How compatible are multinational states and their autonomy-seeking communities? Do minorities have a right to secede? What is the nature and dynamics of contemporary secessionism? What are the favoured techniques followed by a state to counter secessionist uprisings? In this essay, taking India as the case study, I explore answers to these questions. I suggest that the changing attitude of the international community toward secessionism as a right to self-determination has severe implications for existing state sovereignty. In the main, multinational states confront the difficult choice of limiting their sovereignty or facing disintegration.