Author: David Devadas
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0670081507
In the year 1931 Kashmir’s majority community revolted against their maharaja and sharply expressed a Kashmiri Muslim identity. Since then the Kashmiri-speaking community living in the valley has been grappling with ideological paradigms, searching for a common future.
Weaving a complex history with the lives of two ordinary Kashmiris—one a militant-commander-turned-Hurriyat-Conference-leader, the other a rural political worker of an older generation—In Search of a Future: The Story of Kashmir not only illuminates the socio-economic, geopolitical and ideological causes of violence from 1931 to 2007 but also aspects of Kashmiri reality that are rarely discussed—the impact of land reforms and the apple trade; religion-based political mobilization in both Pakistan and India; Kashmiri caste consciousness; the tendency to put narrow self-interest above action for the common weal; and the insecurity that expresses itself as superiority.
In doing so, it brings to life the strong sense of identity of this community and its frustrations; the long-standing sectarian and communal discord; and the insurgency against India, in the process exploring the dichotomy between ethnic aspiration and religious zeal, the influence of Iran’s revolution and the Afghan and global jihad.
The book reveals a wealth of startling new information about the strategies, internal workings, disputes, excesses and failures of Kashmir’s militant movement as well as the governments of India and Pakistan, their armed forces and intelligence agencies. Nearly a decade of painstaking research through interviews conducted with primary players, including prime ministers, governors, generals, militant commanders and secessionist and mainstream politicians has produced this tremendous work of contemporary history.