Is Difference an Anomaly to the Imagined Community? Examining Identity Movement in North East India (78721)

Session Information: Ethnicity and Identity
Session Chair: Huimin Du

Saturday, 25 May 2024 17:35
Session: Session 5
Room: Room 603
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Excluded, discriminated, and unaccounted, the question of belonging is often the most haunting one for the ethnic minorities of North East India. North East India is a geographical description of a region inhabited by different ethnic minorities whose commonality often finds in their similar racial features and their exclusion by the ‘mainland’ India. The region is far from Delhi, physically and emotionally. The entire region is connected to ‘mainland’ India by a narrow passage of land called ‘chicken neck’ or the Siliguri Corridor. The geography, culture, history, and people of the region are excluded from the national imagination in a systematic and structural manner. In a country which calls ‘unity in diversity’ as its strength, the region and its history and politics are missing from the national educational curriculum, national media coverage, and significant positions of power under the State. The frequent occurrence of racially motivated violence and discriminatory practices against ethnic minorities from the region in India’s metropolitan cities, long economic deprivation, and political indifference exacerbate this exclusion. This has given reasons to justify the sub-nationalist movements by different ethnic groups in the region.
Employing a theory-oriented research method and relying on secondary and primary data including archives, this paper aims to inquire into whether the membership of minority groups, especially ethnic minorities, to a political community in a ‘multicultural’ democracy is equally placed. It will further investigate the factors that influence the way ethnic minorities perceive, interpret and construct their position and identity vis-à-vis the nation-state.

Premkumar Heigrujam, Manipur University, India

About the Presenter(s)
Mr Premkumar Heigrujam is a University Doctoral Student at Manipur University in India

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00