c u l a r over the Ratanpur kingdom, which by the e i g h t e e n t h century had become weakened to the extent that i t could no longer r e s i s t . o u t s i d e i n v a s i o n . By 1745, the Chhat-t i s g a r h kingdoms, i n c l u d i n g Bastar, were under the o v e r l o r d -s h i p of the Maratha Bhonsla r u l e r s i n Nagpur (Babb 1975: 6 ) . However, while the o l d t e r r i t o r i a l system had a l l 99 but disappeared i n the c e n t r a l C h h a t t i s g a r h r e g i o n s , i n Bastar i t s t i l l h e l d and with i t a c o n s i d e r a b l e degree of independence was maintained. The Marathas were not able to exe r t much i n f l u e n c e over Bastar and the t r i b u t e they demanded was r a r e l y forthcoming. In c o n v e r s a t i o n with the Maratha governor of Ratanpur i n 1795, Blunt "asked him i f the Maratha government was not e f f i c i e n t there; to which he r e p l i e d t h a t , f o r the l a s t f o u r or f i v e years, the Raja (of Bastar) had p a i d no t r i b u t e , that they had never had the e n t i r e p o s s e s s i o n of the country; but by c o n t i n u i n g to p i l l a g e and harass the Gonds, they had brought the Raja to acknowledge the Maratha government and to promise the payment of an annual t r i b u t e " ( W i l l s 1924: 133). From the Raja of Ranker, a smal l kingdom immediately to the nor t h , Blunt r e c e i v e d an even l e s s f e l i c i t o u s account of c o n d i t i o n s * i n B a s t a r . A c c o r d i n g to t h i s informant, the Bastar Raja, Daryao Deo, was very treacherous and powerful, having p o s s e s s i o n of a great extent of country, d i v i d e d i n t o f o r t y - e i g h t parganahs. Daryao Deo, at the time of the decease of h i s f a t h e r , had three b r o t h e r s , two of whom he had s e i z e d and, having put out t h e i r eyes, he s t i l l kept them i n confinement; but the t h i r d had made h i s escape to Nagpur. Many acts of the most h o r r i d t r e a c h e r y , which he had been g u i l t y of towards h i s own people, were then r e l a t e d to me;.... Daryao Deo had removed h i s r e s i d e n c e from Jagdalpur to a neighbouring h i l l f o r t . . . o n which he had secured h i m s e l f a g a i n s t the Marathas, and p a i d them no more t r i b u t e than he f e l t h i m s e l f i n c l i n e d to; on which account they plundered h i s country and encouraged a l l the zamindars i n the neighbourhood of Bastar to do the same and to wrest from him as much t e r r i t o r y as they c o u l d . Sham Singh (the Ranker Raja) next s t a t e d to me that, under such circumstances, I coul d not expect that Daryao Deo would pay much a t t e n t i o n to my Maratha parwanah (freedom of p a s s a g e ) . . . ( i b i d . " 134). 100 I t c ould h a r d l y have been a s u r p r i s e , then, to Blunt, when h i s e x p e d i t i o n was " f i e r c e l y a ttacked by the 'Bastar Gonds' both by day and n i g h t , and though t h e i r bows, arrows and axes were no match f o r h i s f i r e a r m s , he abandoned the attempt to enter Bastar, and learned l a t e r . . . t h a t he had r e t i r e d j u s t i n time, as word had been passed from zamindar to zamindar i n Bastar to plunder h i s p a r t y " (Grigson 1938: 10-11). B l u n t ' s own account of h i s harrowing experiences a l s o g i v e s an i n d i c a t i o n of the i n t e r n a l c o n d i t i o n s i n Bastar, which were i n f a c t endemic i n the P r i n c e l y S t a t e s : palace i n t r i g u e and s u c c e s s i o n s t r u g g l e s . The q u e s t i o n of su c c e s s i o n was the l i n c h p i n i n the process of B a s t a r 1 s e x t e r n a l r e l a t i o n s . Even the t r i b u t e the Marathas d i d r e c e i v e was not so much a r e s u l t of p u n i t i v e e x p e d i t i o n s as a consequence of being i n v i t e d to interve n e i n r o y a l r i v a l r i e s over the throne. A l s o , the r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l amounts the Marathas were given i n compensation f o r t h e i r m i l i t a r y a i d d i d not imply anything f u r t h e r . The Bastar kings r e t a i n e d f u l l l o c a l independence. The only i n t e r f e r e n c e came at the behest of the Resident at Nagpur which had been overrun i n 1818 and wit h which v i c t o r y the B r i t i s h had e x t r a c t e d an acknowledgement of f e a l t y . The Resident was a s e n i o r o f f i c e r i n the Indian P o l i t i c a l S e r v i c e , h o l d i n g a post attached to the l a r g e r of the Native S t a t e s and r e p r e s e n t i n g the i n t e r e s t s of the B r i t i s h Government. From 1837 onwards, there had been i n c r e a s i n g rumours that Bastar had been engaging i n r i t u a l human 101 s a c r i f i c e . In 1842, the Diwan of Bastar, L a i Dalgangan Singh, b r o t h e r to Raja Bhopal Deo, was summoned to Nagpur to be questioned, while a detachment of p o l i c e was sent to Dantewara to stand guard at the Danteshwari temple where the a l l e g e d human s a c r i f i c e s were thought to be t a k i n g p l a c e . However, although r e p o r t s continued p e r i o d i c a l l y to reach the B r i t i s h a u t h o r i t i e s , there was never, a c c o r d i n g to Grigson, "a s i n g l e a u t h e n t i c a t e d i n s t a n c e of human s a c r i f i c e i n B a s t a r . Nearly a l l the s t o r i e s emanated from Jeypore, (one of the O r i s s a s t a t e s ) the Maharaja of which was at b i t t e r emnity wi t h the C h i e f of B a s t a r " (1938: 8 ) . Even as l a t e as 1913 Bastar remained under s u s p i c i o n , as when the Inspector of the Madras p o l i c e r e p o r t e d h i s p e r s o n a l b e l i e f t h a t the then Raja, Rudra Pratap Deo, was p l a n n i n g a human s a c r i f i c e at Dantewara because he had no son to succeed him ( i b i d . : 9 ) . 2 The B r i t i s h p o l i c y of ' n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e ' i n the a f f a i r s of the N a t i v e S t a t e s g r a d u a l l y underwent a number of changes durin g the f i r s t h a l f of the n i n e t e e n t h century. From a p o s i t i o n of v i r t u a l l y i g n o r i n g the inner workings of most State s to a d i s p o s i t i o n to draw up a great number of com-m e r c i a l t r e a t i e s , l a t e r v e r s i o n s of which enjoined a more ' c i v i l i z e d ' mode of government, B r i t i s h p o l i c y by the 1850's developed a s t r i k i n g p r e d i l i c t i o n f o r annexation. The motives f o r these changes were mixed. On one s i d e , there were the " i m p e r i a l i n t e r e s t s of a t r a d i n g company anxious to expand and r u l e cheaply," and on the other there was the 102 u t i l i t a r i a n z e a l , o f t e n spurred by E n g l i s h m i s s i o n a r i e s c r y i n g out a g a i n s t o p p r e s s i o n , which demanded a d m i n i s t r a t i v e reform ( J e f f r e y 1978: 10-11). Thus, with the l a t t e r i n mind, i n 1839 the Nagpur government i n t e r d i c t e d the Bastar Rajas from i n f l i c t i n g c a p i t a l punishment and i t was arranged that the Rajas' prime m i n i s t e r , the Diwan, should always be appointed w i t h the s a n c t i o n of the B r i t i s h Resident. As S i r Richard Temple, the C h i e f Commissioner f o r Nagpur, conclud-ed, " i t i s indeed most d e s i r a b l e that the Raja should l e a r n to e x e r c i s e h i s a u t h o r i t y a c c o r d i n g to c i v i l i z e d ideas, and by n o n - i n t e r f e r e n c e should be made h i s own r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . But i n cases of bloodshed, h i s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i s found so e f f i c i e n t as to r e t a r d the progress of s o c i e t y " (1862, r e p r i n t e d 1923: 80). I t was a l s o Temple who decreed that "on the wise management of t h e . . . ( B a s t a r S t a t e ) . . . , the gradual p e o p l i n g of r i c h but s c a r c e l y i n h a b i t e d t r a c t s , and the c i v i l i z i n g of semi-barbarous t r i b e s , w i l l m a t e r i a l l y depend" ( i b i d . : 81).3 Thus i n t e n t on t h e i r c i v i l i z i n g mission as w e l l as on attempting to ensure the proper c o n d i t i o n s f o r economic e x p l o i t a t i o n -- a combination of motives which were seen as complementary -- the B r i t i s h began to pay i n c r e a s -i n g l y c l o s e r a t t e n t i o n to B a s t a r . The t r a n s i t i o n from f o c u s i n g that a t t e n t i o n i n d i r e c t l y through the Maratha Nagpur State to d e a l i n g d i r e c t l y with Bastar as i t s paramount sovereign was e f f e c t e d by the B r i t i s h i n 1853 through the annexation of the Nagpur S t a t e . 103 Bastar then a u t o m a t i c a l l y became a t r i b u t a r y of the Govern-ment of I n d i a and entered i n t o d i r e c t p o l i t i c a l r e l a t i o n s w i t h i t . The Nagpur annexation was based on the p r i n c i p l e of escheat, the r e v e r s i o n a r y r i g h t of the paramount power to assume d i r e c t t i t l e to a s t a t e upon a f a i l u r e of succes-s i o n . Escheat was a European f e u d a l d o c t r i n e the B r i t i s h a p p l i e d by v i r t u e of t h e i r m i l i t a r y power to the P r i n c e l y S t a t e s i n pursuance of b u i l d i n g the empire. As more became known of them, both Nagpur, wi t h i t s areas of r i c h , b l a c k , c o t t o n - p r o d u c i n g s o i l , and Bastar as i t s s u b s i d i a r y State w i t h v a l u a b l e timber r e s e r v e s , came to be seen as worthy a d d i t i o n s to the l i s t of subordinate a l l i e s of the B r i t i s h Empire. A more d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e on a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and revenue e x t r a c t i o n , one of course s e r v i n g the other, was t h e r e f o r e j u s t i f i e d i n B r i t i s h p o l i c y . The next step i n the growing close n e s s of r e l a t i o n s between Bastar S t a t e and the B r i t i s h came i n 1862 when the k i n g was served w i t h an adoption sanad, or patent of succes-s i o n . T h i s move was taken i n order to o f f s e t the f e a r s of annexation that might r e s u l t from the f a i l u r e of h e i r s to the throne. I t was a l s o a step that recognized the c o n t r i b -u t i n g i n f l u e n c e that the l a r g e numbers of annexations by the B r i t i s h had had on the s o - c a l l e d Indian Mutiny of 1857. The Bastar sanad read as f o l l o w s : 104 Her Majesty being d e s i r o u s that the Governments of the s e v e r a l p r i n c e s and c h i e f s of I n d i a , who now govern t h e i r own t e r r i t o r i e s , should be perpetuat-ed, and that the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and d i g n i t y of t h e i r Houses should be continued; i n f u l f i l l m e n t of t h i s d e s i r e , t h i s Sunnud i s given to you to convey to you the assurance that on f a i l u r e of n a t u r a l h e i r s , the B r i t i s h Government w i l l r e c o g n i s e and confirm any adoption of a successor made by your-s e l f or any f u t u r e C h i e f of your State that may be i n accordance w i t h the Hindoo Law and the customs of your race (de B r e t t 1909: 14). E i g h t years l a t e r , the s l i g h t assurance of autonomy c o n f e r r e d by the adoption patent was more or l e s s o b l i t e r a t -ed by a r e q u i r e d acknowledgement of f e a l t y from the Bastar r u l e r : I am a c h i e f t a i n under the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n of the C h i e f Commissioner of the C e n t r a l P r o v i n c e s . I have now been re c o g n i s e d by the B r i t i s h Government as a Feudatory, s u b j e c t to the p o l i t i c a l c o n t r o l of the C h i e f Commissioner, or of such o f f i c e r as he may d i r e c t me to subordinate myself t o . . . . I w i l l take such order w i t h my s u b j e c t s that they s h a l l have no cause to complain a g a i n s t i n j u s t i c e s of mine.... When the C h i e f Commissioner or h i s O f f i c e r s h a l l g i ve me i n s t r u c t i o n s or advice, I w i l l obey such i n s t r u c t i o n s and accept such a d v i c e . And I w i l l conform, and cause my s u b j e c t s to conform, to such F o r e s t R e g u l a t i o n s as the C h i e f Commissioner may be pleased to p r e s c r i b e . I f , at any time, through the misconduct of myself or my successor, my State should f a l l i n t o great d i s o r d e r , or great oppres-s i o n should be p r a c t i s e d , then I or my successor s h a l l be l i a b l e to suspension or f o r f e i t u r e of my or h i s governing powers ( i b i d . : 70). In s i g n i n g t h i s d e c l a r a t i o n the Raja of Bastar, at t h i s time Bhairam Deo, was committing h i m s e l f to an involvement the l i k e l y consequences of which were a n t i c i p a t e d by the 105 B r i t i s h . I t was known by them that Bastar had proved unruly under the Marathas and was l i k e l y to continue to be t r o u b l e -some under i t s new masters. The B r i t i s h were thus p r e p a r i n g f o r the p o s s i b i l i t y of a d i r e c t take-over of Bastar S t a t e . They were a l s o p r e p a r i n g the way f o r the development of com-m e r c i a l i n t e r e s t s i n Bastar's f o r e s t r e s o u r c e s . The f i r s t t e s t of B a s t a r ' s f e a l t y came on the o c c a s i o n of the v i s i t of the P r i n c e of Wales to I n d i a i n 1876. As a r e c o g n i z e d feudatory of the B r i t i s h Empire, Raja Bhairam Deo was expected to meet the P r i n c e i n Bombay. Before he was to leave, the f o r c e of the i n s t i t u t i o n of d i v i n e k i n g -shi p i n t e r v e n e d i n Bhairam Deo's p l a n s . The i n t e r v e n t i o n came i n the form of about 10,000 Murias and Bhattras who l a i d seige to the palace f o r s e v e r a l weeks and r e f u s e d to allow t h e i r d i v i n e b e n e f a c t o r to leave the kingdom. Undoubt-e d l y f e a r i n g d i s r u p t i o n i n the c y c l e of p r o s p e r i t y and s t a b i l i t y guaranteed by the king's presence, the Gonds p r o t e s t e d v i g o r o u s l y a g a i n s t h i s departure and a l s o a g a i n s t t h e i r being l e f t i n the hands of some of h i s m i n i s t e r s who had a c q u i r e d a fearsome r e p u t a t i o n f o r t r i b a l o p p r e s s i o n . The attendants of one of these m i n i s t e r s o v e r r e a c t e d to the p r o t e s t s and shot and k i l l e d some of the Murias. E v e n t u a l l y a l a r g e detachment of troops a r r i v e d to q u e l l the presumed i n s u r r e c t i o n and was f o l l o w e d by the P o l i t i c a l Agent f o r B a s t a r . Upon r e l a t i n g to him t h e i r g r i e v a n c e s , the t r i b a l s r e c e i v e d s a t i s f a c t i o n to the extent that the accused 106 m i n i s t e r s were banished and order was r e s t o r e d w i t h i n a few days (Pandey 1967: 21 ). However, the B r i t i s h i n f l u e n c e on Bastar and t h e i r i n t e r e s t i n the development of Bastar's f o r e s t wealth d i d not abate. C o n t i n u i n g t r o u b l e w i t h i n the kingdom and the d e c l i n i n g e f f e c t i v e n e s s of Bhairam Deo's r u l e l e d to the v i r t u a l s u p e r s e s s i o n of the o l d k i n g by 1886, and upon h i s death i n 1891 the B r i t i s h assumed f u l l management of Bastar (Grigson 1938: 14). Grigson, w i t h h i s c l o s e p e r s p e c t i v e on the a d m i n i s t r a t i v e h i s t o r y of the S t a t e , d e s c r i b e s t h i s p e r i o d as one of e s c a l a t o r y t u r m o i l , economic oppression and d i s r u p t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s : From 1886 to 1891 and f o r the f i r s t few years of the long (1891 -1 908) m i n o r i t y of Raja Rudra Pratap Deo, a s e r i e s of subordinate o f f i c i a l s were l e n t as Diwans to the S t a t e , and a f u r t h e r e v i l arose i n the growing a r r a y of minor S t a t e o f f i c i a l s abusing the a n c i e n t custom of b i s a h a , or the payment by v i l l a g e r s of a t w e n t i e t h of t h e i r crops f o r the f e e d i n g of the Raja's servants, by i n t e r p r e t i n g i t as a r i g h t to commandeer any a b o r i g i n a l ' s produce at an a r b i t r a r i l y f i x e d and o f t e n nominal p r i c e , and g e n e r a l l y f o r g e t t i n g to pay even t h a t . The new-l y - c l e a r e d roads seemed to run through w i l d e r n e s s , f o r on v i l l a g e r s of roadside v i l l a g e s the burden of begar, or f o r c e d labour, and b i s a h a f e l l w ith e s p e c i a l s e v e r i t y . Being 184 m i l e s from Raipur, the headquarters of the Commissioner and the P o l i t i c a l Agent, Bastar was seldom v i s i t e d , and the people were f a r too much at the mercy of the incompetence or knavery of the l o c a l o f f i c i a l s . The l a t t e r mean-while were c a r r y i n g on the p r e s c r i b e d p o l i c y of opening communications, i n t r o d u c i n g the c r i m i n a l 107 p o l i c e and j u d i c i a l system of B r i t i s h I n d i a , and e x p l o i t i n g the f o r e s t s (again by f o r c e d l a b o u r ) " ( i b i d . : 14-15). Along w i t h the new o f f i c i a l d o m , the lower ranks of which "regarded s e r v i c e i n a n a t i v e s t a t e o n l y as a means to the r a p i d a c q u i s i t i o n of wealth" ( i b i d . : 15), there came the new immigrants. These were Hindu and Muslim a g r i c u l t u r a l i s t s who were encouraged to s e t t l e i n Bastar and to expand permanent c u l t i v a t i o n . E a s i l y t a k i n g advantage of t h e i r o p p o r t u n i t i e s , the f i r s t wave of these immigrants soon found themselves as nominal l a n d l o r d s or l e s s e e s over long e s t a b l i s h e d t r i b a l v i l l a g e s , and over the heads of t r a d i t i o n a l headmen. So e s t a b l i s h e d , the l e s s e e s at once proceeded as f a s t as p o s s i b l e to get the best land i n t o t h e i r own hands...to ignore the use and wont of v i l l a g e l i f e , e s p e c i a l l y the s a r i - b o r i or co - o p e r a t i o n i n s u p p l i e s and labour f o r v i l l a g e bread-winning and v i l l a g e f e s t i v a l s , to int r o d u c e Hindu and Mussalman s e t t l e r s , and to turn the n a t i v e s of Bastar i n t o bondservants l i t t l e b e t t e r than s l a v e s by advancing them money, on terms which made repayment p r a c t i -c a l l y i m p o s s i b l e , i n r e t u r n f o r t h e i r labour or that of t h e i r sons ( i b i d . ) . Although there was a short p e r i o d of a m e l i o r a t i o n of these c o n d i t i o n s near the turn of the century, by the end of the f i r s t decade many of these same abuses of 'modernization' regained currency. Furthermore, the renewed t r i b a l d i s c o n -tent which r e s u l t e d was heightened to the p o i n t of outrage by the machinations of the former Diwan and cou s i n of Raja 108 Bhairam Deo, L a i Kalendra Singh, whose aim i t was to usurp the s u c c e s s i o n to the throne from h i s nephew, the young Raja Rudra Pratap Deo. The 1910 R e b e l l i o n , as i t i s c a l l e d i n Bastar h i s t o r y , broke out w i t h a vehemence that underscored t r i b a l h o s t i l i t y to immigrant e x p l o i t e r s and the demand to keep Bastar f o r Bastar f o r e s t d w e l l e r s (Standen 1910: 7 ) . Thus, the most p r o v o c a t i v e a c t i o n which caused t h i s r e b e l l i o n to occur was the r e s e r v a t i o n of l a r g e areas of S t a t e f o r e s t i n which every t r i b a l v i l l a g e was summarily and without warning destroyed. The t r i b a l attachment to the f o r e s t , whatever i t s symbolic ambivalence, was one of fundamental importance and the e x c l u s i o n of i t s use threatened the very s u r v i v a l of l a r g e numbers of Gonds. The r e b e l l i o n began with arson, robbery and v i o l e n c e to f o r e i g n immigrants, and as the B r i t i s h i n v e s t i g a t i n g o f f i c e r remarked, " i t was a r e g u l a r r e v o l t a g a i n s t c i v i l i z a t i o n , a g a i n s t f o r e s t conservancy, (and) a g a i n s t the opening up of the country by Hindu s e t t l e r s " ( i b i d . ) . However, t h i s m i s s t a t e s the case, f o r i t was not a g a i n s t c i v i l i z a t i o n or f o r e s t conservancy as such that the r e b e l l i o n was d i r e c t e d , but a g a i n s t how these new goals were implemented. The l i s t of grievances which the t r i b a l s l a t e r put forward i n c l u d e d "high handed treatment and u n j u s t e x a c t i o n s on the p a r t of F o r e s t O f f i c i a l s , maltreatment of p u p i l s and parents by schoolmasters i n order to e x t o r t money, f o r c i b l e c o l l e c t i o n by schoolmasters 109 of money to purchase s u p p l i e s f o r the T a h s i l d a r and Ins p e c t o r , purchase by schoolmasters of s u p p l i e s at one f o u r t h of the market p r i c e , s i m i l a r acts by the State P o l i c e , w i t h the a d d i t i o n t h at they exact begar ( f o r c e d labour) and beat v i l l a g e servants to compel the cheap supply of g r a i n . . . " and the l i s t goes on, the judgement being reached that the t r u t h of these grievances was l a r g e l y i n c o n t e s t a b l e ( i b i d . : 18). The r e b e l l i o n was i n short order and e f f i c i e n t l y put down, i t s l e a d e r s punished f o r the v i o l e n c e of t h e i r methods, the scheming Diwan deposed and an Englishman appointed i n h i s p l a c e . While not f o r m a l l y deposed, Raja Rudra Pratap Deo henceforward was o b l i g e d to maintain a very p a s s i v e r o l e i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of h i s kingdom. A f t e r h i s e a r l y death i n 1921, the B r i t i s h again took over d i r e c t management of the St a t e d u r i n g the m i n o r i t y of the h e i r , the Maharani P r a f u k l l a Kumari D e v i . 4 The Maharani acceded to the throne i n 1924 but subsequent i l l n e s s f o r c e d a r e t u r n to B r i t i s h management. The Maharani's son, the l a t e Maharaja P r a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo, was to become the l a s t of the Kak a t i y a kings of Bastar, the l a s t true r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of the o l d order and yet, i r o n i c a l l y , the man i n whose name the new age was to be h e r a l d e d . 110 Footnotes to chapter 5 1 The Gond 'habits of war' are placed i n t h e i r c o r r e c t context i n the f o l l o w i n g s e l e c t i o n from an 1812 Report on East I n d i a a f f a i r s , r e f e r r i n g , among others to the t r i b a l s o f Basta r : "The people i n g e n e r a l although rude and barbarous, may yet be denominated w a r l i k e , as they have always d i s t i n g u i s h e d themselves as bold and p e r s e v e r i n g champions of the great law of nature. Being d r i v e n to t h e i r w i l d unwholesome f a s t n e s s e s among the mountains, they f r e q u e n t l y descend i n har v e s t time i n t o the lowlands, to di s p u t e the produce of t h e i r a n c i e n t r i g h t f u l i n h e r i t a n c e with the present possessors, but t h e i r i n c u r s i o n s are d e s u l t o r y and simply impelled by the p r e s s i n g want of s u b s i s t e n c e " (quoted i n Grigson 1938: 10). I t i s a l s o true that throughout Bastar h i s t o r y , r i g h t up to the events of 1965 d e a l t with i n the next chapter, i t was the 'want of s u b s i s t e n c e ' , or the f e a r of s t a r v a t i o n to put i t l e s s e u p h a m i s t i c a l l y , that was fundamental i n any w a r l i k e o u t b u r s t s by the Gonds. 2 Such rumours d i e hard, and have even been u n c r i t i c a l l y p i c k e d up by the prominent, present-day mythographer, Joseph Campbell, who s t a t e s that i n "the year 1830, a p e t t y monarch of Bastar, d e s i r i n g her grace, o f f e r e d on one o c c a s i o n t w e n t y - f i v e men at her a l t a r i n Dantesh-v a r i ( s i c ) . . . " (1962: 5 ) . Campbell's source i s l i s t e d as the 1928 e d i t i o n of the Enc y c l o p a e d i a of R e l i g i o n  and E t h i c s , i n which the en t r y on Indian human s a c r i -f i c e merely r e p r e s e n t s another p r o l i f e r a t i o n of Bastar's n o t o r i o u s , hearsay r e p u t a t i o n . 3 Along w i t h some of the e a r l i e r Marathas, Temple a l s o r e c o g n i z e d that the f i r s t c i v i l i z i n g i n f l u e n c e s to enter Bastar State were the Banjaras, a nomadic group of herders and t r a d e r s o r i g i n a t i n g i n Raj asthan i n Western I n d i a . S t i l l p resent i n smal l enclaves i n Bas t a r , the Banjaras had introduced to the Gonds the d e s i r a b i l i t y of s a l t and sugar f o r which they encour-aged "them to be more i n d u s t r i o u s i n c o l l e c t i n g the produce of t h e i r j u n g l e s , such as l a c , i r o n ore, and othe r a r t i c l e s f o r b a r t e r . . . " (Grigson 1938: 11). The B r i t i s h had much r e s p e c t f o r these i n t r e p i d Banjaras, although i t was not without ambivalence: "As t r a d e r s and c a r r i e r s , these Bunjarahs ramify a l l over the country, and form a f r e e masonry among themselves; they t r a v e l from Bombay to Mirzapore, from Bundlecund to Masulipatam;...(with) v a s t herds of b u l l o c k s ( t h e y ) . . . have to meet d i f f e r e n t dangers i n the damp and dark f o r e s t , the p u t r e f y i n g v e g e t a t i o n , the malarious e x h a l a t i o n , the p e s t i l e n t i a l swamp...The c h a r a c t e r of these men i s i n some r e s p e c t s f a i r ; but they are o f t e n 111 Footnotes (con't.) d a r i n g and t u r b u l e n t and sometimes suspected of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n r o b b e r i e s " (Temple 1923: 11). I t h i n k i t i s not unreasonable to suggest that the Banjaras brought the p r e c u r s o r s to the modern Bastar market, where they can s t i l l be found s e l l i n g ceremonial c l o t h i n g and cowrie-studded a r t i f c a t s to the Gonds, e s p e c i a l l y i n Muria areas. 4 As Grigson notes, the " h e r e d i t a r y t i t l e o f the R u l i n g C h i e f of Bastar was r a i s e d from Raja to Maharaja i n •' 1 932" (1 938: 1 7 ) . T h i s i n d i c a t e s the r o l e played by the B r i t i s h i n e l e v a t i n g the s t a t u s of Bastar State i n r e l a t i o n to many of the other, l e s s important P r i n c e l y S t a t e s of I n d i a . 112 Chapter 6: The l a s t k i n g o f Bastar and the advent of the millennium So i t seems that, when we s t a r t from the s a c r a l of k i n g s h i p , the d i f f e r e n t p i e c e s may f a l l i n t o a c o n s i s t e n t p a t t e r n (Heesterman 1977: 3 ) . "So, given P r a v i r ' s b e l i e f i n h i s own s u p e r n a t u r a l p r o t e c t i o n . . . " "Not s u p e r n a t u r a l , n a t u r a l . " "Why n a t u r a l ? " "Because, he understood one t h i n g , that he's the n a t u r a l l e ader of t h i s d i s t r i c t . . . " "But t h i s i s then a d i f f e r e n t q u e s t i o n . I asked you i f P r a v i r b e l i e v e d i n h i s s u p e r n a t u r a l powers, that means s u p e r n a t u r a l p r o t e c t i o n , so h i s p u t t i n g h i m s e l f i n a p o s i t i o n of danger, based on h i s . . . " "No, no, he, no, he d i d not put h i m s e l f i n a p o s i t i o n of danger, wi t h your meaning, wi t h a d e s i g n . Because you know, f i r i n g took plac e when there was l u l l , then he came out and then i n order to appease the government o f f i c i a l s he s a i d i f you want to a r r e s t these people, then take them, why do you r e s o r t to f i r i n g and t r y to harass these people? They are here, you take them to j a i l . " "OK. So why d i d they shoot him?" "Huh?" "Why d i d they then shoot him?" 1 In t h i s chapter I w i l l present a b i o g r a p h i c a l account of the l a s t k i n g of Bastar S t a t e , a k i n g who c a l l e d h i m s e l f the t r i b a l , or " a d i v a s i god". The n a r r a t i o n w i l l touch upon p s y c h o l o g i c a l judgements, not i n any a n a l y t i c a l sense, but as p a r t of the d e s c r i p t i o n of the co n t r o v e r s y that surrounded h i s a c t i o n s . The a n a l y t i c a l emphasis w i l l i n s t e a d be on the c o n t r o v e r s y i t s e l f . What the ki n g , P r a v i r Chandra 113 Bhanj Deo, a c t u a l l y d i d — f r e q u e n t l y at best a matter of s p e c u l a t i o n -- i s r e l a t i v e l y l e s s important than what he s a i d he was doing; and, o f t e n i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n , how those to whom h i s a c t i o n s were s i g n i f i c a n t i n t e r p r e t e d what he s a i d he was doing. These a s s e r t i o n s and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , which mark the v a r i o u s i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n s around the person of the k i n g , take shape as a process which has been c a l l e d the "management of meaning" (Cohen and Comaroff 1976). As much as i t i s c e n t r a l to an understanding of P r a v i r ' s biography, the management of meanings i s c e n t r a l to the comprehension of Bastar S t a t e (now D i s t r i c t ) as a whole. Such an approach, both as method of a n a l y s i s and as d e s c r i p t i v e o r i e n t a t i o n , i s very u s e f u l i n my theme that Bastar i s an e n t i r e t y -- a complex s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s f a c t at best d e s u l t o r i l y acknowledged i n the not i n c o n s i d e r a b l e a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l l i t e r a t u r e on the area -- and that i t s p i v o t a l p o i n t was, and i n a m i l l e n a r i a n sense continues to be, i t s k i n g s h i p . As was presented i n chapter three, one very s a l i e n t aspect of that k i n g s h i p was i t s d i v i n i t y . In order to grasp that s a l i e n c y i n modern time i t w i l l be necessary to come to g r i p s w i t h the b i o g r a p h i c a l context of P r a v i r ' s m o r t a l i t y . Almost p a r a d o x i c a l l y , the importance of d i v i n i t y i n the l i f e of P r a v i r was never as great as subsequent to h i s death. I t was h i s d i v i n i t y which, i n a symbolic and t r a n s f o r m a t i v e sense, l e d to h i s r e b i r t h . 