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THE ZUBAAN-SASAKAWA PEACE FOUNDATION RESEARCH GRANTS FOR YOUNG RESEARCHERS FROM THE NORTHEAST-II

THE ZUBAAN-SASAKAWA PEACE FOUNDATION GRANTS
FOR YOUNG RESEARCHERS FROM THE NORTHEAST

 

Zubaan Publishers and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation are offering a number of grants for the year 2019 to young researchers from the eight northeastern Indian states and neighbouring areas. These grants offer a small fund to prepare a research papers/essays/translations, etc, on the themes detailed in the call below.

                                                             

Grant Details

This research grant, in its second year now, aims to encourage young writers and researchers to contribute to the diversification of knowledge production. It is set against the broad framework/themes mentioned below, which will be examined through the lens of gender in 'the Northeast'.

This year, we are looking for applications for research under the themes of:

1. Memory: Exploring the relationship between memory and history; the importance of oral histories and testimonies; the ways in which both private and public memory live on and find articulation; the importance, for communities, of preserving ‘contentious’ memories and the reluctance of states to ‘allow’ such memories to survive; the role of memory in healing; unpacking invisible hierarchies in memory.

2. Migration: The role of migration and migrants in shaping new histories and cultures; migration as the search for a future; migration as flight in times of war or ‘natural’ disaster; migration and cultural production, for example, food, cuisines, literature, songs, stories; migrants and ‘settlers’.

3. Children’s Literature:
a. Translations or adaptions of oral folklore or folktales; reimaginings or repurposings of traditional stories through a gendered lens; and histories, analysis and research on the same.

b. Research papers on children’s literature, learnings or accounts of library projects, community engagements, and alternative or independent educational initiatives (or independent narratives from within formal education spaces).

The idea behind the grant is to provide financial and academic support to young researchers who may wish to look into particular aspects of the histories, politics, and/or cultures of the northeastern states in relation to gender and the outlined themes.

The research papers must be written in English. In subsequent years the grant may open up to other languages, but for the moment it remains limited to English. All papers written with the support of the grant will be published electronically by Zubaan Publishers Pvt. Ltd on various digital platforms. They may also be compiled in print form, at a later stage.

The papers may be academic research papers, long-form journalistic essays or long interviews on a particular subject, thematically aligned with the call. Hybrid or creative forms are welcome.

[Note: Research papers which are a part of an ongoing or recently completed PhD thesis will not be covered by this grant.]

 

Eligibility criteria

1. If you are from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura and are less than 40 years of age, you are eligible to apply. The research grant is also open for applicants from hill regions in the districts of Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Dooars area.

2. Fluency in writing and reading English is necessary.

[Note: If you feel that you fit into the eligibility criteria and have an interesting proposal to discuss, one which may not be in English but has the scope of being translated/adapted, please write to us at projects@zubaanbooks.com before submitting your proposal.]

3. You must commit to researching and writing a 10,000 words (minimum) essay. The grant also allows for the development of graphic narratives, extended interviews, creative works such as fiction writing or photo essays in lieu of the essay, all within a specified timeline.

[Note: Since we have a limited number of grants available, we would like to encourage applicants who can commit to submitting the first drafts of their work within four months of selection.  Please apply ONLY if you feel you can fulfil this criteria so as to not deprive other deserving applicants.]

 

How to apply

Interested persons should send their applications, including the documents  mentioned below, to projects@zubaanbooks.com by 6 June 2019: 

1. Send in a grant proposal (maximum two pages) which clearly describes the research project you wish to undertake (the subject of your research as well as the methodologies and mediums you intend you use), which sources you will tap (primary and secondary), and a proposed timeline.

[Note: If you need any guidance/format for writing a proposal, please write to us at projects@zubaanbooks.com.]

2. Submit a writing sample of roughly 500 words or a two-page spread of a graphic story, or an extract from an interview transcript done by you.

