Confronting the State: ULFA’s Quest for Sovereignty by Nani Gopal Mahanta

Dr Gulbin Sultana is Associate Fellow at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile
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  • July 2013
    Book Review

    India’s nation and state building project faces challenges in the NorthEast because of the simplistic, linear, and development-centric approach that has been guiding it so far. This neglects the mind set and the psyche that is sustaining insurgency and violence in the region. The Indian Union has, undeniably, won the war against the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), and its support base has also reduced to a large extent. Today, movements centering on people’s issues have become more popular and sustainable in Assam as compared to the armed groups, which have perennially neglected developmental issues for a dream of independence. However, the secessionist sentiment is still there, as the original issues raised by the ULFA still remain unaddressed. Nani Gopal Mahanta’s Confronting the State: ULFA’s Quest for Sovereignty goes beyond development-centric narratives, and examines the complex nuances and dynamics that sustain the movement. The book is based on the basic premise that ULFA represents a mindset, a suppressed voice, which is deeply ingrained in Assam’s psyche.

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