The book ‘Identity and Marginality in North East India: Challenges for Social Science Research’ edited by Dr. Hoineilhing Sitlhou who teaches in the department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad has been published by Orient BlackSwan.

It is an outcome of the proceedings of the national seminar, ‘Identity and Marginality in North East India: Challenges for Social Science Research’ Organised by the Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad, sponsored by the University Grants Commission Special Assistance Programme (UGC-SAP) and the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) on 16th and 17th January 2017.

About the Book:

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.