114 T h e s u b s t a n c e o f t h i s c h a p t e r w i l l b e f o r m e d b y t h e c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a n a r r a t i v e f r o m t h e m a i n v o i c e s t h a t w e r e a v a i l a b l e t o me i n my r e s e a r c h . O f r e l e v a n c e t o t h e s t r u c t u r e a n d m e a n i n g o f t h e n a r r a t i v e , t h e p i c t u r e t h a t w i l l e m e r g e i s p i e c e d t o g e t h e r f r o m b o t h v e r y d i s p a r a t e a n d f o r t h e m o s t p a r t a n t a g o n i s t i c s o u r c e s . M u c h o f t h e ' f a c t u a l ' , t h a t i s t o s a y d o c u m e n t a r y , d a t a c o m e f r o m a j u d i c i a l i n q u i r y i n t o P r a v i r ' s d e a t h c o n d u c t e d b y a J u s t i c e o f t h e M a d h y a P r a d e s h G o v e r n m e n t . I t s i m p a r t i a l i t y c o n s i s t s p r i m a r i l y i n f i n d i n g f a u l t w i t h b o t h s i d e s o f a s t r u g g l e , w h i c h , e s s e n t i a l l y , w a s b e t w e e n t h e k i n g a n d a l a r g e f o l l o w i n g o f B a s t a r G o n d s o n o n e s i d e , a n d a r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l n u m b e r o f p o w e r f u l p o l i t i c i a n s a n d l o c a l l y p r o m i n e n t , h i g h r a n k i n g a d m i n i s t r a t o r s o n t h e o t h e r . D e s p i t e i t s b a l a n c i n g o f b l a m e h o w e v e r , t h e r e i s i n J u s t i c e P a n d e y ' s . r e p o r t a n i m p l i c i t y e t p e r v a s i v e c o n d e m n a t i o n o f P r a v i r . H i s s e l e c t i o n s o f e v e n t s a n d a c t i o n s f r o m t h e M a h a r a j a ' s l i f e a n d h i s e v a l u a t i o n s o f t h e m a r e c o n s i s t e n t l y a n d e x c l u s i v e l y c a s t i n n e g a t i v e l a n g u a g e . I t s u g g e s t s a p o r t r a i t o f P r a v i r a s a n u n f o r t u n a t e e c c e n t r i c , r e c k l e s s l y a n d d a n g e r o u s l y f o r c i n g t h e h a n d o f f a t e . > O f t e n b i t t e r a n d a b u s i v e i n i t s o w n b i a s , t h e o t h e r m a j o r s o u r c e f r o m w h i c h I d r a w m a t e r i a l i s t h e a c c o u n t w h i c h P r a v i r h i m s e l f g a v e o f t h e s e s a m e e v e n t s . A l t h o u g h t i t l e d _I P r a v i r T h e A d i v a s i G o d , i t i s n o t s o m u c h a n a u t o b i o g r a p h y a s a h i g h l y p o l e m i c a l a n d a n g r y t e x t n a r r o w l y b e n t o n s e l f -115 v i n d i c a t i o n . R e g u l a r l y e r u p t i n g i n t o v i t u p e r a t i v e d e n u n c i a t i o n , i t s v i l i f i c a t i o n o f t h e g o v e r n m e n t , t h e C o n g r e s s p o l i t i c a l p a r t y , o f f i c i a l s a n d a d m i n i s t r a t o r s i s c o n t r a s t e d w i t h t h e b e n e v o l e n t p o l i t e s s o f f o r m e r B r i t i s h s u z e r a i n t y a n d t h e n a t u r a l s u p e r i o r i t y o f m o n a r c h y i n a t r a d i t i o n a l s t a t e . I n t e r s p e r s e d a r e c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n s o f t h e h a p l e s s a b o r i g i n a l e x p l o i t e d a t e v e r y t u r n b y s c r o f u l o u s n o n - t r i b a l s i n c o l l u s i o n w i t h c o r r u p t o f f i c i a l s a n d p o l i t i c i a n s . W h i l e my d e s c r i p t i o n h e r e b o r d e r s o n c a r i c a t u r e , i t i s e x a c t l y t h i s k i n d o f e x p r e s s i o n w h i c h c o l o u r s t h e c o n t e n t i o u s d i a l o g u e w h i c h c o n s t i t u t e s t h e s e t w o s o u r c e s . T h e m o d i f i c a t i o n a n d m i n o r l i n k a g e s w h i c h I w i l l i n t r o d u c e i n o r d e r t o t r a n s f o r m t h i s d i a l o g u e i n t o a n a r r a t i v e a r e b a s e d o n my o w n f i e l d w o r k d a t a . H a v i n g i n t e r v i e w e d s o m e o f t h e s e c o n d a r y y e t n e v e r t h e l e s s i n f l u e n t i a l f i g u r e s i n t h e s e e v e n t s e n a b l e s me t o m a k e s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h t e m p e r t h e p o l a r i z a t i o n e v i d e n t i n t h e m a i n t e x t s . T h e v e r b a l t e x t s , s o t o s p e a k , a r e t w o s t e p s r e m o v e d f r o m t h e a c t u a l e v e n t s : t h e y a r e r e f l e c t i o n s o n t h e i r o r i g i n a l t e s t i m o n i e s - - c i t e d i n s o m e c a s e s i n P a n d e y - - a s w e l l a s s e c o n d a r y r e f l e c t i o n s o n t h e a c t i o n s w h i c h g a v e r i s e t o t h o s e t e s t i m o n i e s . I n t h e e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e s e t e x t s b o t h u n c e r t a i n t i e s a n d , i n c o m p a r i s o n w i t h e a r l i e r v e r s i o n s , a l t e r a t i o n s a r e d e t e c t a b l e . S u c h f l u c t u a t i o n s o f m e m o r y a n d a t t i t u d e p r o d u c e i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s a n d e m e n d a t i o n s f a m i l i a r t o 116 any ethnographer. In the present case, i n which ethnography and h i s t o r y m e t h o d o l o g i c a l l y o v e r l a p , and i n which a l l the data are by no means a v a i l a b l e -- again, an aspect of the inescapable a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l d e f i c i t -- i t i s not p o s s i b l e to come to any absolute c o n c l u s i o n s . T h i s i s not, of course, intended to undermine the v a l i d i t y of my own a n a l y s i s , but r a t h e r to i n d i c a t e some of i t s l i m i t s . More wit h regard to h i s t o r y , or more p a r t i c u l a r l y e t h n o h i s t o r y , one of these l i m i t s i s i t s " i n h e r e n t d e b a t a b i l i t y " , a c o n d i t i o n a p p l i c a b l e to any account of the past (Appadurai 1981.: 201 ) . The Bastar monarchy passed to P r a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo i n J u l y 1947, w i t h i n a few weeks of h i s having reached the age of e i g h t e e n . He was born f a r from h i s h e r i t a g e , i n Moss Bank, D a r j e e l i n g on June 13, 1929. His mother had married P r a f u l l a Chandra Bhanj Deo, a p r i n c e of the r u l i n g f a m i l y of Mayurbhanj S t a t e i n O r i s s a , then a congeries of small kingdoms s i m i l a r i n some ways to B a s t a r . His f a t h e r , known as a p r a c t i t i o n e r of s i d d h i ( s u p e r n a t u r a l power) o r i e n t e d T a n t r i c Hinduism, the i n f l u e n c e of which was passed on to P r a v i r , was nonetheless not allowed to p a r t i c i p a t e d i r e c t l y i n the u p b r i n g i n g of h i s son. T h i s was due to the t a c i t s u s p i c i o n t hat he had designs on the throne of B a s t a r . 2 The o f f i c i a l reason, somewhat of a non s e q u i t o r , was that s i n c e P r a v i r was to be t r a i n e d as a r u l e r h i s f a t h e r ' s guardian-shi p was c o n s i d e r e d to be i n a p p r o p r i a t e . 117 The Maharani died i n London i n 1936, l e a v i n g P r a v i r (a few years o l d e r than h i s b r o t h e r , V i j a y Chandra) to a s u c c e s s i o n as a minor. A r e t i r e d Indian army o f f i c e r along with h i s wife were appointed as j o i n t t u t o r s and worked i n that c a p a c i t y u n t i l June 1945. T h i s p e r i o d of h i s youth saw P r a v i r s h i f t i n g from one e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n to another without a c h i e v i n g any f i n a l academic q u a l i f i c a t i o n . His main accomplishment was c o n s i d e r e d to be h i s a b i l i t y to speak f l u e n t and g r a c i o u s E n g l i s h , the foundations f o r which were a t t r i b u t e d to a f o u r year stay with h i s a i l i n g mother i n England from 1933 to 1936. A second p a i r of t u t o r - g u a r d i a n s , Mr. and Mrs. P.C. Mathews, took over i n l o c o p a r e n t i s to the teenaged Maharaja i n 1946. At t h i s p o i n t P r a v i r ' s l i f e began to accrue a r a t h e r scandalous r e p u t a t i o n , the i n i t i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r which seems to l i e i n the Mathew's ' t u t e l a g e ' . There are h i n t s that Mrs. Mathews seduced the young P r a v i r , that her husband's unscrupulous f i n a n c i a l manipulations were f u l l y s e l f - s e r v i n g , and that d e s p i t e attempts to have them removed, t h e i r j o i n t e f f o r t s encouraged P r a v i r to take to "a l i f e of debauchery and d i s s i p a t i o n " (Pandey 1967: 24). A c c u s i n g him of d e p r a v i t y , i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and " i n o r d i n a t e moodiness", h i s f a t h e r i n October of 1952 i s quoted as having w r i t t e n to the Prime M i n i s t e r r e q u e s t i n g him to advise the P r e s i d e n t to withdraw r e c o g n i t i o n of h i s e l d e s t son and to confer the throne on h i s younger b r o t h e r : " A l l 118 e f f o r t s to b r i n g my e l d e s t son back to reason and normal ways of l i f e have been exhausted and I, as h i s f a t h e r , have been most assiduous i n my e f f o r t s i n t h i s d i r e c t i o n " (Statesman February 13, 1961). Undaunted by these events, P r a v i r continued to b u i l d a r e p u t a t i o n f o r p r o d i g a l i t y t h at became almost legendary. An o f t - r e p e a t e d s t o r y has i t that on h i s v i s i t s to Raipur, a c i t y about 180 mi l e s n o r t h of Jagdalpur, where he u s u a l l y stayed at a p a r t i c u l a r h o t e l , he would r a i n from the f i r s t f l o o r one hundred rupee notes down onto the expectant and e x c i t e d throngs of people gathered below. T h i s was made much of i n subsequent events and tended to be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h assessments of h i s c h a r a c t e r as i n c o n s i s t e n t , whimsical and u n p r e d i c t a b l e . Taken together such e v a l u a t i o n s , congealed i n t o a ready-made psychopathol-ogy by repeated press coverage, were l a b e l l e d megalomania. Speaking of l a t e r events, one of my informants recounted to me a plan, p a r t i a l l y c a r r i e d out, i n which a medical doctor was persuaded to prepare a p s y c h i a t r i c judgement to that e f f e c t and an i n s t i t u t i o n was set ready f o r P r a v i r ' s commit-ment. I t would be a p p r o p r i a t e to i n f e r from t h i s anecdote that many of the a c c u s a t i o n s and assessments of P r a v i r bore something of the nature of p e r s e c u t i o n , the t r u t h of which i s probably not as f a r - f e t c h e d as most of h i s opponents were prone to c l a i m . At any r a t e , i n the event i t was not an insane asylum, r a t h e r a p r i s o n near the s t a t e c a p i t a l to which he was, a l b e i t t e m p o r a r i l y , committed. 119 In the wider context of Indian p o l i t i c a l developments at the time of h i s s u c c e s s i o n -- the coming of independence and the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of the P r i n c e l y S t a t e s i n t o the Indian Union -- P r a v i r was caught i n the r o l e of naive pawn. S h o r t l y before the t r a n s f e r of power from the B r i t i s h , rumours f l o u r i s h e d that B a s t a r 1 s r i c h m i n e r a l resources were to be leased to i t s l a r g e and r i c h , southern neighbour, Hyderabad S t a t e . The E n g l i s h Resident of Hyderabad had ( i n 1946) suggested to the P o l i t i c a l Department that Bastar should form a p o l i t i c a l u n i t with Hyderabad. T h i s prospect was not r e c e i v e d by the government wi t h a great d e a l of f a v o u r . A s e n i o r B r i t i s h P o l i t i c a l O f f i c e r wrote the Govern-ment of I n d i a : From the Hyderabad border to B a i l a d i l a i r o n ore areas, i t i s h a r d l y 100 m i l e s w i t h a good f a i r weather road. The country i s s p a r s e l y populated and the l o c a l Marias can e a s i l y be tempted by p l e n t y of d r i n k and tobacco. Hyderabad's n e g o t i a t i o n s with the Indian Dominion seem to have come to a deadlock and i n the d i f f i c u l t times ahead, i t i s not i n c o n c e i v a b l e t hat Hyderabad may do some propaganda and encourage i n f i l t r a t i o n with a view u l t i m a t e l y to carve a s l i c e out of Bastar i f the d i f f i c u l t i e s and preoccupations of the Government of I n d i a serve them as an o p p o r t u n i t y . . . . I submit we cannot a f f o r d to remain complacent, and should h e n c e f o r t h regard Hyderabad as a p o t e n t i a l danger, p a r t i c u l a r -l y i n a t e r r a i n s p a r s e l y but predominantly i n h a b i t -ed by p l a s t i c a b o r i g i n a l s ( s i c ) and administered by r u l e r and t h e i r o f f i c e r s whose l o y a l t y to the Indian Government i s y e t to be t e s t e d (quoted i n Menon 1956: 156). 120 Soon a f t e r h i s i n v e s t i t u r e , P r a v i r was i n v i t e d to D e l h i to have impressed upon him that any such p o s s i b l e s h i f t i n g of h i s l o y a l t y from the Indian Government to Hyderabad would be s e v e r e l y d e a l t w i t h . The S e c r e t a r y f o r the State s Depart-ment, V.P. Menon, "was s u r p r i s e d that f u l l r u l i n g powers should have been c o n f e r r e d on so young a boy: ( i b i d . ) . C e r t a i n l y out of h i s depth, P r a v i r had l i t t l e choice but to ignore Hyderabad, j u s t as seven months l a t e r he could not avoid s i g n i n g the merger agreement which ceded to the Government of I n d i a f u l l and e x c l u s i v e j u r i s d i c t i o n over what became the D i s t r i c t of Bastar i n the State of Madhya Pradesh. However, i t soon became apparent that P r a v i r was not at a l l r e c o n c i l e d to the l o s s of h i s b r i e f l y - h e l d autonomy. On the one hand considered to be d i s p l a y i n g , l a t e r to be condemned f o r , many of the t r a i t s which made up the c y n i c a l stereotype of the s y b a r i t i c , s e l f - i n d u l g e n t s t y l e of Indian r o y a l t y , and on the other p o l i t i c a l l y manipulated and i n quick order d i s e n f r a n c h i s e d as a r e s u l t o f Indian Independ-ence, P r a v i r r e f u s e d to be r e l e g a t e d to h i s t o r y . Instead, he began to use i t . Foreshadowing what was to become a standard technique of i n d i r e c t i o n , P r a v i r i n 1951 wrote to the government to complain that f a l s e rumours were c i r c u l a t i n g that he was "anxious to covet the throne once more" and that these might lead to an u p r i s i n g of the reg i o n ' s t r i b a l s s i m i l a r to the one that had occurred i n 1910 (Pandey 1967: 25). That t h i s 121 u p r i s i n g , the 1910 R e b e l l i o n d i s c u s s e d i n the l a s t chapter, was brought about i n circumstances q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from those P r a v i r now a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i t , was of l i t t l e importance i n c o n t r a s t to the c h a l l e n g e that i t s proclaimed p o t e n t i a l f o r recurrence i m p l i e d . The Maharaja's f i r s t responses had been subdued and seemingly r e s i g n e d . The t h r e a t of economic blockade had been s u f f i c i e n t to ensure h i s acquiescence i n the l o s s of h i s kingdom. However, h i s subsequent u n s u c c e s s f u l attempts to engage i n business ventures, o c c a s i o n i n g s u b s t a n t i a l monetary l o s s e s , l i k e l y served to remind him of, and i n c r e a s e the resentment he f e l t over, the emptiness of h i s k i n g s h i p . His s u p e r f i c i a l l y s u l l e n r e f u s a l i n 1953 to r e c e i v e the P r e s i d e n t of I n d i a who was then on an o f f i c i a l v i s i t to Bastar i s somewhat i n d i c a t i v e : "I was not a f u l l - f l e d g e d R uler and was not o f f i c i a l l y bound to meet the P r e s i d e n t " (Pandey 1967: 25). His reasoning, of course, was f a u l t y -- there were no more " f u l l - f l e d g e d R u l e r s " i n I n d i a . N e v e r t h e l e s s , h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the P r e s i d e n t ' s v i s i t -- that "the Government wanted to make my brother Shree V i j a y Chandra Bhanj Deo an instrument f o r t h e i r own ends" (Bhanj Deo 1965: 52) -- was c l e a r l y more to the p o i n t , e s p e c i a l l y i n view of h i s f a t h e r ' s aforementioned l e t t e r to the Prime M i n i s t e r . In any case, by t h i s r e f u s a l he was considered to have thrown down the g a u n t l e t . 122 R e t a l i a t i o n came s w i f t l y . Presumably o r i g i n a t i n g with the Prime M i n i s t e r , Nehru, who had communicated to the Madhya Pradesh C h i e f M i n i s t e r , Ravi Shankar Shukla, that he was enraged w i t h P r a v i r ' s conduct, an o f f i c i a l i n q u i r y was launched i n t o the Maharaja's behaviour. I t found that " i ) he was squandering away h i s money l i k e an insane person; i i ) he had been i n d u l g i n g i n abnormal a c t i v i t i e s ; i i i ) h i s ways of l i v i n g were abnormal and he was w i l d , i r r e l e v a n t and incoherent i n h i s t a l k ; and i v ) he had been s u f f e r i n g from h a l l u c i n a t i o n s i n the nature of megalomania" (Pandey 1967: 25). These ' f i n d i n g s ' were deemed s u f f i c i e n t to j u s t i f y an order under s e c t i o n 5 of the C e n t r a l Provinces Court of Wards Act, 1899, passed on June 20, 1953, d e c l a r i n g P r a v i r a person incapable of managing h i s own e s t a t e because of mental i n f i r m i t y and that h e n c e f o r t h h i s e s t a t e was to be under the superintendence of the Court of Wards. Shocked i n t o s i l e n c e at f i r s t , P r a v i r l a t e r responded that "the people of Bastar took resentment a g a i n s t the Government o r d e r . . . " (Bhanj Deo 1965: 52), and thus r e v e a l e d h i s assumption that he was not without a f o l l o w i n g . His next step, which was to enter the p o l i t i c a l arena proper, showed that t h i s assumption was well-founded. As was h i s u s u a l s t y l e from behind the scenes, P r a v i r d i r e c t e d the formation of an o r g a n i z a t i o n c a l l e d the A d i w i s i  K i s a n Mazdoor Sewa Sangh, or roughly, the A b o r i g i n a l Peasant Labour S e r v i c e S o c i e t y . I t s main f u n c t i o n was to conduct 123 mass r a l l i e s i n order to demand the r e l e a s e of P r a v i r ' s p r o p e r t y from the Court of Wards. The Madhya Pradesh Government moved a g a i n s t these p r o t e s t demonstrations by d e c l a r i n g them i n i m i c a l to law and o r d e r . Keeping h i m s e l f to the background and working through key t r i b a l supporters, P r a v i r ignored these warnings from the government to c a l l a h a l t to the o r g a n i z a t i o n ' s a c t i v i t i e s . E v e n t u a l l y , one B h i r a Manjhi, a t r i b a l l e a d e r , was a r r e s t e d i n 1956 under the P r e v e n t i v e Detention A c t . T h i s served to b r i n g the o r g a n i z a t i o n to h e e l , but at the same time i m p l i c i t l y r e cognized P r a v i r ' s p o l i t i c a l c l o u t , which became e x p l i c i t s h o r t l y t h e r e a f t e r when the Congress Party, the only other f o r c e of s i g n i f i c a n c e i n Bastar p o l i t i c s , i n v i t e d P r a v i r to j o i n t h e i r ranks. With some contempt, P r a v i r r e c o l l e c t e d : " A b o r i g i n a l combination and team work were ex a s p e r a t i n g to the Government... they now wanted to give me t h e i r p a r t y t i c k e t and a l l a l l e g a t i o n s that I was mad were r u l e d out completely by them- a f t e r coming to t h i s d e c i s i o n " (Bhanj Deo 1965: 58-9). Despite h i s contempt, he decided to j o i n h i s a c c u s e r s . In the g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s of 1957, P r a v i r , as P r e s i d e n t of the Bastar D i s t r i c t Congress Committee, and nine of h i s nominees were ret u r n e d to the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly of Madhya Pradesh. S c a r c e l y c o n c e a l i n g h i s exuberance, he i s s a i d to have boasted to the Bastar C o l l e c t o r about h i s great i n f l u e n c e over the t r i b a l s and a l s o about having a c q u i r e d 124 e x t r a o r d i n a r y a b i l i t i e s through h i s T a n t r i c p r a c t i c e s . In a l e t t e r to h i s immediate s u p e r i o r , the C o l l e c t o r d e s c r i b e d t h i s c o n v e r s a t i o n : A f t e r mentioning h i s s u p e r n a t u r a l powers, he switched over to...the tremendous i n f l u e n c e that he possesses w i t h the Ad i w a s i s . He s a i d the Government cannot take any a c t i o n a g a i n s t him because i f he was to be imprisoned, 40,000 Adiwasis would co u r t imprisonment and 900,000 Adiwasis would r i s e i n r e v o l t . He then s a i d he could get anything done by the Adiwasis, i n c l u d i n g the burning of the bunga-lows of s e n i o r Government O f f i c e r s at Jagdalpur, i f he so d e s i r e d . He added the 40,000 Adiwasis would go at t h e i r own expense to D e l h i and p r o t e s t before the Prime M i n i s t e r of I n d i a f o r g e t t i n g the pr o p e r t y of the Maharaja of Bastar r e l e a s e d from the Court of Wards. He even made bo l d to say that the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n the former Bastar State i s being run at h i s s u f f e r a n c e and that, i f he l i k e s , he can completely p a r a l y s e i t any day (Pandey 1967: 26) . The C o l l e c t o r a l s o mentioned that P r a v i r had s t a t e d that no harm could come to h i m s e l f from d i s r e g a r d i n g what he c o n s i d -ered an i l l e g a l order of the Court of Wards. I t i s i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d that P r a v i r had intended by h i s e l e c t i o n to the L e g i s l a t i v e Assembly to use that p o s i t i o n as a means to have h i s e s t a t e r e l e a s e d from the Court of Wards. The concerned a u t h o r i t i e s , although making many prom-i s e s to that e f f e c t , d i d not comply. Resigning i n p r o t e s t , P r a v i r went back to h i s t r i b a l supporters and reconvened the Adiwasi Kisan Mazdoor Sangh under a new name, the Adiwasi Seva Dal, the A b o r i g i n a l S e r v i c e S o c i e t y , thereby e l i m i n a t -i n g any n o n - t r i b a l connotations and r e p l a c i n g them with 125 a sense of d i v i s i v e c o n f r o n t a t i o n . The speeches and demonstrations made by t h i s group, ' c a l l e d by P r a v i r a "democratic i n s t i t u t i o n : whose "progress...was normal and q u i t e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l " (Bhanj Deo 1965: 63), were taken by the government as a f u r t h e r t h r e a t to the maintenance of c i v i l peace. In 1960, the C h i e f M i n i s t e r asked P r a v i r to leave the d i s t r i c t and take up re s i d e n c e elsewhere. His answer was t h r e a t e n i n g : " . . . i f Government are not c a r e f u l , there may be a r e b e l l i o n here. Information has reached me that your l i f e may be i n danger along with a l l o f f i c e r s i f f u r t h e r steps are taken to remove the Maharaja from B a s t a r . K i n d l y note that I am not j o k i n g ; the matter may become s e r i o u s " (Pandey 1967: 27). When the press noted the p o s s i -b i l i t y of h i s ' d e - r e c o g n i t i o n ' , (Statesman November 23, 1960), P r a v i r ' s t h r e a t s became even more v o c i f e r o u s . The frequency and s c a l e of these warnings, t h r e a t s and co u n t e r - t h r e a t s began at t h i s time to be markedly i n c r e a s e d , as was the prominence given i n the d a i l y press to what appeared to be a growing p o l i t i c a l c r i s i s . In f a c t hencefor-ward the press took on a very a t t e n t i v e a t t i t u d e to events i n Bastar, becoming, as i s o f t e n the case, both a conduit f o r communication between the two s i d e s and a c a t a l y s t f o r the a m p l i f i c a t i o n of the c o n f l i c t . The v o i c e of government, slower to respond that P r a v i r ' s , spoke with muted, y e t f o r c e f u l d i s p l e a s u r e i n i t s pronoucements. P r a v i r ' s s t y l e 126 i n c o n t r a s t , tended to be s a r c a s t i c , more than a l i t t l e outrageous and i n c l i n e d to i n t r o d u c i n g d i r e s c e n a r i o s . A more s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e i n the d i s p u t e i s that while the government addressed i t s e l f mainly to P r a v i r as an i n d i v i d u -a l , P r a v i r ' s counter statements almost i n v a r i a b l y i n c l u d e d r e f e r e n c e to h i s t r i b a l f o l l o w i n g . . He r e p e a t e d l y pointed out that an a t t a c k on h i m s e l f was an a t t a c k on the t r i b a l people of B a s t a r . The government t r i e d p u b l i c l y to d i s s o c i a t e P r a v i r from h i s supporters by making a c c u s a t i o n s i n the press that he was simply m a n i p u l a t i n g t r i b a l sentiments. To t h i s P r a v i r r e p l i e d : "They are j e a l o u s of me because of the t r a d i t i o n a l l o y a l t y of the people towards me" (Statesman December 8, 1960). He a l s o d i s c l o s e d that he had a plan to form a u n i t e d f e d e r a t i o n of t r i b a l s of the whole country to press c o n s t i t u t i o n a l l y f o r t h e i r r i g h t s . Always sure to s i t u a t e h i m s e l f w i t h i n the scheme of t h i n g s , P r a v i r added: " I n d i a w i l l once again be the land of k i n g s " ( i b i d . ) . Despite the bombast and apparent a b s u r d i t y of P r a v i r ' s communications at t h i s time, they i n d i c a t e a coherent i n t e n t i o n . By i n s i s t i n g on the pre-eminent value and moral s u p e r i o r i t y of t r a d i t i o n , as most im p o r t a n t l y c o n s t i t u t e d by d i v i n e monarchy i n t e g r a t e d i d e o l o g i c a l l y with t r i b a l s o l i d -a r i t y , P r a v i r was b r i n g i n g the past i n t o the present i n order to r e - c r e a t e a v e r s i o n of the former i n the f u t u r e . In doing so, i n more or l e s s f u l l c o n t r a d i c t i o n to the e x i s t i n g 127 s t a t e of ( p o l i t i c a l ) a f f a i r s , he was e s t a b l i s h i n g h i m s e l f as a f u l l y c h a r i s m a t i c f i g u r e . Charisma i s meant here to be much more than merely an a t t r i b u t e of p e r s o n a l i t y , although my informants d i d f r e q u e n t l y a t t e s t to something approximating t h i s i n P r a v i r ' s presence. I t i s r a t h e r to be regarded as a set of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between leader and f o l l o w e r s " . . . i n process w i t h i n a complex and s h i f t i n g and/or symbolic environment" (Burridge 1977: 215-16). Innate i n h i s s t a t u s as k i n g , P r a v i r ' s c h a r i s m a t i c potency had been undermined and much, though not completely, attenuated as a r e s u l t of the u s u r p a t i o n of power by the newly independent