However, the ethnographic sketches in Chapter 2 will illustrate how – among the communities under consideration in this study – the Bodo community of Assam can make Ethnicity becomes ‘political’, it gives rise to ‘nationalism’, when the ‘ethnic’ group…
is not merely acutely conscious of its own existence, but also imbued with the conviction that the ethnic boundary ought also to be a political one.
There are many views about the trajectory of growth of the concepts of nationalism and ethnicity.
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In the Northeast, ‘India’s failure to resolve key issues like governance and state reorganization, power-sharing and ethnic balance, economic development and state-building’ led to ‘alienation, and ultimately rebellions’ among those ethnic communities and nationalities of the region that had initially given India’s poly-ethnic experiment a chance after 1947 (Bhaumik 206).
Conflicts between and within communities and against the State has thus become a norm in ‘post’-colonial Assam and the Northeast as a whole.
Thus, outlook definitely goes against the view of ‘primordialists’ like Clifford Geertz (1996) who considers certain ‘primordial ties’ to be the basis of personal identity, the drive for which interacts with the drive for an ‘efficient, dynamic, modern state’ (ibid:40-41).
But both views apparently agree that ethno-nationalism is the basis of State formation.
Chapters 4-6 trace the development of the conflicts in Assam.a difference that matters’ (Le Baron 20). However the outcome, whether it is creative, constructive and peaceful, or whether it becomes violent and destructive, depends mainly on behaviour – whether it is peaceful or not, and influenced by attitudes towards the other.