Kashmir and Sher-e-Kashmir: A Revolution Derailed – PL. D. Parimoo

The slogan that used to echo from the majestic Himalayan mountains of Kashmir-“Ala kari ya waangan Kari-Sheikh kari,Sheikh kari” translated roughly meaning whatever needs to be done(decided)Sheikh will do! Sheikh will do! Such was the absolute degree of trust of Kashmiri masses on one man, Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, reverentially called Sher e Kashmir. How far the trust of people was rightly placed on him, the Sheikh, is written about with neutrality that leaves the choice of judgment to the reader. This book entails the lives of several enigmatic personalities of the Sub continent that are inextricably entwined by their, beliefs, actions, and by fate. It analyses Gandhi\'s religious pluralism adopted by Sheikh Abdullah and moves on to talk about the fall in Sheikh’s reputation, particularly after his death. National Conference and its founder Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah have long been praised and blamed for things they never did.

The author draws upon intimate understanding to illuminate the afterlife of the revolution NAYA KASHMIR.  Kashmir and Sher e Kashmir spans from Kashmir to Delhi, moving from Lahore in Pakistan’s east through Algeria, and leading Capitals of West. The result is a shimmering literary examination of the ghost of Naya Kashmir – no longer Sheikh’s “specter to come” but a haunting presence of the past. In Kashmir and Sher e Kashmir,a revolution derailed P.Parimoo has written a deeply reported generational biography teeming with fresh insights and revealing information, a masterly narrative drawn from a trove of letters, journals, diaries, and other documents. Right from 1770’s history was made for the flesh trade enforced by the ruling colonisers in Kashmir. The later rulers Mughals who had named Kashmir as Baag-i-Khas (special garden) used the valley as a pleasure garden to entertain their guests in the Mughal gardens…it also became a practice during their era to procure beautiful Kashmiri girls for their Subhedars, Mansabdars, and nobles of the court.”    The book unfolds in the small towns and the remote hamlets of Kashmir, before and following the personal struggles of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and lesser leaders through the swirl of the twentieth century. The places where  In its greed, the State had stooped low to demeaning and dehumanized levels of   promoting and enforcing of flesh trade under duress, a fact that sounds too horrible today.

True he, The Sheikh, was neither a hotheaded Che Guvera nor a muzzle -of the- gun loving Mao Tse Tung. Nevertheless, serious students of statecraft cannot fail to take note of the startling fact that Sheikh the man with the dove on his broad shoulders, could achieve for his beloved peasants with the scribble of his pen what cost blood baths for Mao, Stalin and their ilk to achieve for their own people.Now, in this first full one-volume history in modern times, Parimoo brings to life the volatile issues that pushed several Pakistani Premiers, Presidents  and four Indian Premiers and all of South Asia with them—repeatedly to the brink of disaster.

The book by P.Parimoo is introspective and can stand alone as a reference base.

Maharaja Hari Sigh’s life was shattered when he was betrayed by his love for his sovereignty and his trust on Muslim League’s assurances resulting in the State being ravaged by bands of tribals and some of his own army’s elements as in Gilgit or Poonch. Following that, he lived the rest of his life with a single point agenda- to find a way for preserving his dynastic rule. Pakistanis, Indians and the world at large have long been taught that events such as the notorious tribal( Kabayli) massacre were isolated incidents in the Kashmir war, carried out by \"a few uncontrollable frontier men\" But as critical analysis of  developments demonstrates in this groundbreaking investigation, violence against Kashmiri noncombatants was not at all exceptional during the conflict. Rather, it was pervasive and systematic, the predictable consequence of orders to \"kill, loot and rape.\"

It is enigmatic that both the adversaries, the Maharaja and  Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah had a common goal that was to retain the State’s territorial integrity and individuality. However the forces interested in grabbing the state and Maharaja’s own intransigent posture evolved into a Greek tragedy written about in violent detail. These events changed it into what it is today- events that impacted not just Kashmir, but India, Pakistan several political personalities and the virulent political currents in the Subcontinent. Drawing on research in hitherto uncirculated papers and extensive journalistic columns, P.Parimoo reveals for the first time how official policies resulted in thousands of innocent civilians killed and wounded and worse still raped. In shocking detail, he lays out the workings of a military machine that commited crime in almost every combat and even non combat areas.

Dozens of Kashmir books later, Kashmir & Sher e Kashmir, finally brings us face to face with the truth of a war that haunts all concerned to this day and spawned three more wars between blood thirsty neighbors who could otherwise have progressed to high degrees of national achievements.

Whether one likes to admit it or not, Kashmir political stability has been inextricably entwined with Pakistan’s political conditions. The Taliban onslaught against the Soviet installed regime in Afghanistan turned the Fundamentalist movement into a perilous enterprise. Its leaders repeatedly made pronouncements of war against infidels, but Pakistan’s most glaring and ironic silence was on the authority and inclination of its Military itself. The Presidents, who reigned  did everything in their power to keep  army counsels out of the national politics as evidenced during Z.A.Bhutto’s or Nawaz Sharif period—but the military Junta’s power was considerable as it continues to be till this day.

Kashmir and Sher e Kashmir, a revolution derailed, strips myth from historical truth while providing a clear, concise, and fascinating account of a pivotal episode in Kashmiri history, it sets the record straight about the much misunderstood failures and achievements of this critical movement in Kashmir’s history specially a unique revolution that its undisputed leader had launched and almost brought to its logical conclusion.

It is a roots story on a global scale, a saga of constant suppression, frustration, wanton violence and accomplishments, hopes lost and deferred, people leaving and being forced to flee. Relentless efforts by a crusader to establish his own identity and that of his land and its distinguished rich ancient culture, and prepare for his political future. His blueprint for land reforms was a daring, matchless and unparalleled reform undertaken in any state of the subcontinent—Indo/Pak. It was a step taken by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah in the face of severe opposition from the leaders in India. Besides sending silent shivers down the spines of feudal Pakistani rulers, the unprecedented event created a chasm between Sardar Patel and Nehru. A political development, that nearly brought the fledgling independent India to brink of a political upheaval but for the intervention of Gandhiji.

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