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Recently I've read Our Moon Has Blood Clots by Rahul Pandita
, where the author has extensively narrated the plight and injustice of Kashmiri Pandits. So, I decided to read more about Kashmir and its conflicts and picked this book. Let's see how this book is!
This book opens up with the introduction of the birthplace of the writer, Anantnag situated at Kashmir. He has mentioned about his loving family and friends, his grandfather who is his mentor. Kashmir was the largest of the approximately five hundred princely states under British sovereignty till 1947. The situation of the Kashmir drastically changed after the violent partition of India and Pakistan.
Basharat Peer was 13-year-old when the separatist movement burst up in 1989 at Kashmir. The environment became violent and most of the Kashmiri Pandits who were threatened by separatist militants left the valley.
'Stories, There are no good stories in Kashmir. There are only difficult, ambiguous and unresolved stories.'
He has described how the teenager boys went to Pakistan crossing the Loc for arms training and everyone saw them as a warrior. How the Kashmiri Muslims supported Pakistan during a cricket match, How the procession went when any militants died and everybody tagged them as martyrs.
The writer wanted to join JKLF militants group, but they refused to take him. After this, his family intervened and his grandfather's word 'You don't live long in a war, son'
stopped his ambition to join any militant group. His family sent him to Aligarh for studies, away from these nuisances. He studied there and became a journalist. but his heart always remained in his birth place and he came back to Kashmir. During childhood, he always read books related to the helpless condition of every country but there was an absence of the stories of Kashmir. So he started meeting victims to showcase their plight to the entire world.
He met many of his friends who had joined militant groups; many of them dead now. Those who had survived either are in the helpless condition or handicapped. He has also written about the fake conviction of S.A.R Gilani for the attack on Indian parliament.
In this book, the author has mostly focused on the imposed army security by the Indian government, where everybody need to carry ID and have to get cross-examined every time. He has talked about the soldiers who have raped a newlywed bride, who has killed a teenager boy claiming him as a militant. The interrogation center of 'Papa- 2' which later turned into residence of a government official is very horrific to read. He writes,' Before moving in, the Oxford educated officer called priests of all the religions to pray there and exorcise the ghost'
The life of innocent Kashmiri people which has crushed between the fights of Pro-Pakistan militants and Indian army is the main agenda of this book. He has also given some space to share the plight of Kashmiri Pandits who had to leave their land without any mistake. This book honestly represents how the generations of last two decades has been destroyed because of this conflicts. This book demands justice for Kashmiri people.
He has written about one soldier who said to him ,' I was a different man before I joined the force and came to Kashmir.'
At last, he writes ' The Line of control does not run through 576 kilometres of militarised mountains. It runs through our souls, our hearts and our minds.'
The book is written in a memoir style. The writing is super easy and you can read this book in pace. However, some pages are written in such pain that you need to take a pause to overcome yourself.
After reading this book, I took some time to overcome from the restlessness. However I don't support the militant activities led by Pakistan but what makes you think is an entire generation is suffering in the war between pro-Pakistan militants and the Indian government. I have read one answer about this on Quora where a soldier said, 'Neither the Kashmiris, nor the Indian army is wrong, it's the situation that is.' It is a recommended book for those who love to read non-fiction.
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