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Colonial Intervention to a New Equation of Politics in India’s Northeast


Colonialism has its impact on Indian politics and society even after the colonialism. Pre-colonial Assam was able to maintain its independent status till 1826. After incorporating into the company’s holdings, colonialists gradually extended their controls to the hill areas surrounding the Assam and Bengal plains. Subsequent to annexing the hills, the areas were designated as “tribal” areas and continued to be ruled as a distinct administrative regime. However, the strategy of divide and rule system had fundamentally changed the practices of both hills and the plains. For segregating the hills from the plains, a line was drawn, known as Inner line of 1873. The gradual separation and sharpening of identity had led to the formation of ‘Bordoloi Sub-committee to render autonomy to the hill people. However, the recommendation made by the ‘Bordoloi Sub-committee’ were not able to fulfil the aspirations of the hill tribes, and they started demanding for more autonomy in the form of statehood, backed by insurgent activities, which paved the way for the reorganisation of Assam. And in the present juncture, the Plain tribes of Assam have been demanding for re-reorganisation of Assam. Hence, this study specifies the colonial subjectivity and subjugation and its consequences to new equations of contemporary politics.


Colonial intervention, Politics, Identity, Autonomy, Reorganisation, Assam



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