Northeast India has witnessed several nationality movements during the 20th century. The oldest and one of the most formidable has been that of the Nagas — inhabiting the hill tracts between the Brahmaputra river in India and the Chindwin river in Burma (now Myanmar). Rallying behind the slogan, ‘Nagaland for Christ’, this movement has been the site of an ambiguous relation between a particular understanding of Christianity and nation-making.
This book, based on meticulous archival research, traces the making of this relation and offers fresh perspectives on the workings of religion in the formation of political and cultural identities among the Nagas. It tracks the transmutations of Protestantism from the United States to the hill tracts of Northeast India, and its impact on the form and content of the nation that was imagined and longed for by the Nagas. The volume also examines the role of missionaries, local church leaders, and colonial and post-colonial states in facilitating this process.
Lucidly written and rigorous in its analyses, this book will be of interest to scholars and researchers of South Asian history, religion, political science, sociology and social anthropology, and particularly those concerned with Northeast India.
Introduction 1. The Original Sin 2. Sending Out the Spears 3. War, Nationalism and Conversions 4. Peace, Crusades and Pacification 5. Church, Politics and the Limits of Theology Conclusion. Bibliography
The uniquely diverse landscapes, societies and cultures of northeastern India, forged through complex bio-geographic and socio-political forces, are now facing rapid transition. This series focuses on the processes and practices that have shaped, and are shaping, the peoples’ identities, outlook, institutions, and economy. Eschewing the homogenising term ‘North East’, which was imposed on the region in a particular political context half a century ago, the series title refers to the ‘northeastern’ region to more accurately reflect its heterogeneity. Seeking to explore how the ‘mainstream’ and the ‘margins’ impact each other, the series foregrounds both historical and contemporary research on the region including the Eastern Himalaya, the adjoining hills and valleys, the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. It publishes original, reflective studies that draw upon different disciplines and approaches, and combine empirical and theoretical insights to make scholarship accessible for general readers and to help deepen the understanding of academics, policy-makers and practitioners.