Government of I n d i a . A s i g n i f i c a n t example of t h i s a t t e n u a t i o n was P r a v i r ' s r e f u s a l to p a r t i c i p a t e f u l l y i n the Dasara ceremonies i n the e a r l y years a f t e r Bastar's merger with the Indian Union. As was shown i n chapter three, Dasara i s a k i n g l y r i t u a l par e x c e l l e n c e i n Bastar, one that i s a microcosmic, complex and r i c h semantic environment indeed. By h i s incomplete p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the Dasara, P r a v i r was (perhaps s p i t e f u l l y ) removing h i m s e l f from the centre of things and thus r e i n f o r c i n g h i s coerced superannuation. However, the messages broadcast by him i n the ensuing debate w i t h the new sources of power over the c o n t r o l of h i s e s t a t e s i g n a l a phase i n the process by which h i s c h a r i s m a t i c q u a l i t i e s were beginning to be r e g a i n e d . The t r a d i t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s between k i n g and t r i b a l s were g r a d u a l l y being r e - a c t i v a t e d , a l b e i t i n new forms. Moreover, these new 128 ' s e c u l a r ' forms were a c h i e v i n g a measure of success and the immediate g o a l of a r e l e a s e from the Court of Wards was p l a c e d s u b s e r v i e n t to an eventual r e t u r n to the "land of k i n g s " . Of course, at the l e v e l of government p e r c e p t i o n , most of P r a v i r ' s statements were taken as l i t t l e more than i n f l a t e d r h e t o r i c . Nehru i s quoted as having s a i d that the Bastar s i t u a t i o n was " h a r d l y a s i t u a t i o n , but a matter f o r a D i s t r i c t M a g i s t r a t e to d e a l w i t h " (Statesman December 22, 1960). Heedless of t h i s downplaying by the Prime M i n i s t e r , P r a v i r t r a v e l l e d to D e l h i to present h i s grievances i n person. These gri e v a n c e s , which c r i t i c i z e d the l o c a l Congress p a r t y l e a d e r s and a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of Bastar and accused them of m i s a p p r o p r i a t i n g development funds and n e g l e c t i n g t r i b a l i n t e r e s t s , were s t e r n l y d i s r e g a r d e d by the Home M i n i s t e r . In a d d i t i o n , f o r h i s pains he was t o l d he was not allowed to r e t u r n to Bastar and that the a u t h o r i t i e s planned to banish him. T h i s set o f f another round of s p a r r i n g d u r i n g which he r e i t e r a t e d a d e c l a r a t i o n to set h i m s e l f up as an independent r u l e r . A few weeks l a t e r orders were s a i d to have been passed f o r the a r r e s t of P r a v i r under the P r e v e n t a t i v e Detention Act when and i f he returned to Bastar (Statesman January 29, 1961). Questioned on these o r d e r s , the Madhya Pradesh government denied they had been passed or that P r a v i r had been banned from B a s t a r . T h i s d e n i a l was given on February 10, 1961 and on the next day 129 as he was i n c o n s p i c u o u s l y r e - e n t e r i n g h i s former kingdom, P r a v i r was a r r e s t e d , taken to a j a i l o u t s i d e the d i s t r i c t , and i n r a p i d follow-up on Feburary t w e l f t h de-recognized as the Maharaja of B a s t a r . In summarizing i t s case a g a i n s t him the government " r e g r e t f u l l y " came to the c o n c l u s i o n " t h a t the Maharaja i s engaging h i m s e l f i n extremely p r e j u d i c i a l a c t i v i t i e s and that he had f o r f e i t e d a l l claims to the continued enjoyment by him of h i s present p o s i t i o n as the Ruler of the former State of B a s t a r . A c c o r d i n g l y . . . u n d e r A r t i c l e 366 (22) of the C o n s t i t u t i o n , the P r e s i d e n t hereby d i r e c t s t h a t . . . H i s Highness Maharaja P r a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo Ka k a t i y a of Bastar to ( s i c ) cease to be recognized as the Ruler o f Bastar and that h i s brother, Yuvraj V i j a y Chandra Bhanj Deo Ka k a t i y a be recognized as the Ruler of Bastar i n h i s p l a c e : (Pandey 1967: 28-9). A few weeks l a t e r , V i j a y waas i n s t a l l e d as the new Maharaja at Dantewara, i n the temple of Danteshwari. I f the government considered these a c t i o n s s u f f i c i e n t to subvert the e s c a l a t i o n of the Bastar problem, i t d i d so under (and probably guided by the Prime M i n i s t e r ' s ) assumption that the Bastar k i n g s h i p was a p e r s o n a l r a t h e r than a s o c i a l matter. T h i s assumption had a l r e a d y been b e l i e d by P r a v i r ' s s u c c e s s f u l f o r a y i n t o e l e c t o r a l p o l i t i c s , which had been e f f e c t e d through s u b s t a n t i a l t r i b a l support. That such support was based on t r a d i t i o n a l c h a r i s m a t i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s , which V i j a y d i d not have, was an i n s i g h t 130 to which the government b l i n d e d i t s e l f by i n s i s t i n g on viewing those r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n m o d e r n i s t i c terms. The g l o s s e s on what was a p p a r e n t l y the same language, the one used i n the combative c o n v e r s a t i o n conducted between P r a v i r and the government, were rooted i n q u i t e d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t i v e systems. Of i n t e r e s t i n t h i s not uncommon 't a l k i n g - p a s t - e a c h - o t h e r ' i s that P r a v i r ' s r e a d i n g of the s i t u a t i o n d i d i n c l u d e a grasp of h i s opponents' ingenuous assumptions: "They had never expected such a staunch o p p o s i t i o n from the a d i v a s i s which a c c o r d i n g to them was not p o s s i b l e f o r people i n the new miraculous and democratic age. I t was f l a b b e r g a s t i n g f o r them to know that a Maharaja of I n d i a was being so much revered by h i s own people" (Bhanj Deo 1965: 70). The government's l e g a l i s t i c attempt to separate power from i t s c o n s t i t u t i v e elements was based on the t o o - f a c i l e premise that a d i s t i n c t i o n could be made "between the t r a p p i n g s of r u l e and i t s substance" (Geertz 1977: 152). S u p p l a n t i n g P r a v i r ' s r e c o g n i t i o n , a b o l i s h i n g h i s " t r a p p i n g s " so to speak, i m p l i e s a r a t h e r s i m p l i s t i c p e r c e p t i o n of the symbolic power of c h a r i s m a t i c a u t h o r i t y . Events were soon to prove that these a c t i o n s served to i n t e n s i f y t r i b a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , r a t h e r than to e l i m i n a t e i t . In March of 1961 the news of P r a v i r ' s removal brought together a l a r g e number of t r i b a l s ( r e p o r t e d at 10,000) at a v i l l a g e near Jagdalpur to demand h i s immediate r e l e a s e . 131 M o s t l y from areas c l o s e l y surrounding the c a p i t a l , these t r i b a l s , predominantly B h a t t r a , Raj Muria and Bison-horn Maria, v o i c e d t h e i r p r o t e s t i n t r a d i t i o n a l and indigenous forms. They d e c l a r e d that u n l e s s P r a v i r was r e l e a s e d and allowed to r e t u r n to Bastar " t h e i r crops would f a i l , t h e i r c a t t l e would die and other c a l a m i t i e s would f a l l on them" (Saxena 1963, quoted i n Bhanj Deo 1965: 110). The o f f i c i a l s , who had come out to the v i l l a g e Lohandiguda i n order to c o n f r o n t and d i s p e r s e the g a t h e r i n g , a t t r i b u t e d no importance to what they c a l l e d a d i v a s i s u p e r s t i t i o n s . Unable to p l a c a t e the t r i b a l s , the o f f i c i a l s proclaimed t h e i r assembly u n l a w f u l and the p o l i c e were ordered to f i r e t e a r gas. The s i t u a t i o n got out of c o n t r o l , "became r i o t o u s " ( i b i d . ) , a c c o r d i n g to p o l i c e o f f i c e r s , and subsequent g u n f i r e r e s u l t e d i n the k i l l i n g of twelve t r i b a l s . A number of them were l a t e r rounded up and committed to stand t r i a l f o r attempted murder. A c q u i t t i n g a l l the accused, the m a g i s t r a t e concluded that much of the evidence was " e n t i r e l y a r t i c i f i c a l , b r i s t l i n g w i t h i m p r o b a b i l i t i e s " : A c c o r d i n g to p r o s e c u t i o n , the present accused along w i t h s e v e r a l thousands of A d i v a s i s formed an u n l a w f u l assembly and made a demand f o r the r e l e a s e of t h e i r Ex-Ruler of Bastar whom they regarded as t h e i r P u j a r i ( p r i e s t ) . I t may be that the demand was unreasonable, but not unlawful as i t was not f o r c e d on the p o l i c e or the government o f f i c i a l s , i n any u n l a w f u l manner. The A d i v a s i mob was anxious to a s c e r t a i n the f a t e of t h e i r Ex-Ruler and was misconstrued. The s i t u a t i o n , a l l the more worsened.as the l o c a l d i a l e c t s . . . w e r e not followed by the O f f i c e r s . Nor the A d i v a s i s f o l l o w e d the language of the o f f i c e r s . By seeing a huge mob, the O f f i c e r s were scared away. When tear-gassed, there was a melee c o n f u s i o n , i n which the p o l i c e r e s o r t e d 1 32 to f i r i n g without any formal o r d e r . . . . I t i s wrong to say that the P o l i c e S t a t i o n b u i l d i n g at Lohand-iguda was a c t u a l l y surrounded by the A d i v a s i mob and was on the verge of being set on f i r e . . . . The o f f i c e r s or the p o l i c e were a l s o not e n c i r c l e d by , the A d i v a s i mob, nor there was ( s i c ) any danger of l i f e to any of them, nor they were ( s i c ) v o l u n t a r i -l y h u rt by the present accused i n p r o s e c u t i o n of any common o b j e c t . . . . Viewed i n t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , the p r o s e c u t i o n has f a i l e d to e s t a b l i s h the case a g a i n s t any of the accused ( i b i d . : 161-3). The s t a t e government appealed t h i s v e r d i c t to the High Court and a l s o to the Supreme Court but both a c t i o n s were summari-l y d i s m i s s e d . T h i s exoneration, though not r e d r e s s f o r those k i l l e d , came n e a r l y two years a f t e r the f i r i n g . W i t hin a few weeks of the i n c i d e n t , on the other hand, P r a v i r was r e -l e a s e d from j a i l on the grounds that there was i n s u f f i c i e n t cause f o r h i s d e t e n t i o n . The f o r e g o i n g sequence of events, however, suggests an i n v e r s e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n : t h a t there were i n f a c t very good grounds f o r h i s r e l e a s e . Forced i n t o f a c i n g the f u l l weight of c h a r i s m a t i c power to u n i t e l e a d e r s and f o l l o w e r s , the government saw that i t s s t r a t e g i e s were i n f l a m i n g the s i t u a -t i o n they were intended to n e u t r a l i z e . These s t r a t e g i e s , to extend somewhat my e a r l i e r p o i n t , were rooted i n a misap-prehension of the nature of Bastar's i d e n t i t y . The ideology which expressed i t , which organized i t , which i n G e e r t z i a n words, pr o v i d e d a template f o r a c t i o n , was very f a r removed from being amenable to a 'modern' understanding. I t was i n -133 stead a n c i e n t , and p o w e r f u l l y so. Not so powerful, o f course, that i t s a n a c h r o n i c i t y could stand i n v i o l a t e , yet i t s r e s i s t e n t c a p a c i t i e s d i v u l g e d to the o f f i c i a l s of government that a r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n of j u s t what i t was they confronted was i n order. But the "confusion of tongues" (Geertz 1973: 9) was c o n s t a n t l y to thwart the need to come to terms. P r a v i r ' s idiom was l o c a t e d i n another world, a world where a Maharaja had e x t r a o r d i n a r y and d i v i n e powers. The p o l i t i c a l world of post-Independence I n d i a was u n l i k e l y to f i n d t h i s i n t e l l i g i b l e . As P r a v i r put i t hi m s e l f , a t r i f l e i r o n i c a l l y : "In t h i s h i g h l y r e l i g i o u s country i t i s s t i l l d i f f i c u l t f o r people to understand that God i s i d e n t i c a l w i t h h i s u n i v e r s e and not only a m i r a c l e that he i s a l -ways apart i n a world of h i s own" (Bhanj Deo 1965: 82). T h i i s a remarkably self-aware statement, and one that r e f l e c t s both s c r i p t u r e and s o c i o l o g y . But of course i t cannot be expected to have had much of a meaningful impact on s e c u l a r l y conceived a u t h o r i t y . P r a v i r was f r e e d , an act of l e g a l n e c e s s i t y , yet h i s t r i b u l a t i o n s p e r s i s t e d unredeemed. A f t e r h i s r e l e a s e from j a i l , and with a confidence per haps born from having seen some of h i s p r e d i c t i o n s , more a c c u r a t e l y , warnings, come to unwholesome f r u i t i o n , P r a v i r q u i c k l y r e - e s t a b l i s h e d h i m s e l f at the centre of t h i n g s . Sec r e t marriage n e g o t i a t i o n s , which had been going on concur-r e n t l y w i t h h i s p u b l i c a c t i v i t i e s , were f i n a l i z e d i n a hur-r i e d , p r i v a t e wedding i n Rajasthan. The new Maharani, a Raj 134 kumari ( p r i n c e s s ) of Patan i n Rajasthan, was a d e f i n i t e a s s e t i n P r a v i r ' s t r i b a l l y p e r c e i v e d r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to b r i n g harmony and p r o s p e r i t y to h i s domain. When she was brought to Bastar, her i n t r o d u c t i o n helped to draw a r e c o r d audience of 150,000 t r i b a l s (Pandey 1967: 30) which had come to Jag-dalpur to c e l e b r a t e the Dasara f e s t i v a l . As s t a t e d above, P r a v i r had withdrawn from the Dasara, most c o n s p i c u o u s l y from r i d i n g the c h a r i o t , s i n c e 1947. Edward Jay suggests that t h i s withdrawal "symbolized f o r many t r i b a l s the cessa-t i o n of h i s r u l e " (1970: 219). Such may w e l l have been the case, y e t n e a r l y a l l of the informants (26) p o l l e d by Jay d i d not know who e x a c t l y d i d r u l e . Moreover, a l l of h i s informants who were from the most remote area of Bastar (Abujhmar), d i d know who and what the Maharaja was. ( I t i s a l s o the case that Jay's suggestion a p p l i e s only to the years p r i o r to 1960.) The important p o i n t i s that t h i s ces-s a t i o n was temporary and s u p e r f i c i a l , and that P r a v i r ' s r u l e was more r e a l than o f f i c i a l l y r e c o g n i z e d . In the Dasara of 1961 he managed to re-ascend the c h a r i o t , i n s t e a d of h i s b r o t h e r and thus i n c o n t r a d i c t i o n , i t w i l l be remembered, to h i s ' d e - r e c o g n i t i o n ' . I t i s i r o n i c that the more the govern-ment acted to prevent i t , and thus perhaps because i t d i d , the more was P r a v i r able to r e g a i n h i s l o s t s t a t u r e . From the p e r s p e c t i v e of P r a v i r ' s o v e r - a l l c a r e e r , t h r i v i n g as i t d i d on a d v e r s i t y , the Dasara of 1961 can be seen as a t u r n i n g p o i n t -- or perhaps more e x a c t l y as a p o i n t of no r e t u r n . A c e r t a i n momentum had been b u i l t up, 135 a p p r o p r i a t e l y l i k e the movement of the massive Dasara c h a r i o t i t s e l f , which once s t a r t e d could no longer e a s i l y be c o n t a i n e d . And i n f a c t , a t r a n s i t i o n had been made a f t e r which, i n the second decade of P r a v i r ' s p r e c a r i o u s k i n g s h i p , the pace of events was to become g r e a t l y and i n some inst a n c e s w i l d l y a c c e l e r a t e d . F ocusing h i s a t t e n t i o n on the g e n e r a l e l e c t i o n s of 1962, P r a v i r formed h i s t h i r d n o n - t r a d i t i o n a l v e h i c l e , the A k h i l B h a r a t i y a ( A l l - I n d i a ) Maharaja P a r t y . He drew upon h i s t r i b a l support f o r membership and began a campaign f o r h i s chosen c a n d i d a t e s . Although he h i m s e l f l o s t the e l e c t i o n , most of h i s candidates were r e t u r n e d . P o l i c i e s and a c t i o n s remained the same -- a demand f o r r e l e a s e from the Court of Wards and f o r the r e s t o r a t i o n of h i s gaddi, h i s throne --but h i s manifest f o l l o w i n g grew, and grew more i n t i m a t e . By 1963 more and more t r i b a l s began to come to Jagdalpur and congregate at P r a v i r ' s p a l a c e . Nervously p e r c e i v i n g imminent t r o u b l e , the a u t h o r i t i e s t r i e d to r e s t r i c t these gatherings of armed (with bows and arrows) t r i b a l s , which again touched o f f v i o l e n t c o n f r o n t a t i o n . However, t h i s time the t a r g e t was reached. Two months a f t e r a t r i b a l o ccupation of the Court of Wards o f f i c e the s t a t e government d i r e c t e d the Court of Wards to r e l i n q u i s h the superintendence of P r a v i r ' s e s t a t e . P r a v i r c e l e b r a t e d t h i s success by l a v i s h l y d i s p l a y i n g h i s r o y a l p r e r o g a t i v e , which was to d i s t r i b u t e l a r g e sums of money to h i s f o l l o w e r s . Unable or u n w i l l i n g to see how w e l l 136 and l e g i t i m a t e l y t h i s f i t t e d w i t h i n the Indian k i n g l y t r a d i t i o n , J u s t i c e Pandey pronounced i t "insensate c h a r i t y " (1967: 30). I t may be presumed that f o r J u s t i c e Pandey to take s e r i o u s l y the k i n g l y t r a d i t i o n was i l l e g i t i m a t e and f o o l i s h , but e q u a l l y i t r e v e a l s how embedded were h i s assumptions i n those of the government a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . And as p a r t of the present context ( t h i s n a r r a t i v e ) i t serves to exemplify and r e i n f o r c e the d i c h o t o m i z a t i o n inherent i n a d e s c r i p t i o n of P r a v i r ' s a c t i v i t i e s . In p a r t i c u l a r , the q u e s t i o n of money i n P r a v i r ' s l i f e i s both of e m p i r i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e and a b s t r a c t l y as one of the parameters of d i c h o t o m i z a t i o n , as we s h a l l see below. Con t i n u i n g to spend f r e e l y throughout the r e s t of 1963, P r a v i r a l s o gave a number of press i n t e r v i e w s which demonstrated h i s o v e r a r c h i n g ambition to r e i n s t i t u t e k i n g s h i p . On October 12th he s t a t e d that the t r i b a l s had i n mind to d e c l a r e Bastar a separate s t a t e , independent of the Indian Union and the Indian Government, with h i m s e l f as the Ruler and added that the t r i b a l s would do so during the Dasara c e l e b r a t i o n i n the coming weeks (quoted i n Pandey 1967: 31). A number of s i m i l a r statements he made du r i n g t h i s time, which were a v i d l y h e a d l i n e d by the press, once again brought P r a v i r i n t o the p u b l i c s p o t l i g h t . However, a l l t h i s a t t e n t i o n was suddenly e c l i p s e d when i n November i n a throng of h i g h l y e x c i t e d alms-pleaders gathered at h i s p a l a c e , P r a v i r s t r u c k out with a sword and severed the l e f t 137 hand of one of the g r a s p i n g s u p p l i a n t s . A somewhat b i z a r r e and never f u l l y e x p l i c a t e d act ( P r a v i r claimed s e l f - d e f e n s e ) thus r e s u l t e d i n hearings and c o u r t cases which preoccupied P r a v i r f o r n e a r l y the next two y e a r s . While c e r t a i n l y a c a p r i c i o u s event, and one that s t i c k s out very c u r i o u s l y i n the r e c o r d of P r a v i r ' s l i f e and that e x i s t s as a v i v i d i l l u s t r a t i o n of h i s u n p r e d i c t a b i l i t y , i t p o i n t s to the a f o r e s a i d problem of money. What must be r e a l i z e d i s that money, i n i t s modern sense as a h i g h l y s p e c i a l i z e d instrument i n h i g h l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d economies (Douglas 1967: 120), was, and i n much of Bastar remains, a r e l a t i v e l y new and b a r e l y d i s t i n c t i v e phenomenon, cowries having served u n t i l the e a r l y 20th century as a very r e s t r i c t e d medium of exchange. The i n t r o d u c t i o n of paper money and s p e c i e , mainly by the B r i t i s h , i n i t i a t e d the development of a s e r i e s of h i g h l y r a m i f y i n g and n o vel d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n s both at the l e v e l of monarchy and at the l e v e l of t r i b a l s o c i e t y . For purposes at hand, the s i g n i f i c a n c e of money i n P r a v i r ' s deployment of i t , was i n e f f e c t a c o n f u s i o n of moral v a l u e s . In making use of money i n a t r a d i t i o n a l context as i f i t were a t r a d i t i o n a l measure of moral o b l i g a t i o n , that i s to say p r i m a r i l y as b e n e d i c t i o n s and guarantees of p r o s p e r i t y f l o w i n g from d i v i n e k i n g to t r i b a l s u b j e c t s , P r a v i r i n a d v e r t e n t l y opened the way f o r a whole new range of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s and responses to h i s a c t i v i t i e s . By the same 138 token the wider n o n - t r i b a l s o c i e t y was drawn i n t o the o r b i t of the king's expanded r e l a t i o n s h i p s , l i k e those which comprised the e x c i t e d crowds e x p e c t a n t l y w a i t i n g below P r a v i r ' s h o t e l balcony i n Raipur, the balcony of l a r g e s s as i t were. I t i s not that n o n - t r i b a l s were p r e v i o u s l y excluded, but that new avenues of access to P r a v i r were made a v a i l a b l e by the m o n e t i z a t i o n of h i s s t a t u s . Those avenues were, moreover, u n r e s t r i c t e d by t r a d i t i o n a l moral r e c i p r o c i t i e s . The p o s s i b i l i t i e s of wrong-doing, or at l e a s t the p e r c e p t i o n of i t , was t h e r e f o r e c o n s i d e r a b l y i n c r e a s e d . Thus, i n a sense i t i s not s u r p r i s i n g that the person a t t a c k e d by P r a v i r was an o v e r l y eager, low-caste Hindu rickshaw p u l l e r , an u n f o r t u n a t e i n d i v i d u a l caught i n the v o r t e x of d i s c o r d a n t moral s e n s i b i l i t i e s . T h i s a n a l y t i c a l excursus can be c o n v e n i e n t l y complemented i n l i g h t of subsequent events. P r a v i r ' s b r o t h e r , V i j a y , r e a c t i n g to the l i f t i n g of the Court of Wards, p e t i t i o n e d the a u t h o r i t i e s , i n c l u d i n g the Home M i n i s t e r , to gain p o s s e s s i o n of the palace and p r o p e r t i e s which he c onsidered to be r i g h t f u l l y h i s as the new Maharaja. His e n t r e a t i e s being r e f u s e d -- on the b a s i s of expedient r e a s o n i n g by o f f i c i a l s who wanted to avoid f u r t h e r f l a r e - u p s i n Bastar -- V i j a y took the o p p o r t u n i t y of h i s b r o t h e r ' s absence from the palace during one of h i s court hearings to 'remove' s e v e r a l p i e c e s of r o y a l j e w e l l e r y as w e l l as a p a i r of gold rods used i n the worship of 139 Danteshwari. Here one has the op p o s i t e s i d e of the c o i n , as i t were, and that i s the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t r e a s u r e . Forming the other h a l f i n Burrid g e ' s (1969: 42) d i s t i n c t i o n between money and tre a s u r e a r t i c l e s , as c r u c i a l i n the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of 'subsist e n c e ' from 'complex' economies, the a r t i c l e s s t o l e n by V i j a y c l e a r l y f a l l i n t o the category of t r e a s u r e . As opposed c a t e g o r i e s , both money and tr e a s u r e were c u r r e n t i n Bastar, though as s t a t e d above money has s t i l l not reached complete ascendency. And while the presence of money, a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p a r t i c u l a r socioeconomic and moral systems, does imply the com p e t i t i v e and emergent nature of the dichotomized s i t u a t i o n i n Bastar, the p o i n t i s that u n l i k e t r e a s u r e a r t i c l e s money had not become the "b a s i c measure of p r e s t i g e and s t a t u s " ( i b i d . ) . More than b a s i c , r a t h e r the u l t i m a t e measure of not o n l y p r e s t i g e and s t a t u s , the gold rods of Danteshwari represented i n s t r u m e n t a l , sacred, and temporal power i n B a s t a r . Without them, as d e c l a r e d by P r a v i r when he d i s c o v e r e d t h e i r t h e f t , he would not be able to perform the worship of Danteshwari. Not to do puja of the Goddess was a d i r e c t t h r e a t to the m a t e r i a l and moral i n t e r e s t s of Bastar's overwhelmingly t r i b a l p o p u l a t i o n . I f i t i s true, as remarked by one of my Jagdalpur i n t e r l o c u t o r s , that P r a v i r was always on the look-out f o r c o n f r o n t a t i o n a l i s s u e s , V i j a y i n t h i s i n s t a n c e ensured that he d i d not have to look very f a r . In l a r g e numbers, t r i b a l 140 groups gathered i n Jagdalpur to demand the r e t u r n of the r o y a l j e w e l l e r y and Danteshwar's gold rods. Learning of t h e i r i n t e n t i o n to storm V i j a y ' s r e s i d e n c e , the Superintend-ent of P o l i c e i n t e r v e n e d to secure from him a l l the a r t i c l e s necessary f o r the worship of the Goddess. Thus again was P r a v i r u n o f f i c i a l l y but p e r t i n e n t l y recognized as superord-i n a t e i n the r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l world of B a s t a r . O f f i c -i a l l y , however, the competition f o r such r e c o g n i t i o n remained at a stalemate. The demand f o r the r e c o n s t i t u t i o n of Bastar as an i n -dependent H i n d u - t r i b a l monarchy continued throughout 1964, 1965 and p a r t of 1966 to be the backdrop of a l l other de-mands. But from the p e r s p e c t i v e of P r a v i r ' s f o l l o w e r s there was no such d i s t i n c t i o n : a l l demands were e q u a l l y P r a v i r ' s and t h e i r own. With each s u c c e s s f u l outcome of c o n f r o n t a t i o n with the government and l o c a l a d m i n i s t r a t o r s the u n i t y im-p l i e d by t h i s i d e n t i t y of i n t e r e s t s became strengthened. T h i s s t r e n g t h i n turn i m p l i e d a growing sense of s e p a r a t i o n which was organized by P r a v i r i n t o an i n n o v a t i v e set of r o l e s modeled on p o l i t i c a l p a r t y idioms. He s e l e c t e d l e a d i n g t r i b a l men and women from numerous v i l l a g e s i n Jagdalpur t e h s i l and c o n f e r r e d upon them the t i t l e s of member or memb- e r i n and s u p p l i e d them with i n s i g n i a -- these being t r a d i -t i o n a l media of a f f i l i a t i o n -- such as red c l o t h ( s a r i s ) f o r the women memberins. To those s e l e c t e d who were a l r e a d y area 141 headmen (pargana manjhi) he gave the t i t l e Raja Manjhi and d i s t r i b u t e d blue turbans while t h e i r a s s i s t a n t s ( c h a l k i ) were given y e l l o w coloured l i v e r y and the d e s i g n a t i o n Raja C h a l k i . Even the v i l l a g e watchmen (kotwar) were i n c o r p o r a t -ed, r e c e i v i n g the r a j a t i t l e and i n v e s t e d with rose hued turbans. J u s t i c e Pandey, always the u n w i t t i n g f o i l i n h i s view of the conceptual r e a l i t y of Bastar's M a h a r a j a - t r i b a l r e l a t i o n s , commented a d v e r s e l y on these a c t i o n s : " A l l these Adiwasis, p a r t i c u l a r l y the memberins, worked with a great z e a l i f o n l y to prove that they were worthy of the d i s t i n c -t i o n s c o n f e r r e d on them. They were always ready and w i l l i n g to c a r r y out any d i r e c t i o n given by P r a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo. Although he had done p r e c i o u s l i t t l e f o r the Adiwasis, he d i d not h e s i t a t e to wantonly use them as t o o l s f o r h i s own purposes" (1967: 35). Perhaps needless to say, the s u p e r f i c i a l i t y of t h i s statement i s matched on l y by i t s poverty of comprehension. I t i s t y p i c a l , however, of the understanding, i n the narrow sense, p r e d i c a t e d by epistemo-l o g i c a l d ivergence. That J u s t i c e Pandey u l t i m a t e l y must be considered a government servant i s of course r e l e v a n t here, e s p e c i a l l y i n that h i s p e r c e p t i o n of the Bastar s o c i a l world could only with great d i f f i c u l t y grant v a l i d i t y to t r i b a l r e l i a n c e on d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . W