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

A+| A| A-

Understanding the Critical Issues Shaping the Politics of Assam and North East

Homeland Insecurities: Autonomy, Conflict and Migration in Assam by Sanjoy Barbora, Oxford University Press, pp 251, `1,495.

Homeland Insecurities: Autonomy, Conflict and Migration in Assam by Sanjoy Barbora takes a look at the crucial issues that continue to shape the politics of the state as well as the region of the North East. While writing the book, the author draws both from his ethnographic experience and fieldwork as well as accommodates his concerns as a human rights activist. This becomes clear when he visits conflict-ridden areas and sits with communities who are stakeholders. The six chapters of the book show the author moving back and forth between theories of social anthropology, available literature on these issues as well as data from field visits. The book largely touches upon issues of autonomy in the region which has seen multiple and varied trajectories and are at different stages of reconciliation. It engages with the crucial issue of migration which has been the deciding factor of the politics in the state. Barbora further goes to deal with questions of climate change and environmental degradation and how this has accentuated livelihood crisis in the state.

The book begins by revisiting the period of independence and elaborating the differences that the eastern and western frontiers faced. While on the west, laws were set aside to accommodate people fleeing violence, the east did not witness any such concern from the government. On the other hand, civil society organisations tried to raise concerns regarding immigration and the government retaliated by taking recourse to laws like the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Foreigners Tribunals, 1939 (p 8). This differentiated response meant that while the movement of people across the Western border was more or less complete, it was not so on the east. Rather the first National Register of Citizens (NRC) became the government response to alleged cross-border infiltrationa practice which could not be carried out in all the districts owing to law and order degradation.

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 : 20th 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.