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Portrait of a Place: Reflections about fieldwork from the foothills of Northeast India

Migration may occur due to various reasons, which may vary from a quest for upward socio-economic mobility to one for basic survival. However, in a place which is otherwise relatively dominated by indigenous ethnic groups, migration occurring over a long period can bring drastic changes. This chapter analyzes the relationship between long-term migration and socio-economic-cultural confrontation in regions with strong ethnic undertones. The case in point is Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD). At present, BTAD is home to numerous communities, including the Bodos, the Adivasis, the Koch-Rajbongshi and migrant Muslims. In such a scenario, providing autonomous rights to the Bodos alone has not led to a reconciliation of conflicts (indigenous-versus-migrant conflict).
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