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The book focuses on Zapuphizo's life, his realism and his collaboration with the Japanese in World War II, and with the years of India's military suppressions of the nationalist Naga army, giving fresh insight into Zapuphizo's thoughts and actions as he strove to regain for his homeland the ultimate goal of sovereign independence. Although Nagaland is today a state within the Union of India, the Naga peoples have never given up their wish to be free.

In the years before Britain quit the Indian subcontinent, the Nagas of the far northeast were held to exemplify an exotic and quixotic society. Radically different in culture and beliefs from the better known Hindus and Muslims of the plains, they were renowned for their spirited independence and diversity.

Voice of Nagaland "As One" - Reaction

The book also gives a history of the Naga nation, and surveys its present condition and future prospects. Khonoma Destroyed. In some cultures, women taunt men for cowardice if they do not seem ready to participate in a conflict between their community and other communities. In India , we were brought up with the story of the women from Rajputana who refused to recognize husbands who fled from the battlefield.

Pastoralist women give blessings to young men to go to war. They transport arms and food for warriors and pass on important information. It is futile to think that women will stay away from supporting their communities when they are embroiled in violent actions.


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However appeals can be made and are made to these women so that they favor political and non-military solutions. In this process they can enter other creative alliances that can have the potential of changing the nature of conflict and are what seems to have happened in the Northeastern state of Nagaland in India. In Northeast India both the state and non-state military forces recognize women as agents of peace. What does agents of peace in conflict situations imply? Does it merely mean playing the role of negotiator or mediator to resolve immediate conflicts or does it entails engaging with the larger socio-political framework that produces conflicts?

Women are often marginalized within their own ethnic groups and they are constantly fighting for their socio-economic and political rights.


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The rising conflict has its own demands from the women to play as negotiators which have increased the role of women in the civilian sphere. They claimed it to be merely the most recent state action against women in the region, where women have faced multiple injustices from the colonial period onwards. This is an Act passed through a constitutional process but it has facilitated some of the most gruesome human rights abuses in Northeast India. I also intend to show that women do not accept their situation of vulnerability passively and have innovatively created alliances at times with the Indian state and at other times with the rebel movements to create a space in which they can be heard, and that can be considered as their own space of empowerment.

Over the course of the conflict, they have shaped and reshaped their responses to the state and innovated and changed techniques of negotiation. In this way they have had a profound impact on governance and conflict resolution and in the process reshaped gender relations in their own societies.

As for those in governance found women as their ally in trying to push for ceasefire. With few other such options they tried to strengthen this alliance by giving women certain essential rights that was at times denied by their own communities, like 33 per cent representation in village-level representative institutions. In this way, governance merely by violence changed to a mixed mode of governance where delivering essential socio-economic necessities were recognized as an important role of the state.

Therefore, on its part the state began by trying to combat all forms of opposition through violence but after extensive bloodshed recognized that only violence does not work. They eventually decided to temper violence with development and promise of more. In the process when they could conclude a ceasefire with the rebels they prioritized development over punitive measures and tried to reconcile recalcitrant communities by sponsoring alliances with different groups including young women and men who had less potent memories of conflict. In this way the contest over sovereignty was subtly governmentalized.

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Conflict over sovereignty changed to a contest over governing. The young women definitely aided in the process by demanding that governing should also be about service providing and ensuring rights. The state was aided by the fact that with the receding of the mega conflict smaller competitions appeared on the horizon in which the state positioned itself as arbiter.

The new generation of women understood that they could use the state and its new mode of governance as their ally and push for their rights agenda.

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In this way the state polarized the society on the basis of ethnicity, age and gender and controlled the impulses of a mega opposition. The women on the other hand used state mechanisms to negotiate for mitigating traditional wrongs and pushing for individual rights that they could not during the heyday of conflict. In their negotiations with the state the women undertook many innovative actions to fight violence and traditional injustices and create a more just society.

This paper is meant to fill the lacuna in the existing literature. It deals with women in the state of Nagaland in Northeast India and analyses their negotiation with a state that traditionally privileges values that maybe patriarchal. Through their activism they made the state realize that upholding their cause will help the cause of justice and peace and also change contest over sovereignty into a question of governance and the former is always more problematic for a state to handle than the latter.

