This book explores the idea, psychology and political geography of Northeast India as forged by two interrelated but autonomous meta-narratives. First, the politics of conflict inherent in, and therefore predetermined by physical geography, and second, the larger geopolitics that was unfolding during the colonial period. Unravelling the history behind the turmoil engulfing Northeast India, the study contends that certain geographies — most pertinently fertile river valleys and surrounding mountains which feed the rivers — are integral to nature and any effort to disrupt this cohesion will result in conflict. It comprehensively traces the geopolitics of the region since colonial era — in particular the Great Game; the politics that went into the making of the McMahon Line, the Radcliffe Line and the Pemberton Line; the region’s relations with its international neighbours (China, Bhutan, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal); as well as the issue of many formerly non-state-bearing populations awakening to the reality of the modern state.
Lucid and analytical, this book will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of Northeast India, modern Indian history, international relations, defence and strategic studies, and political science.
Table of Contents
Dedication Introduction 1: The Geography of Conflict in Northeast: Rivers, Valleys, Mountains as Integral Region 2: History of Militarisation of the Northeast: Search for a Liberal Response to Radical Civil Unrests 3: Eastern Frontier of the Northeast India: State and Non-State 4: Inner Line as Outer Line-I: The Making of the McMahon Line 5: Inner Line as Outer Line – II: Empire and its Colony 6: Linguistic Nationalism versus Religious Nationalism: Partition Trauma and the Northeast 7: Conclusion: In the End is the beginning Bibliography
Pradip Phanjoubam is the Editor of Imphal Free Press and is based in Imphal, Manipur, India. He began his career as a journalist in 1986 as a sub-editor at The Economic Times, New Delhi. He has written extensively on affairs of the Northeast for many reputed publications, both in the mainstream media as well as academic journals. He was a Fellow at the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla (2012–14) at the time of writing this book.