Economics, Ethnicity and Autonomy Movement in Meghalaya: An Analysis
Journal of Community Positive Practices, 16(1), pp.37-55, 2016.
19 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2015 Last revised: 6 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 20, 2015
To the unfamiliar, two major ethnic communities − the Khasi and the Garo, living in Meghalaya appear to be homogenous ones. In reality, however, they are the heterogeneous groups socially, politically and culturally, defined by distinct tribal and clan markers. Each one of them ruled their own kingdoms until they were brought under the British rule in the 19th Century. Consequently, their territories merged with the undivided Assam, and lately, carved out as a full fledged State of Meghalaya in 1972. Soon after attaining Statehood, tensions cropped up between the indigenous communities and migrants mainly control over economic opportunities. However, these days, the goal post has slowly shifted towards the internal feuds among the indigenous tribes and finally, started ethnicity-based autonomy movements within the State. With this background, the paper attempts to analyze rationale and practicability of autonomy demands asserted by different ethnic groups.
Keywords: Autonomy, Conflict, Garo, Identity, Khasi, Meghalaya
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