Northeast India comprises of seven states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura. This region has been the theatre of insurgency and ethnic-based armed conflicts for more than half a century making the region one of South Asia’s most disturbed areas.
The instability in Northeast India is characterized by two distinct factors – ethnic clashes among the indigenous groups and political movement against the Union Government. The conflicting dynamics in the Northeast ranges from insurgency for secession to insurgency for autonomy, from terrorism to ethnic clashes, to problems of continuous inflow of migrants and the fight over resources. Moreover, vested interests and inter tribal and inter factional rivalry have led militant groups to continually clash among themselves, plunging the region in a vicious cycle of militancy, social violence and lack of economic growth. These armed conflicts have given impetus to small arms proliferation, narcotics trade and a parallel economy. The democratic deficits and how the Central Government and the states have addressed these concerns are of interest.
The location of the region, politically and geographically, has a fundamental bearing on it and its people who aspire for different goals and how they try to reach these goals. The region shares borders with four countries: Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Tibet/China and is connected to the Indian mainland by a narrow stretch of land. This adds to the trans – border ramifications to the conflicts.
To address these issues CSA with the help of Centre for Northeast Studies and Policy Research, Guwahati engaged a few experts who have contributed papers which were presented at the Seminar in New Delhi in July 2010 and the same stand published through this book.