Roluah Puia is an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee, India. His research interests broadly concern identity, nationalism, development and borderland studies. His Ph.D. thesis consists of an in-depth ethnographic account of the Mizo national movement in northeast India, examining how the quest for an independent Mizo state was envisioned and practiced. Broadly put, the thesis is an engagement with the question of national integration and nation-making in post-colonial South Asian states that were marked by intermittent sub-national or ethnic national movements. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), India.
Through his thesis, he explored the factors that enabled the rise of Mizo nationalism and how its rise was constitutive of socio-cultural ethno-histories and identities that informed and continue to inform Mizo society today. His thesis emphasizes the importance of oral cultures in understanding Mizo nationalism and how that shaped the articulation and circulation of nationalist ideas across borders and regions in everyday lives and politics.
Roluahpuia’s latest article, “Unsetttled autonomy: ethnicity, tribes and sub-national politics in Mizoram, northeast India,” was published by Nations and Nationalism and was awarded the 2020 ASEN/Nations and Nationalism Essay Prize in Memory of Dominique Jacquin-Berdal. In 2021, he contributed a chapter entitled “Indigenous Peoples and the Nation Interface in India,” with Virginius Xaxa, to an edited volume by Routledge, Indigeneity and Nation: Key Concept in Indigenous Studies (edited by G.N. Devy and Geoffrey V. Davis). In 2020, his article, “Whose border is it anyway? Control, contestation, and confluence in Indo-Myanmar borderlands,” was published in Contemporary South Asia, Vol. 28.