My research situates itself within a literature on political life in Northeast India, moving away from a focus on violence and militarisation, towards looking at forms of local governance and everyday political interactions. I examine the political history of the region within the context of its relationship with the Indian state, while also looking at the contemporary politics of land and territory, electoral and everyday party politics at the village level, and the ascendance of Hindu nationalist groups in recent years. The research explores changes in socio-political relations at a regional level, as well as how they tie up with a broader Indian churning of nationalism, and negotiated ideas of citizenship and belonging.

I track this changing politics through interviews with various actors and participants in Bodoland’s changing landscape: former and current MPs, leaders of the Bodoland movement (both past and present), politicians in the autonomous region’s political system, local political representatives at constituency and village levels, and the ordinary citizens of Bodoland who participate in and shape its political landscape.