In this book, editor Aruni Kashyap compiles fifteen different stories of insurgency in Assam, originally written in Assamese, Bodo and English, with the aim to present the state as a polyphonic region. It strives to impart the narrative of Assamese insurgency in an inclusive manner, combining the experiences of minorities, tribals and settlers’ communities who have often been marginalised, both in publications and in reality.
The question of the Assamese identity is deeply woven into these stories, all of which bring out many dissonances on how it is understood – a complex enquiry of immense magnitude which continues to plague the state even today. Do language and lineage only determine the identity of indigeneity? Or were the deemed foreigners equally as Assamese as the young insurgents blanketed in the idealism of revolution?
The impossibility and indifference of national boundaries which carve out different geographies of belonging reveal the obliviousness of the nation states to the plight of those who are now literally pushed to the margins, who have shared histories and cultures beyond the border, but now face the onslaught of conflict and persecution.
The political canvas
The incomprehensibility of such violence unfolding in front of one’s eyes is captured in Arup Kumar Nath’s Koli Puron, where an...