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Ethnicity, Identity and Cartography: Possession/ Dispossession, Homecoming/ Homelessness in Contemporary

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Sarma, Parag Moni

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Abstract "Ethnicity is emerging as a focal consideration in the politics of identity in contemporary Assam, a state of the Indian union in the North East of India. Often identified as a flash point in the subversive politics that question the logistics of the Indian nation, North East India is emerging as a cartographic domain that posits questions of internal colonialism and hegemony. Cartographic reorientation of territory based on factors of linguistic and ethnic identity is perceived as a way to acquire new homelands that will foster self-validation and the ‘all round development’ of the people. The North East of India is dotted with armed insurrection for autonomous territories under the Indian Union or total severance, depending on the population and the spatial domain of the ethnic groups in question. The linkages with questions of social, cultural and political marginalisation, as well as political assertion provide interesting scope for academic exploration. The present paper seeks to understand and trace such assertive movements in Assam to forces of historical neglect as well as the rhetoric of marginalisation that is surfeit in contemporary assertive idioms of different ethnic groups." (author's abstract)
Keywords identity; ethnicity; pluralism; India; nationalism; cultural identity; multicultural society
Classification Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature; Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology
Document language English
Publication Year 2011
Page/Pages p. 24-35
Journal Studies of Transition States and Societies, 3 (2011) 3
ISSN 1736-8758
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications