Territories of belonging: Citizenship and everyday practices of the state in Bodoland
My thesis looks at the construction of citizenship in the Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD, or Bodoland for short) in Western Assam, India. The BTAD is an autonomous sub- region within the state of Assam, which in turn is part of a cluster of states in Northeast India. I look primarily at the everyday practices of the state in an ethnically diverse region with a history of separatism, armed militant struggle, and violence between different ethnic groups. My understanding of citizenship is developed in the backdrop of Assam’s contemporary exercise of updating its own National Register of Citizens, a process designed to identify illegal immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh. I attempt to unpack the role of the state in the shaping of this relationship, looking at routine practices, as well as the ways in which the state represents itself in ordinary settings.