r i t t e n not so long before the present events were t a k i n g p l a c e , and thus a v a i l a b l e , t h e o r e t i c a l l y at l e a s t , f o r c o n s i d e r a t i o n , the f o l l o w i n g statement even 142 i f taken i n t o account would be u n l i k e l y to have been under-stood: "The Maharaja i s regarded as d i v i n e by a l l the Muria and M a r i a . . . . So s t r o n g l y do the a b o r i g i n a l s b e l i e v e t h i s , that they g r e a t l y r e s e n t the Maharaja l e a v i n g the S t a t e even f o r a s h o r t time. His absence means a withdrawal of d i v i n e p r o t e c t i o n from c a t t l e , crops and people" (Elwin 1947: 183). I t would be wrong to take t h i s as an indictment of modern Indian o f f i c i a l d o m f o r not having an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l understanding. Ne v e r t h e l e s s , a c t i n g on t h i s knowledge, i n s t e a d of d i s m i s s i n g i t as e x p l o i t e d c r e d u l i t y , might have saved the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n much t r o u b l e . One must hasten to add that the a p p r o p r i a t e a c t i o n does not always come e a s i l y , e s p e c i a l l y where a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i s weakened by a c e r t a i n measure of t o l e r a n c e or accommoda-t i o n . T h i s was g e n e r a l l y the case i n the implementation of a d m i n i s t r a t i v e p o l i c y i n the P r i n c e l y S t a t e s both before and a f t e r t h e i r merger wi t h the Indian Union. In many ways the c o n d i t i o n s i n Bastar under P r a v i r were c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of m i l l e n a r i a n a c t i v i t i e s . I t i s i n t h i s context that w hile "the o f f i c e r s of an a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , l o o k i n g down at t h e i r charges, may a c t ' c o r r e c t l y ' or ' r i g h t l y ' w i t h i n t h e i r own terms of r e f e r e n c e , i n whatever manner they choose to e x e r c i s e the powers at t h e i r d i s p o s a l i t i s d i f f i c u l t to see how they might be ' c o r r e c t ' or ' r i g h t ' i n terms of the t o t a l s i t u a t i o n " (Burridge 1969: 56). The d i v i n e monarchy of Bastar was j u s t such a t o t a l s i t u a t i o n with which the 143 a d m i n i s t r a t i o n could not come to c o r r e c t terms. However even w i t h i n i t s own terms of r e f e r e n c e the Bastar a d m i n i s t r a t i o n committed major blun d e r s . In the d r o u g h t - a f f l i c t e d a g r i c u l t u r a l year of 1965-66, the Madhya Pradesh government imposed a graded l e v y on r i c e p r o d u c t i o n on a l l of the r i c e growing d i s t r i c t s of the s t a t e , i n c l u d i n g Bastar whose a d m i n i s t r a t i o n complied with i t unquestioning-l y . The terms of t h i s l e v y were imposed i n d i s c r i m i n a t e l y and without regard to l o c a l socio-economic v a r i a t i o n s . For Bastar t h i s meant i g n o r i n g the f r a g i l i t i e s of t r i b a l paddy c u l t i v a t i o n which not only y i e l d e d a much below average q u a n t i t y but a l s o was not geared to sur p l u s p r o d u c t i o n . Whatever paddy the t r i b a l s c o u l d save was intended to be used i n the very lean monsoon months when i n f a c t most t r i b a l s turned to w i l d j u n g l e produce as the f i n a l hedge a g a i n s t s t a r v a t i o n . In the event, i t was concluded that the i m p o s i t i o n of the l e v y "caused genuine hardship to the s m a l l c u l t i v a t o r s of Bastar d i s t r i c t . . . ( f o r the a d d i t i o n a l reasons that the) q u a n t i t i e s r e q u i r e d to be l e v i e d on t h e i r o u t t u r n , u n r e l a t e d as they were to a c t u a l o u t t u r n , were f i x e d ad hoc s o l e l y f o r the purposes of procurement without t a k i n g i n t o account e i t h e r the expenses i n c u r r e d f o r r a i s i n g the crop or the number of dependents on i n d i v i d u a l c u l t i v a t o r s " (Pandey 1967: 36). I t could s c a r c e l y be s u r p r i s i n g that the Bastar 144 t r i b a l c u l t i v a t o r s ' response to the l e v y was i n the main non-compliant, i n some cases v i o l e n t l y so. T h i s r e f u s a l to co-operate i n the l e v y was organized and focused by P r a v i r ' s t r i b a l members and memberins. Per v a s i v e as t h i s i s s u e was, i t r e a d i l y l e n t i t s e l f to l a r g e s c a l e o p p o s i t i o n to the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . Perhaps more than any other s i n g l e c o n t e n t i o n , the r i c e l e v y i n c r e a s e d the breadth and depth of M a h a r a j a - t r i b a l i n t e r a c t i o n s . Greater than ever before, the numbers of t r i b a l people coming and going to and from Jagdalpur, and c a r r y i n g out v a r i o u s d i s r u p t i v e s t r a t e g i e s , c r e a t e d a h i g h l y apprehensive atmosphere i n the c a p i t a l . Furthermore, extending f a r beyond Jagdalpur, though t a c t i c a l l y emanating from there, these t r i b a l non-co-operation a c t i v i t i e s prompted a u t h o r i t e s to prepare m i l i t a r i l y f o r a major c o n f l a g r a t i o n . By the end of February 1966, matters had become even tenser as the anti-government a g i t a t i o n s spread to i n c l u d e the o b s t r u c t i o n of a l l government o p e r a t i o n s from the p r e p a r a t i o n of v o t e r l i s t s to the non-payment of taxes. In a d d i t i o n , i n March, the c e l e b r a t i o n of the C h a i t r a i f e s t i v a l brought unprecedentedly l a r g e numbers of t r i b a l s to Jagdalpur to gather at the king's p a l a c e . That most a r r i v e d armed wi t h bows and arrows and axes, though not i l l e g a l l y so, i n c r e a s e d the degree of nervousness i n f l u e n c i n g the a u t h o r i t i e s and p o l i c e . A r a p i d l y approaching sense of climax began to overtake the s i t u a t i o n , although on the 145 s u r f a c e a c o o l f r o n t was adopted, p a r t i c u l a r l y by the o f f i c i a l s who took the o p p o r t u n i t y to remove themselves from the v i c i n i t y of Jagdalpur. The t h i r d week of March saw much r i t u a l a c t i v i t y as p a r t of the C h a i t r a i ceremonies. T h i s i n c l u d e d the r a i s i n g of a l o g pole i n the palace premises. The p o l i c e a u t h o r i t i e s c o n sidered the p o l e - r a i s i n g o b j e c t i o n a b l e as they i n t e r p r e t e d i t as a V i j a y Stambh, a symbol of v i c t o r y a g a i n s t the government. T h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n was no doubt c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the tenor of the o v e r - a l l context of the time and w i t h i n the terms of Hindu t r a d i t i o n i n g e n e r a l . But i n terms of t r i b a l c u l t u r e , t h i s was l i k e l y a mis-reading of what the post r e p r e s e n t e d . While there i s i n s u f f i c i e n t data i n the Bastar sources to be d e f i n i t e on the symbolism of the p o l e , there i s a l l over western O r i s s a a goddess named Stambesvari, the "lady of the post", known s i n c e about 500 A.D. (Eschmann 1978: 86). In f a c t , she was the t u t e l a r y of the Bhanja dynasty, the r o y a l l i n e of Mayurbhanj, a modern s c i o n of which was P r a v i r ' s f a t h e r . Whether or not t h i s was known by the Bastar a u t h o r i t i e s , the p o l e - r a i s i n g was taken to be i n t e n t i o n a l l y p r o v o c a t i v e . As w e l l , i t was taken to be s u f f i c i e n t l y p r o v o c a t i v e f o r the p o l i c e to harass and p h y s i c a l l y abuse some of the t r i b a l men and women who were c a r r y i n g the pole i n t o the p a l a c e . The Maharaja was informed of these a c t i o n s and came out of the palace to meet the Senior Superintendent of 146 P o l i c e who had a r r i v e d at the scene to a v e r t what seemed imminent, an a l l - o u t b a t t l e . A c c o r d i n g to the Superintend-ent, " P r a v i r came i n rage and threatened me with d i r e consequences. He ( a l s o ) s a i d . . . t h a t he was a T a n t r i c and that he could convert b u l l e t s i n t o water" (quoted i n Pandey 1967: 42). Appealing to P r a v i r ' s s t a t u s as a f e l l o w K s h a t r i -ya (the w a r r i o r caste) the p o l i c e o f f i c e r p l a c a t e d him some-what and e v e n t u a l l y managed to defuse the e x p l o s i v e nature of the s i t u a t i o n . For the next s i x days Jagdalpur remained q u i e t , although the t r i b a l s continued to occupy the palace i n p a r t i c i p a t i o n of the lengthy C h a i t r a i r i t e s . On March 24th about 1,000 t r i b a l men and women l e f t Jagdalpur to attend the weekly market at Bastar v i l l a g e , some eleven miles n o r t h of the c a p i t a l . T h i s v i l l a g e was of some importance f o r other than commercial reasons i n that i t was the res i d e n c e of Suryapal T i w a r i , a Congress Party worker i n c l o s e a s s o c i -a t i o n with the d i s t r i c t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and an outspoken c r i t i c of the Maharaja. Some two or three hundred t r i b a l s surrounded h i s house i n the v i l l a g e , from which he was absent, and chanted independence slogans as w e l l as demand-ing the documents of merger of Bastar State with the Indian Union. Upon l e a r n i n g t h at T i w a r i was away from the v i l l a g e , the t r i b a l s were persuaded by the p o l i c e to d i s p e r s e and they returned to the palace at Jagdalpur. The i n c i d e n t at Bastar v i l l a g e seems to have been the 147 p r e l i m i n a r y c a t a l y s t which l e d the next morning to the promulgation of order under s e c t i o n 144 of the Indian Code of C r i m i n a l Procedure "which p r o h i b i t e d , f o r a p e r i o d of 14 days, a l l p r o c e s s i o n s and meetings, assembly of f i v e or more persons and the p o s s e s s i o n or keeping of bows, arrows, l a t h i s (bamboo s t a f f s ) and other l e t h a l weapons w i t h i n the l i m i t s of Jagdalpur M u n i c i p a l i t y and a l s o w i t h i n a r a d i u s of f i v e m i l e s " (Pandey 1967: 107). A c c o r d i n g to the a u t h o r i t -i e s , on the other hand, s e c t i o n 144 had been imposed f o r much more ominous reasons. In t h e i r account of c a u s a l sequences, a p o l i c e informer had s l i p p e d i n t o the palace and had witnessed a s t r a t e g y meeting between P r a v i r and a l l the t r i b a l s present t h e r e . The informer r e p o r t e d that at t h i s g a t h e r i n g i t was decided that i n order to set up the Mahajara f o r independent r u l e , the j a i l would be attacked, the Indrawati b r i d g e (connecting the c a p i t a l to the n a t i o n a l highway) would be damaged, t e l e g r a p h and telephone wires would be cut, the bungalows of the o f f i c e r s would be dest-royed, and the C o l l e c t o r a t e and government godowns (ware-houses) and the godowns of sahukars ( l i q u o r sellers/money lenders) would be l o o t e d . S u b j e c t i n g t h i s r e p o r t , i t s t i m i n g , and other testimony given by s e n i o r o f f i c i a l s at the commission of i n q u i r y to a very c l o s e s c r u t i n y , J u s t i c e Pandey exposed i t as a f a b r i c a t e d , post hoc document intend-ed to j u s t i f y the use of e x c e s s i v e f o r c e i n the f o l l o w i n g c l i m a c t i c events. 148 The a c t u a l and immediate events which l e d to the d e c l a r a t i o n of s e c t i o n 144 were the speeches d e l i v e r e d to the amassed t r i b a l s by two Samyukta S o c i a l i s t P arty p o l i t i c a n s . The p o l i c e had learned that these speeches urged the t r i b a l s to take out a p r o c e s s i o n through the town f u r t h e r to remonstrate over t h e i r g r i e v a n c e s . One could s p e c u l a t e that the a l l e g e d p l a n of r e v o l t was concocted on the b a s i s of t h i s r e l a t i v e l y innocuous set of encourage-ments. In any case, armed p o l i c e p a r t i e s were posted a t the palace entrances and a p r e c a u t i o n a r y v i g i l was begun. In the palace at the time, the morning of March 25, 1966, were a score of u n d e r - t r i a l p r i s o n e r s i n c a r c e r a t e d at the j u d i c i a l j a i l . One of these p r i s o n e r s s t a r t e d a commotion which a t t r a c t e d the a t t e n t i o n of a group of t r i b a l s who were camped i n the adjacent grounds. The e s c o r t guards took rough a c t i o n a g a i n s t the approaching group of t r i b a l men which provoked them to r e t a l i a t e w i t h a v o l l e y of arrows, overcoming the p o l i c e defenders. The j a i l was then smashed open, the p r i s o n e r s r e l e a s e d , and the p r i s o n guards chased out of the palace grounds. At the main gates the t r i b a l s encountered the p o l i c e p a r t y s t a t i o n e d there to enforce s e c t i o n 144. T h i s p a r t y was a l s o engaged, the r e s u l t of which was the commencement of t e a r gas and r i f l e f i r e f o r c i n g the t r i b a l s to r e t r e a t . While r e t r e a t i n g , the t r i b a l s r e t u r n e d the r i f l e f i r e w i t h arrow shots, wounding one policeman and k i l l i n g another. Enraged and app a r e n t l y 149 completely out of c o n t r o l , the p o l i c e chased the t r i b a l group through the palace gardens and i n t o the palace b u i l d i n g s . I t was at t h i s p o i n t when P r a v i r , coming out onto h i s porch to see what was going on, was shot and k i l l e d . Such, at l e a s t , was the f i n d i n g produced by J u s t i c e Pandey at the c o n c l u s i o n of h i s commission of i n q u i r y (1967: 107-109). I t should be noted that the summary given above by no means r e f l e c t s the d i f f i c u l t i e s , both inherent and c o n t r i v e d , faced by him i n t r y i n g to determine e x a c t l y how P r a v i r met h i s end, and a l s o the circumstances concerning the eleven t r i b a l s who were k i l l e d along with him. He was presented with, and had to s i f t through, seven f u l l and s e v e r a l l y c o n t r a d i c t o r y v e r s i o n s of the f i n a l events i n P r a v i r ' s l i f e . Some of these v e r s i o n s r a i s e d the s u s p i c i o n of premeditated c o n s p i r a c y , and while such an a c c u s a t i o n was v o i c e d i n the Indian parliament, J u s t i c e Pandey discounted the p o s s i b i l i t y i n so f a r as any c o n s p i r a c y could only have been post hoc and at that simply to cover up o f f i c i a l incompetence and p o l i c e ' i r r e g u l a r i t i e s ' . N e v e rtheless, there were l a t e r demands f o r a f r e s h i n q u i r y on the b a s i s of new evidence, evidence p r e v i o u s l y suppressed, and claims of f a l s e evidence given before the Pandey Commission, a l l of which was compounded by the f a c t that no t r i b a l witnesses had been c a l l e d to t e s t i f y (Statesman September 6, 1967; October 13, 1967). And as p a r t of my own i n t e r v i e w r e s e a r c h i n t o these matters, i t became c l e a r that an a i r of 150 c o n t r o v e r s y , doubt and mystery s t i l l surrounds the demise of P r a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo. However, d e s p i t e the temptation to do so, i t i s perhaps best to r e f r a i n from an attempt to d i s p e l these u n c e r t a i n t i e s . The e f f o r t would be p u r e l y s p e c u l a t i v e and of l i t t l e s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the l a r g e r scheme of t h i n g s . In f a c t , i t i s p r e c i s e l y t h i s doubt and u n c e r t a i n t y which may be s a i d to d e s c r i b e the environment of, and to set the stage f o r , the t r a n s i t i o n from m i l l e n a r i a n a c t i v i t i e s to a f u l l - s c a l e m i l l e n a r i a n movement. The circumstances of t h i s movement are of t h e i r nature an e x t e n s i o n , a symbolic extension to be sure, of the l i f e and l i f e - s t o r y of P r a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo. In a sense, the Baba B i h a r i Dass Movement, which r e i n c a r n a t e d P r a v i r i n the form of a Hindu sannyasi (mendicant), i s a k i n d of epilogue to the P r a v i r s t o r y , r a t h e r than e x i s t i n g s e p a r a t e l y from i t . For t h i s reason I w i l l continue with the l i f e of P r a v i r , now as i t became transformed through death and ' r e s u r r e c t i o n 1.3 The e a r l y aftermath of P r a v i r ' s death was one of shock, c o n f u s i o n and severe d e m o r a l i z a t i o n , a s t a t e of a f f a i r s most pronounced among the t r i b a l communities. Among the o f f i c i a l s , on the other hand, there was a f e a r that there might be a dangerous backlash from the t r i b a l s once i t became g e n e r a l l y known that t h e i r god-king had been k i l l e d . C u r i o u s l y (perhaps because of t h i s f e a r ) , now that he was dead, the a u t h o r i t i e s granted more s i g n i f i c a n c e to P r a v i r ' s 151 d i v i n i t y than when he was a l i v e . To prevent what was a n t i c i -pated as p o t e n t i a l l a r g e - s c a l e t r i b a l v i o l e n c e a l l over the d i s t r i c t , they devised the ruse of having a l o c a l man imper-sonate the Maharaja and had him d r i v e n around Jagdalpur and along the main roads of Bastar i n the r o y a l R o l l s Royce. As another p r e c a u t i o n , a palace rounshi (clerk-messenger) was given the task of speading the 'news' that P r a v i r had not died i n the f i r i n g but was proceeding to take refuge or e x i l e i n the j u n g l e . W i t h i n a year or two, rumours began to c i r c u l a t e that P r a v i r had r e t u r n e d and that he was to be found at Chapka, a v i l l a g e some 15 miles from J a g d a l p u r . Up to t h i s p o i n t i t was s t i l l not accepted that he had a c t u a l l y been k i l l e d , so t hat when i t was found that the man at Chapka d i d not bear much resemblance to P r a v i r , nor had h i s f a i r complexion, the e x p l a n a t i o n was given that h i s s k i n had become darkened from the smoke of gun f i r e d u r i n g the palace s h o o t i n g . In order f u r t h e r to s u b s t a n t i a t e the s t o r y , scars on the man's body were p o i n t e d out which were s a i d to be from b u l l e t wounds su s t a i n e d i n the f i r i n g . However, as more and more t r i b a l s f l o c k e d to Chapka to see t h i s transformed P r a v i r , the s t o r y began to change. I t came at l a s t to be b e l i e v e d that P r a v i r had i n f a c t d i e d , that he was martyred f o r the moral t r a n s -g r e s s i o n s of t r i b a l people, and that h i s r e t u r n was as an avatar, a r e i n c a r n a t i o n of the d i v i n e i n the form of a sadhu, a Hindu mendicant named Baba B i h a r i Dass. To pay f o r 152 and redeem t h e i r ' s i n s ' the t r i b a l s were t o l d that they had to give up t r a d i t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s considered immoral, such as d r i n k i n g l i q u o r , dancing and e a t i n g meat. As a s i g n of t h i s e x p i a t i o n they were encouraged to wear a bead sacred to Vaisnava Hindus, c a l l e d K a n t i beads, which cost them Rs. 1.25 each, a not i n s i g n i f i c a n t sum to m o s t - t r i b a l people. At the same time, many t r i b a l women, a t t r a c t e d by the c h a r i s t m a t i c a c c e s s i b i l i t y o f f e r e d by K a n t i - w a l l a h Baba, as he was known i n the beginning, took to Hindu symbols such as sindhor, the streak of red powder worn along the c e n t r a l p a r t i n the h a i r to i n d i c a t e married s t a t u s . The happenings at Chapka drew i n c r e a s i n g a t t e n t i o n from a l l corners of B a s t a r . By e a r l y 1969, d i s t r i c t o f f i c i a l s and l o c a l j o u r n a l i s t s began to view the developments at Chapka i n a s e r i o u s l i g h t . C o n s i d e r i n g K a n t i - w a l l a h Baba's alarming, widespread p o p u l a r i t y -- at the height of h i s i n f l u e n c e having an estimated 400,000 f o l l o w e r s -- they decided they had b e t t e r f i n d out who t h i s man r e a l l y was. In f a c t , no one r e a l l y knew. I t was never admitted to most o u t s i d e r s that he was considered an avatar of P r a v i r , nor d i d the man h i m s e l f r e v e a l anything of h i s i d e n t i t y except h i s name, Baba B i h a r i Dass, and vaguely, h i s o r i g i n s as a sadhu from n o r t h I n d i a . Even t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n , upon attempted v e r i f i c a t i o n , proved e i t h e r u n r e l i a b l e or f a l s e . When questioned as to what he was doing he simply r e p l i e d 153 that he was t r y i n g to ' u p l i f t ' the t r i b a l s , to work f o r t h e i r moral improvement. His qu e s t i o n e r s were not p a r t i c u l a r l y s a t i s f i e d w i t h these responses, f e e l i n g t h a t B i h a r i Dass was p e r p e t r a t i n g a huge f r a u d , a s u c c e s s f u l confidence game by which he was winning a c o n s i d e r a b l e f o r t u n e . Despite t h e i r s u s p i c i o n s , however, the o f f i c i a l s could not f i n d anything i l l e g a l i n B i h a r i Dass' a c t i v i t i e s . Taking a f r e s h tack, the C o l l e c t o r of Bastar, a p r o - t r i b a l i d e a l i s t yet orthodox Brahmin, decided to t r y to co-opt B i h a r i Dass. In accordance with h i s own bi a s e s he c o v e r t l y t r i e d to e n l i s t B i h a r i Dass f u r t h e r to emphasize the p r o s c r i p t i o n a g a i n s t l i q i o r and meat -- mand-mas, as they were i d i o m a t i c a l l y rendered i n H a l b i . Not wishing p u b l i c l y to endorse B i h a r i Dass, or to appear to be g i v i n g him o f f i c i a l s a n c t i o n , the C o l l e c t o r approached him i n d i r e c t l y through h i s main t r i b a l a s s o c i a t e s as w e l l as through the o l d palace munshi who were now important f u n c t i o n a r i e s i n B i h a r i Dass' growing o r g a n i z a t i o n . With l i t t l e need of per s u a s i o n , the Baba r e a d i l y accepted the C o l l e c t o r ' s t a c i t support. However, he not onl y accepted i t , but w i t h i n c r e a s e d confidence gained from the u n o f f i c i a l encouragement bestowed upon him by Bastar's most powerful p o l i t i c a l f i g u r e , he both strengthened the f o r c e of h i s e x o r t a t i o n s by t h r e a t e n i n g excommunication f o r those who ref u s e d to wear the K a n t i (adding that a l l f i s h caught by t r a n s g r e s s o r s would turn to stone), and enlarged the 154 symbolic e f f i c a c y of h i s by now m i l l e n n i a l myth by f o r e t e l l i n g a long 72 hour n i g h t of doom durin g which would occur the f i n a l judgement and punishment f o r a l l s i n n e r s . Only those, i t was s a i d , who disposed of a l l the bl a c k o b j e c t s i n t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n , i n c l u d i n g t h e i r b l ack l i v e s t o c k such as chickens, sheep, goats, c a t t l e and water b u f f a l o , would be saved from e t e r n a l damnation. I t i s important to note that t h i s was not an unprecedented event. I t was i n f a c t an almost exact repeat of an e a r l i e r occurrence: In 1932 a rumour went through a l l the t r i b e s of Jeypore and spread thence to Bastar that a god had descended on one of the mountains of the Eastern Ghats and commanded a l l men to give up keeping b l a c k p o u l t r y and goats, wearing c l o t h e s or u s i n g umbrellas or bl a n k e t s w i t h any black i n them, and u s i n g beads or a r t i c l e s made of aluminium a l l o y . The message was r a p i d l y b r u i t e d abroad, and everywhere v i l l a g e s had 'bohorani' ( d i s e a s e - r i d d a n c e ) ceremonies f o r p u r i f y i n g themselves from d i s e a s e , and c a s t out black goats, cocks, hens, umbrellas, b l a n k e t s , 'waskats' ( w a i s t c o a t s ) , beads, aluminium ornaments and domestic u t e n s i l s on the v i l l a g e boundary. Mohammedans began to make a good t h i n g out of s l a u g h t e r i n g the goats or e x p o r t i n g them. Strenuous propaganda by the State soon stopped t h i s i mpoverishing rumour, and some of the v i l l a g e r s i n the end recovered much of t h e i r p r o p e r t y from the p o l i c e , who had been ordered to take charge of i t (Grigson 1938: 76). In 1970 most of these same circumstances a l s o n e t t e d l u c r a t i v e p r o f i t s f o r n o n - t r i b a l middlemen, but to a gr e a t e r extent, as the Bastar a d m i n i s t r a t i o n was now i n i t i a l l y hamstrung by i t s behind-the-scenes c o m p l i c i t y . When the 155 C o l l e c t o r f i n a l l y d i d r e a c t to the Chapka millennium, the new moral order, he d i d so i n a sharp and d i r e c t manner, s e i z i n g without much i n the way of counter-propaganda a l l the l i v e s t o c k the t r i b a l s were l o s i n g i n give-away t r a n s a c t i o n s . Furthermore, f o r the Baba, the C o l l e c t o r ' s i n t e r v e n t i o n was not a gre a t set-back s i n c e i t r e s u l t e d i n minimal e f f e c t on the i d e o l o g i c a l commitments of B i h a r i Dass' f o l l o w e r s who, i n any case as t r i b a l s were g e n e r a l l y and o f t e n vehemently predisposed to see the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n as one of t h e i r worst enemies. In t h i s context the Baba was e a s i l y able to extend and deepen h i s i n f l u e n c e to the p o i n t where he began a c t i n g as an a l t e r n a t e a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . I t was simply a matter of e x e r c i s i n g h i s r o y a l p r e r o g i t i v e , as the Maharajah's avatar, to act as the a u t h o r i t y and a r b i t e r i n t r i b a l a f f a i r s . Thus he assumed the r o l e of judge i n any problems or d i s p u t e s that were brought before him. Unencumbered by the delays and confusions of formal j u d i c i a l p rocess, the Baba's d i s p e n s a t i o n s were i n c r e a s i n g l y sought. He. continued to press f o r t r i b a l reform, the mand-mas p r o h i b i t i o n , and i n a d d i t i o n to imposing f i n e s i n the settlement of v i l l a g e d i s p u t e s , he a l s o imposed (and c o l l e c t e d ) them when he found the i n d i v i d u a l s concerned, or anyone e l s e , not wearing h i s K a n t i bead. Along w i t h h i s own s p e a r - c a r r y i n g , khaki-wearing p o l i c e f o r c e , B i h a r i Dass i n c l u d e d i n h i s s e r v i c e s the making of h i m s e l f a v a i l a b l e 156 f o r v i l l a g e t o u r s , as the Maharajah used to do, of which each v i s i t r e q u i r e d a l a r g e monetary r e t a i n e r . Deeming these extensions of i n f l u e n c e as a thoroughly unacceptable u s u r p a t i o n of o f f i c i a l powers, the Bastar a d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n s t i t u t e d v a r i o u s c o u r t cases a g a i n s t B i h a r i Dass. His consequent a r r e s t l e d to massive r e a c t i o n by the t r i b a l s , l a r g e numbers coming to Jagdalpur i n h i s support, h o l d i n g p r o t e s t demonstrations, a g i t a t i o n s and g e n e r a l l y c r e a t i n g a very tense atmopshere e n t i r e l y r e m i n i s c e n t of the days before the palace f i r i n g t h a t k i l l e d P r a v i r . At t h i s p o i n t , e a r l y February 1972, the C o l l e c t o r ordered B i h a r i Dass to leave the d i s t r i c t w i t h i n 7 days. Before the month was out, i t was the C o l l e c t o r who, removed from o f f i c e and g i v e n one day's n o t i c e , was r e q u i r e d to leave the d i s t r i c t . The reasons f o r t h i s abrupt r e v e r s a l are r e l a t i v e l y simple: a f e a r that there might be a r e c u r r e n c e of the i n c i d e n t s of 1966, and, i n l i g h t of imminent e l e c t i o n s , the outcome of c o v e r t v o t e - b a r g a i n i n g between B i h a r i Dass and the Madhya Pradesh (Congress Party) C h i e f M i n i s t e r . In a f u r t h e r r e c a p i t u l a t i o n of P r a v i r ' s c a r e e r , B i h a r i Dass won s e v e r a l seats f o r the Congress Party i n 1972. During the campaign i t was r e p o r t e d that f o r the d e c l a r e d q u a r t e r rupee Congress Party membership fee, the Baba demanded a - f u l l rupee from the money-poor t r i b a l s . I mention t h i s not so much to emphasize c u l p a b i l i t y , a s p e c i a l i s s u e to be d e a l t with below, but to i n d i c a t e i t s j o u r n a l i s t i c source. In 157 g e n e r a l , the press exerted an a l l - o u t a t t a c k on B i h a r i Dass, s e l e c t i n g i n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c f a s h i o n the s l i n g s of moral decrepitude and s a l a c i o u s d e p r a v i t y as the main weapons of a s s a u l t . In 1973 the newspapers c a r r i e d the s t o r y that B i h a r i Dass had made pregnant two of h i s attendant t r i b a l g i r l s . While many such a l l e g a t i o n s a g a i n s t him were w i d e l y accepted as true by n o n - t r i b a l s , B i h a r i Dass' f o l l o w i n g remained st r o n g and u n i t e d . Moreover he now had f o r m a l l y l e g i t i m a t e d s t a t u s i n the modern p o l i t i c a l sphere and consequently proceeded even more v i g o r o u s l y to capture the s p i r i t u a l t i t l e to B a s t a r . The i n c l u d e d r e - d i r e c t i n g the d i s t r i c t ceremonial and r i t u a l centre to Chapka where he had a new c h a r i o t b u i l t f o r the c e l e b r a t i o n of the Dasara. R i d i n g atop the c h a r i o t i n the p o s i t i o n of the ki n g , B i h a r i Dass 1 enactment of the Dasara came c l o s e s t to e x p l i c i t l y p r o c l a i m i n g h i m s e l f as the r o y a l i n c a r n a t i o n . His d u p l i c a t i o n of the f u n c t i o n s of the Bastar kings i n c l u d e d the s e l l i n g of the sacred thread. L a t e r , d e c l a r i n g the stream f l o w i n g a l o n g s i d e h i s Chapka headquarters as 'pure' as the r i v e r Ganges, he s o l d b o t t l e s o f hol y water to h i s v i s i t o r s who were convinced of the e f f i c a c y of the baba's Hindu guarantees of s p i r i t u a l / t e m p o r a l power -- the power to manifest the New Age under the mantle of the o l d order, d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . 