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

Articles by Hiren GohainSubscribe to Hiren Gohain

Once More on Ethnicity and the North-east

Given the extent to which ethnicity has come to be regarded as a reliable index of group-identity in India's north-east, and in the context of heedless assertions of cultural uniqueness accompanied by flare-ups of uncontrolled hostility and murderous rage, it is time to closely scrutinise the very concept itself. While ethnicity is an indubitable feature of social life there, it has experienced both deep internal contradictions and active intercourse with the outside world, leading to the absorption of considerable extraneous elements. An ethnic group need not be regarded as an enemy of other such groups or of some larger nationality.

Of Human Rights and Wrongs

The Assam government feels that the United Liberation Front of Asom is up against the wall and is now moving against what it calls the "overground" ULFA - human rights activists, journalists and lawyers appearing on behalf of the activists.

Social Science Autonomy

I have read with much interest the views of distinguished commentators on the fourth review of the performance and functioning of the Indian Council of Social Science Research. The commentators seem to be concerned mainly with four issues or questions: (1) The impact of government funding and the...

A Stimulating Overview of Terrorism

Terrorism and Other Themes: Politics, Principles and Practice by Robi Chakravarti

On Adivasi Protests in Assam

Both the article by Udayon Misra and the letter from Prasenjit Biswas (December 22) proceed on certain assumptions that need to be closely examined. Both argue that ethnic prejudice has an important part to play in the tensions between the adivasis and the “dominant communities of Assam”. The...

A Question of Identity: Adivasi Militancy in Assam

The brutal assault in Guwahati last month on adivasi demonstrators pressing their demand for scheduled tribe status, which provoked a sense of outrage among conscious sections of the people, has exposed the real state of well-being in Assam particularly of the underprivileged millions.

CPI(M) and Nuclear Deal

It is a pity that in a long-winded convoluted piece (EPW, October 27) GPD has debunked the well-thought-out CPI(M) stand on Indo-American nuclear cooperation in the name of the autonomy of international relations, whereas this was actually one of the few solid achievements of the CPI(M) during its...

Myth and Life

Eminent social scientist K N Panikkar has in a recent issue of Frontline made a distinction between myth and historical reality while discussing the controversy over the Ramsetu. While he denies that mythical events and characters are historical realities, he argues that myths allude to reality and...

Illusion of Empowerment

The formation of information commissions in all Indian states and the enforcement of the Right to Information (RTI) Act 2005 seem to have been accompanied by extraordinary media hype. In certain notable instances it seems to have brought much-needed relief to the affected people. Yet it seems to fly...

When the Caste Calculus Fails

While Dipankar Gupta and Yogesh Kumar (August 18) deserve commendation for their attempt to expose the inadequacy of caste calculus in explaining Mayawati’s electoral triumph, their positivist approach will disturb thoughtful readers. They offer no evidence that Mayawati has transcended the highly...

Violent Borders: Killings in Nagaland-Assam

The spate of violent incidents in the border areas of Assam, orchestrated by Naga militants, points to ulterior motives of redrawing boundaries by force to reap economic benefits at the cost of legality and livelihoods of the local people.

On Nandigram- II

While I hold Prabhat Patnaik in great esteem for his penetrating analysis of economic issues (he had been to my knowledge the only prominent economist to have seen through the south-east Asian “Miracle” well ahead of the notorious “meltdown”) and unswerving commitment to socialism, I am not a...

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