Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on 16 March launched the latest book – In Pursuit Of Conflict – of author and journalist Avalok Langer at Oxford Book Stores in New Delhi.
The launch of the book, a journalist’s diary on what ails the Northeast, was followed by detailed discussion on the book between the author Avalok Langer, Shashi Tharoor and the Editor -in -Chief of The Citizen Seema Mustafa.
The author has threaded various sensitive issues like the tribal wars, separatist groups, drug cartels, illegal taxation system to name a few together and when he was asked how he managed to touch so many sensitive issues, Langer said, “I have catalogued what I went through and experienced. It sort of follows an acknowledging when I started my understanding of conflict and different issues that to deal with where into. That’s how I tried to structure the story in the book.”
“When you are writing on Northeast, you can’t leave one thing out. All the things (mentioned in the book) are inter connected,” he added.
The book, which features exclusive interviews with retired separatist leaders, focuses on bringing to the forefront the daily torture of living in a region which is so cut-off from the mainstream.
After launching the book, Shashi Tharoor said, ”We got some rich scholarly book on north-east but we didn’t have any impressionistic first-person account on it so far. Avalok is a young and insightful journalist who has spent 5 years getting to know various parts of north-east intimately and talk about his experience with a great deal of style, flair, compassion, and concern. This is a remarkably interesting book which actually opens our mind to a part of our country most of us don’t know much about, unfortunately.”
The author, a conflict journalist, documented his journey in the book as he travelled across the Northeast, which is home to numerous underground movements. During his journey across the Northeast, he gained access to the top separatist leaders.
One such leader told the author that their war had military patron-age from China, Myanmar and Bangladesh; an ex-general of an underground group admits that he travelled to China disguised as a Christian missionary.
Treading on various subjects, Avalok also studied people’s rage against AFSPA and their anger about the racial discrimination faced by youth who leave their homes to seek education and employment in mainland India.