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Kashmir -Behind The Vale

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  123 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Kashmir lies at the edge of India's borders and at the heart of India's consciousness. It is not geography that is the issue; Kashmir also guards the frontiers of ideology. If there was a glow of hope in the deepening shadows of a bitter partition, then it was Kashmir, whose people consciously rejected the false patriotism of fundamentalism and made common cause with secul ...more
Paperback, 232 pages
Published 2011 by Lotus Collection Roli books (first published 1991)
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Jul 27, 2014 Vandita rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this well researched, well written history of Kashmir by MJ Akbar. Kashmir: Behind the vale, is short for a history book (300 pages) but packs a punch to bring historical perspective to understand the evolution of 'Kashmiriyat': Kashmiri identity which through centuries was nothing to do with religion (with its emphasis of culture, poetry, crafts, Kashmir's own brand of Sufism). It canters through the long history of alternate rules of afghans, Mughals, hindu Dogras who seemed to almost ...more
M J Akbar discusses and describes Kashmir with the acumen of a scientist and heart of a poet.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Agar Firdaus bar ru-e zamin ast
Hami ast o-hami ast o-hami ast.

If there is paradise on earth it is this, it is this, said ‘Amir Khusrau’ when he saw Kashmir for the first time. And like any paradise it has been cursed. The book “Kashmir – Behind the Vale’ By M J Akbar is an amazing read about this disputed Paradise. It is a very well researched historical account from the history of Kashmir to its politics. The author gives us a complete background of what Kashmir was from mystical poets like Lal
May 16, 2012 Chandrasekhar rated it really liked it
A good book for someone interested in the history of Kashmir. Starts right from the beginning with Lal Ded and includes the early history (chapter 2 seems a thriller straight from bollywood and with its turns and twists seems like a comedy).
Post independence, India's handling of the situation is an eye-opener. Its really surprising how many errors Nehru and party committed.
Vikas Lather
Nov 09, 2013 Vikas Lather rated it liked it
good read
Jeff Clay
Jul 29, 2016 Jeff Clay rated it really liked it
Beautifully written, eloquent, and fair-minded this is a chronicle of missed opportunities, duplicitous behavior, and ineptitudes, well-intentioned and otherwise. It is also a book that ended a quarter century too early. For, Akbar starts at the literal beginning of the history of Kashmir but ends at the beginning of troubles in early 1990. A lot has happened since then, though many might say that it is much of the same. Regardless, if ever a book needed updating, this is it.

Regardless of the re
Aug 24, 2016 Aakar rated it really liked it
Fascinating history of Kashmir over the ages in the early chapter, followed by the turbulent times of partition. Bit of a shock to read that Sardar Patel was actually not interested in Kashmir's accession to India, and it took a massive effort from Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah to achieve that. In hindsight though, Patel may have been right. Tough to pinpoint what led to such degeneration, seems like a combination of Indira Gandhi's dictatorial streak and Farooq Abdullah's lackadaisical approach. Mo ...more
Samyuktha jayaprakash
Jun 23, 2014 Samyuktha jayaprakash rated it it was amazing
I'm really impressed. But then i know nil about Kashmir - only whatever i read from this book. The author has brought breakneck speed in a non fiction book xD while the content plays a major role his handling has made it simple and entertaining for a beginner to learn about the indian pak relations over kashmir. The process and confusion on either sides is quite revealing. I found lots of anecdotes and less sources - what with it being a non fiction book - and also found the author to be pretty ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Neha rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Take a politics-friendly person, add to his opinion of Kashmir an extensive history of the land, and you'll have Kashmir - Behind The Vale.

Memorable quote: "The Kashmiri nose is a long one, but is there no one who can look beyond it?"
I still don't know what the quote means, but the fascination for Kashmir and her (very hot) long noses has this planted in memory!
Sep 05, 2016 Vinayan rated it liked it
Expansive quick read if you just need flavor of Kashmir History
Anil Swarup
Nov 14, 2013 Anil Swarup rated it really liked it
Kashmir evokes complex thoughts and feelings. The issues involved are complex but it is to the credit of Akbar that he articulates his thoughts and arguments cogently and lucidly. The book makes an extremely interesting reading.
Mar 10, 2013 Bhupinder rated it it was amazing
A brilliant description of Kashmir right from its inception till now..must read for all those who want to know everything about Kashmir problem..
Bharath Kumar
Apr 20, 2015 Bharath Kumar rated it really liked it
A good book to read about the history of Kashmir. It is also very interesting to see how politics in Kashmir was shaped till now. The book could have been a bit more interesting.
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Oct 03, 2012
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Oct 17, 2016
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Feb 24, 2011
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Jun 04, 2012
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Nov 19, 2016
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Mobashar Jawed "M.J." Akbar (born 11 January 1951) is a leading Indian journalist and author. He was the Editorial Director of India Today, India's leading weekly English news magazine published by the Living Media group till his resignation in October 2012. He also had an additional responsibility of overseeing the media conglomerate's English news channel, Headlines Today.
He launched "The Sunday
More about M.J. Akbar...

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