This presentation will reflect on insights from the Indian case of adivasi rights to explore the relationship between ethnicity and socio-economic concerns. It will suggest that while the focus on indigenous or ethnic rights must be celebrated in particular moments in time, we equally need to reflect on and call attention to the limitations of struggles based on such rights. Drawing on more than a decade of field research in Jharkhand, Eastern India the presentation will address adivasi rights activism and the Maoist movement in India.