For mosdt people living in India, little is known about the North-east, its myriad cultures and value system. This book paints a broad canavas by introducing readers to the rich cultural heritage and history of the states; the outstanding modern poetry from this region, acknowledged to be among the best from India; and the dual or plural identities which have led to the immense crisis of political development.
Over thirty leading personalities, most of them from the Nort-east, have contributed to this volume essays, oral narratives, poems, interviews, and around 40 photographs.
Oral narratives from eight states including Sikkim, evoke a world in harmony with nature. This idyllic image is juxtaposed with impassioned, pungent, and sardonic poetry, which expresses the pain and brutality of political oppression. The cultures of these different states are also shown experiencing transformations in social values, beliefs, and lifestyles, as they adapt to radical changes.
Three cogent essays deal with political turmoil - partly engendered by a 'mindset' leading to a conflict of loyalties between the state and the country. The Brahmaputra becomes a metaphor for destruction and survival.
This book is enriched by two interviews held with luminaries: Indira Goswami speaking with candour about negotiating on behalf of the ULFA; and Ratan Thiyam speaking on bringing the aesthetics of his repertory theatre group based in Manipur to performances worldwide, investing the local Manipur language and culture with universal significance.
This poignant and gripping account of the North-east and it cultures, will deepen readers' understanding of this little-known part of India, especially scholars of anthropology, cultural studies, and literary culture, as well as general audiences.
About the Author:
Geeti Sen is Chief Editor, Publications, India International Centre, New Delhi. She is a cultural historian, art critic, and the author of five major books on Indian art. She was conferred the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fellowship from 1998-2000.
Sanjoy Hazarika is Managing Trustee of the Centre for North-east Studies and Policy Research, and is a consulting Editor for Statesman. He is an award-winning former correspondent of the New York Times.
Mamang Dai is a journalist and writer, and is Vice-President of the North-east Writers Forum. Her published works include two books, a collection of poetry, and a collection on folklore.
Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih is Deputy Director in charge of publications at North-eastern Hill University, Shillong. He is the recipient of the first North-east Poetry Award conferred by the North-east Poetry Award conferred by the North-east Poetry Council, Tripura, in 2004.
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