Total Pageviews

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Autonomy, Ethnic Politics and Conflict in North-East India

Title: Autonomy, Ethnic Politics and Conflict in North-East India
Author: Nameirakpam Bijen Meetei
ISBN: 978-93-82395-29-4
First Edition: 2014
Language: English 
Binding: Hard Cover

About the Author:
Nameirakpam Bijen Meetei, a Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund (SYLFF) Fellow of the Tokyo Foundation and Nippon Foundation, Japan, is currently teaching at the Department of Political Science, Assam University, Silchar. He completed his PhD at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He has been a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Government, Uppsala University, Sweden. His areas of interest include ethnicity, conflict, multiculturalism, institutions for managing diversity, and political theory. His latest research publications are “Politics of Recognition: Rethinking Existing Institutional Measures in India,” in Gurpreet Mahajan (Ed.), Accommodating Diversity: Issues and Institutions (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011) and “Ethnicity, Colonial Legacies, and Post Independence Issues of Identity Politics in North-East India”, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, Routledge, 20:99–115, 2014.

About the Book:
The issues of cultural diversity and conflicts have been studied and theorized from different perspectives. Many have even proposed distinctive normative and institutional structures to cope with situations evolved out of the existence of multiple groups in a single territory. However, most of the early theories and the institutional frameworks were developed essentially in the context of Western liberal societies with few exceptions. Therefore, there is always inadequacy of adopting them in other contexts especially when one looks at the cases in North-East India. One of the limitations of the current theories on multiculturalism is that usually the concern for diversity is reduced to the issue of accommodating minorities within the state by focusing primarily on the domination of the majority over minority.

Most of the early theories on multiculturalism, thus, referred to matters concerning majority–minority conflicts. It is on this ground that the book sets out to cram the discourse of cultural diversity and minority accommodation by adopting a comparative study of two states in the North-East India – Manipur and Meghalaya. The single most important issue that confront not only the people in the region but also the Indian state is the demands for autonomy and separate homeland. In fact, the demand for territorial autonomy has become a “self-determination mantra” in the Northeast India. But, is territorial autonomy the only feasible option considering the fact that there are a number of ethnic groups in the region?

In multiethnic or multinational societies, giving equal respect and concern to all the groups is an unavoidable contrivance. We need to envisage a society, which offers equal opportunities, an environment of peaceful co-existence of various groups within the same territory. Mechanisms for creating such a society should be prepared on the basis of three interrelated principles: survival of culture; promotion of basic democratic values; and equality between groups.

No comments:

Post a Comment