chapter  7
14 Pages

“Outsiders” in Bodoland

Categories of narratives and practice
WithSaba Sharma

Contested ideas of belonging and citizenship have always been woven into the complex history of the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD) in Assam. The violence of 2012 between the Bodos and the Muslims in Kokrajhar and Chirang Districts in the BTAD was a watershed moment for, among other things, these ideas. Narratives from many local and national actors post conflict attempted to mould the discourse, but those affected on the ground understood the discourse in their own terms, with even the overarching exclusions of the violence attaining local characteristics particular to villages and communities. This chapter explores the tensions between these different ideas and their impact on the lived experience of citizenship in the aftermath of violence.