Intertiol conference on multitude and democracy held at OKD institute
Guwahati, Feb 20: Omeo Kumar Das Institute of Social Change and Development in collaboration with Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway organized a two-day intertiol conference on Multitude and Democracy: Experiences from Northeast India and Myanmar on February 19 & 20 at institute premises here, stated a press release.
The keynote was delivered by Prof. Sanjib Baruah of Bard College, New York on February 19. In his address, Baruah floated the idea of ‘shared sovereignty’. He draws his idea from the draft framework agreement for peace in ‘galim’ announced in August, 2015.
According to Prof. Baruah, though detail has not been divulged yet, from all indications it appears ‘shared sovereignty’ or ‘some version of it’ would appear in the fil peace agreement.
In his presentation, he brought forth the issue of how sovereignty akin to that of the State has already been exercised by the insurgent groups particularly NSCN (IM).
He also incorporated in his theoretical framework the insights drawn from Indian state’s engagement in Northeast India. According to him, Indian State is not in direct confrontation with NSCN (IM) for a monopoly of the legitimate use of violence, a trademark of sovereignty in Weber’s use of the term. Rather, its existence in the region is porous and unstable in the region.
The next day saw the presentation of different scholars coming from different intuitions across the globe. There were total three sessions that encapsulated the presentations organized around three themes— “Theorising Multitude and Democracy”, “Women’s Empowerment, Multitude and Democracy”, and “Experiences from Northeast India and Myanmar.
The conference saw the participation of scholars from different intertiol academic institutions like London School of Economics, UK; University of Kent, UK; University of the Basque Country, Spain; Stockholm University, Sweden; School of Oriental and African Studies, UK; University of London, UK; University of Ghent, Belgium and Mahidol University, Thailand.
It also saw the participation of scholars from various reputed tiol academic institutions like tiol Institute of Advanced Studies and Jawaharlal Nehru University apart from the participants of the host institutions. A host of theoretical issues were raised around the issue of sovereignty, particularly around the social, the cultural and the political dimensions of it.
An important topic of the conference was the woven around women rebels and their roles in peace building in the situation of conflict in Northeast India.