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

Articles by Prarthana SaikiaSubscribe to Prarthana Saikia

Citizenship, Nationality, Discord, Accord, and Assam

The appearance of the Assam Accord in the recent citizenship debates in India has a historical significance. Providing a critique of liberal citizenship, Assam’s journey shows how citizenship in a culturally diverse nation state like India evolved distinctively along with different identity questions. Assam, through a popular movement against “illegal” migrants, under the leadership of the educated (middle) class, asserted this identity question and tangled the Assamese nationality in the legal framework of Indian citizenship. The accord, which ended the protest, led to the first amendment of the Citizenship Act, 1955 in 1985, specifically addressing Assam’s case. Drawing from vernacular literature and archival records, this paper offers a fresh perspective on the political history of citizenship in Assam from pre-independence until the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985 and its immediate implementation.

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