Production of the Insurgent Subject

  • Samir Kumar Das
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Political Science book series (BRIEFSPOLITICAL, volume 13)


While insurgency in common parlance is attributed to lack of (good) governance, the chapter, contrary to the commonplace belief, traces how insurgency in India’s Northeast has its roots in the very modes and processes through which the region has been sought to be governed from time to time. Being located in the frontier and inhabited mostly by ‘fierce and savage tribes’, the region has always been the source of any governor’s nightmare and has been a sort of laboratory for experimenting with various forms and technologies of governance since colonial times. The early colonial policy—continued even in post-colonial times—of governing the region by profiling the groups and communities in terms of some ‘distinctive’ physical and psychological features, settling them within a relatively enclosed homeland, and subjecting them to an economy of care has often triggered violent competition amongst the political subjects for benefits provided by the state. The initiatives of trumping insurgency and violence by development introduced to the region since the early 1990s tend to create on one hand a subject who has an almost limitless desire for development. On the other hand, these initiatives have also deprived large sections of people of access to critical and life-bearing resources and turned them into a new insurgent collective driven by an acute concern for livelihood and physical survival. India’s Northeast is going to be a new theatre of such biopolitical struggles by these sections of people in the near future.


Frontier administration New insurgents Governmentality in India’s Northeast Economy of care Colonial neglect of India’s Northeast Emergence of new citizen Exceptionalism in the Northeast Biopolitical struggle in India’s Northeast 


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© The Author(s) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North BengalDarjeelingIndia

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