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India’s Northeast 2020: Four Alternative Futures

Namrata Goswami was Research Fellow at Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detail profile.
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  • IDSA Occassional Paper No. 13

    Terrorism, left-wing extremism and insurgencies in the Northeast were identified as the three major security challenges facing India by Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh at the Chief Ministers’ Conclaves on Internal Security in 2009 and 2010. This Occasional Paper focuses on the third of these concerns, i.e. insurgencies in the Northeast. Based on extensive fieldwork in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland, the author zeroes in on the driving forces that will determine the future of the Northeastern states by 2020. These driving forces (both positive and negative), are used as a basis for scenario building to envisage four alternative futures for the Northeast of 2020. The four futures are: Destination Northeast (based on tourism development); Island Northeast (based on fear of domination and ethnic violence); Multi-Cultural Northeast (based on the success of democracy); and Global Northeast (based on the success of India’s “Look East” policy). In conclusion, the paper makes policy recommendations to bring about peace and development in the region.

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