1st Edition

Indigeneity, Citizenship and the State Perspectives from India’s Northeast

Edited By Kedilezo Kikhi, Amiya Kumar Das, Piyashi Dutta Copyright 2023

    Whatever be the definition of 'indigenous' vis-a-vis 'indigeneity', and however concensual it might be, both these terms have been inferred, applied and questioned in multifarious ways. The concept indigeneity in Asia has transformed considerably, over a period of time. With the rise in the indigeneity movement and large-scale migration, citizenship within national borders is challenged, and the borders in question are also contested.

    This book chronicles the discernible strains on the questions of indegeneity, citizenship, identity, and border making in the Northeast India. The issues pertaining to indigeneity, citizenship, and state, are also a reminder of the residues of colonial doings that have had a colossal impact till this day. Through empirical evidence backed by theoretical underpinnings, each essay in the book demonstrates the diversity of approaches that can be used to interrogate the debate on indegeneity, citizenship, the state, and opens the conversation on Northeast India.

    This book is co-published with Aakar Books. Print edition not for sale in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Bhutan)

    Foreword by Virginius Xaxa

    Introduction: Indigeneity, Citizenship and the State

    Kedilezo Kikhi, Amiya Kumar Das and Piyashi Dutta

    1. ‘We the People’: Interrogating Indigeneity, Citizenship and the State—A Northeast Perspective

    K.C. Baral

    2. Who in Northeast India are Indigenous?

    H. Srikanth

    3. What Can a Liberal State Reasonably Expect of Its Citizens? Some Reflections in a Liberal Democracy

    Ake Sander

    4. ‘Bharat Mata’ and Its Imagination: Multiplicity and Divergence in the Imagination of the Nation in the Multi-Ethnic Situation

    Partha Pratim Borah

    5. Indigeneity, Indigenous Feminism and Legal Pluralism: Emerging Women’s Resistance and a Critique of Gender Theme in Ethnographic Narratives of Northeast India

    N.K. Das

    6. Divided Under the Sun: Hill and Non-Hill Identity in Mizoram

    N. William Singh

    7. Land as Foundation of Identity: The Case of the Brus in Mizoram

    Melvil Pereira and Furzee Kashyap6 Indigeneity, Citizenship and the State: Perspectives from India’s Northeast

    8. Land Rights, Identity and Customary Laws Amidst Angami and Konyak Nagas: A Comparative Cross-Referencing

    Kedilezo Kikhi and Jagritee Ghosh

    9. Assamese and Its ‘Others’: Making of a School Language in a Multilingual Society

    Nirmali Goswami

    10. Rights and Justice to Tea Tribes of Assam: Colonial and Post-colonial Narrative

    Soumen Ray and Lalhriatchiani

    11. The Line of Difference: Indigeneity and Ethnicity in Post-colonial Assam

    Prafulla Kr. Nath

    12. Nationalism and Social Exclusion: The Making of Ethnic Identity Movements in Assam

    Ransaigra Daimary

    List of Contributors



    Kidelezo Kikhi is Chair Professor, Dr. Ambedkar Chair, and Professor at the Department of Sociology, Tezpur University, Assam.

    Amiya Kumar Das is Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and coordinator of the Centre for Public Policy and Governance at Tezpur University, Assam.

    Piyashi Dutta has PhD in Sociology from Tezpur University, Assam, and is currently affiliated with the Amity School of Communication, Amity University, Noida, as Assistant Professor.