Author: Sumantra Bose
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170365929
Based on extensive field research in the violence-torn regions, this lucid book is a distinctive contribution to policy-relevant scholarship on the escalation of the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir, which has become the site of a triangular struggle between India, Pakistan and a popular movement.
The nineties have seen a dramatic escalation of the conflict in Jammu & Kashmir, which has become the site of a triangular struggle between India, Pakistan and a popular movement demanding independence. Based on extensive field research in the violence -torn regions, this lucid book is a distinctive contribution to policy-relevant scholarship on that conflict.
Sumantra Bose argues that the Indian state’s denial of basic democratic rights- namely, genuine electoral participation, civil liberties and federal autonomy-to its citizens in Kashmir has engendered their struggle for self-determination. He accordingly sees the Kashmir problem as a challenge of achieving both democratic governance and self-rule.
The author emphasizes that a just and viable solution to this twin challenge is a profoundly difficult and complex, though not impossible, objective. Instead of advocating any particular position or blueprint, he incisively critiques various approaches. Discussing the 1996 assembly elections, Bose argues that while institutions of democratic government are essential, it will be difficult to legitimize and stabilize any such political framework without also institutionalising substantive self-government for that region.
Situating the Kashmir question in comparative perspective, the author constructs a nuanced argument for an alternative, democratically negotiated resolution to this complicated problem. A process of dialogue between the Indian political aspirations to independence, which also involves all other political forces in Indian (as well as, preferably, Pakistan occupied) Jammu & Kashmir should, he suggests, form the basis of the search for a lasting peace.
Refreshingly free of the nationalist rhetorics on Kashmir prevalent in India and Pakistan, Bose’s arguments have rare authority because his primary sources are the ordinary people, grassroots activists and guerrilla fighter. Eloquently argued and soberly reasoned, this provocative yet constructive book will be widely read and debated by all interested in the Kashmir question.
History and the Roots of Conflict
Democracy of Denial: Kashmir in India
The Struggle for Self-Determination: Kashmir in the Nineties
Democracy, Self-Determination and the Challenges of a Just Peace:
Kashmir in Comparative Perspective
Conclusion and Epilogue (April 1996)
Elections, Democracy, Self-Determination: A Postscript (Autumn 1996)
Epitaph to a Human Rights Activist: In Memory of Jalil Andrabi