Identity and Marginality in Northeast India: Challenges for Social Science Research
Hoineilhing Sitlhou (Ed.)
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
Territorial Rights
Orient BlackSwan

Northeast India is home to numerous ethnic communities. Considered a marginal geographical space, this region is as diverse as India itself in terms of its languages, cultures, and ethnicities. However, the dominant tendency is to conceptualise the Northeast as a singular, homogenous territory, and this problematic construction both implies a shared identity among different ethnic communities and determines the way the region is governed by the Indian state. Identity and Marginality in Northeast India rectifies this construction and highlights the heterogeneity of the different groups and their unique experiences, contestations, and conflicts.

The volume explores the connection of the history of the Northeast to the present issues affecting the region, such as intra- and inter-ethnic conflicts that result in human security concerns, the racism faced by Northeasterners outside the region, discrimination against non-normative sexualities, and state violence in the form of AFSPA. The book inspects how colonial policies transformed internal social relations within the tribal and non-tribal communities and led to a state of marginalisation. This was further reinforced and reproduced in post-Independence India not only through an exclusion from mainstream society, but also through the invisibilisation of Northeasterners in official statistics, state policies, media and research.

This volume challenges colonial, nationalist and regional historiography and its marginalisation of Northeast India, and will interest students and scholars of post-colonial studies, history and sociology and social anthropology. Readers interested in race and ethnicity, tribes and indigenous cultures, and Northeast India will also find it an absorbing read.

Hoineilhing Sitlhou is Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad.

List of Tables
List of Abbreviations
Foreword by Purendra Prasad
Publishers’ Acknowledgments

Introduction: Identity and Marginality
Hoineilhing Sitlhou
PART I                Politics of Difference and the Articulation of Identities
1. Tribes, Colonialism and Postcolonial Predicament in Northeast India
Sajal Nag
2. Interrogating India’s Northeast as an Object of Knowledge Production
Papori Bora

PART II              Colonialism and Northeast India

3. Colonialism and History Writing: The Mizo Experience
4. Census and Identity Politics among the Plains Tribes in Colonial Assam
Suryasikha Pathak

PART III             Race, Ethnicity and Migration

5. Northeastern Migrants in Delhi: Racial Discrimination, Violence and State Response
Hoineilhing Sitlhou and Salah Punathil
6. Northeast Youth Migration to Cities: The Kuki Case in Delhi
Thanggoulen Kipgen

PART IV             Negotiating Gender, Culture and Identity

7. Alternative Sexuality and Civil Society in Mizoram
8. Women in Conflict Situations: Experiences of Marginalisation of Displaced Kuki Women in Manipur
Ruth Nengneilhing
9. Christianity and Gender: A Study of Protestant Mizo Women
V. Sawmveli

PART V              Indigeneity, Land and Identity

10. Megalithic Culture of the Chakhesang Nagas: Reinterpreting the Self
Venusa Tinyi
11. Livelihood Interventions and Marginalisation in Land and Forest Rights of Rural Khasi Women
Rekha M. Shangpliang

PART VI             Borders, States and Markets

12. Marginalisation: Everyday Life Activities at the Myanmar-Mizoram Borderland
N. William Singh
13. Global Markets, Local Risks and Social Marginality: A Study of Cancer-Affected People in Mizoram
Lalhmangaihi Chhakchhuak

Notes on the Contributors

1. Book Review | Published in the Gauhati University Institute of North East India Studies (GUINEIS) Journal.
2. Book Review | Published in Doing Sociology, 8 January 2024.
3. Book review | Published in The Hindu, 26 September 2023.
4. Book Review | Published in the Journal of State and Society, 1 September 2023.
5. Book review | Published in the UoH Herald, 11 June 2023.
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