3. Grant proposals may be creative and do not need to be written in academic language.

4. Submit your CV and any other relevant information about yourself that you think is necessary, including proof of age.

5. Two names of referees, ideally people with whom you have previously worked.

 

Shortlist and selection of grantees

All grant proposals will be screened by a selection committee. The committee will prepare a shortlist based on certain criteria and may wish to interview some candidates. Interviews can take place by Skype or phone or in person. The committee will then decide and the candidate will be informed. The committee’s decision will be final.

 

Duration

The first draft of the selected papers is expected in four months after the methodology workshop, details of which are mentioned below. Papers may need to be revised after the first draft depending on the feedback. Depending on the feedback, a month may be given for the required revisions.

 

Payments

The fellowship carries a grant of INR 35,000, less applicable taxes.

Payments will be made in two instalments: 25 per cent on approval of the project and signature of contract, and the remaining on the completion of the study.

 

Methodology workshops

All successful candidates will be required to attend a preliminary methodology workshop, which will be held in the late July or early August, as well as a mid-term online review where they will present a draft of their work in order to get feedback from peers and resource people. In the time remaining for the grant, candidates will be required to take the feedback on board and to finalize their papers.

Interested candidates can send in their applications to projects@zubaanbooks.com.

The last date of submission of application is 6 June 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be informed by the first week of July 2019.

Click here to download this page as a PDF.


Zubaan is an independent feminist publishing house based in New Delhi. We publish academic books, fiction, memoirs and popular nonfiction, as well as books for children and young adults under our Young Zubaan imprint, aiming always to be pioneering, cutting-edge, progressive and inclusive. For more information, log onto www.zubaanbooks.com.

The Sasakawa Peace Foundation addresses the diverse and complicated issues that human society is encountering in the 21st century. SPF and Zubaan Publishers Pvt. Ltd work together on projects linked with cultural production, writing and literature in Northeast India. For more information, log onto www.spf.org.

Announcing writing grants for researchers from Northeast India!

THE ZUBAAN-SASAKAWA PEACE FOUNDATION GRANTS FOR YOUNG RESEARCHERS FROM THE NORTHEAST

 

Zubaan Publishers Pvt. Ltd and the Sasakawa Peace Foundation are offering a number of research grants for the year 2018 for young researchers from the eight northeastern states. The grants provide a small fund to prepare research papers/essays/oral history set against the broad framework of women’s multiple histories and focuses on the issue of gender in the Northeast.

 

                                                             

Grant Details

The idea behind the grant is to provide financial and academic support to young researchers who may wish to look into particular aspects of the history, politics, culture of the northeastern states in relation to women and gender. The papers will be written in English. All papers written with the support of the grant will be published electronically by Zubaan on various digital platforms and made widely available. The papers may be academic research papers, long-form journalistic essays or long interviews on a particular subject to do with gender. Hybrid or creative forms are welcome.

 

Eligibility criteria

  1. You must be from Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim  and Tripura, and less than 40 years of age.
  2. You must be fluent in reading and writing English.
  3. You must commit to researching and writing a 10,000 word (minimum) essay. The grant also allows for you to develop graphic narratives, or do extended interviews, or produce creative works such as a story, in lieu of the essay, all within a specified timeline.

Duration

The first draft of the selected papers is expected in four months after the methodology workshop, details of which are mentioned in the attachment. Papers may need to be revised after the first draft depending on the feedback. Depending on the feedback, a month may be given for the required revisions.

The grant's value is Rs 35,000 less applicable taxes.

 

How to apply

Interested persons should send their application, including the following documents, to projects@zubaanbooks.com:

  1. A grant proposal (maximum two pages) which clearly describes what you wish to do, what sources you will tap (primary and secondary), the subject of your research and a timeline.
  2. A sample of previous work that can be written material of roughly 500 words, a two-page spread of a graphic story, or an transcript extract from an interview you have conducted.
  3. Your CV and any other relevant information about yourself that you think is necessary, including proof of age.
  4. Two names of referees, ideally people you have worked with.

