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Tribes and Indian National Identity: Location of Exclusion and Marginality

India’s Evolving National Identity
Virginius Xaxa

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National identity is generally posited as a feeling of consciousness and loyalty toward one’s community as ethnos (people). As ethnos, communities have common origins (real or fictitious), histories, languages, cultures, customs, traditions, and territorial boundaries. Communities also have sovereignty, and they care specifically for their members’ interests and welfare. At the same time, communities seek to preserve and promote their national identity through the enrichment and revival of language and other social and cultural customs. Given that India is a land of enormous diversity, this understanding of national identity poses serious challenges to the conception of a coherent Indian national identity.