Frontier  Travails - Northeast: The Politics of a Mess

Frontier Travails - Northeast: The Politics of a Mess

Product ID: 8957

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Author: Subir Ghosh
Publisher: Macmillan
Year: 2001
Language: English
Pages: 320
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0333 93601 9


Northeast is not just a Common Noun denoting a direction, it is a Proper Noun that must be accorded the dignity and understanding that it deserves. This book looks at the Northeast with a detached perspective, and the treatment is essentially journalistic.

Opinions always differ, as do perceptions. And when the opinions and perceptions in question are related to the Northeast, they are as many as there can be. Given the enormous diversity of the region itself and varied subjective convictions and viewpoints about these Frontier States (also addressed as the Seven Sisters), both of the people who live there as well as experts who have an interest in this turbulent region, the average Indian does not know where to begin, or whom to believe.

This very impetus permeates the ‘raison d’etre’ of the book, which has been compiled and stitched together to review and assess the situation in the Northeast—be it political, social, economic, or cultural—for, the present militancy and chaos in the region is not something that has dropped from the skies. The current flux is an outcome of both the recent and the not-so-recent past. It is foolhardy to make sweeping statements without a contextual reference to the backdrop. Hence, these travails of the Frontier dwell on issues from both the micro and macro standpoints, in a bid to disentangle the threads the make the Northeast an apparently incomprehensible conundrum.

Given these parameters, the book looks at the Northeast—the result of a political mess that it has been perforce made to be. Issues and subjects naturally overlap—but have still been discussed threadbare under the fewest head possible. If the secessionist movements and the autonomy outcries were to be even just looked at, the region would be a politico-cartographer’s nightmare. The ethno-political equations are too intricate and sensitive to be left to the politicians alone. But it is these very Neroesque politicians, both far away at the Centre as well as back home, who have subverted genuine aspirations, fanned ludicrous demands, and raked in the lucre—all at the expense of the commoners who have little to say, far less to do, with the machinations that have decided and distorted their futures.

The author desists from making predictions for the future, but if the present were to disregard the past, then history would not repeat itself as a tragedy, but a gory farce. Penned with a perspective as detached as could have possibly been, the treatment is essentially journalistic. But it does provide the average lay Indian with a starting point—the Northeast is not just a Common Noun denoting a direction, it is a Proper Noun that must be accorded the dignity and understanding that it deserves, but is rarely accorded.


Author’s Note Knots by Northeast

Introduction: Importance of Being Northeast

The Politics of Territories
The Politics of Power
The Politics of Ethnicity
The Politics of Unrest
The Politics of Accords

Afterword: Perceptions and Attitudes