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

A+| A| A-

Through the Naga Insurgency

Emergence of Mutant Democracy in Nagaland

In the Shadows of Naga Insurgency: Tribes, State, and Violence in Northeast India by Jelle J P Wouters, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018, pp xxiv + 331, 995.


Jelly J P Wouters picturisation of the future of Nagaland and its people in In the Shadows of Naga Insurgency: Tribes, State, and Violence in Northeast India is grim. The authors treatment of the subject is empathic but detached, and his assessments of this deeply wounded and inherently broken society is often brutally honest. The despairing vision is, the Nagas effort to come to terms with the modern, burdened by memories of a fading ideal but still under the looming shadow of an unresolved insurgency, is horribly flawed. A mutant culture of several normalised abnormalities, including corruption, is the result.

The author says he lived for close to two years in two villages, Phugwumi of the Chakesang Naga and Noksen of the Chang Naga and was even adopted into a clan of Phugwumi. It is from this vantage, and as a trained ethnographer, he did his fieldwork for his doctoral thesis which ultimately became this book. The book thus is an insider view of the vexed six decades old Naga problem, moderated by a disciplined academic observers overview.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 17th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.