 

Grant proposals may be creative and do not need to be written in academic language.

The last date of submission of application is 15 May 2018.

Click here to download this page and detailed instructions.

Bitter Wormwood: Introduction

The struggle for independence from India by the Naga people, indigenous inhabitants of the Naga Hills, has been a story hidden for several decades. Cleverly concealed by censorship on newspaper reports, there was only one western journalist, a British war correspondent named Gavin Young (The Daily Telegraph) who managed to enter Nagaland illegally in the 1960s and report what he saw of the genocide and rape and torture of the Nagas by the Indian Army.

The IWGIA (International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs) 1986 report The Naga Nation and its Struggle against Genocide, recorded that as many as 100,000 Nagas were killed in fighting with India beginning from 1956. Naga Federal government statistics claim that villagers who fled their burned villages and died of starvation and disease bring the number closer to two hundred thousand from the 50s to the 60s. The main source of information for the IWGIA report was Naga historian Dr. Visier Sanyu.

The first killings occurred in 1948 when two Nagas were shot dead by the Indian army in Tuensang, followed by another two killings in 1950, and the attack on Khonoma village and Lungkhum village in 1953. In 1954, the numbers rose to 64 Nagas killed and at the beginning of 1955, 279 Nagas were recorded killed by the army. Between January 1955 and July 1957 the estimated damage stood at: 79,794 houses burnt, 26,550,000 mounds of paddy burnt and 9,60,000,000 rupees worth of goods destroyed (source: The Naga Chronicle p.148 and p.181).

The IWGIA report documents some of the tortures in April and May 1955 by the Assam Police Battalion, beginning with the burning of 200 granaries of Mokokchung village. This was accompanied by atrocities like beating a pregnant woman and forcing her to give birth in public, raping of the village women and killing of the menfolk. In September the harvest was destroyed by the same police battalion and five village women were raped, amongst whom were two minor girls. Both young students and adults were shot and killed or tortured to death by the battalion.

In 1956, the Indian army began taking prisoners and using them for target practice. Groupings of villagers and tortures of the villagers became routine by 1957. The stories of torture documented by both the IWGIA and The Naga Chronicle seem to surpass each other in the army's inhuman treatment of the Nagas: men were tied to poles and burned; they were buried alive; their genitals were given electric currents. Each instance of torture was more gruesome and horrible than the next. The report lists the tortures and repression of the Nagas by the Indian army as "i) execution in public; ii) mass raping; iii) deforming sex organs; iv) mutilating limbs and body; v) electric shocks; vi) puncturing eyes; vii) hanging people upside down; viii) putting people in smoke-filled rooms; ix) burning down of villlages; x) concentration camps; xi) forced starvation and labour." One of the stories of rape had as its intention the desecration of the village church of Yankeli where four minor girls were raped by the Maratha contingent on 11 July 1971. The church building was abandoned by the villagers after that incident.

Of the reports, one of the most pitiable incidents occured in 1962. The village of Matikhru was attacked by the Indian army and all the women and children were chased out of the village. After that all the male adults were tortured and beheaded. This was followed by the burning of the village. The village holds an annual Remembrance day when they re-enact the killing of the 12 male members of the village.

The conflict which began as a peaceful resistance of Indian occupation escalated into a violent full-scale war after the death of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji had supported the Naga right to remain independent of India and even declared that anyone who tried to force them into the Indian Union would have to deal with him first. Sadly the Mahatma was killed in that first rush after independence and Nehru, the first Prime Minister of free India, chose the path of military aggression to make the Nagas submit.

At the height of military oppression in 1956, the Naga Army was formed and its members traveled to China and East Pakistan to find arms to fight the Indian army. Subsequent groups that went to China in the mid-70s were exposed to Chinese Marxist ideology. Factional killings begun by breakaway groups erupted in the Naga National Council in this period, eroding the Naga cause through the years.

