Re-imagining the Northeast in India, again : Did geography sidestep history in vision (2020)?
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In a previous incarnation of this chapter in 2007, I had somewhat smugly concluded on reading an advance draft chapter of the Vision 2020 document that India’s Northeast 2 was being re-imagined as a ‘development deficit’ in a formulaic way. My claim – much inspired by the subversive scholarly turn widely referred to as post development 3 – was that the authors of Vision 2020 failed to grasp the challenge of ‘historical difference’ (social, cultural and ecological heterogeneity). Consequently, Vision 2020, I argued, pretty much ended up advocating for the wholesome ‘economic assimilation’ of the Northeast region within ‘mainstream’ India through ‘dispossession, enclosure and displacement’ (D’Souza 2007–08: 207–17).
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