Insurgencies in India’s north-east

Rise, fall and the rise?

Authored by: Bibhu Prasad Routray

Handbook of Indian Defence Policy

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138939608
eBook ISBN: 9781315674742
Adobe ISBN: 9781317380092


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Beginning of insurgency in India’s north-eastern region coincided with the country’s independence from British rule in 1947. Under the banner of the Naga National Council (NNC), Angami Zapu Phizo reiterated the unique history of the Nagas and demanded independence from India. In the subsequent years and decades, several armed insurgencies emerged in various states of the region, invoking a range of grievances. Some sought solution to their problems in independence from India, while others demanded either autonomy or exclusive rights over resources. Even though each of these movements produced narratives of optimism and hope for their constituencies, none of them have been able to achieve their original demands. After prolonged periods of violence, some have settled for solutions within the framework of the Indian Constitution and others have perished with the passage of time, with internal contradictions taking a toll on their existence. And yet, the region continues to remain a hotbed of armed insurrections, new as well as old. It appears that a culture of violence continues to pervade the region, posing in the near- and the long-term, recurrent challenges to India’s nation-building project.

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