Northeastern India share borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, China and Myanmar and so the eight states can be called border states.

Zapuphizo: Voice of the Nagas (Asian Studies Series)

The British began administering the area through a series of Acts such as the Schedules District Act of and the Frontier Tracts Regulations of In , the British passed the Inner Line Regulation. The Inner Line Regulation was a means to separate the civilized plains people and the wild hill people. The inner line did not in any way give the sovereignty to the hill people rather it was a means by which administrative zones of the hills and the plains were separated ostensibly because the civilized faced problems with cohabiting with the wild. The Government of India Act of classified the hill areas of Assam into excluded and partially excluded areas.

This was done mainly to exclude the hill areas of Assam from the jurisdiction of the Reformed Provincial Government that included the plains of the Brahmaputra and Barak valleys. This policy resulted in a separate political evolution of the hill and the plains. The excluded areas were not demarcated to protect regional autonomy. Rather it was meant to keep recalcitrant groups at bay. It also meant that the hill areas remained excluded from all constitutional experiments that were embarked upon within the jurisdiction of British India.

To justify such demarcations there was a process of demonization of certain groups of people, at least in the official discourses that were considered recalcitrant and the Nagas were one such people. During the Constituent Assembly Debates the process continued. During the debate on the provisions of the Sixth Scheduled, such a mentality was apparent particularly among members of the dominant groups. When there were discussions about giving the Naga Hills an autonomous council, some of the responses of the members of the Assembly reflected the attitude of the architects of the Constitution towards these people.

Kuladhar Chaliha from Assam was particularly vocal. He said:. The Nagas are a very primitive and simple people and they have not forgotten their old ways of doing summary justice when they have a grievance against anyone.

Survey of Conflict & Resolution in India's Northeast - Ajai Sahni

If you allow them to rule us or run the administration it will be a negation of justice or administration and it will be something like anarchy…3. Although not as vociferous as Chaliha, there were many who made it obvious that the Nagas did not belong. To vest wide political powers into the hands of the tribals is the surest method of inviting chaos, anarchy and disorder throughout the length and breadth of this country. Discussions on the Sixth Schedule were a precursor of things to come.

The members of the Constituent Assembly who were deliberating on the creation of a democratic constitution for India were not merely obsessed with the idea of maintaining order as Paul Brass has suggested. They were also in the business of constructing a citizenship that would be loyal to the order that they were seeking to maintain.

On the basis of this criterion they constructed notions and discourses of who belonged and who did not. They created a hierarchy of citizenship and in that hierarchy many Northeastern tribal groups were at the bottom rung, particularly the Nagas. Their avowed difference was considered deviance and they were at best patronized and at worst vilified.

This was decisive in shaping state attitude towards the region. Thereby the ground was laid to treat these people with disdain and violence because what they were claiming was sovereignty over their self. The historiography of North East India from the other side, i. Most of the armed resistance groups are said to be fighting for autonomy under theleadership of those who believe in the right to self-rule.

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Debates, Divisions, and Deaths Within the Naga Uprising (1944-1963)

The list is endless. The number of armed resistances is on a rise and the only way of coping with the conflict that theIndian state has resorted to is through militarization of Manipur. The massive militarization thatManipur has witnessed over more than six decades is further legitimized by the existing AFSPA,which enables army officials of any rank to resort to violence to maintain law and order. Present-dayManipur is flagged with multi-layered problems with the parallel existence of democraticfunctionaries and institutions like the panchayats, municipality and state legislative assembly on theone hand and the day-to-day challenges posed by militarization by the state and the increasingnumber of armed resistance groups on the other.

The presence of military forces has created frictionsbetween ethnic groups and a clear divide between the valley an area dominated by Meiteis and thehills areas dominated by Naga and Kuki tribes. The Naga struggle is embedded in a much deeper history of ethnic identity and territoriality,which can be traced back to the Treaty of Yandaboo of , which brought the British to theNortheastern part of India.

According to Achumbemo Kikon, for administrative convenience, theBritish established the Naga Hills District in , which was later on merged with Assam in From onwards, the Naga problem escalated.