This paper deals with a number of questions relating to politics based on "
ethnicity" or community belonging among "tribal" or indigenous peoples in I
ndia's northeastern region. In particular, I probe the complex question of
indigenous peoples' right to self-determination, a right that most indigeno
us organizations in the world regard as crucial and that is central to the
UN draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Autonomy or self-
determination, in one form or another, is on the agenda of more or less all
mobilized communities in Northeast India. In multi-ethnic contexts, howeve
r, it is not easy to translate such demands into viable political solutions
. By discussing several different cases, the contemporary Bodoland movement
, the Naga struggle for sovereignty, and the mobilization of the Rabha peop
le, the paper brings the issue of indigenous politics in India into focus.