Kohima: Adding another feather to his cap, Nagaland legislator, BJP national Spokesperson and poet, Mmhonlumo Kikon is set to release his first nonfiction book tentatively titled ‘His Majesty’s Head Hunters’ this year.

Penguin Random House India, on Monday, announced that the acquisition of a rare historical account of the significance of Kohima written by Kikon will be published under Penguin’s flagship imprint Viking.

The book, which is set to be released in late 2022, will uncover the untold story of how Kohima went from being a nondescript small hillock to becoming the political and administrative headquarters of the British Government and inadvertently ending up as a site of the world-changing war.

A statement from the publication house said the battle of Kohima is often referred to as the Stalingrad of the East by Western scholars and historians even say that this was the last real battle of the British Empire and the first battle of the new India.

“However, the real history left behind by the Japanese army led by Lieutenant General Sato and the allied forces remains to be told,” it said.

Kikon, the poet turned author, is quoted saying, “I am delighted that Penguin Random House will be publishing my first book of nonfiction. The dialogue with our past must continue in the light of the present and be constantly reviewed by revisiting history, and that is what I will be doing in the upcoming book. The Empire manifests itself in many aspects of our policies and we must keep exploring these as new vistas of history get written. Penguin Random House, besides being the most prestigious publishing firm, has been publishing excellent titles every year and I hope that my work will add to the body of existing work.”

The legislator-poet-author added, “It is an opportune moment to explore the various dimensions of the events which shaped world history and which situates current discourse within a new spectrum.”

Associate Publisher at Penguin, Premanka Goswami, who also commissioned the book said that the forthcoming book will open a window to the ultimate sacrifice of the Naga community, which has completely changed the fate of World War II and has significantly impacted the course of world history. 

“We’re thrilled to have Mmhonlumo on board and we sincerely feel that the book will not only interest a wide spectrum of readers in India but also the enthusiastic readers throughout the world,” said Goswami.

Meanwhile, Kikon is an Aspen Fellow and the author of three poetry collections namely, Slingstones (2021), The Village Empire (2019) and The Penmi Poems (2018). 

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