Is India unique in politically managing ethnic conflicts? This book evaluates critically the conventional wisdom which argues that it is. By focusing on India's nation and state-building in the peripheral regions since 1947 and contemporary developments, it suggests that India should be considered as a form of ethnic democracy. Within India's ethnic democracy, hegemonic and violent control is exercised over minorities, especially religious communities constituting majorities in the federating units. A detailed case-study is provided of the management of the 'Punjab proble' - the growth and containment of Sikh ethno-nationalism and, after 1984, the suppression of the separatist movement for Khalistan, a Sikh state.The long-term development of ethno-nationalist separatist movements, the book argues, is inextricably linked to the future character of Indian democracy. This is assessed in light of the challenge posed by the rise of Hindutva forces, the demise of Nehruvianism, and the internal political and economic pressures towards regionalization.

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