Governing India’s Northeast: An Introduction
India’s Northeast consists of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura—known popularly as the ‘Seven Sisters’—and Sikkim—the last to have become a member of the North Eastern Council. The colonial and early postcolonial policy of governing the region by settling ‘nomadic’ and ‘unruly’ groups in clearly marked-out spaces they could claim as their ‘homeland’ has led to a history of bloodbath and homelessness in the region. On the other hand, the new policy of trumping conflicts by development pursued since the 1990s has triggered off many an anomaly and contradiction, particularly in recent years. Officially initiated peace processes hardly take into account the hitherto existing locally based micro-traditions of peace and coexistence. These traditions continue to make living in ethnically mixed villages and neighbourhoods possible. The introduction focuses on the three issues of insurgency, development and culture in the region through the lens of governance.
KeywordsGovernance Immigration Homeland movement Anti-dam protest Look East Policy Histories of peace in Northeast India
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