22 August, 2012

Pied Pipers in North-East India: Bamboo-Flowers, Rat-famine and the Politics of Philanthropy (1881-2007)

Pied Pipers in North-East India: Bamboo-Flowers, Rat-famine and the Politics of Philanthropy (1881-2007)

By- Sajal Nag

This book is about an amazing ecological phenomenon known as bamboo flowering. The hill state of Mizoram (India) is covered by a thick growth of two particular species of bamboo which flower and fruit approximately every fifty and thirty years. The bamboo fruits which are a delicacy for the wild rats induce excessive breeding in them. Once these millions of hungry rats finish eating the fruits, they invade human habitat and devour their harvest causing extreme food scarcity leading to famine. In the recorded history of Mizo hills, this calamity is knows to have occurred in 1737, 1767, 1827, 1861, 1881, 1911, 1931, 1959, 1977 and the predicted famine of 2007 is already ravaging the hills.

Earlier the British used this calamity to subdue the valiant Mizos, Christian Missionaries to engage in the politics of humanitarianism and the Mizos themselves to whip up nationalist sentiments. The 1959 famine is particularly remembered as it sparked off the 20-year
long insurgency in Mizoram. The post-colonial government both at the state and centre are currently engaged in an interesting competition of philanthropy to mitigate the current
famine. This book narrates the politics of colonial, evangelical, nationalist and post-colonial state around an environmental catastrophe.

Sajal Nag teaches Modern and Contemporary History in Assam Central University, Silchar.
A Commonwealth Fellow, he is an acknowledged authroity on the tribal encounter with
colonialism, politics of nationalism in general and north-east India in particular.

 ISBN 81-7304-311-6 2008 312p. Rs.780/ Pounds 50

4753/23 Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110002
Phones: 23284848, 23289100
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E-mail: manbooks@vsnl.com

To order your copy at www.manoharbooks.com

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