158 Beyond the m i l l e n n i a l p a l e , however, p o l i t i c a l events were soon to overtake the progress of B i h a r i Dass' B a s t a r . His Congress s u p e r i o r s , r e a l i z i n g that the Baba's overwhelming dominance over Bastar was both a source of much sou g h t - a f t e r favour, yet a l s o a t h r e a t to any c o n t r o l over him, played a double game: extending one hand i n s u p p l i c a t i o n , the other h o l d i n g i n rea d i n e s s the cloaked dagger. The coup de grace came i n 1975 when B i h a r i Dass was a r r e s t e d and j a i l e d f o r two years under the Maintenance of I n t e r n a l S e c u r i t y A c t . His pr o p e r t y was s e i z e d , the a c t i v i t i e s at Chapka came to a s t a n d s t i l l , and h i s c l o s e t r i b a l f o l l o w i n g d i s p e r s e d . The Baba B i h a r i Dass Movement subsided i n t o a s t a t e of u n c e r t a i n t y and w a i t i n g . T h i s does not end the s t o r y of Baba B i h a r i Dass. His movement s t a r t e d up again a f t e r h i s r e l e a s e from p r i s o n and continues up to the time of t h i s w r i t i n g , a l b e i t i n weakened form -- the Baba now j u s t i f y i n g h i s l e a d e r s h i p as a k i n d l i n g of modern socio-economic awareness among the a d i v a s i s of B a s t a r . T h i s does, however, end my account of h i s s t o r y , and a l s o , i n a sense, the s t o r y of P r a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo. The c o n t i n u i t i e s brought about by the ki n g , and extended f u r t h e r s t i l l by the sadhu, take t h e i r p l a c e as concrete a c t i o n s and events. They are as concrete as a Muria t r i b a l p l a c i n g a l i t h o g r a p h of B i h a r i Dass a l o n g s i d e one of P r a v i r and one of the Hindu goddess Lakshmi on the w a l l space f r o n t i n g a room c o n t a i n i n g the a l t a r of the a n c e s t o r s . Yet at the same time 159 they are a l s o symbolic a c t i o n s t a k i n g p l a c e i n a very meaningful c o n t e x t . I t onl y remains here to d e s c r i b e the meanings of the B i h a r i Dass s t o r y w i t h i n the terms of i t s own t e l l i n g . The f i r s t of these meanings concerns the term r e f e r r i n g to the nature of B i h a r i Dass' a c t i v i t i e s , a term which s p r i n g s from Hindu c u l t u r e and which can be t r a n s l a t e d as " p o l i t i c a l movement": 'andolan', as i n the Baba B i h a r i Dass  Andolan, a t i t l e given by the Indian p r e s s . Of the connotations of the term, the one that i s most a p p r o p r i a t e here emphasizes movement as a r e s t o r a t i o n of a pre v i o u s s i t u a t i o n (Nicholas 1973: 68). There can be l i t t l e doubt that t h i s a c c u r a t e l y d e s c r i b e s the process begun by P r a v i r and continued by B i h a r i Dass. As noted above (p. 91), i t was P r a v i r ' s prophecy that 'India w i l l once again be the land of Kings' and i n f a c t f o r the d i s t r i c t of Bastar so i t was: B i h a r i Dass i d e o l o g i c a l l y became the new k i n g . I s t r e s s the word new f o r both i t s connotations, but to b r i n g out e s p e c i a l l y the n o t i o n of a new k i n d of k i n g . M e t a p h o r i c a l l y speaking, B i h a r i Dass was P r a v i r , yet he was a l s o something more than P r a v i r f o r he promised not only a s t a t e of w e l l - b e i n g , but one premised on Hindu (Brahmanic) values and m o r a l i t y . I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that such values were i n o p p o s i t i o n t o, and a movement away from, k i n g l y or K s h a t r i y a v a l u e s . T h i s evokes another of the connotations of movement a p p l i c a b l e here, that being i n the sense of swinging back 160 and f o r t h or o s c i l l a t i n g (Nicholas 1973: 68). The B i h a r i Dass Movement set f r e e the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s that had been imprisoned i n the s y n t h e s i s achieved by P r a v i r ' s Hindu d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . The o s c i l l a t i o n set i n process was i n the d i r e c t i o n of c r e a t i n g the s e p a r a t i o n of power from s t a t u s . T h i s i m p l i c a t i o n w i l l be developed f u r t h e r i n my c o n c l u d i n g chapter. From the p e r s p e c t i v e of the Bastar t r i b a l p a r t i c i p a n t s , however, the B i h a r i Dass Movement i n i t i a t e d a " l i m i n a l " p r o c e s s . I t was l i m i n a l i n Turner's sense, that i s as a "'passage' between two r a d i c a l l y d i f f e r e n t s t a t e s of persons or s o c i e t i e s " , a passage that i m p l i e d a markedly a l t e r e d p a t t e r n of meaning ( i b i d . ) ; and, importantly, a "passage of power from one locus to another" (Burridge 1969: 153). The s h i f t i n the centre of g r a v i t y of power from P r a v i r to B i h a r i D a s s - a s - P r a v i r was the determining f e a t u r e i n the t r a n s i t i o n from m i l l e n a r i a n a c t i v i t i e s i n Bastar to the f u l l - s c a l e m i l l e n a r i a n movement. As Burridge has shown (1969: 150-53), i t i s the t r a n s f e r of power that generates the p o s s i b i l i t y of the emergence of the prophet who i n turn a r t i c u l a t e s the millennium. I t i s not n e c e s s a r i l y the case that the prophet wi11 emerge under such c o n d i t i o n s . For example, i n the circumstances of the t r a n s f e r of power i n 1947 to the Indian Government P r a v i r d i d not undertake such a r o l e . However, i n the subsequent years as P r a v i r r e c o n s o l i d a t e d h i s t r a d i t i o n a l power, he began to lean more 161 and more i n that d i r e c t i o n . His claims o f having miraculous powers, of being able to turn b u l l e t s i n t o water, and a l s o h i s t a k i n g on the appearance and demeanor of a sannasyi w i t h h i s ochre c l o t h e s , long h a i r and T a n t r i c p r a c t i c e s a l l t h i s i n d i c a t e d a b u i l d i n g up of the p r o p h e t i c persona. As observed by an i n t r i g u e d guest at P r a v i r ' s ' p a l a c e f o r a p e r i o d i n the e a r l y 1960's: He i s a y o g i and has been p r a c t i c i n g y o g i c Upasana ( d i s c i p l i n e ) f o r the l a s t twelve y e a r s . . . . One day, the Maharajah t o l d me that he was once p l a n n i n g to renounce t h i s world. At that time he suddenly saw i n h i s dream a Devi (goddess) who t o l d him, 'You have got a great r o l e to p l a y i n t h i s world and should not take f u l l - f l e d g e d sannyas (vow of r e n u n c i a t i o n ) j u s t now'. In that dream he was a l s o t o l d , as he went on saying, about a tre e by which l e p r o s y c o u l d be healed. Though he f a i l e d to r e c o l l e c t the exact i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the t r e e , he i s s t i l l i n search of i t . One gentleman who knows the Maharajah from boyhood s a i d , 'Maybe i t was f o r t h i s reason that he was then busy s e a r c h i n g f o r t r e e s . Perhaps f o r the same reason he had been f o r so many years i n f o r e s t s and on h i l l s ' " (Gupta 1964: 41-2). There are other i m p l i c i t yet nonetheless compelling reasons f o r P r a v i r ' s a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the f o r e s t , i n c l u d i n g those as d i s c u s s e d i n the a n a l y s i s of the Dasara r i t u a l s (see above, p. 64-65), and not l e a s t o f which has to do wit h the f o r e s t as home of the renouncer-sage, but here the p o i n t i s that P r a v i r d i d not take the f i n a l p r o p h e t i c a l step "out of an e s t a b l i s h e d framework i n t o a q u i t e new ambience of awareness" (Burridge 1969: 154). He iss u e d no r e v e l a t i o n , no promise of a new order, and introduced no new framework of 162 awareness or p a t t e r n of meaning. However disingenuous, h i s p i c k i n g up where P r a v i r l e f t o f f (or was made to leave o f f ) , B i h a r i Dass d i d p r o v i d e the fundamental message of the millennium: the new heaven, the new e a r t h . I t c o u l d be s t a t e d that the ge n e r a l c o n d i t i o n s or id e o l o g y of l i m i n a l i t y i n a m i l l e n a r i a n movement are such that " i t i s a p e r i o d of vanquishing e v i l and i n j u s t i c e , the i n t e r i m between the end of the o l d and the beginning of the new. The movement may be conceived as marking the end of time as i t was p r e v i o u s l y known and the beginning of e t e r n i t y , or as the t r a n s i t i o n to the good and j u s t s o c i e t y , or as the r e t u r n to the uncontaminated l i f e of the a n c e s t o r s . The ideology of a movement p r o j e c t s an image of a new l i f e that i s o u t s i d e o r d i n a r y experience and f o r which persons must take p r e p a r a t o r y a c t i o n " (Nicholas 1973: 68). In p a r t i c u l a r , the image of the new l i f e promoted by B i h a r i Dass was of a good and j u s t s o c i e t y based on an i d e a l i z e d , or 1 s a n s k r i t i z e d 1 v e r s i o n of Hindu c u l t u r e . The medium f o r t h i s promotion was c o n s t r u c t e d of b h a k t i , or Hindu d e v o t i o n a l , symbolism -- the K a n t i bead, a s t r e s s on Vaisnava hymn-singing and worship -- by v i r t u e of which the B i h a r i Dass Movement e x e m p l i f i e d the age-old f u n c t i o n of the sadhu and the b h a k t i c u l t to i n t r o d u c e i n n o v a t i o n i n t o Indian c i v i l i z a t i o n . The.sadhu/renouncer i s as much r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the major Hindu het e r o d o x i e s , such as Buddhism and J a i n i s m , as f o r the m i s s i o n a r y i n t r o d u c t i o n of 163 Hindu d e v o t i o n a l i s m to t r i b a l c u l t u r e s (Cf. Sinha 1968). At the l e v e l of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s m i s s i o n a r y experience the sadhu i s seen as a very ambivalent f i g u r e . Always l i a b l e to be suspected as a f r a u d , the sadhu i s entrenched i n the t r i b a l mythology of C e n t r a l I n d i a as both a magical p r o v i d e r and l u s t f u l c r i m i n a l (Elwin 1944: 330). N a t u r a l l y enough, t h i s a l s o c l o s e l y approximates the Hindu p r e d i s p o s t i t i o n toward the sadhu, which f a c t , i n many r e s p e c t s , accounts f o r both the antagonism of Hindu j o u r n a l i s t s -- who o n l y saw f r a u d , d e p r a v i t y and s u p e r s t i t i o n (as they saw i n P r a v i r ) -- and the incomplete c o n v e r s i o n of the Bastar t r i b a l populace to the B i h a r i Dass Movement. I t i s i n t h i s context that the is s u e of c u l p a b i l i t y i s p e r t i n e n t . B i h a r i Dass may w e l l have been g u i l t y of the kinds of e x p l o i t a t i o n of which he was accused, but t h i s was onl y of re l e v a n c e to those who were not h i s f o l l o w e r s . To them, h i s f o l l o w e r s , i t was not e x p l o i t a t i o n or o p p r e s s i o n , a l l e g a t i o n s at any r a t e e a s i l y ignored as emanating from a t r a d i t i o n of p e r c e i v e d p e r s e c u t i o n , r a t h e r i t was as p o i n t e d out above a necessary p r e c o n d i t i o n , an e s s e n t i a l p r e p a r a t o r y a c t i o n . The p r e p a r a t i o n s e n j o i n e d by B i h a r i Dass are from an a n a l y t i c a l p o i n t of view perhaps one of the most i n t e r e s t i n g aspects of the Bastar m i l l e n i u m . In the f i r s t p l a c e there i s the matter o f the precedent s et i n the 1930's when the s a l i e n c e of the c o l o u r b l a c k i n the m i l l e n n i a l 164 myth was e s t a b l i s h e d . On t h i s i s s u e i t i s to be noted that the f e a t u r e of recu r r e n c e i s not an uncommon one: m i l l e n a r i a n movements as a category of c u l t u r a l process are e p i s o d i c r a t h e r than continuous or r e g u l a r and can be c h a r a c t e r i z e d as, i n N i c h o l a s 1 terms, 'contagious' and 'su c c e s s i v e ' (1973: 70). The f i r s t q u a l i t y r e f e r s to the consequences of the communication of the m i l l e n n i a l myth across s o c i a l and r e g i o n a l boundaries, f o r example as i n the spread of news and subsequent p r o l i f e r a t i o n of cargo c u l t s from one area to another i n Me l a n e s i a . By the second q u a l i t y , s u c c e s s i o n , N i c h o l a s means: ...the tendency f o r e a r l i e r movements to become paradigms f o r l a t e r ones w i t h i n a s i n g l e s o c i e t y , as i n the " p r o p h e t i c t r a d i t i o n " of a n c i e n t I s r a e l , the r e c u r r e n c e of Crusades i n medieval Europe, and of peasant r e v o l t s i n R u s s i a s i n c e the seventeenth c e n t u r y . . . . In many s o c i e t i e s , movements of p a r t i c u l a r types become a pat t e r n e d form of response to roughly e q u i v a l e n t circumstances over s u s t a i n e d p e r i o d s of time ( i b i d . ) Except f o r Grigson's b r i e f mention of the spreading of a rumour of a god descending from the ea s t e r n mountains there i s no i n d i c a t i o n of the circumstances which (presumably) set the p a t t e r n f o r the B i a h r i Dass Movement. A l l that can be s a i d w i t h c e r t a i n t y i s that B i h a r i Dass' appearance as an avatar or d i v i n e r e i n c a r n a t i o n was analagous to the d i v i n i t y , whichever i t was, that descended from the eastern mountain. With l e s s c e r t a i n t y but on the other hand i n a l l p r o b a b i l i t y , i t can be i n f e r r e d that the o r i g i n a l p a t t e r n 165 was s e l e c t e d from or i n f l u e n c e d by C h r i s t i a n m i s s i o n a r y t e a c h i n g s . Now with 11 denominations centred mostly i n Jagdalpur, the C h r i s t i a n i n f l u e n c e began i n 1885 when the f i r s t m i s s i o n a r y a r r i v e d i n Bastar, a Father F r a s e r of the Methodist Church, who was given land by the then Maharaja to se t up a m i s s i o n (personal communication, Reverend V i c t o r Peter, Methodist Church, Jagdalpur, March 1980). I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Father F r a s e r a r r i v e d i n Jagdalpur on horseback from O r i s s a a f t e r having n e g o t i a t e d the steep passes of the Ea s t e r n Ghats. Without doubt the most meaningful aspect of the pr e p a r a t o r y a c t i o n s p r e s c r i b e d i n B i h a r i Dass' m i l l e n n i a l myth centres on the symbolism of the c o l o u r black i n Gond r e l i g i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y as i n f l u e n c e d by Hinduism. The s i g n i f i c a n c e of black, a c e n t r a l or 'dominant' symbol, thus " m u l t i v o c a l " or "polysemic" i n Turner's (1967) ren d e r i n g , i s l i n k e d up with, as i s so much e l s e , the Muria market. As di s c u s s e d i n chapter 3, the market i s the i n t e r f a c e of H i n d u - t r i b a l r e l a t i o n s and c o n c e p t u a l l y p a r t of the context of the s y n t h e s i s that h e l d the kingdom of Bastar together. I n i t i a l l y the c o l o u r black enters i n t o the meaning of the market by way of the kam'k or market r i t u a l s at which Barha Pen, the great god of Gond r e l i g i o n , i s encouraged to a s s i m i l a t e the r e c e n t l y departed ancestors on a plane of d i v i n i t y . The protean c h a r a c t e r of Barha Pen, which i s the ge n e r i c name f o r any a n c e s t r a l d e i t y , lends i t s e l f to be i d e n t i f i e d w i t h of Lakshmi, the 166 a d e i t y sometimes c a l l e d Laccmi, a v a r i a n t Hindu goddess of wealth and p r o s p e r i t y : For the Muriya Barha Pen i s i d e n t i c a l to Laccmi and i s the d e i t y the i n d i v i d u a l l i n e a g e segments are sometimes s a i d to p r i v a t e l y p r o p i t i a t e f o r good crops, wealth and p r o s p e r i t y . When the Muriya consume a meal of domestic products and r e f e r to i t as Laccmi they do not b e l i e v e they are consuming the D e i t y of Food. They use i t m e t a p h o r i c a l l y to r e c a l l a p e r s o n a l experience of the d e i t y Laccmi, that i s , i t r e l a t e s to t h e i r experience of not being poor, having p r o p i t i a t e d the d e i t y and having produced an abundance of food. I t i s i n t h i s m e t a p h o r i c a l sense that Laccmi means good or l u x u r i o u s food (Popoff 1980: 166). Now Barha Pen as Laccmi the D e i t y of Food i s symbolized by a b l a c k basket studded with cowries -- cowries, i t w i l l be r e c a l l e d , having been the t r a d i t i o n a l currency of B a s t a r . The r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of Barha Pen/Laccmi i s not found i n v i l l a g e s but i s housed i n a s h r i n e " u s u a l l y marked by the presence of b l a c k f l a g s " ( i b i d . : 167) and s i t u a t e d i n v i r t u a l l y every market. At one of three annual f e s t i v a l s which are focused on Barha Pen and the market, the s i t e of the market i s moved to a c l e a r i n g i n the f o r e s t where a b l a c k f l a g i s r a i s e d and where i n a d d i t i o n to the normal n e c e s s i t i e s , sweetmeats and " l u x u r i o u s " food are s o l d ( i b i d . ) . Throughout the day of t h i s f o r e s t market f e s t i v a l a l e s ' k e or shaman, c a r r y i n g the cowrie s h e l l basket and wearing a b l a c k s a r i i n upper caste Hindu s t y l e , i s possessed by Barha Pen/Laccmi. V i l l a g e r s come to have darshan, 'to see', the l e s ' k e , who moves i n counter-167 clockwise p r o c e s s i o n around the market p l a c e . I t should here be r e c a l l e d (above p. 68-69) that the semantic f i e l d of the market, i n p a r t i c u l a r as expressed i n the kam'k r i t u a l s , i s an ambivalent one. The market, the luxury foods a v a i l a b l e there, the f o r e s t , the Hindu o u t s i d -ers present i n the market (and i n the f o r e s t ) and even Barha Pen i t s e l f are a l l regarded as both danger and benevolence. These c o g n i t i v e and a f f e c t i v e aspects of the market are l i n k e d to symbolic a c t i o n , f o r example i n the p r o c e s s i o n a l sequence of market f e s t i v a l s i n which the d i r e c t i o n of circumambulation i s "the same as that d u r i n g f u n e r a l s and so connects the ' a n c e s t r a l - d e i t i e s ' and the D e i t y of Food as does the c o l o u r b l a c k . A black s a r i , b l a ck f l a g s and a bl a c k cowrie basket symbolize Barha Pen and black i s the p r e s c r i b e d c o l o u r of a l l ' a n c e s t r a l c h i c k s ' s a c r i f i c e d to 'ancestors; and ' a n c e s t r a l - d e i t i e s ' (Popoff 1980: 169). Given t h i s complex of a s s o c i a t i o n s evoked by the co l o u r b l a c k , the q u e s t i o n then i s how does i t and i t s d i f f u s i o n of meanings, i t s ' m u l t i v o c a l i t y ' , answer (as i t were) to the c a l l of B i h a r i Dass' millennium? Not s u r p r i s i n g l y , the answer i s complex and one must delve even f u r t h e r i n t o ethnography to get at the whole of i t . 'The whole of i t ' once again centres on Barha Pen and the f u l l n e s s of the d e i t y ' s d e f i n i t i o n . Thus, i n one context, i n the home, Barha Pen i s taken as Langgur Pen, a household or l i n e a g e d e i t y that i s a l s o i d e n t i f i a b l e as the 168 d e i t y of a wi f e ' s m a t r i l i n e a g e , an un s t r e s s e d but v i t a l l i n e of descent i n an i d e o l o g i c a l l y p a t r i l i n e a l s o c i e t y . A man i s indebted to h i s w i f e ' s m a t r i l i n e a g e , e s p e c i a l l y to h i s wife's mother, f o r both " h i s s o c i a l being and f o r the p r o v i s i o n of a daughter..." and thus, as Popoff e a r l i e r s t a t e s , "each f a m i l y and i t s l i n e a g e p r o v i d e s the means f o r the c o n t i n u a t i o n of the other and each i s the other's source of l i f e and development..." ( i b i d . : 1 7 3 f f ) . The consequences of t h i s a l l i a n c e s t r u c t u r e are manifold, but i n ge n e r a l they t r a c e out the lineaments of o b l i g a t i o n i n Muria Gond s o c i e t y . As such, they f i g u r e as r e l a t i o n s of competition rooted i n the " c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r e s t s and d e s i r e s surrounding marriage, women and the b i r t h of c h i l d r e n " ( i b i d . : 174). Th i s i n turn g i v e s r i s e to a p e r c e p t i o n of danger and t h r e a t to the f u l f i l l m e n t of r e q u i s i t e o b l i g a t i o n s . I t i s t h i s p e r c e p t i o n that c o n s t i t u t e s the p o t e n t i a l danger of Barha Pen c o n t e x t u a l l y s p e c i f i e d as the feminine ( m a t r i l i n e a l ) Langgur Pen. In t h i s r o l e Barha Pen i s u n i v e r s a l l y acknowledged as a "constant source of i l l n e s s and t r o u b l e to women and c h i l d r e n , e s p e c i a l l y daughters", and the ceremony addressed to such s u f f e r i n g i s a l s o everywhere the same: the d e i t y i s encouraged to leave the v i c i n i t y , 'to r e t u r n ' to where i t o r i g i n a t e d from ( i b i d . " : 172-3). As Popoff puts i t : 169 In order to p l a c a t e the pen and ' r e t u r n ' i t , the Muriya 'give back' o b j e c t s that i n some way b r i n g to mind the p a r t i c u l a r d e i t y at a 'cross-road' or 'boundary'.... In in s t a n c e s where Barha Pen f i g u r e s as a source of i l l n e s s i n a woman or her young o f f s p r i n g , she i s i n v a r i a b l y 'returned' with a p i e c e of c l o t h , a few c o i n s or a c h i l d ' s broken bangle. Many Murya p o i n t out that these a r t i c l e s are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the market which i s the environment connected w i t h the D e i t y of Food ( i b i d . : 173). And so i s Barha Pen 'returned', c o r r e l a t i v e l y v i a Langgur Pen, to the D e i t y of Food, and a n a l y t i c a l l y to the ' o b j e c t i v e c o r r e l a t i v e ' i n which a l l the f o r e g o i n g Muria t h e i s t i c conception and moral awareness i s condensed: the symbol of the c o l o u r b l a c k . At t h i s p o i n t we are drawing near the s i t e of entry by which t h i s symbol i s i n c o r p o r a t e d i n the Bastar -- f o r i t pre-dates B i h a r i Dass' -- m i l l e n n i a l c a l l . I s o l a t i n g i t s v a r i o u s meanings or a s s o c i a t i o n s , b l a c k i s i m p l i c i t l y but above a l l a Hindu c o l o u r . I t ' i s ' a l s o the c o l o u r of a wif e ' s m a t r i l i n e a g e assumed to be s e c r e t l y dedicated to the d e i t y Laccmi; the c o l o u r of danger and e x t e r n a l t h r e a t ; and the c o l o u r of indebtedness or o b l i g a t i o n . On the other hand, bl a c k ' i s ' the c o l o u r of food ( l i t e r a l l y i n the most important ' f i r s t - e a t i n g ' f e s t i v a l s , the c o l o u r o f pupulk or black gram), e s p e c i a l l y luxury food, but a l s o as guarantor of a l l food from f o r e s t , market or f i e l d i n the name of Barha Pen/Laccmi. Food i s i n f a c t a fundamental and profound o b j e c t of Muria d e s i r e s , both f o r i t s e l f and as a means 170 to progeny; i n short, f o r i t s l i f e - g i v i n g p r o p e r t i e s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the D e i t y of Food, symbolized by the c o l o u r b l a c k and answering n e g a t i v e l y to the competitive demands of mortals, i s a p e r v a s i v e source of i l l n e s s , f o r which treatment must take the form of p l a c a t i o n , the ' r e t u r n i n g ' of the d e i t y to the environment beyond the v i l l a g e boundaries. The same l o g i c u n d e r l i e s the bohorani or d i s e a s e - r i d d a n c e ceremonies mentioned by Grigson (1938: 193) among the Murias and Bhattras of Jagdalpur and Kondagaon t e h s i l s . At the f i n a l r i t e s of these ceremonies v a r i o u s symbolic o b j e c t s were a l s o d i s c a r d e d , 'given away' i n the Gond sense. These r i t e s took p l a c e at the head of the Keskal Pass which, s i g n i f i c a n t l y , marks the northern boundary of the former Bastar S t a t e . I t i s t h i s ' c u l t u r a l ' l o g i c , I would argue, that underwrites the Bastar m i l l e n i a l promise r e i t e r a t e d by Baba B i h a r i Dass. I t i s not, of course, that the B i h a r i Dass Movement was simply a d i s e a s e - r i d d a n c e ceremony w r i t l a r g e , though i t could be seen that way, e s p e c i a l l y i f the o b j e c t i v e i s taken as the riddance of the 'diseased' o l d o r d e r . There i s c e r t a i n l y more to i t than t h a t . Black as s y m b o l i z i n g the o l d order i m p l i e s many o p p o s i t i o n s , even i n one sense opposing i t s e l f . The conceptual s y n t h e s i s which was at the core of Bastar i d e n t i t y , the u n i f i c a t i o n of t r i b a l and Hindu gods, a l r e a d y contained elements of the new order: the 'new' k i n d of Hinduism propogated by B i h a r i Dass. 171 On the other hand, by g i v i n g up a l l t h e i r b l a c k possessions the Gonds were g i v i n g up the ambivalences, competitive s o c i a l demands, f e a r s and m i s t r u s t a s s o c i a t e d with the i n c o r p o r a t i o n of Hinduism, and even d i v i n e k i n g s h i p , w i t h i n Gond t r i b a l c u l t u r e . Black, as the c o n s t i t u t i v e symbol of t h i s i n c o r p o r a t i o n not only had to be 'given away' or 'returned', i t had to be d e - c o n s t i t u t e d , d i s s o l v e d e n t i r e l y not i n t o a new s y n t h e s i s but to be r e p l a c e d by another t h e s i s a l t o g e t h e r . In e f f e c t , i t became, i n B i h a r i Dass' f o r m u l a t i o n s , a c e n t r a l tenet of a Gond eschatology. Thus the millennium i s engaged: when the eschatology i s announced so begins the t r a n s i t i o n to, and the l i m i n a l phase before, the new order. As a r e s u l t of t h i s t r a n s i t i o n the eschatology i s superseded by the millennium. The end, the d i s s o l u t i o n of the c o l o u r b l a c k , comes to "represent or symbolize the millennium" i t s e l f (Burridge 1969: 165). The m i l l e n n i a l p r e p a r a t i o n s r e p r e s e n t a l e v e l l i n g of s o c i e t y , a s l a t e wiped c l e a n of ambivalences, of indebtedness and o b l i g a t i o n . As Burridge puts i t , the p r e p a r a t i o n s take p l a c e as a process "through which men and women express and dis c h a r g e t h e i r o b l i g a t i o n s to each o t h e r . . . " ( i b i d . ) . Once these o b l i g a t i o n s are discharged, the f i n a l a r t i c u l a t i o n s of the millennium come i n t o p l a y . The c o n s t i t u t i o n of the new e a r t h i s proclaimed -- new forms of s e l f - r e s t r a i n t , new forms of m o r a l i t y are adopted -- as i s the new heaven wi t h i t s new gods. And i n Bastar, so i t came to pass. The 172 prophet B i h a r i Dass became the new god, l e a v i n g the o l d one, P r a v i r , behind, and t r i b a l s o c i e t y and c u l t u r e was 'returned' to the w i l d e r n e s s of unknowing, to be r e p l a c e d by a p u r e l y Hindu s a l v a t i o n . ( 173 Footnotes to chapter 6 1 T h i s i s an e x t r a c t from an i n t e r v i e w w i t h Ravi Shankar B a j p a i , a lawyer of Jagdalpur and p o l i t i c a l opponent of Pr a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo, February 23, 1980. 