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

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Human Rights, Relativism and Minorities in North-East India

As with very many Asian nations, in India too, communitarian values often take precedence over individualism; thus 'individualised' political principles like citizenship exist in palpable tension with communitarian practices. The ensuing dilemma of reconciliation between the liberal (individual) spirit and the concerns of community has long remained a test for India's democracy. Contemporary India, especially in its north-east, confronts a scrambling competition among groups to be heard and recognised as historical victims of subordination. Competition among these groups leads to a reinvention of symbols and other mechanisms of ensuring 'boundaries' to maintain their political primacy. Such conflicts while institutionalising ethnic entitlement and rights also reinforce the unequal status of the citizen and fuel a process of 'inequalisation' of ethnic 'others' in the region.

Nagaland : More Space for Democratic Politics

The recent elections to the Nagaland state assembly were held against the backdrop of the peace negotiations between the central government and the NSCN-IM. And although political parties did issue manifestos, it is still mainly tribal affiliations and not party affiliation that determine the outcome of the elections. However, the recent elections saw an increased fervour among the electorate for participation in the state's electoral process.

Tripura : Ethnic Tensions and Democratic Consensus

Any analysis of representational politics in the state must acknowledge the impact and importance of ethnic polarisation in the state. The politicisation of ethnic identities impelled by sociological and economic imperatives has found new expression and methods of institutionalisation. This provides further opportunity for the fracturing of the fragile ethnic relations and severely restricts the emergence of a democratic consensus.
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