Did India’s Partition lead to Segregation of North East India? Partition of India: Postcolonial Legacies

Bhattacharyya, Rituparna
Oxon and New York: Routledge
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The spectre of partition narratives of 1947 and its legacy continues to haunt diverse groups of people across the nation-state including the mindset of North East Indians. North East India, also known as the ‘Land of Seven Sisters’ is home to numerous ethnolinguistic groups, consisting of 357 constitutional communities embracing 32 scheduled castes and 182 scheduled tribes communities. Despite being a melting pot of diverse ethnic groups and a hub of untapped resources, the region continues to be one of the most economically laggard regions within the country. Evidently, the cause of this underdevelopment is rooted not only within the rubric of colonialism (when the rulers of British India contrived to segregate North East India from India and transform it into a fresh colony known as “Crown Colony” under the “Coupland Plan” and then Cripps Mission in 1946) but also arises from the continued hegemonic mainstream attitudes, facile judgements, prejudices and neglect towards the North East Indians. Following independence, although the nation made significant strides to reorganize and integrate more than 600 princely states scattered across the country alongside the loosely administered realms in its nation building drive journey, the Land of Seven Sisters emerged as a dialectical space of exclusion gradually giving rise to multiple spaces of contestation stemming from several secessionist movements. Indeed, this highly contested space, which is home to 44,876, 207 nestles approximately 157 insurgent outfits, the majority of which are either in proscribed or active modes. The Naga movement under the leadership of Angami Zapu Phizo demanding sovereignty for Nagaland was the first of its kind. The demands of these outfits span from sovereignty, the movement against migrants through to creating the independent nation(s) or homeland(s) to demanding better lives for the ethnic communities. Close scrutiny of these demands is rooted in the notions of ‘identity’ and ‘belonging’. Using these two notions, the research aims to discuss and understand the narratives of continued ‘unrest’ within the region even after seven decades of independence. Link - ://bit.ly/3idMvfr