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

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Tantalisingly Intertwined and Complex

The Eastern Gate: War and Peace in Nagaland, Manipur and India’s Far East by Sudeep Chakravarti, Simon and Schuster India, 2022; pp 399, ` 899.

Making Sense of the Manipur Assembly Election Results

It is argued that it would be naïve to explain the Bharatiya Janata Party’s success as a wholehearted endorsement of its Hindutva agenda as there are substantial local reservations on this. Unlike Uttar Pradesh or other parts of North India where it aggressively pushed its Hindutva agenda, the BJP knows the limitation of this agenda and has instead used a combination of strategies like the promise of development and peaceful settlement of armed conflicts. These electoral strategies intersect with and are driven by a set of factors that, in turn, determine the BJP’s success: first, the increasing electoral insignificance of the Congress, and second, the continuing salience of complex and cross-cutting social cleavages.

Unwillingness to Share Power

The confl ict about the proposed Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill in Manipur is a manifestation of the deep divide between the hills and the valley, and the exercise of political hegemony over the hill areas of the state. Beyond the melee, a close examination of the bill reveals the patriarchal and non-inclusive proposal made by legislatures from the hills.

In Search of a Strong Opposition

Dreamscapes that provide an alternative to right-wing politics cannot be imagined but need to be realised.

Sustainable Development Goals

The article notes that the north-eastern states have taken many initiatives to implement and localise the Sustainable Development Goals. But achieving the targets require a multipronged approach, concerted and coordinated efforts, and focus on sectors where the region has inherent advantages. Unfortunately, the pandemic has cast some doubts on the feasibility of achieving the goals as per the original timelines.

The Quest to End Illicit Poppy Cultivation in Manipur: Examining the War on Drugs Campaign

The rise in illicit poppy cultivation has posed a threat to the already conflict-ridden Manipuri society. It further positions the state as the next possible hub for drug production, rather than just being a spot on the trafficking route. In the fight against drugs, various measures have been adopted by the government to combat it, aligning more with a coercive approach. This paper questions the efficacy of those measures adopted as part of the government’s ‘War on Drugs’ campaign, principally on the means to curtail illicit poppy cultivation.

Engaging Ethnic Politics

Infrastructure of Injustice: State and Politics in Manipur and Northeast India by Raile Rocky Ziipao, London and New York: Routledge, 2020; pp 202, ₹ 995 (hardcover).

Untold Stories of Human Trafficked Survivors and Sex Workers in Manipur

This study was sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (2017–19). The author is grateful to researchers involved in this study, and A Romita Devi, who helped her with the interviews. All trafficked survivors and sex workers are referred to by pseudonyms.

Polity, Policy, and the Economy of Salt in Manipur circa 1826–1947

While the traditional production of spherical flat salt chunks through the evaporation of saline water from salt wells dates back to the ancient history of Manipur, notions of salt monopolies and salt as a revenue source evolved during the colonial period in Manipur. The British became involved in local politics and took control of the fiscal policy of the state. Under them, the quantum of salt produced reduced, and salt production itself became more expensive. This paper studies how British business practices, and, later on, an uninterested state government, caused the self-reliant salt economy to become a dependent one.

Foot Soldiers of the Zomia

Against State, Against History: Freedom, Resistance, and Statelessness in Upland Northeast India by Jangkhomang Guite, Oxford University Press, 2019; pp 364, ₹ 1,095 (hardcover).

Politicising Roads in Manipur

Roads across Manipur are ephemeral, foregrounding the politics behind their development as well as their spatial and temporal nature. Drawing from fieldwork conducted in Manipur, this article analyses contemporaneous state practices of infrastructure and its sociopolitical processes, and offers evidence to understand their materialities, forms, and societal relations. The nexus between politicians, contractors, bureaucrats, insurgents and elites causes frequent suspension of road projects, setting a new form of contingent development practice in Manipur.

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