MCPH held a talk and an interactive session with Dr.Udayon Misra on 20th March,2017. The title of the talk was ‘The North-East and federalism’. Dr.Udayon Misra is one of the foremost scholars of the cultural and political history of the North-East. His publications include The Periphery strikes back : Challenges to the North State in Assam and Nagaland ( Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla ), India’s North – East : Identity-Movements, State, and Civil Society (Oxford University Press) and he is currently working on a monograph entitled The Burden of History : Assam and the Partition ( to be co-published between IIAS and Oxford). He has also been a National Fellow of the Indian Council of Social Science Research and of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla.
The aim of his presentation during his talk at MCPH was not to go into the inner dynamics of the separatist/ secessionist/ autonomy discourse but to look into the importance and relevance of the issues thrown up by these movements. These issues, which go far beyond the movements themselves, add new dimensions in our understanding of the course and the content of the Indian Nation state in the last seventy years. Unfortunately, the violence and the bloodshed that have marked this region have tended to deflect one’s attention from the cardinal nature of the issues that have been thrown up. But of late, with the issue of asymmetrical as well co-operative federalism, the north eastern experience have taken on new relevance.