Traders, Pushers, Soldiers, Spies.
A pivot for India’s Act-East policy. The gateway to a future of immense possibilities from hydrocarbons to regional trade over land and water that could create a new Silk Route. A bulwark against China. A cradle of climate change dynamics and migration. ‘Northeast’ India, the appellation with which India’s far-east is known, is all this and more.
Alongside hope and aspiration, it is also home to immense ethnic and communal tension, and a decades-old Naga conflict and the high-profile peace process that involves four gateway states—Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam—and several million people. It’s among the most militarized zones in the world. It’s a playground of corruption and engineered violence. Only real peace, and calm in both Myanmar and Bangladesh, will unlock this Eastern gate.
A keen observer and frequent chronicler of the region, Sudeep Chakravarti has for several years offered exclusive insights into the Machiavellian—Chanakyan—world of the Naga and other conflicts and various attempts to resolve these. He now melds the skills of a journalist, analyst, historian and ethnographer to offer inside stories and a ringside view to the tortuous, no-holds-barred attempts at resolving conflict.
Employing a ‘dispatches’ style of storytelling, and interviews with rebel leaders, politicians, bureaucrats, policymakers, security specialists and operatives, gunrunners, ‘narcos’, peace negotiators and community leaders, Chakravarti’s narrative provides a definitive guide to the transition from war to peace, even as he keeps a firm gaze on the future. The Eastern Gate is a tour de force that captures this story of our times.