Narratives of Co-existence and Hostility in Multi-ethnic Social Mosaic

By: Antora Borah  

Multi-ethnicity is the key to understanding any society in North-East India. The social mosaic of Assam-Nagaland foothills displays a multi-cultural society, which comprises various ethnic communities and immigrant community hails from Bangladesh. This foothill border between Assam and Nagaland is also affected by an age-old border dispute. The study captures the different narratives of co-existence and hostility among various communities living in the fringe. Such an emergent collectivity gives rise to arbitrary state border conflict, corruptions, militarization, and illegal activities and has implications for the functioning of democratic institutions and implementation of development programmes. The pertinent area of inquiry in the present study includes: What kind of socio-economic settings help indigenous communities and Muslim Immigrants Settlers to insulate from larger antagonistic dynamic of nationalism and notion of territory? It also explores how various social institutions bridge the gap between various communities which will offer a possible critique of binary contraction of hill-plain dichotomy and indigene-immigrant dichotomy in foothills of Assam-Nagaland. The study is ethnography of Merapani foothill village in Assam-Nagaland border of Golaghat District. The empirical analysis is done by analyzing existence of multiculturalism and try to capture the narratives of co-existence and hostility among various communities living in the fringe.

Foothills, Co-existence, Hostility, Immigrant-Indigenous, Emergent Collectivity
2019 Special Focus—Border Crossing Narratives: Learning from the Refugee Experience
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Antora Borah

Research Associate, Research, Council for Social Development, India
Delhi, India

Presetly I am PhD Candidate in Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi and Research Associate in Council for Social Development, New Delhi. I hold a Post Graduate Degree in Sociology with Gold Medal from Tezpur University, Assam. I have more than 5 years experience in Policy Research, Teaching and Field Research in various institute of repute in the country. My area of interest are migration and diaspora studies, social movements, politics of indigenous communities and identity studies, borders and margins, etc.