Sunday, May 6, 2018

Kashmir: Exposing the Myth Behind the Narrative by Khalid Bashir | books | reviews | Hindustan Times

It is highly recommended that readers begin with the epilogue of Kashmir: Exposing the Myth Behind the Narrative, one of the more important books to have come out of Kashmir in recent years. The reader would then be better prepared for the sharpness of the chapters entitled ‘malice’, ‘power’, ‘blood’, ‘agitation’ and ‘media’ that precede it.

The central premise of the book is contained in a Persian couplet: Khisht-i-awwal chu nehad memaar kaj, Taa surayya mee rawad dewaar kaj (If a mason puts the first brick askew, the wall, even if raised up to the Pleiad, is bound to come up slanted). Bashir argues that the edifice of Kashmir’s history has been erected on one such crooked foundation, a book called Rajtarangini, which translates as The River of Kings, but was by design or carelessness or the prevalent tradition fashioned into the ‘History of Kings’ over the years. This book and its derivatives became, with unsavoury consequences, the History of Kashmir over time.

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