Voices from the Ground Neo liberal statecraft and KMSS’s resistance movements in Assam

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Atri Baruah


Over the years, people’s resistance movements in Assam have protested state policies and actions on the control, appropriation and ownerships of natural resources. Such movements are marked by an active ideological orientation from the time of colonial annexation of this northeastern region to that of the formation of the post-colonial independent Indian state and yet still continues. Resistance against power of the state occurred within a recognized public arena, which is well goes with what present days resistance movements are doing against the coercive role of the state in Assam. Voices are erupted from the grounds that have a direct connection with the neoliberal state policy of neo-extraction of resources by marginalizing local communities who are said to be the traditional right holders over it. Illustrative to this, the resistance movement spearheaded by a peasant-based organization called Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS)in Assam at the grass root level not only mobilizes the voices which are usually unheard, but build a strong counter force against the state power. In its decade long existence, the organization is offering its resistance politics by launching a serious of movements to resist anti-farmer and anti-people policies pursued by the government in the post-liberalization phase and has emerged as a powerful platform for representing voices of the economically-excluded, who fall behind the curtain of the neo-liberal economic paradigm.

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