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

Sajal Nag (Author)
Synopsis 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 known 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.
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About the author

Sajal Nag

Sajal Nag teaches Modern History at Assam Central University. Earlier he was associated with the North-Eastern Hill University and the Centre for Social Studies, Surat. His publications include Roots of Ethnic Conflict: Nationality Question in North-East India (Delhi, 1990); India and North-East India: Mind, Politics and the Process of Integration 1946-50 (Delhi, 1998); Nationalism, Separatism and Secessionism (Jaipur and Delhi, 1999).

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Bibliographic information

Title Pied Pipers in North-East India: Bamboo-Flowers, Rat-Famine and the Politics of Philanthropy (1881-2007)
Author Sajal Nag
Format Hardcover
Date published: 30.10.2008
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173043116
length 308p.