Identity, Recognition and Terrorism: The Case of Tripura, India


Taylor’s (1994) notion of "politics of recognition" construes identity as being a creation of existence of recognition or dearth of it and “misrecognition” leading to undignified view of self. Membership of a radical extremist group can create and escalate a sense of community, power and identity to people who are otherwise powerless and insignificant (Schaefer, 2007). India is a land with diversified culture. The researchers thus fancied whether in political terrorism (existing in certain parts of the country), subsistence of ethnic identity and search for “recognition” can play a role. The present research was conducted at Tripura, a North-eastern state. Since 1980s a social movement for rights began by a section of tribal people which in long run resulted in emergence of terrorist organizations. Tripura witnessed turbulent times afterwards. The uncertain times ended positively with currently peace prevailing. Keeping the assumptions in view 16 Focus group discussion were conducted. The findings signify that the differences in perception of the individuals across ages and ethnic identity may be attributed to their social reality perception with perceptions of same ethnic group across different age groups following a definite pattern. The marginalized ethnic identity of the individuals paves the way for differential perceptions of social reality resulting into identity conflicts among the different ethnic groups. In short the ‘politics of recognition’ certainly has the potential to trigger ethnic conflicts which in long run, at times, may result into more extreme forms of feuds as worse as political terrorism.

Author Information
Anindita Chaudhuri, University of Calcutta, India
Lopamudra Saha, University of Calcutta, India

Paper Information
Conference: ACP2018
Stream: Qualitative/Quantitative Research in any other area of Psychology

This paper is part of the ACP2018 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon