ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Tragedy of Identity

Reflections on Violent Social Conflict in Western Assam

Trying to shed light on the Bodo-Muslim conflict in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous District and neighbouring areas of western Assam, this paper locates the conflict in its larger context and attempts to identify the recent factors that have contributed to insecurity among various groups in this region. It also reflects on conflicts among groups in general, and in India in particular. The findings suggest that conditions for further violence exist in this region, and some factors that could contribute to this are highlighted.

We thank all the respondents who patiently answered our questions and the staff of the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Assam, for providing us with data and advice. For comments on a previous version, we thank a reviewer, participants at the Human Development and Capability Association annual conference, Managua, Bikram Barua, Pramit Bhattacharya, Priyam Goswami, Sudha Narayanan, R Nagaraj, and Aloke Thakore. For helpful discussions, we thank Raju Narzary. We are solely responsible for any errors.

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