Borderland City in New India
Duncan McDuie-Ra
Politics & Social Sciences
Borderland City in New India

Borderland Cities in New India explores contemporary urban life in two cities in India’s Northeast borderland at a time of dramatic change. Social and economic transformation from India’s embrace of neoliberalism and globalisation, often referred to as ‘new’ India, has become a popular subject for academic analysis in the last decade. This is epitomised by focus on so-called ‘mega-cities’, reflecting a general trend in scholarship on other parts of Asia. However, far less attention has been afforded to borderland regions and to the provincial cities of ‘new’ India. Using ethnographic material, this book focuses on two cities in India’s Northeast borderland: Aizawl and Imphal. Both cities have been profoundly affected by armed conflict, militarism, displacement, and inter-ethnic tensions. Yet, both are also experiencing intensified flows of goods and people, rapid urban development, and expansion of Indian and foreign capital associated with the opening of the borderland west to the rest of India and east to the rest of Asia.

This title was made Open Access by libraries from around the world through Knowledge Unlatched. Print editions available via Amsterdam University Press

Table of Contents
List of Maps and Images
Map 1.1 Manipur and surrounding states and territories
Image 1.1 Shanker Talkies, Lamphelpat
Image 2.1 Central Imphal facing north
Image 2.2 Multi-storey houses alongside partially completed houses, Uripok Khumanthem Leikai
Image 2.3 Manhunt billboard, LIC Point
Image 3.1 State Police at Thangal Bazaar
Image 3.2 Bir Tikendrajit Flyover with the Ima Keithel behind
Image 3.3 PLA Memorial at Cheiraoching
Image 4.1 Advertisement for 23rd Century, Salam Leikai
Image 5.1 Billboard featuring Mary Kom, Khoyathong
Image 5.2 Local clothes shop, New Checkon
Image 6.1 Shija Hospital, Langol
Image 6.2 Baptist church under construction, Langol
Image 7.1 School under construction, Sangaiprou
Image 7.2 Advertisement for a secondary school, DM campus
Image 8.1 Start of the rally, Haobam Marak Lourembam Leikai
1 Introduction
Disturbed City, Sensitive Space
Frontiers to Corridors
Approaching Imphal
Structure of the Book
Terminology and Place Names
Part 1 – Disturbed City, Sensitive Space
2 Belonging
Small City, Growing City
Plurality and Polarity
Alternative Places
3 Control
Spatial Control in Imphal
The Armed Forces
Civilian Government
Non-state Actors
Contesting and Co-opting Memory
Resistance and Nationalism
Insurgent Memorials
4 Exclusion
Ethnic Politics
Mao Gate
Sadar Hills
Belonging and the Blockades
Indigenous Politics
Part 2 – Liberalising the Frontier
5 Gateway City
New India and Its Frontier
Indigenising Indian Capital
Gateway Livelihoods
Closing the Gate
6 Health City
Building a Health City
The Decaying Public System
Accidental Liberalisation?
Reshaping the Urban Frontier
7 Education City
Schools versus Paddy
Recruiting in Imphal
8 Conclusion
Glossary of Non-English Terms
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