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Confronting the State

Confronting the State
ULFA's Quest for Sovereignty

First Edition
Critical Acclaim

April 2013 | 372 pages | SAGE India
Confronting the State: ULFA's Quest for Sovereignty examines the complex nuances and dynamics that make ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) a formidable insurgent group in India. It argues that to understand the phenomenon of insurgency, one has to understand the genesis of conflict between the Indian State and the state of Assam right from the very inception of the nation-state.

The author claims that the ideological and identity issues between India and Assam have remained unresolved, and ULFA is a manifestation of that unresolved crisis. He explains that ULFA represents a mindset, a suppressed voice, which is deeply engrained in Assam's psyche. The declining support base of ULFA is not to be seen in its numerical strength; it represents the unmet aspirations of the tribal and ethnic groups of Assam.

The book tries to go beyond a ULFA-centric solution and dwells upon the issues of illegal migration, human development and the need for the protection of a composite society in Assam. It also deals with the 2012 (July-September) violent conflict in Bodoland over the issue of illegal migration and quest for a homogenous homeland. It tries to bring forward a framework of durable solution to the illegal migration issue in the state by contesting the existing discourse.

From Nationalism to Secessionism: Transformation of Assamese Identity

Assam Movement: Laying the Foundation of an Armed Struggle

PeriodiZing ULFA's Metamorphosis: From Liberator to War Lord (?)

Parag Das: The Ideologue

'ULFOcide', State Terror and Truncated Democracy

What Keeps ULFA Going: Endogenous and Exogenous Factors

What Sustains ULFA?

ULFA in International Network: From Grievances to Greed

Peace Process with ULFA, Civil Society and Indian State

Confronting the State: Exploring Ways for Sustainable Peace

Re-Visiting Immigration and Identity: Issues of Human Security, Development and Sustainable Peace



In Confronting the State, Nani Gopal Mahanta examines the complex nuances and dynamics that made Ulfa a formidable insurgent group and exposes its notorious aspects. The book is another wake-up call as it dwells on the dicey demographic shifts which have by now affected at least eleven districts of Assam and caused communal tension off and on and riots as recently as mid 2012.

The Asian Age

Enriched by use of variety of sources, primary data, interviews, local narratives etc...extensive use of literary narratives is very commendable...opens up new avenues for serious political debates in Assam on nationality question in general and ULFA issue in Particular.

Social Change

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