Confronting the State: ULFA's Quest for Sovereignty examines the complex nuances and dynamics that make ULFA (United Liberation Front of Assam) a formidable insurgent group in India. It argues that to understand the phenomenon of insurgency, one has to understand the genesis of conflict between the Indian State and the state of Assam right from the very inception of the nation-state.
The author claims that the ideological and identity issues between India and Assam have remained unresolved, and ULFA is a manifestation of that unresolved crisis. He explains that ULFA represents a mindset, a suppressed voice, which is deeply engrained in Assam's psyche. The declining support base of ULFA is not to be seen in its numerical strength; it represents the unmet aspirations of the tribal and ethnic groups of Assam.
The book tries to go beyond a ULFA-centric solution and dwells upon the issues of illegal migration, human development and the need for the protection of a composite society in Assam. It also deals with the 2012 (July–September) violent conflict in Bodoland over the issue of illegal migration and quest for a homogenous homeland. It tries to bring forward a framework of durable solution to the illegal migration issue in the state by contesting the existing discourse.