2 Interview with Swarup Chandra Bhanj Deo, a descendant of the Mayurbhanj r u l i n g house. In another account, P r a v i r ' s f a t h e r i s d e s c r i b e d as "a man of independent nature and...not i n ( s i c ) compromising terms with the then f o r e i g n r u l e r s . Whenever he had r e a l i z e d that the f o r e i g n e r s were doing i n j u s t i c e to him and to the people of Bastar, he opposed the Government tooth and n a i l . . . . T h i s r e s u l t e d i n a s t r a i n e d r e l a t i o n between him and the paramount power so much so that he had to forego a l l h i s c l a i m over the throne.... To add i n s u l t to i n j u r y , h i s c h i l d r e n were not allowed to be with him though he was f o r c e d to l i v e i n the same town.... U l t i m a t e l y , he was ordered to leave the Bastar S t a t e " (Gupta 1964: 35-36). 3 The f o l l o w i n g v e r s i o n of the B i h a r i Dass Movement r e l i e s h e a v i l y on i n t e r v i e w s with K i r i d Doshi, a Jagdalpur j o u r n a l i s t w i t h a very strong b i a s a g a i n s t B i h a r i Dass. Comparative m a t e r i a l from other o r a l evidence has been used to e d i t out some of the grosser d i s t o r t i o n s . However, I cannot make any c l a i m to absolute v e r a c i t y i n my r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of events which i n t h e i r r e - t e l l i n g took on almost mythic q u a l i t i e s . A more s e r i o u s problem i s my l a c k of access to B i h a r i Dass h i m s e l f or to h i s t r i b a l f o l l o w e r s . An i n s i d e r view of the B i h a r i Dass Movement and i t s aftermath awaits f u r t h e r r e s e a r c h . 174 Chapter 7: The meaning of Bastar h i s t o r y and some i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the anthropology of I n d i a The f o r e g o i n g t e x t , from i t s beginnings, both has and has not had an endpoint at which to a r r i v e , a t h e s i s to demonstrate, or an hypothesis to t e s t . The c l o s e s t approximation to such ambitions has been to adopt an a n a l y t i c a l l y and d e s c r i p t i v e l y d i a c h r o n i c approach to a very g e n e r a l (and h e r e t o f o r e u n t r i e d ) problem: the s t r u c t u r e and s i g n i f i c a n c e of Bastar as an e x - P r i n c e l y State o f I n d i a . At the same time, however, the problem i t s e l f has n e c e s s a r i l y generated a c e r t a i n synchrony which must be r e c o n c i l e d with the mode of approach. T h i s r e c o n c i l i a t i o n must then i n some sense be transcended i n order to s i t u a t e my undertaking t r u l y w i t h i n an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l a p p r e c i a t i o n . I t i s i n t h i s sense that the f o r e g o i n g chapters do e n t a i l an endpoint --which i s a c o n s i d e r a t i o n of, and pronouncement upon, d i v i n e k i n g s h i p both as a t o p i c and as an a c t u a l i t y i n a p a r t i c u l a r c o n t e x t . I w i l l begin then with the is s u e s as they were presented, d e a l i n g f i r s t w ith the d i s c u r s i v e i m p l i c a t i o n s of Bastar ethnography. T h i s w i l l be fo l l o w e d by an a n a l y s i s of the p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e aspects of Bastar w i t h i n the c i v i l i z a t i o n a l f i e l d of I n d i a . T h e r e a f t e r the t o p i c of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p w i l l be cons i d e r e d , i t s p r o p e r t i e s d e f i n e d 175 and r e l a t e d to i t s e x p r e s s i o n i n Bastar, and, f i n a l l y , what t h i s d e f i n i t i o n has to say to the anthropology of I n d i a . However, before proceeding i t i s necessary to i n t r o d u c e an author overwhelmingly germane to the anthropology of I n d i a . The w r i t i n g s , a s s e r t i o n s and t h e o r i e s of Louis Dumont have become a standard, a g a i n s t or i n favour of which many c o n t r i b u t o r s to the f i e l d have formulated t h e i r f i n d i n g s . With h i s programmatic statement, "For a S o c i o l o g y of I n d i a " (with David Pocock, 1959: 7-22), Dumont has from e a r l y on been c o n t e n t i o u s , c o n t r o v e r s i a l , obscure and mostly i n t r a c t i b l e i n response to h i s c r i t i c s . But above a l l e l s e he has been g r e a t l y i n f l u e n t i a l . T.N. Madan, successor to Dumont and Pocock as e d i t o r of the f i r s t forum of p r o p o s i t i o n and debate ( C o n t r i b u t i o n s to Indian S o c i o l o g y ) , sums up Dumont's impact by p o i n t i n g out that c r i t i c i s m of h i s s o c i o l o g y of I n d i a has not decreased, or has acceptance become g e n e r a l : " the measure of i n f l u e n c e i s seen r a t h e r by the manner i n which most c o n t r i b u t o r s to the f i e l d of the s o c i o l o g y of I n d i a have found i t imperative to d e f i n e t h e i r own r e s p e c t i v e p o s i t i o n s on v a r i o u s problems -- be i t c a s t e , k i n s h i p or power -- i n r e l a t i o n to Dumont's" (1981: 411). Even the most contending p e r s p e c t i v e on the anthropology of I n d i a -- here t a k i n g anthropology as embracing s o c i o l o g y -- the " e t h n o s o c i o l o g y " of M a r r i o t t and Inden, has i n i t s own t h e o r e t i c a l c h a l l e n g e s a r t i c u l a t e d p r o p o s a l s that are rooted i n Dumont's methodological 176 i n j u n c t i o n s (see M a r r i o t t 1976: 189-195). There i s no g a i n s a y i n g the imperative mentioned by Madan i f onl y f o r the reason that Dumont's answer to the problem of the s o c i a l anthropology of I n d i a -- that p r o v e r b i a l 'great blooming, buzzing c o n f u s i o n ' -- was so encompassing (as i t were) that i t l e f t h a r d l y a stone unturned. The task was accomplished with a deftness and s u b t l e t y of s t y l e that has been both compelling and e x a s p e r a t i n g . Moreover, the s c h o l a r l y response to Dumont's work has yet to abate and i n a recent s t o c k - t a k i n g (David 1977) has been seen p o s s i b l y to amount to something of a r e v o l u t i o n i n South A s i a n anthropology. A younger g e n e r a t i o n o f a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s has a l s o taken to Dumont, whose i n f l u e n c e they have combined with that of David M. Schneider's k i n d of c u l t u r a l a n a l y s i s to produce new and very s o p h i s t i c a t e d kinds of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f Indian c u l t u r e and s o c i e t y (see Barnett, F r u z e t t i and Ostor 1976: 627-646). However, as mentioned above, t h i s should not be taken as i n d i c a t i n g that any k i n d of t h e o r e t i c a l consensus has been reached. On the c o n t r a r y , l i k e anthropology i n g e n e r a l , South A s i a n anthropology has s p l i n t e r e d i n t o a p r o f u s i o n of p o s i t i o n s , roughly a c c o r d i n g to e i t h e r a m a t e r i a l i s t or a s y m b o l i c i s t t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s u a s i o n . As p l a i n l y spoken by Kenneth David, the s i t u a t i o n "sometimes giv e s the impression of 10,000 prima donnas, each s i n g i n g i n h i s or her own key" (1977: 484). The crumbling of the p o s i t i v i s t 177 e d i f i c e has l e d to a "baroque p r o l i f e r a t i o n of m i c r o f i e l d s " ( i b i d . ) and i d i o s y n c r a t i c a r t i c u l a t i o n s which, f o r b e t t e r or worse, seems to leave anthropology d i s c o n c e r t i n g l y c l o s e to the f a t e of Humpty Dumpty. Be that as i t may, f o r South A s i a n s t u d i e s Dumont's work remains a benchmark around which much of contemporary a n a l y s i s i s a r r a y e d . In the i s s u e s more or l e s s l e f t i m p l i c i t i n t h i s t h e s i s , there i s a l s o such a q u a l i t y of r e f l e c t i o n v i s - a - v i s Dumont's a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l s i g n a t u r e . For what f o l l o w s , then, I w i l l employ mainly h i s a s s e r t i o n s and arguments to e l u c i d a t e the problems t a c i t l y present i n the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l h i s t o r y of B a s t a r . In chapter one of t h i s t h e s i s , the q u e s t i o n "who are the Gonds?" evokes, i n terms of d e f i n i t i o n a l problems, Dumont's e a r l y though s t i l l i n f l u e n t i a l note that most t r i b e s or " s o - c a l l e d ' p r i m i t i v e s ' i n I n d i a are only people who have l o s t c o n t a c t . . . " and that the f a i l u r e to recognise t h i s "has been one of the reasons which r e t a r d e d Indian ethnology and s o c i o l o g y as a whole, d e s p i t e a few b r i l l i a n t e x c e p t i o n s " (1957: 8 ) . Of course, to put i t t h i s way begs the q u e s t i o n i n the sense that the Gonds are assumed to be t r i b e s without r e a l l y examining the meaning of the term, nor i t s a p p l i c a b i l i t y to the i n h a b i t a n t s of B a s t a r . Perhaps one should a s k , i f i t i s p o s s i b l e that what Grigson i n the l a t e '30's,and Elwin i n the '40's d e s c r i b e d as ' t r i b e s ' were i n ' r e a l i t y ' c a s t e s ; and secondly, that what they dicussed as 178 t r i b a l r e l i g i o n was r a t h e r a p a r t i c u l a r form of Hinduism. T h i s i n f a c t was how Dumont l a t e r approached the qu e s t i o n i n regard to a re a d i n g of Elwin's R e l i g i o n o f an Indian T r i b e . A f t e r t h i s c r i t i c a l encounter, however, Dumont s u b s t a n t i a l l y q u a l i f i e d h i s e a r l i e r remarks: "To w r i t e , as we d i d , that most s o - c a l l e d ' p r i m i t i v e s ' i n I n d i a are onl y people who have l o s t c o n t a c t . . . i s at the same time too ambitious and too narrow" (1959: 60). What l e d to t h i s d i s c l a i m e r i n the review of Elwin's book was the a d m i s s a b i l i t y of evidence f o r the "idea of h e t e r o g e n e i t y between t r i b a l r e l i g i o n and Hinduism" ( i b i d . ) . Nonetheless, the evidence -- that the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y Hindu emphasis on the i n t r i c a c i e s of pure and impure are absent from the t r i b a l ( i . e . Saora) r e l i g i o n -- d i d not r e s t r a i n Dumont from a s s i g n i n g o v e r r i d i n g weight to c o n t r a r y evidence. He r h e t o r i c a l l y asks, "By what s t r e t c h of the imagination could such a r e l i g i o n be considered a b s o l u t e l y a l i e n to Hinduism?" ( i b i d . : 66). Here Dumont r e v e a l s the crux of the problem: a long-standing t r a d i t i o n of attempting to d i s t i n g u i s h t r i b e s and c a s t e s , or t r i b a l r e l i g i o n and Hindu r e l i g i o n , e i t h e r as a r e l a t i o n of abs o l u t e o p p o s i t i o n or as the absolute l a c k of any s i g n i f i c a n t d i s t i n c t i o n . T h i s t r a d i t i o n stems f o r the most p a r t from the B r i t i s h a d m i n i s t r a t i v e tendency ( e x e m p l i f i e d i n Bastar by W i l f r e d Grigson) to p r o t e c t what were assumed to be t r i b e s from Hindu e x p l o i t a t i o n . The p r o t e c t i o n i s t a t t i t u d e was 179 reversed to some degree i n the 1940's under the i n f l u e n c e of Indian n a t i o n a l i s m which sought to subsume the t r i b a l q u e s t i o n under a u n i f i e d Hindu theology. For s c h o l a r l y purposes t h i s was a l s o Dumont's i n i t i a l p o s i t i o n as i n f l u e n c e d by Marcel Mauss (see Dumont 1962: 121). At any r a t e , i n the contemporary (post-independence) p e r i o d p o l i t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s have r e s u r r e c t e d the e a r l i e r p r o t e c t i o n i s t a t t i t u d e , although not without a marked degree of d i s s e n t -- some of i t from Indian s o c i o l o g i c a l c i r c l e s (see Ghurye 1963) . S o c i o l o g i c a l l y , the problem of the ' e i t h e r - o r ' approach to the problem of t r i b e s and castes was most a b l y handled by F.G. B a i l e y ( i n response to Dumont). B a i l e y , concerned to s t r i p a l l but the p u r e l y s o c i o l o g i c a l from the q u e s t i o n , set h i m s e l f the "rudimentary e x e r c i s e " of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g between t r i b e s and c a s t e (1961: 11). In so doing he was the f i r s t to get down to the task of a c t u a l l y asking the q u e s t i o n : "What d i s t i n c t i o n s are to be made between t r i b a l s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n and caste s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n ? " ( i b i d . : 10). B a i l e y ' s d i s t i n c t i o n s were conceived w i t h r e f e r e n c e to how groups were organized to achieve p o l i t i c a l and economic ends. In t h i s way a t r i b e was d e f i n e d as having segmentary o r g a n i z a t i o n of groups i n h a b i t i n g a c l a n t e r r i t o r y , "but these groups are not h i e r a r c h i c a l l y arranged and they are not interdependent through economic s p e c i a l i z a t i o n " ( i b i d . : 12). Castes, a c c o r d i n g to B a i l e y , are a l s o organized 180 t e r r i t o r i a l l y f o r p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c pourposes but are arranged h i e r a r c h i c a l l y , are economically s p e c i a l i z e d and interdependent. Caste s o c i e t y , i n short, i s " o r g a n i c " . A p p l y i n g t h i s conceptual framework to h i s O r i s s a n ethnographic data, B a i l e y found that i t d i d not adequately d i s t i n g u i s h caste from t r i b e . To account f o r t h i s l a c k of f i t i n t o mutually e x c l u s i v e c a t e g o r i e s , he proposed the idea of a continuum a c c o r d i n g to which castes and t r i b e s could be l o c a t e d at d i f f e r e n t p o i n t s along a l i n e , "some nearer to the t r i b a l segmentary model, others c l o s e to the o r g a n i c caste s o c i e t y . In other words," B a i l e y goes on to say, of each s o c i e t y we must ask the q u e s t i o n : To what  extent i s t h i s s o c i e t y organized on segmentary p r i n c i p l e s and to what extent i s i t organic? We do not ask d i s j u n c t i v e l y : Is t h i s a t r i b e or a caste? S o c i e t i e s which f a l l near one pole or the other, we w i l l i n a rough and ready way c a l l e i t h e r c a s t e systems or t r i b a l systems. For those at the centre i t w i l l be impossible to say whether they are t r i b e s or c a s t e s , f o r the concrete world of s o c i a l behaviour does not permit the e x c l u s i v e n e s s and exhaustiveness which can be achieved i n l o g i c and the framing of d e f i n i t i o n s ( i b i d . : 14, o r i g i n a l emphasis). The c r i t e r i a B a i l e y used to decide the approximate l o c a t i o n of a given s o c i e t y along the p e r i p h e r i e s of the c e n t r a l l y i n t e r m i n a b l e t r i b e - c a s t e continuum were based on the a c c e s s i b i l i t y of land: where a c c e s s i b i l i t y i s more p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y d i r e c t , the c l o s e r i s that s o c i e t y to the t r i b a l end of the continuum; and "conversely, the l a r g e r 181 i s the p r o p o r t i o n of the people whose r i g h t to land i s achieved through a dependent r e l a t i o n s h i p , the nearer does that s o c i e t y come to the caste p o l e " ( i b i d . ) . However, having presented these c r i t e r i a and the d e f i n i t i o n they are based on, B a i l e y warns that they should not be used to c a t e g o r i z e concrete s o c i e t i e s , but o n l y "to help our understanding of modes of behaviour i n the process of p o l i t i c a l and economic change" ( i b i d . : 19). He f u r t h e r warns a g a i n s t c o n f e r r i n g the loose, common-sense or " a l l - p u r p o s e " d e f i n i t i o n of t r i b e -- "which i n v o l v e s economics, r e l i g i o n , h a b i t a t , and so f o r t h " -- w i t h the " r e l a t i v e l y l i m i t e d and' r e l a t i v e l y r i g o r o u s s c i e n t i f i c meaning" ( i . e . , a segmentary p o l i t i c a l system) which he assigned to i t ( i b i d . ) . Such c o n f u s i o n , a s s e r t s B a i l e y , " i s at the r o o t of the whole debate" ( i b i d . ) . While i t i s true that i f one accepts the s t r i c t u r e s as l a i d down by B a i l e y the debate appears to be r e s o l v e d , i t i s not the case that one must n e c e s s a r i l y accept those s t r i c t u r e s . In a three-page response, Dumont (1962: 120-22) r a i s e d a number of i s s u e s which c h a l l e n g e d the d i s t i n c t i o n s and r e s t r i c t i o n s a p p l i e d to the q u e s t i o n by B a i l e y . I t should be p o i n t e d out that the disagreements between Dumont and B a i l e y on the t r i b e - c a s t e system are only p a r t of a more ge n e r a l and fundamental divergence of views on the t o p i c of a s o c i o l o g y of I n d i a (see B a i l e y ' s r a t h e r outraged but p e r d u r i n g c r i t i q u e 1959: 88-101). 182 For present purposes, t h i s divergence i s e x e m p l i f i e d by Dumont's i n s i s t e n c e on b r i n g i n g r e l i g i o n i n t o the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of t r i b a l from n o n - t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s . Although B a i l e y expressed the hope l a t e r "to l i n k p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c d i f f e r e n c e s w i t h d i f f e r e n c e s i n k i n s h i p and i n r i t u a l and r e l i g i o u s behaviour" (161: 17), i t i s c l e a r that such l i n k a g e s would have counted as secondary to the i d e o l o g i c a l or r e l i g i o u s values, e s p e c i a l l y Hindu h i e r a r c h y , that Dumont holds up as of primary importance i n any t r i b e - c a s t e d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . For Dumont, the p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c dimension as expressed i n t e r r i t o r i a l r i g h t s , dependent or otherwise, i s " r e l a t i v e l y i m p e r t i n e n t " : a t r i b e "becomes a caste when i t acknowledges the values of the caste system" (1962: 122). In t h i s p h r a s i n g Dumont returned, a f t e r s t a t i n g some agreement w i t h B a i l e y , to h i s unshakeable fo u n d a t i o n . Values, that i s on the broadest l e v e l c u l t u r a l values, take precendence i n the e x p l a n a t i o n or understanding of (Indian) s o c i e t y . R e j e c t i n g such c u l t u r a l determinism, B a i l e y c i t e d Nadel to the e f f e c t that ' s o c i e t y ' i s at a higher l e v e l of a b s t r a c t i o n than i s ' c u l t u r e ' . At " t h i s l e v e l c u l t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s becomes i r e l e v a n t " , and moreover, " c u l t u r a l e x p l a n a t i o n s simply beg the q u e s t i o n " ( B a i l e y 1959: 98). As a f i n a l t h r u s t , B a i l e y a l s o r e j e c t e d the use of s o c i o l o g y as a d e s c r i p t i o n of the k i n d of a n a l y s i s -- c a l l e d by B a i l e y ' c u l t u r o l o g y ' -- proposed by Dumont (and Pocock). Obviously the debate was unre s o l v e d -- because i r r e s o l v a b l e on even 183 the most b a s i c of assumptions. In most r e s p e c t s , the impasse thus reached remains the s t a t u s quo i n terms of the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n on the problem of t r i b e s and castes i n I n d i a . Indian a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have more or l e s s been c o n s t r a i n e d to accept governmental decree as to the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of t r i b e s and c a s t e s . Most non-Indian a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have, s i n c e the 1950's, e i t h e r been p r o h i b i t e d f o r p o l i t i c a l reasons from doing r e s e a r c h on what are c l a s s i f i e d as t r i b a l groups, or, f o r v a r i o u s reasons, have l o s t i n t e r e s t i n Indian t r i b a l s o c i e t i e s i n favour of v i l l a g e , caste or Hindu c u l t u r a l s t u d i e s . 1 Given t h i s s t a t e of a f f a i r s , the question must now be asked how the s i t u a t i o n bears on Bastar, and consequently to what extent the r e s u l t s of t h i s probe can ease the deadlocked d i s c u s s i o n s of the t r i b e - c a s t e problem. We may begin by c o n s i d e r i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y that a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n s are p o i n t l e s s . T h i s i s the p o s i t i o n of Stephen T y l e r , one of the few non-Indian a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s to have worked with Gond-related peoples in the contemporary p e r i o d . He argues that from "the Indian p o i n t of view, c a s t e s , t r i b e s and s e c t s are simply j a t i s , s p e c i e s of humans, and the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n not only i s p o i n t l e s s but i s n o n s e n s i c a l i n i t s own terms, f o r d e s i g n a t i o n as a caste, t r i b e or s ect i s based on no e f f e c t i v e p r i n c i p l e s of s t r u c t u r a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n 184 (1973: 179, o r i g i n a l emphasis). R e c a l l i n g B a i l e y to mind, t h i s may seem a r a t h e r summary d i s m i s s a l , yet by employing the q u a l i f i e r " e f f e c t i v e " T y l e r i n v o l v e s the p r a c t i c a l d i f f i c u l t i e s (admitted by B a i l e y ) i n a p p l y i n g the c r i t e r i a of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n to the t r i b e - c a s t e continuum. Where T y l e r does d i s a g r e e i s i n h i s i n s i s t e n c e on the Indian p e r s p e c t i v e and i n t h i s he i s i n alignment w i t h Dumont, although he moves beyond Dumont by suggesting that 1- a l l c a s t e s , t r i b e s or s e c t s are i n c l u d e d w i t h i n a system of h i e r a r c h i c r a n k i n g . These groups a l l agree that each "ought to be r i g o r o u s l y  c l a s s i f i e d and assigned p o s i t i o n s i n a h i e r a r c h y " ( i b i d , o r i g i n a l emphasis). However, d e s p i t e the i r r e l e v a n c e of a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l e f f o r t s to s o r t out any d e f i n i t i o n a l d i f f e r e n c e s between t r i b e s and c a s t e s , T y l e r goes on to o f f e r a set of d e s c r i p t i v e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s f o r Indian t r i b a l p o p u l a t i o n s : Groups t r a d i t i o n a l l y c a l l e d t r i b e s almost always l i v e i n r e l a t i v e l y i s o l a t e d h i l l or j u n g l e areas, f o l l o w a form of s h i f t i n g c u l t i v a t i o n , hunting and g a t h e r i n g , or p a s t o r a l i s m , q u i t e f r e q u e n t l y speak a language that i s d i f f e r e n t from that spoken i n the surrounding p l a i n s , and p a r t i c i p a t e l e s s completely i n the h i g h e r forms of Hindu r e l i g i o u s ceremonial. T h i s , i t seems, i s the r e a l b a s i s f o r the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n of c a l l i n g some Indian groups t r i b e s r a t h e r than castes ( i b i d . ) . Here we may r e - e n t e r Bastar d i r e c t l y i n t o the d i s c u s s i o n . T y l e r ' s d e s c r i p t i v e e x p l a n a t i o n f o r c a l l i n g c e r t a i n groups t r i b e s undoubtedly a p p l i e s i n most r e s p e c t s to the 185 Gonds of B a s t a r . But while the a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l t r a d i t i o n of naming c e r t a i n groups t r i b e s may be thus accounted f o r , the charge that a l l e l s e i s p o i n t l e s s i s not p a r t i c u l a r l y w e l l -grounded. From the a v a i l a b l e ethnography ( i n c l u d i n g Grigson 1938, Elwin 1947, Jay 1970 and G e l l 1982) the Bastar Gonds c e r t a i n l y do not i n s i s t on r i g o r o u s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of groups and assigned p o s i t i o n s i n a h i e r a r c h y . There i s , as d i s c u s s e d i n chapter one (pp. 15-18) a caste s t r u c t u r e i n Bastar i n t o which the v a r i o u s Gond groups are i n t e g r a t e d , but the i n t e g r a t i o n i s a very loose and o f t e n vague one, i n which caste c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s r e s u l t much more from expedience than i n t e r n a l l y normative compulsions. Furthermore, the norms or values which are present i n Gond s o c i e t y are not those which c h a r a c t e r i z e caste h i e r a r c h y . As observed by G e l l , the concept of h i e r a r c h y and "the f u l l r i g o r s of caste i d e o l o g y are attenuated i n Bastar s o c i e t y , where, i n c o n t r a s t to the t y p i c a l Indian p a t t e r n , i t i s o n l y the s t a t e which i s h i e r a r c h i c a l l y o r g a n i s e d " (1982: 484, o r i g i n a l emphasis). T h i s r e i t e r a t e s an e a r l i e r p o i n t made by G e l l i n r e f e r e n c e to the Muria i n which he notes the " b a s i c opposi-t i o n " as being between "the s t a t e ( h i e r a r c h y ) and the v i l -lage ( e q u a l i t y ) " (1980: 247). C l e a r l y , here i s a d i s t i n c t i o n of some importance which T y l e r , i n h i s over-enthusiasm f o r the 'native category' p e r s p e c t i v e , has e l i m i n a t e d as a p o s s i b i l i t y . B a i l e y , although he d i d not emphasize the e q u a l i t y / h i e r a r c h y d i s t i n c t i o n , d i d at l e a s t r e c o g n i z e 186 i t and consequently i n c o r p o r a t e d i t i n t o h i s d i s c u s s i o n of the t r i b e - c a s t e q u e s t i o n . I t i s f o r t h i s reason that B a i l e y ' s concept of the continuum remains i n a 'rough and ready' way v a l i d and u s e f u l i n the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of c a s t e s from t r i b e s -- and thus was so employed i n my ethnographic opening. Nonetheless, B a i l e y ' s stripped-down d e f i n i t i o n of h i e r a r c h y (as 'organic') has not s u r v i v e d the c h a l l e n g e of Dumont's i d e o l o g i c a l e l a b o r a t i o n . There i s much yet to be d i s c u s s e d on the t o p i c of h i e r a r c h y , which d i s c u s s i o n i n p a s s i n g w i l l put the f i n i s h i n g touches to the t r i b e - c a s t e q u e s t i o n , but f i r s t a b r i e f d i g r e s s i o n on 'native c a t e g o r i e s ' i s i n o r d e r . In chapter one a d e s c r i p t i o n of a set of ' c a t e g o r i e s of the n a t i v e ' , or i n other words of t r i b a l i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s , was g i v e n . Such i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s , as they are absorbed by the Hindu p o p u l a t i o n of Bastar, come to r e f l e c t the common-sense a t t i t u d e s toward Bastar n a t i v e s , the bedrock of which i s a sense of otherness g e n e r i c a l l y l a b e l l e d a d i v a s i or a b o r i g i n a l . T h i s p r e v a i l i n g image co n t a i n s o r i e n t a t i o n s toward a d i v a s i people as p r i m i t i v e , c h i l d - l i k e , manipulable, e t c . , and allows a moral l a t i t u d e of a c t i o n which has a l l the n e g a t i v e connotations of dominance. For the most p a r t , the Bastar Gonds p a s s i v e l y accept the a d i v a s i l a b e l (along with the p a r t i c u l a r i t i e s of the l a b e l as they apply to s p e c i f i c groups) and respond, and have responded n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g c e r t a i n important exceptions to the r u l e , 187 s u b m i s s i v e l y to the e x e r c i s e of dominance. T h i s marks the primary c h a r a c t e r of H i n d u - t r i b a l r e l a t i o n s . At the same time, on the most g e n e r a