The book is engaging, interesting and a refreshing read on the North east India. What sets this book apart from the other academic literature available on the Northeast is that the author tries to present a holistic approach to the problems in the Northeast. The book does not just focus on ethnic violence, insurgency or immigration, the issues that the Northeast has been grappling with for over a decade now. The author tries to also provide us a remedy in the words on Sustainability and adopting a Gandhian approach to the persistent and belligerent problem emerging in the North east through the development process and ethnic tensions.
Assam as a state has been facing a constant mayhem of governance crisis which the author unearths as a growing ramification of global systemic crisis. The term global systemic crisis is the lacunae that is omnipresent in the exploitative nature of capitalism or the development model. This nature of capitalism or development fails to provide a more cooperative, constructive resource management technique due to which antagonism, conflict and violence has become a continuum between communities. This book elucidates a nuanced framework of the genesis of conflict in the Northeast while also explaining us the disjuncture in the synthesis between the local and global forces. The book is awakening us towards appreciation of indigenous local knowledge, local resource management and distribution and community participation towards creation and adoption of more sustainable means of conflict resolution.
This book shows us there is a growing urgency to resolve the contradictions inherent in the western capitalist system for the world. This need could be fulfilled if we are able to incorporate local knowledge and understand its significant contribution to the local economy. This approach given by this book shows us the way forward and could resolve the challenges and problems faced by Northeast if the solutions proposed by the book could be implemented in reality. The natural resource base in Northeast could contribute to the wealth of indigenous knowledge system crafting its traditional livelihood, ecological balance and cultural cooperation. The author argues that the specificity of the North east region of India could be used to contribute to the paradigm shift by reinforcing on the significance of the region to the global discourse of sustainability by focusing on its geo-political location and unique bi-cultural archive. The transformative potential of Northeast India which has been embroiled in ethnic conflict and violence, requires creating of pervasive consciousness, in finding balance between localism and universalism, humanism by emphasizing on human connection with environment.
The author addresses the problems in the Northeast by harping on positive values which can bring about a constructive tolerance for coexistence in the region. The question that the book addresses is how sustainability can be brought about in Northeast India by showing us the paradigm shift in knowledge base. This book not only deconstructs the uni-linear development model which has adverse implications for the Northeast but also shows us how subjectivity of the development paradigm/ model can be attained. This change in the development paradigm can evolve by adopting a more indigenous, local or Gandhian model through which the goal of sustainability could be achieved. This sustainable model can save the Northeast and the world from the social apocalypse that is created by blindly following the tenets of western capitalism. There are certain issues that the author needs to ponder over like how globalization and state’s new policies towards the Northeast, the NRC, the Look East and Act East policies can bring about significant changes in the Northeast region itself. More comprehensive evidence is perhaps required to demonstrate that the emphasis on the local and adopting a Gandhian approach will resolve the problems in Northeast India as this could be a very simplistic panacea for resolving a very complex problem facing the Northeast today.
I compliment the author for bringing out such an important volume for the region. She has already contributed a lot particularly in resolving protracted conflicts of the region by focussing on negotiation and dialogue.