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

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Identity, Indigeneity and the National

Question in India’s North East

In the Name of the Nation: India and Its Northeast by Sanjib Baruah, New Delhi: Navayana Publishing (by arrangement with Stanford Univ Press), 2021; pp xiii + 278, `599.


The north-eastern region of India, a construct of administrative convenience, is marked by internal diversity on linguistic, ethnic and cultural lines. Home to a myriad small “auto­chthonous” communities, the region has witnessed sharp conflicts along these very social cleavages. Even before India embarked on its journey to freedom, this region voiced unique concerns; demands for secession, autonomy, special status marked the region’s history. The demand for a separate Naga nation goes back to the time when representatives from the communities submitted a memorandum to the Simon Commission. Similar demands continue to reverberate across the region.

Of the many issues that have dominated both the academic and sociopolitical discourses around the region, immigration and rights of the indigenous population remain crucial to this day. Scholarship on the region has engaged with these issues from different perspectives. How is a “resource frontier” and a “settler frontier” managed? Resource frontiers do not exist in a vacuum. How the clashes between the new entrants and the existing people can be contained are issues that scholars have addressed through their works.

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Updated On : 2nd Oct, 2021
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