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Beautifully written, brutally honest and deeply hurtful.’ - Khushwant Singh,
Basharat Peer was a teenager when the separatist movement exploded in Kashmir in 1989. Over the following years countless young men, seduced by the romance of the militant, fuelled by feelings of injustice, crossed over the Line of Control to train in Pakistani army camps. Peer was sent off to boarding school in Aligarh to keep out of trouble. He finished college and became a journalist in Delhi. But Kashmir—angrier, more violent, more hopeless—was never far away.
In 2003, the young journalist left his job and returned to his homeland to search out the stories and the people which had haunted him. In Curfewed Night he draws a harrowing portrait of Kashmir and its people. Here are stories of a young man’s initiation into a Pakistani training camp; a mother who watches her son forced to hold an exploding bomb; a poet who finds religion when his entire family is killed. Of politicians living in refurbished torture chambers and former militants dreaming of discotheques; of idyllic villages rigged with landmines, temples which have become army bunkers, and ancient sufi shrines decapitated in bomb blasts. And here is finally the old story of the return home—and the discovery that there may not be any redemption in it.
Lyrical, spare, gutwrenching and intimate, Curfewed Night is a powerful and intensely moving debut.
About the Author
Basharat Peer was born in Kashmir in 1977. He studied political science at Aligarh Muslim University and journalism at Columbia University. He has worked as a reporter at Rediff and Tehelka and has written for various publications including the Guardian, Financial Times, New Statesman and Foreign Affairs where he was assistant editor. He is currently based in New York.
Curfewed Night- Our beautiful Kashmir under siege
Curfewed Night is a narration by a Kashmiri who grew up in the valley and saw it transform into a hotspot for violent activities. Basharat Peer had left India only return to his memories. His visit leads to a new discovery directing the reader to a world less discovered.
The Author Basharat Peer narrates the story of the valley and says it was in peace in the 1980s but the peace was marred by people who refused to associate themselves with India. The beautiful green valley of Kashmir which was once any romantic's paradise, transforms into a high security spot with gun totting Indian soldiers protecting the nation from the enemies. The fine line of demarcation between the terror unleashed by militants and the country's defense forces eventually fade and there is unbiased devastation.
This is book has real life stories of a young man's initiation into a Pakistani training camp and a mother who just watches her son as he is forced to hold an exploding bomb. Several politicians living in refurbished torture chambers and former militants dreaming of discotheques have been very well depicted in the book that you would coherently visualize the scenes in your mind's eye. Tranquil villages are unreasonably rigged with landmines and the once revered temples transformed into army bunker. Kashmir is renowned for the 'Sufi' shrines, which as the writer discovers were destroyed in bomb blasts.
Basharat Peer concludes his story with a wave of his hand at the visiting POK Kashmiris who crossed the LoC in 2005 when the bus service to Muzzafarabad and Srinagar started after half a century. This denotes an underlying hope that peace may prevail in the beautiful Jannat of India - Kashmir.
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