Saturday 5 May 2012

Bitter Wormwood in Hindustan Times

Yes, Bitter Wormwood got a review in the Hindustan Times, but the reviewer sadly defines the Naga struggle for independence as insurrection. Readers, we shouldn't just rejoice when Bitter Wormwood gets some space in the national dailies.

There was on the whole, negative and incorrect information given between the lines. For instance, there is a general statement that implies the entire Naga population supported the Indian National Army and the Japanese during World War two. But the reviewer doesn't seem to know that if not for Naga help given to the British forces, the Japanese invasion of India would never have been thwarted. True, there was a very small group of Nagas with the INA, but the majority of the Naga population in the villages and beleaguered hamlet of Kohima helped the British government oust the Japanese from the Naga hills, and prevented them from reaching their real target: INDIA. When you get the opportunity, read the writing behind the big memorial at the war cemetery, behind, not in front of the memorial.

So read carefully guys!

There is also unfortunately, a hint of the typically dismissive attitude so common in big city journalists towards the Naga case or towards the Northeast, in this review. I think good reviewers are the ones who do not commence to read a book with already formed opinions about the content.


  1. I do agree with you Kire. I have posted one of your articles on my blog "Conservation Naga Culture" I am happy to see your stand toward the error found in many written documents. you may join the blog. God blessings

  2. my apology for I did that without your authorized

  3. Bitter wormwood - Teaching with examples always stays in mind. And this story, an example of family which lived in the crucial periods of the Naga history, too stays in mind. It is the best way to teach history to the generations to come. The way the author portray the views of different generations is astonishing. It is rare to see a person like Neibou, being a victim of the modern Indian atrocities very patiently concludes past is past, forgive and forget. Healing of wounds alone can keep us healthy, and the revenges can’t heal the wounds. Author have classically differentiated the views, determination and dedication of the youths of 1950's and present day youths who were caught in the clutches factionalism. Apart from the above I am not convinced with the solutions of Depti or Neibou himself, as captioned by Indira Gandhi once 'The struggle for independence will last till the last slave become independent.' So keeping Bitter wormwood on the wounds is good but rise of struggle is required to nullify the chances of being wounded again. At the same time the factional disturbances is a serious concern and should be controlled. By this book the author had paid her responsibility of being a civilian of war torn Naga society. Hats off!

    1. Thank you Rajaguru and may other readers have an experience similar to yours.

  4. Hi Easterine,
    I have just finished reading your new book Bitter Wormwood. It is an excellent piece of writing. Just asking something out of curiosity. The chapter "Rashtriya Rifles attack and after" is set in the year 1995, so the succeeding chapter "AFSPA" must be set in 1996 (since it reads "in september the following year", where Mose and Neituo talk about Irom Sharmila being already one year into her hunger fast. But it was in November 2000 that Irom Sharmila had actually started her fast. Isn't it?
    However, I am quite unsure about the facts. You seem to have done some real good research. Keep it up!