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

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Ethnic Violence in Bodoland

Ethnicity and identity have been the key issues of mobilisation in all of north-east India. The region has had a long history of being marginalised; its inclusion in the Indian nation is seriously challenged by communities; and identity politics has shaped the politics of resistance. The struggle for power, both political and economic, has thus become bloodied. What lies behind the recent violence in Assam? The failure of the Sixth Schedule to deliver, the contest over land and resources, the lack of development, and the fear of disempowered smaller groups are all tangled in the web of electoral politics of the ruling classes.

Tribal Politics in the Assam: 1933-1947

The term "Plains Tribal" was first used by the colonial rulers in Assam to lump together a diverse set of people defined in semi-geographical and semi-sociological terms. It was taken up and crafted into an identity in the competitive politics of late colonial Assam by representatives of tribal groups who successfully welded this diverse set into a unified political and social category. This article traces the emergence of the "Plains Tribal" in the political map of Assam and shows how it came to be defined partly in opposition to other competing social categories and partly in terms of internal markers of identity.
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