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.

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