In New Delhi, the new book “A Resurgent Northeast: Narratives of Change” by bureaucrat Ashish Kundra was released.

A Resurgent Northeast: Narratives of Change, a new book by top administrator and IAS officer Ashish Kundra about the history of Northeast India and its people, was published on April 21, 2023, at a ceremony in New Delhi. Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of Law and Justice, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Pema Khandu, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, Government of India, and Puneet Chattwal, MD and CEO, attended the book’s launch.

Group Editor, Times Network; the author; and Ambreen Khan, who oversees corporate communications at The Indian Express, along with the author and his wife.
The famed vocal quartet of Tetseo sisters, who travelled all the way from Nagaland for their performance, opened the event, which was greeted with the hues of the Northeast.

Ashish Kundra, a senior bureaucrat who wrote this book, spent eight years working in the Northeast. He discusses the transformational changes occurring in the Northeast’s most distant regions as well as the tales of the people of the hills in “A Resurgent Northeast: Narratives of Change.”

Following the book launch, the author, the ministers, and the G20 Sherpa participated in a panel discussion where they discussed the Northeast’s hills, political history, development, people, and culture. They also discussed the region’s resurgence. Navika Kumar moderated the conversation.

“A spirit of enterprise has engulfed the whole of the Northeast,” said Kundra. Quoting Victor Hugo, he added, ‘Nothing else in the world… not all the armies… is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.’

“This is the time for Northeast. This book is my tribute to the genius of the people of the Northeast, whose tenacious resolve has left behind a grim period of neglect and strife. The new kids on the block are scripting a new history of hope, ambition, and aspiration. Northeast is one of the most pristine and spectacularly beautiful parts of our country,” Kundra said.

On being asked about his experience on his first day when he reached Itanagar, he said, “In the span of barely five to seven years, the degree of transformation has been phenomenal. You feel like you’re in a European setting. It’s a completely new Northeast and the pace of change is unprecedented.”

Speaking about the book, Amitabh Kant said, “I’ve read a lot of his bureaucratic notings on Government files which were pretty awful. I never thought he could write such wonderful English, so first of all the book is beautifully written. It has a lot of human elements.”

When Navika Kumar asked Kundra about the most touching part he expressed in the book, he said, “I don’t want to pinpoint any one incident or part but centrally, it is the people of Northeast which makes it magical.”

Concluding the event, Navika Kumar said, “This book is a labour of love. It is important for everybody present here today and anybody who wants to explore an unknown part of India– which is the Northeast– which is not discovered very well by the rest of us. There is no doubt that we Indians haven’t really paid as much attention to the Northeast as we should but the emotion that comes from Mr. Kiren Rijiju, from Mr. Pema Khandu, mainstream is here and it is up to us to make up to that mainstream.”

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