The central point that this volume makes is that much of what happened in Jammu & Kashmir in the critical first few years (1947-53) needs a more careful reassessment. It is argued that there were little voices of ordinary people that should have been heard but were ignored. The political discourse that took centre stage even as it appeared more assertive and representative of mass public opinion was, however, as is now clear only a clever and misleading political move.
Much of the source material upon which the author has based his study has till now remained unstudied and uncited – rare hard to find books, pamphlets, articles in journals, magazines and newspapers, official and party reports and so on. The volume takes the reader back in time to a kind of ring side seat. Kashmir’s cultural and historical legacy, the invasion, the issue of the plebiscite, the United Nations and the ceasefire, the Praja Parishad and most important of all the political scene and its key players – Prime Minister Nehru, Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee and Sheikh Abdullah. Based on the nature of its sources the volume breaks free of a stereotyped approach to understanding the origin of what we commonly term today as the ‘Kashmir problem’.
The volume argues that contemporary views recorded as they are in the heat of the moment with natural spontaneity often contain hidden lines and new light. Not surprisingly contemporary versions tell us a story very different from mainstream conventional writings on Jammu & Kashmir. This timely volume will radically influence the existing discourse on Jammu & Kashmir.