People from India’s Northeast have crafted distinct as well as diverse cultural cryptograms, discernments and personality which is frequently at loggerheads with the power politics from outside the region. Thus, attention is often on the societies of the Northeast India as they putter with transforming institutions and more intensive resource consumption in the wake of modernization and development activities. This volume is an examination into questions of who exercises control, who constructs knowledge/ideas about the region and how far such discourses are people-centric. It inspects how India’s Northeast have been understood in colonial and post-colonial contexts through the contributions from research scholars and faculties from different academic spaces. These contributions are both from within the region as well as from neighbourhood. Thus, presenting a cross-dimensional gaze on social, political, economic as well as issues related to space-relation.
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Northeast India: History of the Present and Predicament of the Future Part I: Framing the Northeast 1. A Tale of Many Brahmaputras: Borderlands, Waterscapes and Geographies in Colonial Northeast India 2. Colonial Construction of the ‘Lazy Native’ and Formation of Assam’s Tea Industry 3. Analysing the Contours of India’s ‘New’ Regional Diplomacy: The Importance of Northeast Part II: Being a Northeasterner 4. Dressing My Culture: The Mekhela-Chador, Women’s Agency and Patriarchy in Assam 5. Dabbling with Kaleidoscopic Narratives: A Pre-requisite for Comprehending the ‘Forgotten’ History of the Róngkups/ Lepchas 6. Mob Justice: An Integral Form of Cultural Construct 7. Social Exclusion of Char Inhabitants in Assam: Understanding the Interplay of Culture, Identity and Geography Part III: Institutions, Resources and Sustainability 8. Marriage Rituals and Customs in Mizo Society 9. The Shift of Authority: From Village Authority to Colonial Court 10. Reframing Tribal Governance in Tripura: TTAADC to the Village 11. The Socio-Cultural Underpinnings of Democracy in the Khasi Hills of Meghalaya: Reframing the Past to Understand the Present 12. Conservation of Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Environmental Sustainability in Northeast India 13. A Journey from Sohliya to Strawberries: Experiences of Cash Crops, Forest and Food Security in Meghalaya, Northeast India Part IV: Cross-Border Interaction and Migration 14. India-Bhutan Borderland: Selected Cases of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam Border 15. Indo-Myanmar Border Fencing: A Study of Chandel District in Manipur 16. Ethnicity and Great Power Politics: A Case of Transnational Ethnic Kachin of Myanmar and Singpho of Northeast India 17. Memories of Migration of the Nepalese Migrant Coal Mine Workers 18. Enduring Racial Milieu: Relevance of Cultural Intelligence in Acculturation of Northeast Indian Migrants Part V: Language, Literature and Society 19. Mother Tongue and Identity: With Reference to Ao Community 20. Language and Identity Politics: The Case of Hmar in Northeast India 21. The Past in the Present: A Prismatic Retelling of Angami Naga Folklore 22. Suicide: A Daunting Challenge before the State of Sikkim
Charisma K. Lepcha teaches anthropology at Sikkim University, India. She was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS), Shimla (2018-2019). She has been awarded with the Harvard-Yenching Institute Visiting Scholar for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Uttam Lal is Faculty at Department of Geography, Sikkim University. He led the Sikkim University team in the Inter-University Consortium on Cryosphere and Climate Change (IUCCCC) and was recipient of ‘Emerging Scholar-2014’ at India-China Institute, New School, New York. He was Erasmus+ Mobility programme Guest Fellow at Aarhus University, Denmark, 2018.