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Dr Jagannath Ambagudia

Associate Professor , Guwahati campus

Dean - School of Social Sciences and Humanities

M.A., M. Phil., Ph. D. in Political Science (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)

Jagannath Ambagudia is Dean, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, and Associate Professor at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati Campus. Previously, he taught at Rajdhani College, University of Delhi; National Law School of India University, Bangalore and ARSD College, University of Delhi. 

He is the author of Adivasis, Migrants and the State in India (London and New York: Routledge). This book looks at the contested relationship between Adivasis or the indigenous peoples, migrants and the state in India. It delves into the nature and dynamics of competition and resource conflicts between the Adivasis and the migrants. Drawing on the ground experiences of the Dandakaranya Project – when Bengali migrants from erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) were rehabilitated in eastern and central India – the author traces the connection between resource scarcity and the emergence of Naxalite politics in the region in tandem with the key role played by the state. He critically examines the way in which conflicts between these groups emerged and interacted, were shaped and realised through acts and agencies of various kinds, as well as their socio-economic, cultural and political implications. The book explores the contexts and reasons that have led to the dispossession, deprivation and marginalisation of Adivasis.

Advanced Praise for Adivasis, Migrants and the State in India


‘This well-researched and well-written book addresses the seminal issue of rehabilitation of migrants that has confronted the Indian State since independence. Taking the example of the Dandakaranya Project, under which East Bengal migrants were rehabilitated in eastern India, it shows how this impacted on the Adivasis of the region, triggering competition and conflict between communities over access and control over scarce resources. The study provides an excellent exploration of the relationship between the state and migrants, how group conflicts emerge, their socio-economic and cultural repercussions, resulting in domination and political marginalisation of the Adivasis as also triggering Naxalite activity in Odisha. An excellent addition to migration studies, the book will provide a framework for future research on this continuing challenge.’ Sudha Pai, Former National Fellow, Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi; Former Rector (Pro-Vice Chancellor) and Professor, Centre for Political Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

‘A much-needed exposition of the conflict over resources between Bengali migrants and native Adivasis in central and eastern India, and the state’s role in further marginalising the Adivasis.’ Alpa Shah, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK


Along with Prof. Virginius Xaxa, he has edited the volume, Handbook of Tribal Politics in India (New Delhi: Sage Publication, Forthcoming). It is undoubtedly the most authoritative source for a systematic and comprehensive study of this vibrant field of scholarship. Divided into three sections, the chapters cover a broad range of themes ranging from a general introduction to tribal politics to exploring contemporary issues and concerns within the discipline.

The book presents a trajectory and authentic overview of tribal politics while keeping in mind the changing relationship between tribal communities and democracy. Using qualitative and quantitative data, it studies the role of tribal political representatives in public policy-making, issues related to communities, and the nature and dynamics of tribal politics at the state and national levels. It explores the patterns, conditions and challenges of tribes’ participation in electoral politics and presents the issues and agendas that will continue to affect the tribal politics in future.

This book is an essential resource for teaching and research in political science and other social science disciplines studying comparative political dimensions.


Jagannath's research primarily investigates the different dynamics of Adivasi (Indigenous) society, especially Adivasi politics, every day experiences of inclusive policies of the state, development and deprivation, social discrimination and marginalisation, preferential treatment, distributive justice, their relationship with other communities in the context of resource utilisation in India. Though his research essentially focuses on Adivasi issues, he is also interested in migration studies, policy studies, democracy and development etc.


1.  Jagannath Ambagudia (2019), Adivasis, Migrants and the State in India, London and New York: Routledge.


Edited Book(s)

1. Jagannath Ambagudia  and Virginius Xaxa (Forthcoming/2020), Handbook of Tribal Politics in India, New Delhi: Sage.


Journal Articles (Selected)

1. Jagannath Ambagudia (2019a), “Adivasis, Preferential Policy and the State in Odisha”, Social Change, 49(2), pp. 199-215.

2. Jagannath Ambagudia (2019b), "Scheduled Tribes, Reserved Constituencies and Political Reservation in India" Journal of Social Inclusion Studies, 5(1), pp. 44-58.

3. Jagannath Ambagudia (2017), "Doing Political Science Differently: Experiences from an Institute of Social Sciences", Studies in Indian Politics, 5(1), pp. 67-72.

4. Jagannath Ambagudia (2015), "On the Edge of Scarcity: Understanding Contemporary Community Conflicts in Odisha, India", Conflict Studies Quarterly, 10, pp. 41-55.

5. Jagannath Ambagudia (2011), “Scheduled Tribes and the Politics of Inclusion in India”, Asian Social Work and Policy Review, 5(1),  pp. 33-43.

6. Jagannath Ambagudia (2010), "Tribal Rights, Dispossession and the State in Orissa”, Economic and Political Weekly, 45(33), pp. 60-67.



