Nishaant Choksi, Sukanya Deogam and Kalpesh Rathwa’s research focuses on labor migrants from India’s “Scheduled Tribes”—mostly marginalized indigenous populations that depend on remittances. The authors look at differences both across and within two very different labor sending indigenous communities in terms of how they responded to the return of large numbers of migrants during the Covid-19 pandemic. One area of interest is the differing expectations of and orientations toward local government in the two communities in terms of handling dramatic socio-economic stresses caused by the reduction in remittances and the reintegration of migrants.
Nishaant Choksi received his PhD in anthropology from the University of Michigan followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Kyoto University in Japan. Currently, he is assistant professor of social sciences at Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar in Gujarat, India. His research areas include the study of script and writing systems, language and performance, the aesthetic component of language, cultural politics of heritage, and issues of self-governance and livelihood. Choksi examines these themes mainly with respect to the situation of Adivasi communities of India, with whom he has been conducting ethnographic research for almost two decades. His ongoing field projects include work with Bhili speakers in eastern Gujarat, Mundari speakers in Jharkhand, Santali speakers in West Bengal, and collaborative projects with communities in Northeastern India. Choksi has published articles in several peer reviewed journals such as the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Modern Asian Studies, Language and Society, and South Asian History and Culture.