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

Articles By Sanjib Baruah

Reading Fürer-Haimendorf in North-East India

Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf's works on North-East India grew out of an interest in the so-called remote pre-contact primitive societies. To him and his contemporaries in the West it was self-evident that the "primitive" or the "savage" are located outside modernity. No one today would use those categories. But this does not mean that we have broken away from intellectual habits which privilege the social imaginary of the modern. In certain parts of the world the politics of indigeneity is associated with powerful critiques of capitalist modernity. But that is not the case in North-East India. Whether or not such a critical sensibility becomes part of the political imagination will depend partly on the epistemological standpoint of those who study the region today.

Territoriality, Indigeneity and Rights in the North-east India

For the people of the troubled north-east, citizenship both of India and of a state can provide an alternative political idiom to that of indigeneity and territoriality. The obvious advantage of multi-level citizenship is that it could define political communities in civic terms, and introduce a dynamic element of incorporating new members. It could make a decisive break from the notion of ethnic homelands that owes so much to the colonial propensity of fixing tribes to their supposedly natural habitats.