A Naga Odyssey
Nominated | Book Awards 2019 | English Non-fiction
A Naga Odyssey
Five-year-old Visier Meyasetsu Sanyü and his fellow villagers from Khonoma fled for their lives from the Indian Army into the jungles of Nagaland in 1956. He and his family survived privations and starvation there for over two years, though many others did not. Visier emerged from the jungle into a turbulent new Nagaland, altered by civil war and oppression. Violence and fear followed him through his student days in a military school in Bhubaneshwar, where he and other Naga boys were beaten and taken into custody, and his undergraduate years in Darjeeling, adjacent to the theatre of the 1971 war over Bangladesh. When even his dreams of a peaceful life in the University of Nagaland were threatened by fratricide, he finally sought refuge in Australia. During his two decades there, he faced the loss of home and tradition, but also found healing in his work with refugees—and a second home.
This powerful story tracks Visier’s fascinating journey: from a barefoot village schoolboy to a professor, from indigenous religion to Christianity, and from small-town life to appearances before the United Nations. In this fascinating book, his kaleidoscopic sixty-year-long odyssey to find peace, tranquillity, and forgiveness for others is vividly told against the rich tapestry of the Naga quest to be free.
Visier Meyasetsu Sanyü is an Elder of the Meyasetsu clan of the Angami tribe, Khonoma, Nagaland. He has a Bachelor of Theology, a PhD in History, and was the inaugural Head of the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Nagaland. He has addressed many forums across the world, including the United Nations. He is the current President of the Overseas Naga Association, an International Elder of Initiatives of Change, headquartered in Caux, Switzerland, and is a Board member of the Melbourne Interfaith Centre.