North East "The Troubled Periphery," says Subir Bhaumik

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Agartala, Jan 9(ANI): Eminent journalist and academic researcher Subir Bhaumik who hails from Tripura recently wrote a book "The Troubled Periphery," which maps the evolution of North East and analyses the perpetual crisis in the region since independence.

Bhaumik, a journalist and researcher, has been working with the BBC since 1994 and Troubled Periphery is his second book after 'Insurgent Crossfire'

Bhaumik's book comes at a time when the region that has witnessed some of the worst agitations shaped by ethnicity and ideology, including the historical Assam Agitation in 1779, and also the time when Bhaumik first started covering the region, is now experiencing a growing conflict fatigue.

"I have tried to explore in this book basically why the northeast is such a crisis. I have tried to examine the flashpoint. I have tried to examine the crisis behind the kind of situation where the arms struggle is not the last option but very often the very first option of anybody who has problem with the Indian state," Bhaumik said.

"So, basically the purpose of writing this book is to explain the nation to the region and the region to the nation," he added.

The book has taken a sympathetic as well an empathetic approach to the region's issues.

It highlights how land, language and leadership issues have been the seed of contention in the northeast and how factors like ethnicity, ideology and religion have shaped the conflicts.

It also highlights the major insurgencies, internal displacements, protest movements and the regional drug and weapons trade in the region.

Bhaumik, who has extensively covered Northeast, Bangladesh, Burma and other neighbouring countries said it's a tough time tackling United Liberation Front of Asom(ULFA).

He also noted that the scenario in Bangladesh has changed under Sheikh Hasina's rule as top ULFA leaders who had been in hiding there for years were handed over to Indian authorities.

For UFLA commander-in-chief Paresh Barua, who is believed to be hiding in Philippines, it's not easy going anymore.

"If Bangladesh continues this kind of aggressive posture in picking out NE militants, the militant groups in NE will be deprived of a major trans-border base, regrouping zone where the leadership can live safely," Bhaumik said. (ANI)

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