Organized Panel Session
Identity formation in Northeast India has always been a subject of much fascination. This is especially with the identities that are generic in nature, such as Naga and Mizo. These nomenclatures did not exist well into the colonial era, and even after that period, were nebulous and still in the process of crystallizing and giving themselves shape and character. Today they very much signify definite identities. Some of these collective identities given to a number of tribes/communities have now become singular and uniform. The best example is that of the Mizo. Others are federal in nature and each of the tribes/communities which are part of the larger common identity still retain their original constituent identities passionately. The best example of this is that of the Naga identity. An emerging Arunachali identity may lean towards the latter too. On a larger canvas, the Northeast as an identity is also relatively recent but it has come to stay. This paper will look into some of the historical and geographical circumstances which were behind these identity formation processes.
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