This book presents and analyses the oldest sub-national war of postcolonial South Asia, between the Indian state and the Nagas of Northeast India. It offers a serious and thorough political history on the Naga region over three periods, pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial.
Drawing on a wealth of primary sources and comparative and theoretical literature, Marcus Franke demonstrates that agency and identity-formation are an on-going process that neither started nor ended with colonialism. Although the interaction of the local population with colonialism produced a Naga national élite, it was the emergence of the Indian political class, with access to superior means of nation and state-building, that was able to undertake the modern Indo-Naga war. This war firmly made the Nagas into a 'nation' and that set them onto the road to independence.
War and Nationalism in South Asia fundamentally revises our understanding of the existing 'histories' of the Nagas by exposing them to be influenced by colonial or post-colonial narratives of domination. Furthermore, by placing the region into the longue durée of state formation with its involved technique of imperial rule, the book presents a new approach to the study of nationalism and war in South Asia in general.
This book will be of interest to students and scholars of politics, history, anthropology and South Asian studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. British Imperial Expansion and Historical Agency – 1820s–1850s 2. The Nagas, the Angami Case – Polity and War, 1820s–1880 3. Imperial Conquest and Withdrawal, 1860s–1947 4. The Transformation of Naga Societies under Colonialism 5. Nation-building and the Nagas, 1947–64 6. The Nagas’ War 7. Divide-and-Rule 8. From Nation to Civil Society. Conclusion
Marcus Franke is Visiting Lecturer at the South Asian Institute, Heidelberg, Germany. His current research focuses on the cosmology of political élites.