Kaustubh Deka’s research interests cover the areas of identity politics, protest movements and trends of youth mobilisations and student movements, especially in the context of India’s northeast. He has submitted his doctoral dissertation at the Centre for Political Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi on the topic “The Politics of Student Movements: Limits and Possibilities with Special Reference to Assam,” and he holds M.A. and M.Phil degrees from the same centre.
He has been associated with a number of research projects involving extensive ethnographic fieldwork commissioned by educational institutions such as Harvard University in the United States and Birmingham University in the United Kingdom, as well as with organisations such as The Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), New Delhi, and the Department of International Development (DFID), New Delhi. His most recent publication is “From Movements to Accords and Beyond: the Critical Role of Student Organisations in the Formation and Performance of Identity in Assam”, from the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML), New Delhi, as part of the Perspectives in Indian Development Series.
Besides this, he has written and published in a number of national and international journals of repute and presented papers in both national and international seminars in institutions such as the University of Vienna, the University of Gottingen, and in Austria and Greece. He is also a prolific translator from his mother tongue Assamese (Axomiya) to English and vice versa and his translations spans across genres such as short-stories, poems and articles. Some of his translated works have been published in special ‘Bihu’ and ‘Puja’ festival editions of Assamese magazines Janambhumi and Pratidin , besides being published in national journals such as ‘Indian Literature’ a number of times.
As a Public Policy Scholar with The Hindu Centre, Deka will undertake a study on youth activism and democratic politics in India’s Northeast, with the 2014 elections in perspective. This study addresses the question: Do elections matter to the youth of India’s northeast and how? Youth Politics and activism have been the driving force behind most of the volatile social movements surfacing in the states and societies of India’s Northeast, a region historically, politically as well as geographically sensitive about its place in the scheme of post-independence nation-building in India. Calls for ‘election boycott’ from the youth now mingle with calls for ‘free and fair elections’ from the same population group in Northeast India. This study seeks to assess the predominant mood and perception amongst the youth of the region towards the general elections 2014, as expressed both through some prominent ‘representative’ youth organisations as well as through ‘independent’ voices of the youth.
Read Policy Report No. 14 here:Youth Activism and Democratic Politics in India’s Northeast: 2014 Election in Perspective.