Who is responsible?
Jammu and Kashmir burning forever
Jammu-Kashmir ki unkahi kahani by Dr Kuldeep Chand Agnihotri, Prabhat Prakashan, Pp279, Rs 175
Subodh Kumar Sharma
Kashmir has ever been called ‘Paradise on earth’. It has been the backdrop for numerous books as well as movies.
In recent times, (I mean, since India gained her Independence) however, Kashmir is always in news, albeit for wrong and disastrous reasons. The recent incidents in ‘Kishtwar’ have once again brought it to the fore.
Inarguably, there have been many books on the subject and Kashmir figured even in UN debates, but none touches the core of the problem as the book Jammu-Kashmir ki unkahi kahani, in Hindi written by Dr. Kuldeep Chand Agnihotri. His is a wellknown figure in Hindi literature and he has penned 15 books so far.
Not many understand the basics of the conspiracy behind the British ruler’s idea to divide India into two dominions on the basis of religion. Why was the creation of Pakistan a necessity to them and why even the Americans have been so patient, considerate and generous to the rogue state? And also, why is Pakistan so obsessed with Kashmir that it has done everything humanly possible in the most inhuman way to take possession of the same?
What was the role of Nehru and Gandhi in the creation of this terrible mess? Why was Lord Mountbatten retained as the Governor General of Independent India? What was his part in aggravating the situation? What did the friendship between Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah actually do to make Kashmir an ever burning problem for India?
These and many more such very pertinent questions are found answered in this book written so well by the learned author.
The book is divided into 9 Chapters. In the 1st Chapter the author discusses the political background of Jammu and Kashmir and this is a must to read, if one ever wishes to understand the conundrum called Jammu and Kashmir; that continues to evade any lasting solution to its problems. The 2nd Chapter traces the ‘Birth’ of Praja Parishad spearheaded by Pandit Premnathji Dogra and the events during 1947-1952. Sheik Abdullah’s accession to power and his dismissal form the story of the 3rd. The 4th is dedicated to the ‘Students’ Agitation’ in 1952. This was used as an excuse to suppress the Nationalist Movement of Praja Parishad that in turn led to Satyagraha. The 5th and 6th Chapters, in a way, describe the political events that took place between April-November 1952 and shaped the final form of the nationalist agitation. The contributions and reactions to the cause from other quarters of the country form the 7th Chapter. Beginning November, 1952 with Sheikh Abdullah’s erratic ways that can never be called nationalistic in any given sense to 23 July, 1953 when Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee was martyred forms the 8th Chapter. The widespread reactions to the events ultimately led to the dismissal of the then government. The 9th Chapter describes the end of the agitation and Praja Parishad’s merger into Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1963. It also mentions the Assembly elections held in Jammu and Kashmir during 1957 and 1962.
However, in my opinion, just as I stated that it is very important to read the First Chapter to follow the political scenario in those troubled times awash with the crafty schemes of the British, the situation in the other countries, and of course the personal agenda of the so-called leaders who claimed to have established a tryst with destiny for an Independent India and so on, I would lay the same emphasis on reading the addendum – four in number. All very enlightening, yet, the speech given by the late Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, in the Lok Sabha on August 7, 1952 calls for special mention. It mirrors the anguish, questions to the propriety of decisions taken by the then government – both at the Centre and Jammu-Kashmir, the seeds of sectarian discord sown by the Sheikh considering Kashmir his fiefdom that haunt millions of Indians even today. His prophetic words warning India of the dangers of such policy with regard to Jammu and Kashmir have proved true and the consequences are unfolding horrendously and are there for everyone to see.
(The reviewer is Consultant, Content Generation and Translation, Sanskrit Promotion Foundation, New Delhi).
House of Cards, Sudha Murty, Penguin Books, Pp 232, Rs 250.00
Sudha Murty is recipient of the Attimabbe Award and the RK Narayan Award for excellence in literature from the Karnataka government besides the Padma Shri in 2006. In this current novel of hers, she explores human relationships with telling effect, holding up a mirror to our society with candour and conviction.
