Chapter

Twenty-Five Years Later

Sanjib Baruah

in Durable Disorder

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780195690828
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199081769 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195690828.003.0008
Twenty-Five Years Later

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India is an ethnic federation comprised of states, most of which can be described as nation-provinces. While these nation-provinces are far from being mono-ethnic, the nation-province model has given rise to legitimate units of governance in large parts of India. However, Indian federalism is relatively weak, since states have been broken up to form smaller ones based on subnational demands. The United Liberation Front of Assam’s (ULFA) brand of militant independentist politics has brought a kind of democracy in Assam that raises important questions about democratic ideals. This chapter focuses on the Surrendered United Liberation Front of Assam (SULFA), a private militia made up of former militants who were dependent on the government for their security and were used to conduct vicious counter-insurgency operations against the ULFA. It discusses the origins of independentist politics in Assam, independentist militants and the Assamese mainstream, and the implications of counter-insurgency for democratic politics in Assam.

Keywords: Assam; Assamese independists; Indian subnationalism; counter-insurgency; Assamese militants; United Liberation Front of Assam ULFA; Surrendered United Liberation Front of Assam SULFA; Indian federalism

Chapter.  8050 words. 

Subjects: Indian Politics

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