Greater Nagaland dispute a 'hanging fire', says book

Dimapur, Jan 19 : EVEN AS the decade old Naga peace talks negotiations have made little headway, the vexed greater Nagaland dispute remains a "hanging fire", says a new book penned by a journalist, who had served in Dimapur and Kohima.

"The Nagas would not give up and Meities would find it difficult to stomach," says the book 'The Talking Guns: Northeast India' penned by journalist Nirendra Dev and published by Manas Publications (New Delhi).

In this context, the author says in 2001, the erstwhile Vajpayee government's "ill-advised" move to extend Naga ceasefire to all Naga inhabitant areas without assessing Manipuri mindset had put the hills into fire.

The book offers a critical and richly detailed analysis of 60 years of northeast India's politics and administrative strategies since independence and their going wrong from time to time.

Using a variety of stylistic genres, commentaries, first hand experience anecdotes and rare media reports from the local tabloids published in the region, the author scans the entire period through the regimes of Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and aftermath.

The book is an important addition to the literature on northeast both for its acuteness and originality of its analysis.

This should interest ordinary readers and also military and intelligence officers, politicians and administrators alike.

Analysing that at a time when hot pursuits against LTTE and other militants are being advocated in South Asia, especially in the context of Mumbai terror attack of 26/11, the book argues that such an orientation can "only harden the people's attitude" and keep aggravating the problems.

"The fight between security forces and even the other side, the militants, had always left the common people in a miserable state," says the book.