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New book portrays a picture of transformational change sweeping across the remotest and least known corner of India: A Resurgent Northeast, by Ashish Kundra


Written by an IAS officer who was posted in the Northeast for nearly a decade, the book is an insider’s perspective of Northeast India’s history, politics, people and growth.

NEW DELHI, March 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — HarperCollins presents A Resurgent Northeast Narratives of Change by Ashish Kundra, a detailed and empathetic exposition of Northeast India’s history, politics, people and growth. An important book that portrays a picture of transformational change sweeping across the remotest and least known corner of India. The author is an IAS officer, who was posted in the Northeast for nearly a decade and has written from an insider’s perspective.

PB | Non-fiction | 236 pp | Rs 399

Releasing 22 March 2023 | Available wherever books are sold

Author Ashish Kundra says,A Resurgent Northeast is a narrative of the unfolding change in a region that has remained an enigma for people in the rest of India. For decades, an imagery of violence, strife, underdevelopment, and backwardness stuck with the Northeast. The reality of the new Northeast, a remarkable story of transformation, deserves to be shared with the rest of the world. This book is based on personal insights, gained through policy work over two different spells, spread across a time span of fifteen years. Conversations with people from different states of the region bring out its unique ethos and diversity. The timing of its publication is appropriate, as the Northeast opens its doors to tourism, travel and investment. I hope that it will find resonance not only amongst the people of the region, but also readers around the world curious about life in this frontier land.”

Pema Khandu, Chief Minister, Arunachal Pradesh, in his foreword to the book: “Unlike most officers who work in these parts, Ashish Kundra demonstrated a genuine affection and empathy for our people. His understanding of the complexity, diversity and challenges of this part of India was not that of an armchair bureaucrat, but someone who travelled to the remotest corners of the state … A Resurgent Northeast: Narratives of Change makes for a brilliant read. It is as much a personal narration by an officer, as it is a beautiful prose of the unfolding dynamics of change … It was a privilege to read this book, which embodies the rare view of an officer’s mind while serving in a challenging terrain. It is a fitting tribute to the unique genius of the people of Northeast India.”


Ashish Kundra’s A Resurgent Northeast offers an intricate exposition of the region’s history, politics, people and growth brought together by an author who possesses a broad insider’s perspective. His detailed account of the efforts, achievements and gaps in the governance and development of the Northeast presents not just the story thus far, but also the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

SHASHI THAROOR, author and Member of Parliament

Ashish Kundra’s book is an affectionate and empathetic study of the past, present and possible future of the region known as the ‘Northeast’. The narrative ranges widely over the terrains of history, economics, ecology and sociology. There are incisive portraits of farmers, scientists, officials and entrepreneurs. The author offers a series of constructive suggestions on how best to assure livelihood security and cultural self-respect to the citizens of these states. Gracefully written as well as judiciously argued, the book deserves a wide readership.”

RAMACHANDRA GUHA, author and historian

“The wealth of knowledge, awareness and experience of Northeast India that Ashish Kundra brings to his writing is unique and unparalleled. This book is a moveable feast, a mindscape to carry, wherever we go.”

NIRUPAMA RAO, former foreign secretary and ambassador of India

Ashish Kundra is a rare thinking bureaucrat, whose arguments about the Northeast must be seriously grappled and engaged with.”

BASHARAT PEER, author and journalist


A Resurgent Northeast: Narratives of Change portrays a picture of transformational change sweeping across the remotest and least known corner of India. Geographically distant and ethnically distinct from the rest of the country, the people of this frontier land faced monumental neglect from the capital for nearly seven decades as a result of Nehru’s approach of minimal governmental intervention in this region. But this has changed over the last decade. Indifference has given way to active engagement. Northeast India is brimming with renewed hope. 

Drawing upon his experiences as a policymaker and administrator in Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, Ashish Kundra chronicles the journey of the people of the Northeast as they emerge out of the long shadow of strife. The book strikes a personal chord through conversations that capture the pulse of a new Northeast.


Ashish Kundra is an Indian Administrative Service Officer of the 1996 batch from the Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram Union Territory cadre. Over the last twenty-six years, he has served in various leadership roles in the governments of Chandigarh, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Daman, Dadra Nagar Haveli and New Delhi. He has also worked with the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry as his Private Secretary. Currently, he is working with Delhi government as Principal Secretary, Transport, and is driving the transition to electric mobility in the national capital. He served in the Northeast for eight years, which was the source of inspiration for this book. An electronics engineer by training from IIT-BHU, Ashish also writes opinion pieces in national dailies on Northeast India.

About HarperCollins India

HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India is now the recipient of five Publisher of the Year Awards – In 2021 and 2015 at the Publishing Next Industry Awards, and in 2021, 2018 and 2016 at Tata Literature Live. HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers.

For reviews, excerpts, interviews and more information, please contact Shivendra Singh at




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