This is a story of a bright and lively girl named Mridula, who is endowed with enormous enthusiasm for life and unlimited energy for reading, cooking and sketching. Born in Aladahalli Village of Karnataka, she wants to spend every moment of the day fruitfully. “It seemed that the sun rode for her and the rainbow colours were meant only for her. Every day was to be lived to its fullest and every beautiful minute to be enjoyed.” Mridula has a brother called Krishna but she is adequately conscious of the fact that “I am Amma’s girl and Appa’s world.” She excels in studies at school, joins teacher-training classes at Hubli and graduates with a top rank.
At her friend’s wedding, she runs into a doctor named Sanjay Rao, who is working in Bombay (Mumbai) and has come to attend his friend’s wedding in Hubli. Sanjay is struck by Mridula’s beauty and simplicity and proposes marriage to her. They get married and Sanjay shifts to Bangalore(Bengaluru) to join Victoria Hospital and Mridula takes up a teaching job in a high school.
Sanjay and Mridula have a son named Sishir, on whom both concentrate their attention. Sanjay wants to start a private nursing home. So Mridula goes to seek financial assistance from her parents.
Fourteen years pass and Sanjay becomes a role model for success and amasses a fortune. Mridula becomes the principal at her school and their son Sishir does his course in medicine and goes to England to specialise. As is already known, with affluence comes the never-ending ambition for more and the inevitable slide into corrupt practices. Mridula finds that her son Sishir is getting thoroughly spoilt. She also finds that Sanjay spending less and less time at home and one day decides to visit her husband’s nursing home to check what takes him so much time at the hospital. She asks the head nurse Rosemary for the keys to her husband’s cupboard and on opening it, finds, to her shock and dismay, a passbook in the joint name of Sanjay and his sister, Lakshmi. Mridula is surprised at this separate passbook when Sanjay had from day one of their marriage given all his passbooks and money to her to handle.
Mridula falls into severe depression. She seeks psychiatric assistance.Her doctor points out that in India, a marriage is not only to the man but to the entire family, wherein by default, the girl is expected to adjust to the husband’s entire family.
On their 25th wedding anniversary, Mridula tells Sanjay, “I’ve fulfilled all my duties as a wife, mother and daughter-in-law. Now I want to live for myself…You and Sisir can visit me whenever you want,” and walks out of the house with a few clothes. When the foundation of trust cracks, can a marriage remain the same?
(The reviewer is former Editor, National Book Trust)
Popular by Alissa Grosso, Jaico, Rs.199, Pp 336, Jaico Publishing House, A-2, Jash Chambers, 7-A, Sir Phirozshah Mehta Road, Fort, Mumbai-400 001
The Only Solution for India by Pandit OM , Kalpaz, Rs. 715, Pp 308, Gyan Books Pvt. Ltd. 5 Ansari Road New Delhi-2
Religion, Patriarchy and Capitalism by Jayanti Alam, Kalpaz, Rs. 865, Pp 300, Gyan Books Pvt. Ltd. 5 Ansari Road New Delhi-2
St. James’s Place Tax Guide 2013-2014 42nd edition, Walter Sinclair and E. Barry Lipkin, Pp 472, £34.99 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS
Changing Electoral Politics in Delhi from Caste to Class by Sanjay Kumar, Rs. 450, Pages-348, Sage Publications India Pvt Ltd, B 1/I-1 Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, Mathura Road, New Delhi: 110 044
A Cluster of Perspectives Taken from the Author’s Notebooks Vol.III by Margaret Chatterjee, Rs 200, Pp112, Promilla & Co., Publisher, C-127, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi-110 017
A Cluster of Perspectives Taken from the Author’s Notebooks Vol.IV by Margaret Chatterjee, Rs 200, Pp 67, Promilla & Co., Publisher, C-127, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi:110 017
The Painted Verse Poems and Paintings, Rs. 800 Pages-114, Promilla & Co., Publisher, C-127, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi-110 017
Many faces of women celebrating women in sketches by Usha Deo, Rs. 950, Pages-164, Promilla & Co., Publisher, C-127, Sarvodaya Enclave, New Delhi-110 017
Prosperous India by Prof. P Kanagasabapathi, Rs 100, Pp 160, Vivekananda Kendra Prakashan Trust, 5, Singarachari Street, Triplicane, Chennai: 600 005