Diverging from reductionist studies of Northeast India and its multifarious conflicts, this book presents an exclusive and intricate, empirical and theoretical study of Assam as a conflict zone. It traces the genesis and evolution of the ethnic and nationalistic politics in the state, and explores how this gave birth to nativist and militant movements. It further discusses how the State’s responses seem to have exacerbated rather than mitigated the conflict situation.
The author proposes ethnic reconciliation as an effective way out of the current chaos, and finds the key in examining the relations between three communities (Axamiyā, Bodo and Koch) from Bodoland, the most violent region of Assam. She stresses upon the need to redefine ‘Axamiyā’, an issue of much discord in Assam’s ethnic politics since the modern-day formulation of the Axamiyā nation. The book will prove essential to scholars and students of peace and conflict studies, sociology, political science, and history, as also to policy-makers and those interested in Northeast India.
Table of Contents
List of Maps. List of Abbreviations. Glossary. Preface. Author’s Note. Acknowledgments. Introduction: Assam, Conflicts Part I 1. Conflicts Within, Conflicts Without: Communities and Concepts 2. What is AxamiyĀ: Understanding an Interethnic Identity 3. Identity, Interrupted: Nation-Building and the Break with Interethnicity 4. Ethnic Fragmentation and Divided Communities 5. State Policy, Ethnicity and Conflict Part II 6. Addressing Conflicts: Militarisation and the Culture of Violence 7. Addressing Conflicts: Negotiating, Power Sharing, Co-Opting 8. Resolving Issues, Transforming Conflicts, Restoring Relations 9. Back to the Future: Tradition and Transformation. Bibliography. About the Author. Index
Uddipana Goswami is Editor, Northeast Review, and is based in Guwahati, India.
‘Informed by deep ethnographic knowledge and a thorough understanding of intergroup and intragroup relations in the region, this exceedingly carefully researched book on ethnic politics and conflict in Assam is a most sophisticated treatment of the forces that animate conflict and separatism as well as prospects for peace. For anyone interested in ethnicity in India’s northeast, this is an incisive, invaluable resource.’ — Donald L. Horowitz, James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science, Duke University