Chapters in Edited Volume (Selected)

1. Jagannath Ambagudia (Forthcoming/2020), "Tribes and Electoral Politics in Odisha" in Jagannath Ambagudia and Virginius Xaxa (eds.), Handbook of Tribal Politics in India, New Delhi: Sage.

2. Jagannath Ambagudia and Virginius Xaxa (Forthcoming/2020), "Introduction: Situating Tribal Politics in India" in Jagannath  Ambagudia and Virginius Xaxa (eds.), Handbook of Tribal Politics in India, New Delhi: Sage.

3. Jagannath Ambagudia (2020), "Tribes and Quality Education: Issues, Concerns and Prospects" in Surojit Sen Gupta (ed.), Tribal Education in Search of Quality, Agartala: Tribal Research and Cultural Institute, Government of Tripura, pp. 17-30.

4. Jagannath Ambagudia (2017), "Regime of Marginalisation and Sites of Protest: Understanding Adivasi Movement in Odisha, India" in John Synott, Heather Devere and Kelli TeMaiharoa (eds.), Peacebuilding and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Experiences and Strategies for the 21st Century,  Springer International, pp. 155-165.

5. Jagannath Ambagudia (2010), “Combating Social Exclusion in Education: Re-Examining the ‘Inclusive’ Framework” in Yagati China Rao and Sudhakar Karakati (eds.), Exclusion and Discrimination: Concepts, Perspectives and Challenges, New Delhi: Kanishka Publishers and Distributors, pp. 272-292.

6. Jagannath Ambagudia (2010), “Development or Destitution: Rethinking Tribal-State Relationship in Orissa” in Debal K. SinghRoy (ed.), Interrogating Social Development: Global Perspectives and Local Initiatives, New Delhi: Manohar Publishers and Distributors, pp. 239-267.


Book Reviews

1. Jagannath Ambagudia (2015), "Whose Movement?", a review of Crispin Bates and Alpa Shah (2014) (eds.), Savage Attack: Tribal Insurgency in India, New Delhi: Social Science Press, 2014, The Book Review, 39(3), pp. 21-22.

2. Jagannath Ambagudia (2015), a review of Rudolf C. Heredia (2012), Taking Sides: Reservation Quotas and Minority Rights in India, New Delhi: Penguin, History and Sociology of South Asia, 9(1), pp. 102-105.

3. Jagannath Ambagudia (2014), “Whose Development?”, a review of Arun Kumar Ghosh and Ram Dayal Munda (2012) (eds.), The Other Side of Development: The Tribal Story, New Delhi: Konark Publishers Pvt. Ltd., Economic and Political Weekly, 49(12), pp. 27-30.

4. Jagannath Ambagudia (2013), “Vagrant Community Life”, a review of Daniel Buckles, Rajeev Cheddar, Bansi Ghevde and Dnyaneshwar Patil (2013), Fighting Eviction: Tribal Land Rights and Research-in-Action, New Delhi: Foundation Books, The Book Review, Vol. 37(5), pp. 13-14.

5. Jagannath Ambagudia (2011), “Adivasi-Colonial Interface”, a review of Biswamoy Pati (2011) (ed.), Adivasis in Colonial India: Survival, Resistance and Negotiation, New Delhi: Orient Blackswan, The Book Review, 35(12), pp. 17-18.

6. Jagannath Ambagudia (2011), “Religious Assertion and Conflict”, a review of Peggy Froerer (2010), Religious Division and Social Conflict: The Emergence of Hindu Nationalism in Rural India, New Delhi: Social Science Press, The Book Review, 35(5), pp. 16-17.


1. Scheduled Tribes and Democracy: Role of Tribals MPs in Indian Parliament, sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi (2018- 2020, Major Research Project). 

The Project  explores the nature of participation in parliamentary debates by the tribal MPs belonging to various political parties and independent MPs, especially in the context of bills related Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, Forest Rights Act and Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act. Further, it explores the role of tribal MPs in various parliamentary committees set up to address tribal issues. It analyses the nature of participation by the tribal and non-tribal MPs in parliamentary debates on tribal issues.

1. BC02: Social Theory and Research (Compulsory Course, M. Phil. in Social Sciences)

2. TC01: Democracy, Rights and Tribes in India (Thematic/Optional Course, M. Phil. in Social Sciences)

3. PaCS01: Studying Conflict (M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies)

4. PaCS12: Conflict Resolution-I (M.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies)

5. CD6: Contemporary Politics in India  (M.A. in Social Work with Specialisation in Community Organisation and Development Practice)

6. LSSP16: Public Policies and Labour (M.A. in Labour Studies and Social Protection)

7. LSSP22: Corporate Governance, Corporate Social Responsibility and Labour (M.A. in Labour Studies and Social Protection)

8.IC3: Development (B.A. in Social Sciences)



Email: jagannath.ambagudia[at]tiss[dot]edu

Dr. Jagannath Ambagudia

Associate Professor

Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies

School of Social Sciences and Humanities

Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Guwahati Campus

Tetelia Road



Assam, India