Author: Nyla Ali Khan
Foreword/Introduction: Ashis Nandy
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788189487577
From Author's Preface:
I belong to Indian – administered Jammu and Kashmir (J & K), a highly volatile South Asian region that is enriches with reservoirs of cultural, social and human wealth. I was raised in the splendid Kashmir Valley located in the foothills of the Himalayas. The charm, splendor and heterogeneity of the Kashmir Valley have enticed many a writer, historian, anthropologist, sociologist, benevolent ruler and malevolent politician. J & K of the 1970s basked in the glory of a hard-won democratic set-up, in which consideration of the well-being of the populace was supreme, marred by some political faux pas.
The inhabitants of the state neither intimidated nor hindered by the aggressively centrist policies of the Government of India or the fanatical belligerence of the Government of Pakistan. Caught between the rival siblings India and Pakistan, the people of the state, particularly of the Kashmir Valley, had constructed a composite national identity. Kashmiris were heavily invested in the notion of territorial integrity and cultural pride, which, through the perseverance of the populist leadership and the unflinching loyalty of the people, had sprouted on a barren landscape of abusive political and military authority.
This book has no pretensions about being an exhaustive discussion of the intricate politics of J & K. It is my humble attempt at speaking truth to power by employing not just traditional scholarship, but oral historiography as well. Despite my emotional investment in the issue, I have tried to veer away from the seductive trap of either romanticizing or demonizing certain political actors and initiatives.
“… Probably the first time a Kashmiri woman rises above herself and her unfortunately limited role (particularly in these last two decades of violence, destruction and mayhem) and attempts to voice her opinion so emphatically. You will come to clearly understand through Nyla Khan’s instructive style that a journey into Kashmir symbolizes a strange exaltation that is an indefinable quest but, like a torrential rainstorm, both cleansing and destructive.”
-AGHA ASHRAF ALI (historian and veteran educator)
“…Sadly, Kashmir has been captive, during the past sixty years, in the making of the myths of origin of India and Pakistan. Even more sadly, it now seems unable to resist the birth of a new creation myth of its own, which promises to replicate the efforts of its tormentors faithfully. Once a community experiences the trauma of state-formation at its expense, its capacity to envision a different kind of political arrangement weakens. Happily, the myth may not have yet gelled in Kashmir. This is where Nyla Ali Khan comes in…”
-ASHIS NANDY (political psychologist and sociologist of science)
Preface & Acknowledgements
Conflicting Political Discourses: Partition, Plebiscite, Autonomy, Integration
Militarization of Jammu and Kashmir
Neotiating the Boundaries of Gender, Community and Nationhood
Negotiating Necrophilia: An Afterword ASHIS NANDY