Insurgency, counterinsurgency and democracy in India

Published: 30th March 2013 09:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th March 2013 09:37 AM   |  A+A-


The Infosys Science Foundation Lecture was delivered by Prof. Nandini Sundar at the University of Hyderabad. Speaking to the students, faculty and invitees at the DST Auditorium, Prof. Nandini Sundar talked about her work on insurgency, counterinsurgency and democracy, looking at the way in which insurgency is framed in official and non-official discourse in contemporary India, the continuities as well as discontinuities with colonial discourse; the circulating repertoire of counterinsurgency measures across different time periods and different political regimes. She focused on regrouping and the use of special police officers in particular.

Attempting to do an ethnography of democracy at different levels, she showed how democracy made little difference to the practice of counterinsurgency since the same measures were employed across the world by different regimes, and there were much greater continuities between the colonial and post-colonial periods than discontinuities when it came to adivasis.

As the citation notes, Prof. Nandini Sundar was awarded the Infosys Science Foundation Award in recognition of her contributions as an outstanding analyst of social identities, who has made major and original contributions to our understanding of environmental struggles, of the impact of central and state policies on tribal politics, and of the moral ambiguities associated with subaltern political movements in contemporary India.

Nandini Sundar can be reached at <>

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