A central figure in the turbulent recent history of the region, Zapuphizo was the mastermind behind the Nagas' Demand for sovereign independence in 1947, the year when the British government transferred control to India and Pakistan. Steyn's book focuses on Zapuphizo's life, looking at his collaboration with the Japanese in World War II, his fight against India's military suppression of the nationalist Naga army, and his lifelong struggle to secure Magaland's independence. "Zapuphizo: Voice of the Nagas" also offers a fascinating look at a little known culture very different from those of the Hindus and Muslims of the area. In the years before Britain quit the Indian subcontinent, the Nagas of the far Northeast were held to exemplify an exotic and quixotic society; radically different in culture and beliefs from the better-known Hindus and Muslims of the plains, they were renowned for their spirited independence and diversity. Along with a historical perspective of the Naga people, Steyn surveys the condition of the region today and its prospects for the future.
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