Sacrificing People

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Author : Felix Padel
Pages : 504
Edition : 2011

Sacrificing People is a provocative anthropological study of the structures of power and authority which the British rule imposed on a tribal people of Central India, the Konds. The Konds practised human sacrifice and in the pretext of rooting out this ‘barbaric’ ritual, the British waged wars of conquest against them subjecting them to a century of exploitation.

Recalling the violence during the colonial period, this book puts into perspective the violence and ethnic cleansing in the district of Kandhamal (2007–8) when invading forces burnt dozens of Kond villages. It also brings to light how mining companies have invaded the Kond territory due to the rich Bauxite cappings dominating their largest mountains and displaced several million tribal people.

From colonial intrusion to developmental displacement, the author draws attention to how the colonial mindset and system of exploitation continue till date. Who is an innocent victim? When is the taking of life justified? Who claims the right to do so? Who is sacrificing whom? It is through these questions that this book analyses the roots of human violence which sacrifices the essence of being human.

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