The book examines questions of identity, ethnicity, sovereignty and insurgency in northeastern India, and especially on Assam and its neighbourhood. Written by an academic-journalist, the various articles situate these in their larger social, economic, political and, above all, historical context, the last being especially important in their becoming a part of colonial India relatively late, well after colonial control was established in the rest of India.

Based on close, ground level experience involving extensive travel and interaction with the people, this collection is the result of a long journalistic career spanning nearly 50 years in the northeast region. Written in simple, lucid language, the essays cover a range of themes including culture, belief, and identity; homeland and language politics; and insurgency and separatism. The volume also achieves a uniquely dual historical value – while the articles themselves include a lot of historical information tracing the roots of the various issues discussed, the articles themselves range from 1974 to 2010, providing the modern reader with a series of historical moments captured in their immediacy. Of interest to students, academics, researchers in politics, peace & conflict studies, politics, sociology, history, language, those interested in northeast India, policy-makers, cultural studies, etc.

chapter |7 pages


section Section II|95 pages

Ethnicity and Identity

chapter 6|6 pages

Strident Tribal Nationalism*

chapter 7|8 pages

Tribal Ferment in Assam*

chapter 8|5 pages

Assam’s Search for Identity*

chapter 9|5 pages

More Than Just a Nomenclature*

chapter 10|9 pages

Chasing a Mirage*

chapter 11|10 pages

Reinventing Identities*

chapter 12|9 pages

Massacres Unbound: Outrage Selective*

chapter 13|8 pages

Manufacturing Identities?*

chapter 14|12 pages

In the Name of Tribal Identities*

chapter 15|4 pages

Behind the Adivasi Unrest in Assam*

chapter 16|4 pages

Identity Politics: Where it is Leading*

chapter 17|4 pages

To Divide is to Multiply*

section Section III|17 pages

Issues of Culture and Belief

section Section IV|45 pages

Discontent and Revolt

section Section V|12 pages

Homeland Politics

chapter 29|4 pages

Land, Source of all Trouble*

section Section VI|29 pages

From the Borders of a Borderland

chapter 31|5 pages

Who Owns History?*

chapter 32|9 pages

Manipur: Burdens of the Past*

chapter 35|4 pages

Going Around the Mulberry Bush*

section Section VII|21 pages

Theoretical Underpinnings

chapter 36|6 pages

Varieties of Separatism*

chapter 38|5 pages

Agenda for Recolonization?*

chapter |6 pages