GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO SELF-DETERMINATION MOVEMENTS: A CASE STUDY COMPARISON IN INDIA
University of Kansas
Global and International Studies, Center for
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The Indian government's response to multiple separatist and self-determination movements the nation has encountered in its sixty-six year history has ranged from violent repression to complete or partial accommodation of demands. My research question asks whether the central government of India's response to self-determination demands varies based on the type of demand or type of group. The importance of this topic stems from the geopolitical significance of India as an economic giant; as the largest and fastest growing economy in the subcontinent, the stability of India as a federal republic is crucial to the overall strength of the region. While the dispute between India and Pakistan in the state of Kashmir gets international attention, other movements that are associated with multiple fatalities and human rights abuses are largely ignored. I conduct a comparative case study analysis comparing one movement each in the states of Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Assam, Kashmir, and Mizoram; each with a diverse set of demands and where agitation has lasted more than five years. By studying verified historical accounts, books, journal articles, newspaper reports, census, and survey data from India as well as international human rights and terrorist-watch organizations, I will create a matrix that categorizes government response by the types of demands and types of groups. I find that not all demands for more autonomy within the union are treated the same; in some cases, the government's response is different despite similar demands.
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