ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Through the Naga Insurgency

Emergence of Mutant Democracy in Nagaland

In the Shadows of Naga Insurgency: Tribes, State, and Violence in Northeast India by Jelle J P Wouters, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp xxiv + 331, 995.


Jelly J P Wouter’s picturisation of the future of Nagaland and its people in In the Shadows of Naga Insurgency: Tribes, State, and Violence in Northeast India is grim. The author’s treatment of the subject is empathic but detached, and his assessments of this deeply wounded and inherently broken society is often brutally honest. The despairing vision is, the Naga’s effort to come to terms with the modern, burdened by memories of a fading ideal but still under the looming shadow of an unresolved insurgency, is horribly flawed. A mutant culture of several normalised abnormalities, including corruption, is the result.

The author says he lived for close to two years in two villages, Phugwumi of the Chakesang Naga and Noksen of the Chang Naga and was even adopted into a clan of Phugwumi. It is from this vantage, and as a trained ethnographer, he did his fieldwork for his doctoral thesis which ultimately became this book. The book thus is an insider view of the vexed six decades old Naga problem, moderated by a disciplined academic observer’s overview.

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Updated On : 28th Aug, 2021
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