Suchitra Vijayan, author of Midnight’s Borders: A People’s History of Modern India, talks about what propelled her to travel 9,000 miles along India’s borderlands. In conversation with Vaibhav Vats, Vijayan recounts her reportage along India’s tenuous boundaries with Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and – most contentious of all – Pakistan. The conversation delves into the nature of borders, the peculiar origins of India’s demarcations and the fractured, founding history that underpins the Indian nation-state. Vijayan and Vats also muse on how the violence on the peripheries slowly permeates inwards, as raging conflicts over citizenship and identity – once an issue confined largely to the borderlands – have moved to the centre of the Indian body politic.

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