A growing literature has examined various issues concerning indigenous rights in Asia. Yet the most urgent question is why, how and under what conditions the state recognises it. Why do some countries accept the international call for indigenous right but others reject it? Without the state's recognition, the cause of indigenous peoples and their rights looks dim. This paper examines the politics of the varied Asian responses to the international call for indigenous rights. It discusses reasons and conditions under which states or other actors endorse or deny indigenous people and their rights. The conclusion of the paper raises the issue of human agency in the politics of recognition.