In 1980, the first factional group called themselves the National Socialist Council of Nagaland and used the slogan, "Nagaland for Christ." After some years, there was a split in the NSCN, and two factional groups appeared, the Isak Muivah and the Khaplang factions. The factions began killing off the leaders of the Naga National Council, and drug addicts and drug peddlers, as well as members of their rival groups on a large scale right through the 80s, 90s and up till 2008. In the continuous infighting amongst the Naga freedom fighters, Naga society was riven apart by extortion, and rapid brutalization.

Today, many young Nagas struggle with a confused identity. This confusion began after India launched its war of occupation and enacted the creation of Naga statehood in 1963. Statehood was an agreement between a small group of Nagas and the Delhi government. Under statehood, Indian citizenship was imposed on Nagas, but they were denied many of the rights of citizens of India under the Indian constitution. Laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and the Disturbed areas act took away the fundamental rights of Nagas and continued to put them at the mercy of the armed forces.

The situation in the Indian metropolises is worrying. Students and workers from the Northeast continue to face a large percentage of racist attacks. The Times of India dated Oct 27, 2009 carried a long article entitled, "Girls from NE soft target in city." It listed various incidents including the rape and murder of a 6 year old girl from the North-east, the murder of a Naga girl by an IIT student and the beating up of Naga and a number of North-east people by locals. Sexual harassment and rape of Naga girls were initially denied redressal by the police in Indian cities but by 2009, the Ministry DonNER had decided to set "North-East Connect" to provide relief to beleaguered students (Assam Tribune, Oct 30, 2009).

The North East Support and Help Centre (NESHC), a very crucial helpline begun in September 2007, recorded that 86 percent of people from the Northeast had experienced racist attacks. Shortly after the murder of the Naga girl, the Times of India carried two more reports on Nov 7 and Nov 9, 2009 on the beating up of two Naga students and the molestation of a Naga girl. The bitterness and suspicion between the mainland Indians and Nagas in Indian cities easily triggers new conflicts contributing to the alienation.

In Nagaland, Christian groups and civil society groups such as the Naga Mothers Association, Naga Hoho, Naga Baptist Church Council, the Gaonbura and Dobashi association, Naga Students Federation and Naga Christian Fellowship have vainly tried time and again to bring the warring Naga groups to reconcile with each other. However, in 2009, all the peace efforts seemed to be making some headway. The State Police recorded a total of 12 factional killings as contrasted with a total of 300 in the previous years (source: Comparative Crime Statistics for the year 2006, 2007, 2008 up to 15th dec, 2009. Nagaland Police) give the source of the statistics.

With killings on the decline and the active efforts of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR) group, there seemed to be a flickering light in the horizon. The Nagas were hopeful that the quest for lasting peace in these long-troubled, tear-sodden hills of home was in sight. The Reconciliation team is made up of apex tribal bodies and organizations and has been very active for the last 36 months of its life. Led by Dr Wati Aier, the FNR brought the NSCN IM and the NSCN K to sign a "Covenant of Reconciliation" declaration where both parties promised to pursue Naga reconciliation and forgiveness.

Though there have been a few hiccups, the forum is still maintaining course and found support from the international Baptist World Alliance which consists of 120 nations. The BWA which met in Kuala Lumpur in July 2011 passed a resolution supporting the Naga reconciliation process (report carried in The Morung Express July 9, 2011). The FNR's appeal to the Naga public makes the search for peace a community responsibility.

This book is not meant to be read as a history textbook. For the purpose of reading about the history of the Naga struggle, researchers should read comprehensive books on the topic for example, The Naga Chronicle, The Naga Saga, Nagaland File and Naga identities and The Naga resistance. This book is not about the leaders and heroes of the Naga struggle. It is about the ordinary people whose lives were completely overturned by the freedom struggle. Because the conflict is not more important than the people who are its victims.

Easterine

September 2011.

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