l l e v e l , t h i s d e l i n e a t e s the sense of s e p a r a t i o n , the 'we-they' c o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n , experienced by the two c u l t u r e s ( c u l t u r e s used here i n the sense of p a t t e r n s of meaning h i s t o r i c a l l y c o n s t i t u t e d ) . In other Gond areas of I n d i a , f o r example, i n the p l a i n s areas of Andhra Pradesh to the south-west of Bastar, the 'we-they' separa-t i o n has begun to d i s s o l v e as the economic interdependence between Hindu and Gond has grown. In t h i s s i t u a t i o n , the Gonds themselves have a c t i v e l y t r i e d to d i r e c t t h e i r changing i d e n t i t y . The a d m i n i s t r a t i v e concept of " t r i b a l " r a t h e r than the indigenous one of a d i v a s i , or a b o r i g i n a l , with a l l i t s ( l e g a l ) conno-t a t i o n s of a p r i v i l e g e d m i n o r i t y , has become a new banner to wave (Yorke, i n Furer-Haimendorf 1982: 248) . The contemporary s i t u a t i o n i n Bastar, however, i s more complex. Amongst a s i z e a b l e p o p u l a t i o n of Gonds the new banner to wave has been mainly i n the hands of Baba Bahari Dass; while among the remainder (the m a j o r i t y ) , Gond i d e n t i -ty i s s t i l l of the nature of ' a d i v a s i ' . The m o t i v a t i o n f o r the r e t e n t i o n of the a d i v a s i i d e n t i t y has been argued as o r i g i n a t i n g i n a c e r t a i n p e r c e i v e d advantage: The T r i b a l s ' b a s i c m o t i v a t i o n i s the c o n t i n u a t i o n of a h e d o n i s t i c l i f e s t y l e to which they are deeply attached, but the p r i c e p a i d f o r i t i s the c o n t i n u -ous exchange of myths -- the myth of t r i b a l p r i m i -t i v e n e s s , Hindu patronage -- w i t h the Hindu popula-t i o n . I n t e l l i g e n t t r i b a l men have f i r m views on the t h r e a t to themselves posed by T r i b a l s to i n f i l t r a t e the Hindu-dominated power s t r u c t u r e . I t i s because 188 the i n t e r e s t s of T r i b a l s are p r o t e c t e d by the aura of the myth which surrounds them that the exchange of these myths, which one can see t a k i n g p l a c e very c l e a r l y i n the marketplace, assumes such import-ance. But they are only myths: the resource base i n which t r i b a l s o c i e t y r e s t s i s a r i c h one by Indian standards, and i t has not passed i n t o the hands of o u t s i d e r s . The e f f e c t of the market i s to e s t a b l i s h a s t e r e o t y p e of T r i b a l s , and t r i b a l - H i n d u r e l a -t i o n s , i n which T r i b a l s r e t a i n a c t u a l c o n t r o l of t h e i r resource base, at the expense of becoming s y m b o l i c a l l y p e r i p h e r a l to Hindu s o c i e t y , wards of the s t a t e . For Hindus i t i s the establishment of symbolic hegemony, f o r T r i b a l s , r e a l s e c u r i t y ( G e l l 1982: 490). There i s c e r t a i n l y some t r u t h to t h i s assessment but the author u n f o r t u n a t e l y has drawn some unwarranted c o n c l u s i o n s from the 'exchange of myths'. There i s a l s o a problem w i t h the a t t r i b u t i o n of " h e d o n i s t i c l i f e s t y l e " . T h i s has the t a i n t of the same k i n d of stereotype about which G e l l appears to be o b j e c t i v e . Hedonism, a f t e r a l l , can h a r d l y f a i l to be an o v e r - g e n e r a l i z e d s t e r e o t y p e when a p p l i e d to e n t i r e p o p u l a t i o n s . G e l l seems to have been u n w i t t i n g l y drawn i n t o the very 'myths' he d e s c r i b e s . Somewhat s i m i l a r l y , G e l l s i g n i f i c a n t l y overestimates the c o n t r o l and s e c u r i t y o f the t r i b a l resource base. As d i f f i c u l t to enforce as i t i s c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y easy to circumvent, l e g i s l a t i v e p r o t e c t i o n of t r i b a l i n t e r e s t s f a l l s f a r short of p r o v i d i n g ' r e a l s e c u r i t y ' , l e t alone any e n t a i l e d i n the r a t h e r dubious idea of mythic auras. A c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the h i s t o r y of Gond r e l a t i o n s to the f o r e s t s of Bastar, and of the slow but s t e a d i l y i n c r e a s i n g a l i e n a t i o n o f Gond land, 189 among other very r e a l t h r e a t s to t h e i r s e c u r i t y , would r e v e a l the n a i v e t e of G e l l ' s judgements. While i t i s necessary to o u t l i n e these matters of f a c t , the p o i n t to make i n regard to the above i s that whether ' t r i b a l ' or ' a d i v a s i ' , such terms have very d e f i n i t e meanings as they are a p p l i e d to the Bastar Gonds. Not o n l y meanings, but a l s o a c t i o n s concommitant with these meanings i n f u s e the moral environment of t r i b a l B a s t a r . And present-day Bastar, w i t h i t s m i l l e n a r i a n t e n s i o n s , g r i e v a n c e - l a d e n c u l t u r a l r e l a t i o n s , and recent, v o l c a n i c p o l i t i c a l h i s t o r y , i s very much caught up i n the dilemmas of t h i s environment. On the l e v e l of o b s e r v a t i o n , the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the Bastar Gonds as t r i b a l i s a v a l i d , necessary and meaningful aspect of the anthropology of B a s t a r . On t h i s l e v e l of a b s t r a c t i o n there i s l i t t l e room f o r p r o t r a c t e d debate. Dumont's concept of h i e r a r c h y , of course, i s at a much highe r l e v e l of a b s t r a c t i o n . As such, i t i s the q u i n t e s s e n -t i a l concept of h i s theory of caste s o c i e t y and simultan-eously, because so d e f i n e d , of Hindu c u l t u r e . For Dumont, i d e o l o g y (read as c u l t u r e ) i s s t r u c t u r e , and s t r u c t u r e o r g a n i z e s s o c i e t y . That such a r e a d i n g r e q u i r e s making these concepts, i n p a r t i c u l a r ideology, do r a t h e r s p e c i a l work i s to some extent r e c o g n i z e d by Dumont, yet defended: " L i f e i s not l i m i t e d to what i d e o l o g y b r i n g s to the f o r e , but each of i t s s i t u a t i o n s i s coloured, not to say s t r u c t u r e d , i n v a r y i n g degrees, with r e f e r e n c e to the g l o b a l i d e o l o g y " 190 (Dumont 1980: x x x v i i ) . The media f o r t h i s ' c o l o u r a t i o n ' , which can be t r a n s l a t e d i n t o modes of behaviour, are values, most p o w e r f u l l y those of p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n . Here the primary o p p o s i t i o n i n Indian c u l t u r e i s engaged. The o p p o s i t i o n of p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n lends i t s e l f to a d e f i n i t i o n of h i e r a r c h y not as a l i n e a r n o t i o n but r a t h e r as one i n v o l v i n g a s e r i e s of o p p o s i t i o n s between ranked s t a t u s c a t e g o r i e s , the most important p a i r being the Brahmin and K s h a t r i y a . Together, these two are opposed to the r e s t of s o c i e t y . In t h i s p h r a s i n g h i e r a r c h y becomes wedded to the indigenous theory of varna (the four t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l groupings) so that the a b s t r a c t " p r i n c i p l e by which elements of a whole are ranked i n r e l a t i o n to the whole" i s a p p r o p r i -a t e l y informed as a c u l t u r a l c o n s t r u c t (Dumont 1972: 104-5, o r i g i n a l emphasis). More s p e c i f i c a l l y , h i e r a r c h y i s a r e l i g -ious concept, " i t being understood that i n the m a j o r i t y of s o c i e t i e s i t i s r e l i g i o n which pro v i d e s the view of the whole..." ( i b i d . : 105). I t f o l l o w s i n t h i s view that r e l i g i -ous s t a t u s (the Brahmanic p r i e s t h o o d ) i s s u p e r i o r to s e c u l a r a u t h o r i t y (kingship) -- although i n p r a c t i c e the r e l i g i o u s must stand i n attendance upon the s e c u l a r . As Dumont puts i t : I t i s a matter of an absolute d i s t i n c t i o n between p r i e s t h o o d and r o y a l t y . Comparatively speaking ,the  k i n g has l o s t h i s r e l i g i o u s p r e r o g a t i v e s ; but does not s a c r i f i c e , he has s a c r i f i c e s performed. In theory, power i s u l t i m a t e l y subordinate to p r i e s t -hood, whereas i n f a c t p r i e s t h o o d submits to power. Status and power, and consequently s p i r i t u a l auth-o r i t y and temporal a u t h o r i t y , are a b s o l u t e l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d (Dumont 1972: 111, emphasis added). 191 T h i s i s a c r u c i a l statement, f o r i t leads Dumont to argue t h a t i t i s e s s e n t i a l to h i s theory of caste s o c i e t y . S e c u l a r k i n g s h i p (or i t s modern c o n t i n u i t y , the dominant caste) "share(s) to some extent i n the absolute d i g n i t y whose ser v a n t " i t i s ( i b i d . : 118) -- which i s a c o n t r a d i c t i o n of the i d e o l o g y of h i e r a c h y . In Dumont's reckoning t h i s does not i n v a l i d a t e h i s theory o f caste s o c i e t y f o r to so pronouce i t as i n v a l i d a t e d i s to be p r e j u d i c i o u s l y i n f l u e n c e d by the s o c i o c e n t r i c (Western, i d e o l o g i c a l l y e g a l i t a r i a n ) p e r p s e c t i v e . I t i s not r e a l l y a matter of c o n t r a d i c t i o n but of complementarity and t h i s i s because the h i e r a r c h i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e " i s not p e r f e c t l y r e a l i z e d i n a c t u a l i t y , or, i n other terms, does not allow d i r e c t consciousness of a l l that i t i m p l i e s " (Dumont 1980: xxx). In h i s most re c e n t f o r m u l a t i o n , h i e r a r c h y i m p l i e s not, " e s s e n t i a l l y , a chain of super-imposed commands, nor even a chain of beings of d e c r e a s i n g d i g n i t y , nor y e t a taxonomic t r e e , but a r e l a t i o n that can s u c c i n c t l y be c a l l e d 'the encompas'sing of the c o n t r a r y ' " ( i b i d . : 239). This i s Dumont's u l t i m a t e defense i n m a i n t a i n i n g the d i s t i n c t i o n between s t a t u s and power at the primary (the i d e o l o g i c a l ) l e v e l , w h i le a l l o w i n g i t to be fused at secondary ( e m p i r i c a l ) l e v e l s . I f , f o r the moment, one accepts t h i s theory -- that c a s t e s o c i e t y i s made p o s s i b l e by the h i e r a r c h i c a l s e p a r a t i o n of ( s e c u l a r ) power and ( r e l i g i o u s ) s t a t u s , the 192 the former encompassed under the l a t t e r , and the s o c i e t y as a whole c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the dominant values of p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n which s t r u c t u r e the i n t e r a c t i o n s of h e r e d i t a r y , interdependent, o c c u p a t i o n a l s p e c i a l i z a t i o n s -- then i t s negation, t r i b a l s o c i e t y , comes c l e a r l y i n t o view. And thus, g e n e r i c a l l y speaking, we can r e t u r n to the t r i b a l s o c i e t y of B a s t a r . In i t there i s no r e l a t i o n of o p p o s i t i o n between Brahmin and K s h a t r i y a , or between any comparable s o c i a l c a t e g o r i e s . Status and a u t h o r i t y , n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g s u p e r f i c i a l , modern accommodations (see P. 39 above) are not s p l i t i n t o opposing r o l e s , as i s t r i b a l s o c i e t y not s p l i t i n t o any thorough-going d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of f u n c t i o n . S i m i l a r l y i n terms of v a l u e s , i n Bastar t r i b a l s o c i e t y one cannot speak of p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n i n any c o n v i n c i n g way. That there are t r a n s i t i o n a l cases, groups such as the Halba and B h a t t r a , which have to some extent submitted to the values of p u r i t y and p o l l u t i o n , does not mark Bastar as a c a s t e s o c i e t y . When Dumont w r i t e s of the acknowledgement of the values of the caste system such that caste " i s here the dominant element, even though i t i s t o l e r a n t to c e r t a i n t r i b a l f e a t u r e s " (1962: 122), he o v e r s t a t e s h i s case. Acknowledgement i s not a synonym of submission. For Bastar, h i s statement i s b e t t e r r e v e r s e d : t r i b e i s there the dominant element, even though i t i s t o l e r a n t to c e r t a i n c a s t e f e a t u r e s . However, to be f a i r , i t should be mentioned that Dumont, having come a c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s t a n c e from h i s 193 i n t i a l i c o n o c l a s t i c p o s i t i o n on the q u e s t i o n of t r i b e , does f i n a l l y grant a c e r t a i n i m p l i c i t l e g i t i m a c y to the concept as i t i s manifested i n p e n i n s u l a r I n d i a . Concluding h i s a n a l y s i s of the ethnography of the Saora of h i g h l a n d O r i s s a a t r i b e s i m i l a r i n many r e s p e c t s to the Gonds of neighbour-i n g Bastar, Dumont remarks: I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that outwardly the Saoras m a i n t a i n t h e i r autonomy, and consequently have not submitted to the i n t r i c a c i e s of pure and impure, while inwardly they r e c o g n i z e the p r e s t i g e of t h e i r (Hindu) neighbours (1959: 74). Because he i s concerned to emphasize the i n t e r r e l a t e d n e s s o Hindu and t r i b a l r e l i g i o n , which though r a t h e r s e l f - e v i d e n t has o f t e n been a c o n t e n t i o u s i s s u e i n South A s i a n a n t h r o p o l ogy, t h i s i s as c l o s e as Dumont has come to a d m i t t i n g the conceptual and e m p i r i c a l v a l i d i t y of t r i b e s i n I n d i a . The data from Bastar can o n l y a f f i r m and r e i n f o r c e t h i s v a l i d i -t y . The p r e c e d i n g d i s c u s s i o n has presented the relevance o Dumont's theory of c a s t e f o r the q u e s t i o n of t r i b e as a s o c i e t a l d i s t i n c t i o n i n B a s t a r . As has been shown, t h i s theory i s p r e d i c a t e d on a p a r t i c u l a r model of Indian k i n g -ship as represented i n the Brahman-Kshatriya r e l a t i o n . The model i s what Dumont c a l l s " c o n v e n t i o n a l k i n g s h i p " (1970: 73). The c o n d i t i o n s f o r i t s f o r m u l a t i o n and subsequent pe r v a s i v e n e s s were e s t a b l i s h e d as a process of s e c u l a r -194 i z a t i o n which, Dumont s p e c u l a t e s , took p l a c e i n the v e d i c p e r i o d ( i b i d . : 68). P r i o r to t h i s time k i n g s h i p was of the " m a g i c o - r e l i g i o u s " type, which, d e s p i t e Brahmanical ' s e c u l a r i z a t i o n ' on one l e v e l , remained " i n contact w i t h popular m e n t a l i t y " on another ( i b i d . ) . N e v e rtheless, the i d e o l o g i c a l s h i f t from m a g i c o - r e l i g i o u s or d i v i n e k i n g s h i p to c o n v e n t i o n a l or s e c u l a r k i n g s h i p i s the roo t of the caste system, "while the caste system we know i s that d e s c r i b e d by Hocart p l u s t h i s fundamental t r a n s f o r m a t i o n " (Dumont 1965: 90, o r i g i n a l emphasis). There f o l l o w s from t h i s a problem: how are Dumont's a s s e r t i o n s on the development of caste s o c i e t y to be r e c o n c i l e d , i f at a l l , with the case of Bastar, which seems to be an emphatic counterexample to h i s argument? There are two i m p l i c a t i o n s to be considered i n r e l a t i o n to the problem. The f i r s t concerns the nature of the s t a t e i n Bastar, i n t h i s t h e s i s taken up as the development of i t s p o l i t i c a l / s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e (chapter two); and the second i n v o l v e s the nature of Bastar's d i v i n e k i n g s h i p , taken up i n t i a l l y as a demonstration o f the r i t u a l i n t e g r a t i o n (at the h i g h e s t l e v e l s ) of t r i b a l and Hindu r e l i g i o n , then manifested as a b i o g r a p h i c / a n a l y t i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n of modern d i v i n e k i n g s h i p (chapters three and f i v e ) . In the i n t r o d u c t o r y remarks i t was s t a t e d that the t r a d i t i o n a l s t a t e of Bastar was " c o n s t i t u t e d by a r e l a t i o n of complementary o p p o s i t i o n " (p. 20 above). T h i s serves 195 simply to i n d i c a t e the b a s i c conceptual dichotomy between the t r i b a l e q u a l i t y at the p e r i p h e r i e s and the Hindu h i e r a r c h y at the c e n t r e ( s ) of Bastar s t a t e . The complementarity of the two concepts l i e s i n t h e i r mutual completion, the r e s u l t of which i s the u n i f i c a t i o n of Bastar as a whole. Along t h i s l i n e of reasoning there i s l i t t l e problem i n a c c e p t i n g Dumont's dictum on h i e r a r c h y as the encompassing of the c o n t r a r y . As w e l l , t h i s i s a s a t i s f a c t o r y way of summing up the process d e s c r i b e d e a r l i e r as the s o l i d i f c a t i o n of Raj p u t - i n s p i r e d r u l e over a t r i b a l populace (chapter two). But i t does not say very much about the nature of the s t a t e thus c o n s t i t u t e d . In p o t e n t i a l remedy one has recourse to the l i t e r a t u r e ( e s p e c i a l l y Fox 1971, 1977) on 'realm and r e g i o n i n t r a d i t i o n a l I n d i a 1 . However, t h i s area too has been imprinted with Dumont's co n t e n t i o u s i n f l u e n c e . On the one hand there are those s c h o l a r s "who wish to understand Indian realms and regions from w i t h i n , by d e c i p h e r i n g or t r a n s l a t i n g the indigenous idiom of r u l e and power, of f r o n t i e r and centre"; and on the other there are those "who hope to comprehend t r a d i t i o n a l s t a t e s and s o c i e t y from without, by employing models and methodologies d e r i v e d from c r o s s - c u l t u r a l comparison and by u s i n g c a t e g o r i e s of a n a l y s i s drawn from t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e s c h o l a r l y d i s c i p l i n e s " (Fox 1977: xxv). I t i s a l i t t l e c u r i o u s that such a c o n f r o n t a t i o n has come i n t o being i n 196 that i t s i n s t i g a t o r , Dumont, has been at pains to s i t u a t e h i m s e l f at the j u n c t u r e of these two approaches (see Dumont 1980, p r e f a c e ) . At any r a t e , one focus of c o n f r o n t a t i o n has been the use of models d e r i v e d from A f r i c a n ethnography to account f o r the t r a d i t i o n a l k i n g l y s t a t e i n I n d i a . The p a r t i c u l a r model under d i s c u s s i o n , the concept of the segmentary s t a t e developed by Aidan S o u t h a l l (1953), has i t s antecedents i n the work of E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d and F o r t e s (1941). I t s most rec e n t a p p l i c a t i o n has been at the i n t i a t i v e of Burton S t e i n , who c o n s i d e r s the Chola kingdom of South I n d i a i n r e l a t i o n to the segmentary s t a t e conception (1977: 3-51). I t i s unnecessary here to enter i n t o the arguments a g a i n s t the segmentary s t a t e model s i n c e most deal with s t e r i l e debates on the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of p o l i t y , or make the unwarranted assumption that because the model does not f i t a p a r t i c u l a r case, i t i s t h e r e f o r e suspect i n f i t t i n g any case -- i n other words that there must be one to one correspondence between model and r e a l i t y . The l a t t e r p o i n t i s r e l a t e d to the n e g l e c t i n t h i s c r i c t i c i s m of the p r o c e s s u a l development of s t a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n . In f a c t , the segmentary s t a t e model i s e s p e c i a l l y a p p r o p r i a t e to the development of Bastar s t a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n as presented here i n that i t i s "taken to r e p r e s e n t a p o s i t i o n on the continuum of goverance formations" ( i b i d . : 9 ) . However, i n 197 order to proceed I s h a l l have to make c l e a r some d i f f e r e n c e s v i s - a - v i s S t e i n i n my own approach to the segmentary concept. What S t e i n ( f o l l o w i n g S o u t h a l l ) has termed a segmentary s t a t e I have c a l l e d ( f o l l o w i n g S a h l i n s ) a chiefdom (p. 34 above); which amount to the same t h i n g except f o r a c e r t a i n angle of approach. My own usage of segmentary i s rooted i n the Gond t r i b a l system and moves to meet an advanced permutation of i t , the Rajput system, on the l e v e l of weak c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y , i . e . , the primus i n t e r pares k i n g . Over time there developed a thorough r i t u a l i n t e g r a t i o n at the s t a t e l e v e l , w h i le economically and p o l i t i c a l l y the s t a t e r e t a i n e d a very loose set of l i n k a g e s between Hindu centres and t r i b a l p e r i p h e r i e s . Except f o r the B r i t i s h propping up of the kingdom i n times of t r o u b l e and e l e v a t i n g the Bastar k i n g s h i p to a l e v e l more e x a l t e d than i t i n t r i n s i c a l l y was, the l a t t e r set of c o n d i t i o n s p e r s i s t e d up to Indian independence. On the other hand, S t e i n takes Chola k i n g s h i p as an a l r e a d y e s t a b l i s h e d segmentary s t a t e with an only i n f e r e n t i a l r e f e r e n c e to i t s " t r i b a l s i t u a t i o n " , as he d i a c r i t i c a l l y puts i t (1977: 30). T h i s he admits i s a weakness i n h i s argument ( i b i d . : 39), and i t has been c r i t i c i z e d as a more or l e s s i n v a l i d demonstration of the o p p o s i t i o n between t r i b a l and caste o r g a n i z a t i o n s (Fox 1977: x v i ) . 198 Be that as i t may i n a n c i e n t Tamilnadu, the a p p l i c a t i o n of S o u t h a l l ' s model to medieval Bastar and beyond presents no such d i f f i c u l t i e s . While there i s some i n d i s t i n c t n e s s at the o v e r l a p p i n g area marking t r i b a l - H i n d u i n t e r a c t i o n , there i s a d e f i n i t e o p p o s i t i o n at the c e n t r a l / p e r i p h e r a l extremes of c a s t e / t r i b a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s i n B a s t a r . S o u t h a l l ' s d e f i n i -t i o n of the segmentary s t a t e accounts f o r t h i s c o n f i g u r a t i o n i n the f o l l o w i n g ways: 1) T e r r i t o r i a l s o v e r e i g n t y i s recognized but l i m i t -ed and e s s e n t i a l l y r e l a t i v e , forming a s e r i e s of zones i n which a u t h o r i t y i s most absolute near the c e n t r e and i n c r e a s i n g l y r e s t r i c t e d towards the per-iphery, o f t e n shading o f f i n t o a r i t u a l hegemony. 2) There i s c e n t r a l i z e d government, yet there are a l s o numerous p e r i p h e r a l f o c i of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n over which the centre e x e r c i s e s o n l y a l i m i t e d c o n t r o l . 3) There i s s p e c i a l i z e d a d m i n i s t r a t i v e s t a f f at the c e n t r e , but i t i s repeated on a reduced s c a l e at a l l the p e r i p h e r a l f o c i of a d m i n i s t r a t i o n . 4) Monopoly of the use of f o r c e i s s u c c e s s f u l l y claimed to a l i m i t e d extent and w i t h a l i m i t e d range by the c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y , but l e g i t i m a t e f o r c e of a more r e s t r i c t e d order inheres at a l l the p e r i p h e r a l f o c i . 5) S e v e r a l l e v e l s of subordinate f o c i may be d i s t -i n g u i s h a b l e , organized p y r a m i d a l l y i n r e l a t i o n to the c e n t r a l a u t h o r i t y . The c e n t r a l and p e r i p h e r a l a u t h o r i t i e s r e f l e c t the same model, the l a t t e r being reduced images of the former. S i m i l a r powers are repeated at each l e v e l w i t h a d e c r e a s i n g range, every a u t h o r i t y has c e r t a i n recognized powers over the subordinate a u t h o r i t i e s a r t i c u l a t e d to i t ( S t e i n 1977: 9-10). As w e l l as a s i x t h p o i n t d e a l i n g w i t h the s h i f t i n g a l l i e g -ances of the more p e r i p h e r a l subordinate a u t h o r i t i e s , S t e i n 199 o f f e r s a number of e l a b o r a t i o n s of S o u t h a l l ' s model, the more important of which i n c l u d e : 1) In a segmentary s t a t e s o v e r e i g n t y i s d u a l . I t c o n s i s t s of a c t u a l p o l i t i c a l s o v e r e i g n t y or c o n t r o l and what S o u t h a l l terms " r i t u a l hegemony" or " r i t u a l s o v e r e i g n t y " . . . 4) The segmentary s t a t e as a whole i s made up of subordinate u n i t s -- segments -- the o r g a n i z a t i o n of which, as i n the s t a t e as a whole, i s pyramidal. Pyramidal segmentation may be s a i d to e x i s t i n two senses. F i r s t , the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the centre and the p e r i p h e r a l segments of any s i n g l e element i s the same -- i n reduced form -- as the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the prime cente r and a l l p e r i p h e r a l f o c i of power.... The other sense i n which pyramidal seg-mentation may be s a i d to e x i s t i s that there i s o p p o s i t i o n which i s complementary among the p a r t s of the s t a t e as a whole as w e l l as w i t h i n any c o n s t i t u -ent segment ( i b i d . : 10-11) There are thus a l s o two senses i n which the segmentary s t a t e concept i s a p p r o p r i a t e to Bastar: one i n which complementary o p p o s i t i o n s t r u c t u r e s c a s t e - t r i b e r e l a t i o n s , and the other i n which subordinate a u t h o r i t i e s , the t r a d i t i o n a l zamindars or ' l i t t l e r a j a s ' are complementarily opposed to the c e n t r a l domain (the k h a l s a around Jagdalpur, above p. 40). At i t s widest l e v e l the segmentary model, c u l t u r a l l y manifest as the Rajput model d e s c r i b e d by W i l l s , accommodates Bastar i t s e l f as a subordinate a u t h o r i t y a r t i c u l a t e d to the Chhat-t i s g a r h kingdom of Ratanpur. Now, these l e v e l s of comple-mentary o p p o s i t i o n u l t i m a t e l y were co - o r d i n a t e d as a s t r u c t u r e of h i e r a r c h y , each one encompassed by a succeeding r e l a t i o n of g e n e r a l i t y u n t i l f i n a l l y the centre was reached 200 -- i n the case of Bastar at l e a s t , i n d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . R i t u a l hegemony or s o v e r e i g n t y i s the aspect of the segmentary s t a t e concept most a p p r o p r i a t e to the anthropology of B a s t a r . I t i s the l i n k to d i v i n e k i n g s h i p proper and, once again, though here as a c h a l l e n g e , to Dumont's theory of Indian s o c i e t y . What was granted above i n order to argue the c a s t e - t r i b e d i s t i n c t i o n , the s e p a r a t i o n of s t a t u s and a u t h o r i t y , w i l l have to be c r i t i c a l l y re-examined i n l i g h t of Bastar s t a t e as a whole. Chapter three of t h i s t h e s i s e s t a b l i s h e d the r i t u a l s y n t h e s i s of Bastar Gond and Hindu r e l i g i o n . I t presented the conception that the loose p o l i t i c o - e c o n o m i c i n t e g r a t i o n of Gond and Hindu s o c i e t i e s was completed by an o v e r - a r c h i n g i d e o l o g i c a l f u s i o n (as r e v e a l e d i n the Dasara r i t u a l s ) dominated by the d i v i n i t y of Bastar k i n g s . While i t can be accepted that such an arrangement conforms to the n o t i o n of f e u d a l s o v e r e i g n t y , i t i s c l e a r i n the Indian case (at l e a s t ) t h at the g r e a t e r emphasis must l i e with ' r i t u a l ' as opposed to ' p o l i t i c a l ' s o v e r e i g n t y -- although t h i s i s a p u r e l y a n a l y t i c a l d i s t i n c t i o n f o r i n the Indian s t a t e r i t u a l i s p o l i t i c s as w e l l as l e g i t i m i z a t i o n of economic r e l a t i o n s h i p s . 2 N e v e r t h e l e s s , more important i s the f a c t that i n terms of k i n g s h i p the "idiom of i d e o l o g y i n pre-modern I n d i a was r e l i g i o u s . . . " ( S t e i n 1977: 19), t h i s p o i n t of course being the s t a r t i n g p o s i t i o n of Dumont's theory of Indian s o c i e t y . 