Monday, November 26, 2007

Kashmir. Behind the Vale - Book Review

Author: M J Akbar
Publications: Roli

You might have read and heard a lot about the Kashmir issue, so have I. But, I know most of us have formed opinions, views and images based upon what we were told or we heard. This book could help many a people who ever had any interest in knowing more about Kashmir.

M J Akbar takes you through centuries of history of Kashmir from the times of Kingdoms in early ADs to 1990. Yes, only till 1990! He shed’s light on all aspects of Kashmir from its kings to people, from religion to regions etc.

It makes for a good read if you have some kind of connection with the state of probably have visited it sometime.

Few lines from passage about how Islam came into existence in Kashmir - After a very unstable period of 12th century where the change of kings was more frequent than change in weather came a king in 13th century, popularly known as 'Bud Shah'. After stabilizing the state he wanted to change from Buddhism to Public's religion, which at that time was Hinduism. Since Hindu pandits could not decide which of the 4 castes the King should join he was not granted the permission to become a Hindu. He then decided to become a Muslim and he did. Over the next 50 years of his prosperous rule he did everything right a king should do. He built mosques and temples with equal devotion. But, then people followed him and so followed Islam in Kashmir.

How history is formed !

But, then one book on a subject as wide as that may not be enough.

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