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Friday, August 21, 2009

Eternal Bondage: The story of Kashmir in Tamil



The best ever book written on Kashmir in Tamil is out now. The author is A.Marx, veteran human rights activist and liberal thinker. He says there is one Indian Army jawan posted for every five Kashmiris citing the huge deployment of armed forces in the Valley. The militarisation of Kashmir is against the will of the people, he observes.
The book is the result of a fact-finding mission in which A.Marx and G.Sugumaran (Puducherry) were members. Mr Sugumaran is the publisher of the book. Their visit to Kashmir was under scrutiny when they were kept under house arrest for two days citing curfew.
The book talks about the historical mistake of Jawaharlal Nehru who did not keep the promise of conducting a plebiscite. The systematic plan by the Hindutva forces to alienate Muslims in the valley are detailed by the author.
The possibility of armed militants playing into the hands of Pakistan and the worries of the ordinary Army jawan posted in Kashmir are narrated realistically. The objectivity of the author could be seen in portions when he records the viewpoints of the Sikhs and Pandits in Kashmir.
While Mr Marx proclaims the need for autonomy and demilitarization of Kashmir, he tells the readers how people of Kashmir desperately need peace after over two decades of violence, extra-judicial killings, illegal abductions and unaccounted disappearances.
He lauds the hospitality of Kashmiris and understands their aspirations. The people long for freedom from being a playground for two neighbouring countries. They are neither loyal to India nor to Pakistan. They want freedom and peace, he observes in no uncertain terms.
He feels that the acceptance of elections conducted by Indian election commission by the Kashmiris is with a hope that someone would bring them peace. They are open to trying out options which could improve their conditions, he says.
The book tells how the renegades from militant movements run their own goonda raj with the blessings of armed forces and the tacit support of the Indian agencies. Despite some typos, the breezy style of narration helps even a beginner understand how the Indian and Pakistani establishments continue to keep the people of Kashmir in eternal bondage just to show off their military might.

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