2 interesting articles on Assam’s politics

One on the 1980s/early 1990s, the other on contemporary Assam:

Alex Waterman, “The shadow of ‘the boys:’ rebel governance without territorial control in Assam’s ULFA insurgency,” Small Wars and Insurgencies:

This article leverages data from an oft-overlooked case of rebel governance – India’s United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) – to demonstrate the importance of de-centring territorial control as a prerequisite for rebel governance. ULFA neither controlled territory nor developed formalised bureaucratic institutions, yet its ‘parallel government’ held considerable sway over Assamese public life during 1985–1990, underpinned by its social embeddedness, influence upon media discourse and crucially its subversion of state structures, until its ability to limit state repression collapsed. The rise and fall of ULFA’s rebel governance illustrates the hybrid socio-political terrain upon which rebel governance is often laid.”

Neelanjan Sircar, “Religion-as-Ethnicity and the Emerging Hindu Vote in India,” Studies in Indian Politics:

“Religious division formed the basis for the subcontinent’s partition and has continued to be a major social cleavage in local relations. Yet remarkably religious parties have rarely been successful in India. This may be changing with an ascendant Bharatiya Janata Party mobilizing the Hindu vote. Accordingly, this article seeks to explicate the conditions under which successful religious parties may emerge. In order to do so, I conceive of electoral mobilization on religion as a form of ethnic mobilization, what I refer to as religion-as-ethnicity voting. I argue that religion-as-ethnicity voting emerges when the religious group meets certain spatial demographic criteria (density and pivotality) and when a governing party representing these interests can use state power to reify boundaries between religious groups. I use this framework to explain the emergence of the Hindu vote in the Indian state of Assam.”

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