“Squeezed between Chinese aggression and the Gorkhaland Movement, battling to create an Indian identity even while maintaining one of its own, and also prospering — all these make a fascinating story for Sikkim,” said Amalendu Kundu, the author of the book ‘Shadow of the Dragon and Recent Developments’. And that pretty much set the tone for the unveiling his maiden book on Sunday at the Delhi’s NDMC Convention Centre. A veteran of over 50 years in the field of journalism, Kundu has been a witness to Sikkim’s geo-political history like no one else. And at a time when India’s relationship with China has been the topic of discussion in the entire subcontinent, this book is possibly just the right kind of insight that was needed – both for the masses and the political drivers in the Capital. Chronicling Sikkim’s journey in the last 40 years from a tiny Himalayan hamlet to one of the most significant portion of Indian territory in the North East sector, ‘Shadow of the Dragon and Recent Developments’ has critical insights from former Army generals, top bureaucrats and journalists – apart from the author’s – that provides multiple dimensions to the State’s importance in the region. Earlier this year, this book was unveiled by Sikkim’s – and India’s – longest serving chief minister, Pawan Kumar Chamling in Gangtok.Speaking at the event, that was organized in association with the Nepali Sanskriti Parishad, the author pointed out why the country needs to know more about Sikkim. “Sikkim is the only State which, one hand, has a Doklam stand-off and also has the only functioning land-trade-route from Indian (through Nathula),” Kundu, who has written for media houses like the Times of India, Indian Express, The Tribune, Hindustan Samachar among others, pointed out. “The Gangtok city is just 4 hours away by road from Siliguri – practically the nerve centre for 8 states and 4 countries! Therefore, one can understand Sikkim’s importance in this part of the world.”Speaking at the occasion, well-known social worker, media personality and wife of Late Vinod Mehta – Former Editorial Chairman of Outlook Group, Sumita Mehta said that she has known Kundu to be of the ‘old school of journalists who relied on facts and research’. “Today in an era of quick, pre-digested news, Amalendu Kundu’s deeply researched dispatches providing an in-depth understanding take one back to another era,” Mehta said. “His experience and indeed this book document a very important part of the history and politics of the North East region.”Incidentally Gangtok based Amalendu Kundu was recently conferred with the Lifetime Journalism award by the Government of Sikkim.
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