Book Review | Kashmir 1947: Rival Versions of History

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Author: Prem Shankar Jha

Kashmir is one of the most intensely disputed regions of the world. Lying between India and Pakistan, it was acceeded to India by the British when they left in 1947; however, with a majority Muslim population, many Kashmiris and Pakistanis felt that it should have become a part of Pakistan.

To this day, it continues to be the subject of passionate conflict between the two countries — in late 2002, as troups aligned on the borders, the prospect of a possible nuclear war was only narrowly avoided.In such a context, a book on the history of Kashmir is not only timely but of great usefulness to anyone who wishes to understand the full and complex background to the ongoing conflict. Prem Jha is a renowned Indian scholar and his new book is a controversial account, based on exhaustive research and recently declassified papers. Jha provides a virtually day-to-day account of the critical times when the fate of Kashmir was decided in the context of Britain’s geo-political strategies. Drawing on personal accounts by the main players in the events of 1947, he examines the contrasting versions of history that have emerged since that time. Offering vital insights into the volatility of politics in the Indian subcontinent, this is an indispensable book for students, teachers, journalists and anyone interested in the history of the region.

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