This work deals with the years immediately preceding the Partition of India and takes up issues of land, language, immigration, and identity in Assam, where they continue to occupy public space.
The effects of the Partition continue to hang as a spectre over the entire region.
In Assam's case, its recent history seems to have subsumed its 'glorious past', with geography playing a crucial role in determining its present position vis-a-vis the Indian state. The author outlines the present contentious issues in the state, which seem to defy any solution and which are increasingly adding to the growing human tragedy of the region in the light of developments which occurred in the pre- and post-Partition years.
In order to understand this and explain why the challenge posed by Assam held serious consequences for the Indian state, this work examines the developments that occurred in the years preceding the Partition and Independence-developments whichhave etched their effect on the society, politics, and economy of Assam and also the entire north-eastern region in an indelible manner.