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'Conflict Between My Profession And Passion'
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Why this book? And why should a reader pick up this book?
A proverb has it: All that mankind has done, thought, gained or been, is lying, as if, in a magic preservation in the pages of books. And I think every book is an action and every great action is a book. There is little doubt that Gorkhaland movement is a great action.
A reader might take interest in the book because it is something about a people’s struggle for identity in the ‘globalised’ world where the concept of multiple identities keeps gaining precedence over what can be called primordial ethnic identity. This is happening all over the world -- the ‘real’ identity wrestling with globalised or national or provincial identity.
What does the book mean to you?
It means a lot, for this is my first book. I do not know whether it would turn out to be a book of the hour or one of all time. But I am happy because it was to me like a learning adventure, a voyage into the unknown, the' subjective riddle of the human mind where things unlike are striving for dominance.
Gorkhaland: Crisis Of Statehood
by Romit Bagchi; Sage Publications;
Pages: 480; Price: Rs 895
How difficult was it to put the book together?
It was difficult, for it involved an occasional conflict between my profession and passion, a struggle between my narrow race-self and its transcendence for universalism.
When and where do you write?
I write mainly after coming back from my office- at night and, of course, in my study.
Where did this book take you?
To a realm where I feel I am belonging to the world, to all, without race, clime or country.
Can you suggest another title to this book? Also give us a new blurb!
'Crisis of Gorkhaland: A Tale of Thwarted Climb'. The book-Gorkhaland Crisis of Statehood is an adventurous voyage into the complexity of the subjective world of the Indian Gorkha community settled in the Darjeeling hills and the adjoining plains, which has been striving for identity and a land (state) of their own against stiff resistance from the Bengali community and the government in the state. It also deals with the history of the struggle that spans over more than a century. And the intra-community discord involving the Gorkhas in view of ruthless attempts by the protagonists to suppress dissent has also figured prominently in the book.
What’s your energy drink?
Milk, without sugar.
What makes a book a really good read or a bestseller?
It depends. But to me, a good book is an ambassadress between eternity and change, like a window through which the inmost entity of what we are looks out. It must help us to feel empathy with all-good and vile, to transcend our narrow self and to feel the people unlike us are the same in essence. But a good book rarely turns to be what we call a bestseller.
What are you reading now?
To tell you the truth, I am reading now Agatha Christie’s Appointment With Death. Her books are rich with insight into the muddy realm of human psychology. This apart, I am now studying things for my third book that would be on the peculiar psychology of the Bengalis that embraced Communism and rejected Hindutva as an alternative ideology the Indian National Congress represents during the critical decade of the race’s history-1944-54.
So, what’s next?
My next book would be on Sikkim, the crisis of its assimilation in the Indian mainstream, ethnic imponderables and lengthening Chinese shadows over the horizon.
(Compiled by Jinoy Jose P.)