Armed Ethnic Conflicts in Northeast India and the Indian State’s Response: Use of force and the ‘notion’ of proportionality

  • Namrata Goswami (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


This paper locates armed ethnic conflicts in Northeast India across four interactive qualitative variables: ethnic exclusivity and colonial isolation; strategy of the armed groups; the use of violence; and external connections. The Indian state’s response to these armed ethnic conflicts is located within three conceptual parametres: proportionate use of force; dialogue and negotiations; and structural changes in the affected areas. Cases of armed ethnic conflicts utilized for empirical illustration includes the Dima Halam Daogah (DHD) and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) in Assam, the National Socialist Council of Nagalim led by Thuingaleng Muivah and Isak Chisi Swu-NSCN (IM) based in Manipur and Nagaland, and the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) based in Manipur. A few policy recommendations are also offered to better address armed ethnic conflicts in India’s Northeastern landscape. The two main research questions the paper addresses are the following: 1. Why does Northeast India suffer from multiple armed ethnic conflicts since 1947? 2. What has been the Indian state‘s response to the multiple armed conflicts in the Northeast?


Armed Ethnic Conflict, Northeast, Proportionality, Indian State, Conflict Resolution, Negotiation