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Kashmir has been in turmoil for the past three decades or so. The state of dissatisfaction in that part of a free, democratic, and secular Indian nation is somewhat perplexing development. The question being that how can any well-groomed group of citizens want to complain about their political rights in such a free and tolerant environment. The answer is not straightforward. There are many layers of kaleidoscopic events that have marred the Kashmir scene. Kashmir Valley is, in fact, a small terrestrial part of Kashmir that has hosted the majority population of the state for the past seven decades. It all began with the invasion of Kashmir by Pakistan-instigated marauders in violation of the standstill agreement signed by Pakistan with the then ruler of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh. Kashmir then sought the safety of the Indian Union. For the next three decades, they prospered under more or less self-governance with the Union`s full support. The sense of security and freedom, instead of consolidating the democratization of the society, led to the Union`s callous overlook of Pakistan`s overt and covert instigation of the Kashmiri people with a promise of Islamic way of life and great rewards that would accompany that. The Union`s political apathy and endorsement of massive corruption among its local favorites reinforced the people`s alienation from democratic India. Lastly, over the two decades or so, as the situation gradually slipped from staged protests and separatist insurgency into an extremist jihadi- radicalization of the younger generation, the Union used force to keep Kashmir in control. But it overlooked the importance of offering the people a right nationalist narrative and follow it up with good governance. It is unfortunate that as the situation went from bad to worse, barring few, there was a minimal formal effort to delve into the roots of the problem. This book fills that gap.
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