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Kashmir, By Tariq Ali et al
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
Friday 18 November 2011
This collection speaks urgent truths about the disputed Kashmir region and its struggle for independence (azadi).
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Tariq Ali begins with its history, from Mughal rule to 1947 and beyond ("Kashmir is the unfinished business of Partition").
The 16th-century poems of Kashmiri queen, Habbah Khatun, are sandwiched between Hilal Bhatt's stunned eyewitness account of three Muslim friends murdered by Kar Sevaks, and Arundhati Roy's powerful piece about the 2008 uprising.
Later, she cites 14 Nehru speeches which reflect hopes that might be seen as "seditious" in India today: "the fate of Kashmir is ultimately to be decided by its people. That pledge we have given not only to the people of Kashmir but to the world."
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