Hi all. Here's a report by me in my paper which might interest you (this is only a curtailed version that was carried by the paper due to lack of space: the full version filed by me is appended below). - Utpal
ULFA leader creates poetry in the time of guns
From Utpal Borpujari DH News Service New Delhi:
For a world that has seen only the violent side of the ULFA, this poetry book from one of its top leaders should come as a major revelation.

Poetry written by ULFA central publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary, currently in jail since his arrest by the Royal Bhutanese Army over three years ago, could feature in the forthcoming Frankfurt Book Fair, where India is a ‘guest of honour’.

Melodies and the Guns is a collection of poems Daimary had penned under the pseudonym Megon Kachari. Publishing house, UBSPD has agreed to publish the poems due to the efforts of Jnanpith Award-winning author Indira Goswami.
“We are racing against time for the book to make it to the fair as it will take another two months for the book to be ready,” UBSPD managing director S K Das told Deccan Herald here.
(full version:
Poetic ULFA leader’s musings may go to Frankfurt Book Fair
            New Delhi, Aug 12: The language of the gun, popular perception says, comes easily to them, but the world will soon get to know learn how at least one top leader of the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) uses the language of humanism in his poems.
            In what could be a first of its sort, poetry written by the dreaded insurgent outfit’s central publicity secretary Mithinga Daimary alias Dipak Das, currently in jail since his arrest by the Royal Bhutanese Army during “Operation All Clear” over three years ago, could hog prime space in the forthcoming Frankfurt Book Fair where India is the “guest of honour” nation.
            “Melodies and the Guns”, a compendium of English translation of Daimary’s poetry, which he has been writing under the pen name Megon Kachari since even before he joined ULFA in the 1980s, will be published soon by leading publishers UBSPD following an effort made by Jnanpith Award winning author Dr Indira Goswami, who is mediating between the Centre and the insurgent group in the ongoing peace talks.
            “There is a possibility that the book will be presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair, though we are racing against time as it will be at least another two months before the book is ready to hit the market, just around the period when the fair is scheduled to be held,” UBSPD managing director S K Das told Deccan Herald here.
            Dr Goswami, who met Daimary in Guwahati jail during her interactions with ULFA leaders in the run up to the peace process, says she was moved by the power of his poetry.
            “Somebody told me that his entire family was killed by the so-called secret killers in the late 1990s. He was already an established poet when he joined ULFA. I became very inquisitive about him, and asked him to send me some of his work. I was deeply moved by the power of his imagination,” Dr Goswami, better known in the writing world as Mamoni Raisom Goswami, told Deccan Herald.
            The poetry of Daimary, who is now around 45 years old, has been translated by Pradeep Acharya and Manjit Baruah, while the preface of the book has been written by Dr Goswami herself.
            “These are very different kind of poems. They have the smell of the gun powder yet at the same time expresses great love for humanity. They certainly evoke a strange feeling,” Dr Goswami says.       
            Mr Das, explaining why his company took up the publication task, says, “The North-East is very much misunderstood in this part of the globe. It is part of our effort to bring the region closer to us, and follows a book on tourism in Assam that we published recently.”
            “Dr Goswami told me about the poetry by this young man who is unfortunately now behind the bars, and I found the poems very appealing. We thought these sentiments should be brought out before the rest of the world to feel,” he says.
            Guns ‘N’ Roses, did anyone say?

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