201 But, as we have a l s o seen, Dumont i n s i s t s on the 'con-v e n t i o n a l i z a t i o n ' or ' s e c u l a r i z a t i o n ' of k i n g s h i p as the p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r caste s o c i e t y 'as we know i t 1 . What, then, can be made of B a s t a r ' s d i v i n e k i n g s h i p ? At l a s t , t h e r e f o r e , i t must be asked: what i s ' d i v i n e k i n g s h i p ' and, i n l i g h t of the answer, how are we to view Bastar s o c i e t y ? I f the Bastar monarchy conforms to the d e f i n i t i o n of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p and i f Bastar s o c i e t y conforms i n i t s Hindu p a r t , as i t does, to Dumont's theory of caste o r g a n i z a t i o n , how i n the end can t h a t theory be upheld? The study of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p , as every student of anth-ropology knows, begins w i t h F r a z e r , whose p r o d i g i o u s labours spawned a whole ge n e r a t i o n of s i m i l a r s t u d i e s , as w e l l as a movement, a secondary p r o j e c t of d i f f u s i o n i s m , s o - c a l l e d the 'Myth and R i t u a l School' (Hooke 1958: 1-4). Perhaps the l a s t major e x p r e s s i o n of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p s t u d i e s came i n the m i d - f i f t i e s w i t h the V l l l t h I n t e r n a t i o n a l Congress f o r the H i s t o r y of R e l i g i o n s , the c e n t r a l theme of which was " s a c r a l k i n g s h i p " (Widengren et a l , 1959). I t would be impossible to summarize t h i s enormous body of l i t e r a t u r e but i t i s pos-s i b l e at l e a s t to summarize the r e l e v a n t f e a t u r e s of a v a r i e t y of i n s t a n c e s of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . The ' c l a s s i c a l ' example i n anthropology of d i v i n e k i n g -ship i s of the S h i l l u k of the N i l o t i c Sudan ( E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1962). D i v i n e k i n g s h i p among the S h i l l u k , the author t e l l s us, must be understood as a mediation between man and god, 202 that i t must be viewed as a r i t u a l r a t h e r than a j u d i c i a l or a d m i n i s t r a t i v e o f f i c e , and that " i s the k i n g s h i p and not the k i n g who i s d i v i n e " (1962: 210). G e n e r a l i z i n g from these i n s i g h t s , E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d concludes that k i n g s h i p everywhere and at a l l times has been i n some degree a sacred o f f i c e . Rex e s t mixta persona  cum sacerdote. T h i s i s because a k i n g symbolizes a whole s o c i e t y and must not be i d e n t i f i e d with any p a r t of i t . He must be in. s o c i e t y and yet stand o u t s i d e i t and t h i s i s o n l y p o s s i b l e i f h i s o f f i c e i s r a i s e d to a m y s t i c a l plane ( i b i d . ) . 3 For present purposes the most important i n f e r e n c e to be drawn from these pronouncements i s that k i n g s h i p , and a n t e c e d e n t l y , power, i s d u a l i s t i c i n n a t u r e . Kingship appears as a u n i t y , as i t must i f i t i s to represent the whole-, but i s composed of d i s t i n c t a t t r i b u t e s , one as the source of power and the other as i t s execution -- the l a t t e r among the S h i l l u k l e f t i n most circumstances to the l i n e a g e c h i e f t a i n s . S u c c i n c t l y put, "the k i n g of the S h i l l u k r e i g n s but does not govern" ( E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1962: 200). From a comparative p e r s p e c t i v e , and although more with regard to g e n e r a l p r o s p e r i t y , Hocart nonetheless makes the same p o i n t : "The k i n g cannot alone c a s t i n c r e a s e . He must have the a s s i s t a n c e of departmental p r i n c i p a l s , as we may c a l l h i s c h i e f t a i n s " (1970: 102). In yet another p h r a s i n g the p o i n t i s brought home: "'A s i n g l e wheel cannot t u r n , ' says the 203 A r t h a s a s t r a , r a t h e r i n a c c u r a t e l y , 'and so government i s only p o s s i b l e w i t h a s s i s t a n c e . T h e r e f o r e a k i n g should appoint c o u n c i l l o r s and l i s t e n to t h e i r a d v i c e ' " (Basham 1959: 98). Thus i n theory d i v i n e k i n g s h i p combines these aspects, the l e g i t i m i z a t i o n and the e x e r c i s e of power. In p r a c t i c e , however, the e x e r c i s e of power i s l e f t i n other hands. T h i s can be brought out f u r t h e r i n c o n s i d e r i n g two other c l a s s i c a l cases, those of Egyptian and Mesopotamian k i n g s h i p s . In Egypt, although the Pharaoh was seen as a god ( F r a n k f o r t 1948: 237), combining " i n h i s complex p e r s o n a l i t y d i v i n e transcendence and immanence... f o r p r a c t i c a l purposes he delegated h i s f u n c t i o n s to the p r o f e s s i o n a l p r i e s t h o o d who shared i n some measure i n h i s p e r s o n a l i t y " (James 1959: 65). In the Mesopotamian monarchy, where the k i n g was not god i n c a r n a t e , r a t h e r "a mortal made to c a r r y a superhuman charge which the gods could remove at any time..." ( F r a n k f o r t 1948: 238), the r u l e r s were p r i m a r i l y o r a c u l a r and executive i n f u n c t i o n , i n t e r p r e t i n g the w i l l and purposes of the gods. In a sense t h i s i s the reverse of the Egypt i a n s i t u a t i o n . But the d u a l i t y inherent i n k i n g s h i p i s preserved and manifested again i n the p r i e s t h o o d s , which "were the teachers and learned s e c t i o n of the community con s e r v i n g a l l knowledge human and d i v i n e " (James 1959: 67). Whether as d i v i n e i n c a r n a t i o n s l i k e the Pharaohs or as servants of the gods as i n the case of Mesopotamian r u l e r s , the k i n g s i n these examples could embody and enact power 204 only i f one or the other f u n c t i o n was made to r e s i d e i n a c t u a l i t y elsewhere. Another aspect of Mesopotamian monarchy i s d i r e c t l y r e l e v a n t to the d i v i n e k i n g s h i p of B a s t a r . While normally the Mesopotamian k i n g was not considered a god, there were c e r t a i n r u l e r s who represented a f u s i o n of humanity and d i v i n i t y ( F r a n k f o r t 1948: 295). These were kings who were d e i f i e d by v i r t u e of a sacred marriage w i t h a goddess and who were thus " c r e d i t e d with an i n f l u e n c e on the p r o s p e r i t y o f the land f a r exceeding that f o r which the u s u a l Mesopotamian terminology allowed" ( i b i d . : 299). Here we are reminded of the Bastar k i n g s ' r e l a t i o n s h i p to t h e i r t u t e l a r y goddess, a p o i n t to which we s h a l l r e t u r n below. For the moment i t i s necessary to note that a comparison of Egypt wi t h Mesopotamia on t h i s b a s i s i s not more than s u p e r f i c i a l : In both Egypt and Mesopotamia the k i n g was ins t r u m e n t a l i n f u r t h e r i n g the n a t u r a l processes, but the c h a r a c t e r of that i n s t r u m e n t a l i t y d i f f e r e d . In Mesopotamia the goddess claimed a s e r v i c e which the k i n g rendered; i n t h i s r e s p e c t at l e a s t the d e i f i c a t i o n of the k i n g d u r i n g the r i t u a l . . . w a s i n keeping with the p r e v a l e n t Mesopotamian view that the k i n g was the chosen servant of the gods. Pharaoh, on the other hand, was never d e i f i e d . He was d i v i n e i n o r i g i n and e s s e n c e . . . ( i b i d . ) . From these sketches of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i n other c u l t u r e s i t can be seen that Bastar k i n g s h i p was something of an amalgamation of Near Ea s t e r n f e a t u r e s . On the one hand 205 Bastar kings claimed d i v i n e o r i g i n s , and on the other were s u b s e r v i e n t , a l b e i t as c h i e f p r i e s t s to the s t a t e goddess (see above, pp. 58-9). I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that t h i s p a r t i c u l a r form of the d u a l i t y of k i n g s h i p i s c a r r i e d on i n the K a k a t i y a d y n a s t i c mythology. In one v e r s i o n of the l a t t e r , the founders of the K a k a t i y a l i n e , " during (whose) time golden r a i n f e l l " ( E l l i o t t 1856: 65), were considered i n c a r n a t i o n s of Mahadeo (or S i v a ) . In l a t e r s h i f t s i n the seat of power, such l o c a l i z a t i o n s i m p l i c i t w i t h female d e i t y (see above p. 51), subsequent generations of kings became a s s o c i a t e d with d i f f e r e n t l y named goddesses: i n D e l h i she was 'Deleiswaree', i n Mathura she became 'Bhowaneshwaree', i n Warangal 'Manik-eswaree', and of course Danteshwari i n B a s t a r . Despite the name changes the c o n t i n u i t y of the a s s o c i a t i o n of k i n g w i t h goddess expresses the r e l a t i o n s h i p which c o n s t i t u t e s Bastar k i n g s h i p . I t i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p of power c o n s t i t u t e d by a merging of the symbol of power, i t s 'essence' (the goddess), w i t h i t s m a n i f e s t a t i o n (the k i n g ) . T h i s i s another way, the Bastar way, of s a y i n g 'rex e s t mixta persona cum sacer-dote'. I t i s i n t h i s way that " . . . a l l k i n g s h i p has some of the f e a t u r e s of the d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . . . " ( E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d 1962:. 210), a p o i n t which has a l s o been demonstrated i n a number of contexts by C l i f f o r d Geertz (1977). 206 T h i s i s not to say that Indian k i n g s h i p , or Bastar d i v i n e k i n g s h i p f o r that matter, i s not a s p e c i a l case. Bastar n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g f o r the moment, Indian k i n g s h i p admits of a number of problems, the f i r s t having to do (as above) wi t h i t s nature i n a comparative context. The d i f f i -c u l t y can be s t a t e d as f o l l o w s : The Hindu k i n g cannot be c l a s s e d with the kings of e a r l y Egypt or Japan as a transcendent d i v i n i t y , a source of a u t h o r i t y h i m s e l f separated from and uni n v o l v e d i n the immanent and day-to-day a f f a i r s of h i s kingdom. Nor, on the other hand, can he be grouped w i t h the monarchs of a n c i e n t Mesopotamia, P e r s i a , China, or f o r that matter, medieval Europe, as a "mere" human agent or servant of the t r a n -scendent d i v i n e , an immanent a d m i n i s t r a t o r of h i s kingdom ever dependent on the a u t h o r i t a t i v e grace of a god. Rather, the Hindu k i n g appears as a c o n t r a d i c t o r y combination of the two, a f i g u r e who i s expected to transcend;the world as a d i v i n e , yet humble, almost a s c e t i c worshipper and pa s s i v e focus of a u t h o r i t y on the one hand, and to make h i m s e l f immanent as a d i v i n e w a r r i o r and a d m i n i s t r a t o r , d e c i s i v e i n the everyday concerns of h i s realm, on the other (Inden 1978: 29).4-In an immediate sense the reason f o r t h i s d i f f i c u l t y , the apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n i n views on k i n g s h i p , i s that there i s no c o n s i s t e n t p o s i t i o n i n the t r a d i t i o n of pronouncements upon k i n g s h i p i n I n d i a : there i s no u n i f i e d view of k i n g -s h i p . Although "the r e l i g i o u s aspect of k i n g s h i p cannot be denied" (Heesterman 1978: 3), the problem i s that s a c r a l or d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i s e s s e n t i a l l y an u n f i n i s h e d patchwork (thought note that t h i s i s on the t e x t u a l l e v e l ) : 207 A l l the p a r t s seem to be a v a i l a b l e but the t e x t s do not t r y to put them together. They remain i s o l a t e d and d i s p a r a t e p i e c e s of evidence spread over d i f f e r e n t c o n t e x t s . What i s l a c k i n g i s a c o n s i s t e n t o v e r a l l scheme that would give substance to a c o n s o l i d a t e d theory of s a c r a l k i n g s h i p . As i t i s , however, k i n g s h i p remains, even t h e o r e t i c a l l y , suspended between s a c r a l and s e c u l a r i t y , l e g i t i m a t e and a r b i t r a r y power, dharma and adharma ( i b i d . ) . And the reason f o r t h i s undecided s t a t e of a f f a i r s , Heesterman continues, i s " . . . t h a t i t i s not the k i n g but the Brahmin who, a c c o r d i n g to the c l a s s i c a l conception, holds the key to r e l i g i o u s values and t h e r e f o r e to l e g i t i m a c y and a u t h o r i t y ( i b i d . : 4 ) . T h i s b r i n g s us to the Brahmin-Ksha-t r i y a r e l a t i o n s h i p proper. From the f o r e g o i n g i t might be expected that there i s "an e s s e n t i a l c o n f l i c t i n Hindu s o c i e t y between p r i e s t and k i n g " (Dumont 1958: 58). But f o r Dumont, as we have seen, there i s no c o n f l i c t , no qu e s t i o n o f ' e i t h e r - o r ' ( e i t h e r r e s o l u t i o n i n favour of the Brahmin or the K s h a t r i y a , i n favour of p u r i t y or power), r a t h e r that there i s both. Furthermore, he upbraids Hocart f o r " u n j u s t i f i a b l y " , i n h i s o p i n i o n , " e l e v a t i n g the K s h a t r i y a as a d i v i n e k i n g , i n i t i a t o r and r e c e i v e r of the c u l t " ( i b i d . ) . The d i f f i c u l t y w i t h t h i s , however, i s that i t i s based on a readi n g of the t e x t s which a s s e r t s that d i v i n e k i n g s h i p was superseded by a ' c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d ' one -- which i s a t r u l y u n j u s t i f i a b l e r e s u l t of t r y i n g to re p r e s e n t the e n t i r e Indian t r a d i t i o n along a s i n g l e a x i s . The f a c t i s that d i v i n e k i n g s h i p even on a t e x t u a l l e v e l (dated much l a t e r than the p u t a t i v e 208 t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of m a g i c o - r e l i g i o u s to s e c u l a r k i n g s h i p ) i s not so e a s i l y dismissed, as has been a b l y demonstrated by Ronald Inden (1978). There i s a coherent corpus of t e x t s having to do wit h the meaning of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i n the Indian t r a d i t i o n . And i n a sense, these t e x t s can be con s i d e r e d the raw m a t e r i a l from which a c t u a l , that i s , Bastar d i v i n e k i n g s h i p , was put together. A c c o r d i n g to the I n d o l o g i s t Jan Gonda, " i n examining the s t a t u s of the a n c i e n t Indian k i n g from the r e l i g i o u s p o i n t of view we should never f o r g e t that he i s c a l l e d a deva, that i s to say, not God, the s o l e E t e r n a l Lord and Cr e a t o r of a l l t h i n g s , nor h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , but one of a c l a s s of powerful beings, regarded as p o s s e s s i n g supernormal f a c u l t i e s and as c o n t r o l l i n g a department of nature or a c t i v i t y i n the human sphere" (1966: 24). The l o c a l working out of t h i s idea i s present i n twenty generations of Kak a t i y a kings o f Bastar having t h e i r names s u f f i x e d w i t h deo, a d e r i v i t i v e of the S a n s k i r t deva.5 The author c o n t i n u e s : A c c o r d i n g to some a u t h o r i t a t i v e t e x t s , e.g. Manu 7, 4 f f , the k i n g was i n the beginning c r e a t e d from e t e r n a l and e s s e n t i a l p a r t i c l e s - o f Indra, and the seven other great devas, who i n l a t e r l i t e r a t u r e are grouped as "guardians of the world" ( l o k a - pala....These d i v i n i t i e s very s i g n i f i c a n t l y r e p r e s e n t those f u n c t i o n s and a c t i v i t i e s which are the e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c c o f k i n g s h i p ( i b i d . : 25). 209 E x t r a c t e d from Gonda's survey, the s a l i e n t f e a t u r e s of Indian d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i n c l u d e : "the b r i l l i a n t p r i n c i p l e of supernormal might, which en a b l e s . . . ( t h e king) to perform gr e a t e x p l o i t s . . . " ; the "concern with v e g e t a t i o n and f r u i t f u l n e s s " ; the q u a l i t i e s of p r o d u c t i v i t y , wealth and g e n e r o s i t y , f o r example, "he i s thought to present h i s l o y a l f o l l o w e r s w i t h v a r i o u s g i f t s . . . " ; the conception that the k i n g " i s the d i v i n e c o u n t e r p a r t of the e a r t h l y p r i e s t h o o d : he i s the ' p r i e s t ' , the c h i e f p r i e s t . . . . So p r i e s t h o o d may be s a i d to be the most s a l i e n t f e a t u r e of h i s c h a r a c t e r " ; the concern "with growth, v i t a l i t y and ve g e t a t i o n " , s u c h that "by r e g u l a t i n g the powers of f e r t i l i t y , by causing r a i n , w e l f a r e , and the growth of c r o p s . . . ( t h e king) was con s i d e r e d a source of p r o s p e r i t y . . . " (1959: 173-5). In t h i s l i s t of e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t i e s can be found a very accurate p o r t r a y a l of the meaning of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i n Ba s t a r . Thus, "when we s t a r t from the s a c r a l o f k i n g s h i p , the d i f f e r e n t p i e c e s may f a l l i n t o a c o n s i s t e n t p a t t e r n . The k i n g would then p r i m a r i l y be a r e l i g i o u s f i g u r e : d i v i n i t y as w e l l as c h i e f c e l e b r a n t " (Heesterman 1978: 3 ) . While i t remains tru e , as Heesterman c a u t i o n s , that on a t o t a l t e x t u a l l e v e l a l l t h i s i s e s s e n t i a l l y a c o n s t r u c t i o n , on the l e v e l of observed r e a l i t y , of the l o c a l working out of ideas, i t i s a manifest c o n s t r u c t i o n made manifest i n Bastar k i n g s h i p — p e r t i n e n t l y as can be found i n P r a v i r Chandra Bhanj Deo's k i n g s h i p . Although not n e c e s s a r i l y h i s f u l l 210 m o t i v a t i o n , much of h i s behaviour can be understood as a working out of the i d e a l s of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p , complemented by the congruent responses of h i s t r i b a l f o l l o w e r s . One merely needs to r e c a l l some of the p a r t i c u l a r s of P r a v i r ' s de f a c t o k i n g s h i p -- h i s great emphasis on p u b l i c g e n e r o s i t y , h i s repeated a s s e r t i o n s of s u p e r n a t u r a l power, the b e l i e f among the Gonds of h i s presence guaranteeing the proper r a i n s , f e r t i l i t y and p r o s p e r i t y , h i s s t a t u s as the c h i e f p r i e s t (as w e l l as husband) to the goddess Danteshwari -- to see how very c l o s e l y h i s r u l e , and without much doubt the enture Bastar K a k a t i y a l i n e , f o l l o w e d the a n c i e n t t r a d i t i o n . What, however, becomes of the problem of s t a t u s and a u t h o r i t y ? Dumont, of course, answers that i t i s a matter of ' h i e r a r c h i c a l complementarity'. "That i s , " says Dumont, "the p r i e s t i s subordinate to the k i n g i n mundane matters that regard the p u b l i c o r d e r . . . . ( n e v e r t h e l e s s ) P r i e s t s are s u p e r i o r , f o r they are i n f e r i o r only on an i n f e r i o r l e v e l " (1982: 14). By means of t h i s h i e r a r c h i c a l complementarity, the d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of the two f u n c t i o n s i s l i n k e d by Dumont to the e v o l u t i o n of i n s t i t u t i o n s ( i b i d . ) . In I n d i a s a c r a l s o v e r e i g n t y gave way to the i d e o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n that l e d to caste s o c i e t y . I t i s here that the core o f the problem i s reached. S a c r a l s o v e r e i g n t y of whatever ideology, as we have seen i n the examples above, co n t a i n s an i m p l i c i t d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of power so that the f u n c t i o n s ( s t a t u s and 21 1 a u t h o r i t y , which concepts r e f e r to the source or l e g i t i m a t i o n of power and i t s execution r e s p e c t i v e l y ) become d i s t i n c t . And what i s i m p l i c i t i n d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i n I n d i a i s made r i t u a l l y e x p l i c i t . Inden, f o r example, has shown i n h i s exegesis of the r a j y a b h i s h e k a the i n s t a l l a t i o n r i t u a l of the Indian k i n g , that "the apparent c o n t r a d i c t i o n between the transcendent and immanent aspects of Hindu k i n g s h i p , between the k i n g as ceremonial s p e c i a l i s t and a d m i n i s t r a t o r - w a r r i o r , i s r e s o l v e d by c y c l i c o s c i l l a t i o n between the two, that t h i s o s c i l l a t i o n i s l o g i c a l l y necessary and d e s i r a b l e " (1978: 59). In other words, by means of t h i s c y c l i c o s c i l l a t i o n Hindu d i v i n e k i n g s h i p found a pla c e f o r both s t a t u s and a u t h o r i t y -- and thus f o r the c a s t e system -- without having to r e s o r t to a thorough-going s e c u l a r i z a t i o n of k i n g s h i p . In the r a j y a b h i s h e k a the Brahmin played a c r u c i a l r o l e i n a c t i v a t i n g the d i v i n i t y of the k i n g ( i b i d . : 54), but once a c t i v a t e d , the k i n g became 'su p e r i o r on the s u p e r i o r l e v e l ' -- because he became the c h i e f p r i e s t , at l e a s t i n a primus i n t e r pares sense. As Dumont h i m s e l f says, "Hierarchy thus o f f e r s the p o s s i b i l i t y of r e v e r s a l " (1980: 224). Even i f the ideology of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p bespeaks a u n i t y (of k i n g and p r i e s t , s t a t u s and a u t h o r i t y ) , i t i s a l s o a h i e r a r c h i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n and thus must i n some way come to terms with d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . What the g l o b a l i d e o l o g y p e r f o r c e combines, the r i t u a l s of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p , by the l o g i c of h i e r a r c h y , d i f f e r e n t i a t e . 212 T h i s i s a l s o the case i n Bastar and the evidence f o r i t (though as yet incomplete) i s found i n chapter three of t h i s t h e s i s i n the account of the Dasara r i t u a l s . I t i s i n the enactment of these r i t u a l s that we can see the i d e o l o g i c a l r e v e r s e that Dumont mentions. Rather than the d i s t i n c t i o n between s t a t u s and power maintained at the major l e v e l w h ile being fused at the minor l e v e l , the d i s t i n c t i o n i s c a r r i e d out at the minor l e v e l w h ile being fused at the major. The major l e v e l may be s a i d to be that of the g l o b a l ideology, that i s of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p . The minor l e v e l i s represented by the l o g i c a l n e c e s s i t y of d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g the separate f u n c t i o n s i m p l i c i t i n d i v i n e k i n g s h i p , which n e c e s s i t y i s expressed r i t u a l l y . The k i n g at the Dasara i s d i v i d e d i n t o r o l e s which are i d e n t i f i a b l e by v i r t u e of these f u n c t i o n s . The saddhu surrogate i n s t a l l e d i n h i s "cave" e x i s t s as the s p i r i t u a l s a n c t i o n of d i v i n e s t a t u s while the manager of the s t a t e takes on the f u l l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of s e c u l a r power or a u t h o r i t y . T h i s leaves the k i n g the s o l e i d e n t i t y of transcendent d i v i n i t y , f r e e to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the r i t u a l hierogamy that the Dasara u l t i m a t e l y c e l e b r a t e s . While i t would thus appear that Dumont's fundamental assumption i n h i s theory of c a s t e s o c i e t y i s mistaken, i t i s more a matter of c o r r e c t i n g the context of t h i s assumption. D i v i n e k i n g s h i p i m p l i c i t l y permits the d i s t i n c t i o n between s t a t u s and a u t h o r i t y , as i t must i f s o c i e t y i s to remain u n i f i e d and v i a b l e , but i t does not do so at the i d e o l o g i c a l 213 expense of l o s i n g i t s r e l i g i o u s p r e r o g a t i v e s . Dumont i s not n e c e s s a r i l y wrong; he has simply not r e a l i z e d the f u l l p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the working out of h i s theory. In the l a s t a n a l y s i s the meaning of Bastar h i s t o r y must be seen as the development of an ingenious s o l u t i o n to the conundrum of Indian k i n g s h i p . The s i g n i f i c a n c e of contemporary Bastar h i s t o r y l i e s i n the c o n f r o n t a t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l r e l i g i o u s k i n g s h i p w i t h modern, s e c u l a r a u t h o r i t y , the r e s u l t i n g f i n a l t r a n s f e r of power l e a d i n g to the Baba B i h a r i Dass m i l l e n a r i a n movement. The most important i m p l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r anthropology i n g e n e r a l i s that d i v i n e k i n g s h i p i s not merely an outworn t o p i c yet again i n v e s t i g a t e d but that i t , e s p e c i a l l y i n the case of B astar, must be looked at a f r e s h -- that i s , i n terms of the i n h e r e n t l y dichotomous nature of power. 214 Footnotes to chapter 7 1 A p a r t i a l e xception to t h i s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i s the c o n t i n u i n g i n t e r e s t of German a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , p a r t i c u -l a r l y from H e i d e l b e r g , i n r e s e a r c h among Indian t r i b a l p o p u l a t i o n s . The younger g e n e r a t i o n i n v o l v e d i n t h i s r e s e a r c h t r a d i t i o n has renewed the moral p a r t i s a n s h i p o f t e n i n h e r e n t i n Indian t r i b a l s t u d i e s (see Moser and Gautam 1978). 2 See C l i f f o r d Geertz 1974, 1980, f o r the example of B a l i , a l s o an Indie s t a t e : "Court ceremonialism was the d r i v i n g f o r c e of c o u r t p o l i t i c s . Mass r i t u a l was not a device to shore up the s t a t e ; the s t a t e was a device f o r the enactment of mass r i t u a l " (1974: 344). Of course, Bastar was not e x a c t l y a 'theatre s t a t e ' i n the mode of B a l i , but can be taken to some extent as proto-t y p i c a l . 3 Compare P r a v i r ' s e a r l i e r quoted statement r e g a r d i n g the nature of h i s own d i v i n i t y : " . . . i t i s d i f f i c u l t f o r people to understand that God i s i d e n t i c a l w i t h h i s u n i v e r s e and ...(yet) he i s always apart i n a world of h i s own (Bhanj Deo 1965: 82). 4 Inden continues w i t h the f o l l o w i n g which r e l a t e s to the nature of the Indian s t a t e as d i s c u s s e d above: "These opposed views of k i n g s h i p are, of course, i m p l i c i t l y l i n k e d w i t h the views of Indie k i n g s h i p as d e c e n t r a l -i z e d and f e u d a l (segmentary) or c e n t r a l i z e d and bureau-c r a t i c (whether c o n s t i t u t i o n a l i s t or a b s o l u t i s t ) . The transcendent v a r i e t y of k i n g s h i p i n which the d i v i n e k i n g , a c t i n g p r i m a r i l y as a c e r e m o n i a l i s t , e x e r c i s e s r i t u a l s o v e r e i g n t y , f i t s w ith the d e c e n t r a l i z e d or segmentary model. The immanent type, where the monarch f u n c t i o n i n g as an a d m i n i s t r a t o r and w a r r i o r e x e r c i s e s p o l i t i c a l s o v e r e i g n t y f i t s w i t h the c e n t r a l i z e d and a b s o l u t i s t model" ( i b i d . ) . T h i s , however, ignores the d i a c h r o n i c i m p l i c a t i o n s connecting the two models. As argued i n chapter two, not only i s one model a success-or to the other over time, but a l s o l o g i c a l l y they are permutations of each o t h e r . E v a n s - P r i t c h a r d s u p p l i e s the c o r r e c t i v e view when he says of d i v i n e k i n g s h i p that " . . . i t i s an i n s t i t u t i o n t y p i c a l of, though doubt-l e s s not r e s t r i c t e d to, s o c i e t i e s w i t h pronounced l i n e -age systems i n which the p o l i t i c a l segments are p a r t s of a l o o s e l y organized s t r u c t u r e without governmental f u n c t i o n s . In s o c i e t i e s of t h i s k i n d the p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n takes a r i t u a l or symbolic form which i n p o l i t i e s w i t h a higher degree of o r g a n i z a t i o n gives way, though never a c t u a l l y e n t i r e l y , to c e n t r a l i z e d o r g a n i z a t i o n " (1962: 210). I t i s i n t h i s l i g h t that 215 Footnotes ( c o n ' t ) . the segmentary s t a t e model must be seen, that i s , as p a r t of the continuum, i n t h i s t h e s i s an h i s t o r i c a l continuum, of governance formations. 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