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Curfewed Night Book By Basharat Peer (ronaldweinland.info). Topics: History. Collection: opensource. Language: English. on kashmir. Outside, the curfewed night lay in its silence like a man waiting in ambush. The Three Musketeers 'Is someone called Basharat Peer here? He is a ninth class . Basharat Peer‟s Curfewed Night published in , is written in the . Similarly in Curfewed Night Peer brings in Kashmir‟s history where the reader is.
There were books written by people from almost every conflict zone of the age, but where were the stories of his own homeland of Kashmir? Some could be found in the work of the great poet Agha Shahid Ali, but in terms of prose narrative there was nothing in English but "the unwritten books of the Kashmir experience". Peer's Curfewed Night is an extraordinary memoir that does a great deal to bring the Kashmir conflict out of the realm of political rhetoric between India and Pakistan and into the lives of Kashmiris. Peer was only 13 in when Indian troops fired on pro-independence Kashmiris and, as he puts it, "the war of my adolescence started". It is a war that hasn't yet ended, though it has changed shape considerably in the last 20 years. One of the strongest sections describes how it felt to be a young teenager swept up by a movement with "Freedom" as its cry. Peer writes of how all the embarrassments and failures of adolescence fall away when you join in a procession and feel yourself part of something larger; how the militants who crossed into the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir for guerrilla training would return as heroes; how "like almost every boy, I wanted to join them.
One of the strongest sections describes how it felt to be a young teenager swept up by a movement with "Freedom" as its cry.
Peer writes of how all the embarrassments and failures of adolescence fall away when you join in a procession and feel yourself part of something larger; how the militants who crossed into the Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir for guerrilla training would return as heroes; how "like almost every boy, I wanted to join them.
Fighting and dying for freedom was as desired as the first kiss on adolescent lips.
The commander laughed them away, and a few days later Peer's family heard what had happened and intervened. The young Basharat came to an agreement with his father that he would wait a few years before deciding whether or not to sign up, and in the meantime he would study.
Rebellions, his father pointed out, were led by educated men. But in the Kashmir valley, even the life of a student was fraught. The six-mile ride from his school to home carried with it the possibility of being caught in gunfire or encountering a land mine.
Military checkpoints were everywhere, and humiliation and abuse from the Indian security forces towards the Kashmiri residents was part of daily life. Many parents, including Peer's, sent their sons away to finish their education far away from the valley.
But in Delhi, as a student and then a reporter, Peer's thoughts were never far from Kashmir. Since partition both nations have been struggling to achieve this precious trophy and in such combat the damage is done to the people of Kashmir only.
In valley, the liberation and resistance movement is associated in two contrast ways: one is violent resistance, i. These resistance movements are fought on political, military, diplomatic and domestic fronts.
The motive behind such resistance and violence is to liberate the valley from the clutches of troops, and to crave for personal identity and self-determination. Right to self-determination has been the main issue that gives rise to every mishap and adverse state of affairs in the valley.
And it is through this issue, the resistance literature got evolved among authors like Peer, Waheed, Kaul, Bashir, Kak, Ali etc in the state to write in International language to be heard by the external world.
These authors have been employing resistance literature as a tool to raise their voice against tormenters.
It is the portrayal of those events and episodes that took place in the personal life of the author. It depicts that the same narrative or same story which is deeply present in each and every Kashmiri. The book reveals the worsening condition of the Kashmir with the depiction of the imposition of cruelty and ruthlessness on civilians by security forces.
It is more of commentary on the vicissitudes of human life and existence in the late 20th century.
The book largely contributes to the body of Indian literature via resistance literature. Such literature is being written in abundance to protect people against atrocities and to knock down the illegitimate authority of hegemonic state in this postcolonial period.
The issue of Kashmir is literally being discussed at national and international levels, from local tea shops to cosmopolitan cafeterias, from cinema theatres to dining tables, from classrooms to lecture halls, and from literary debates to political discussions etc.
People in abroad nations have been busy in writing resistance, which is turning out to be a useful tool towards—if not freedom and liberation at least peace and tranquillity. Bashir, Ishrat. Chaterjee, Abhishek. A Secret History.
Choudhury, Chandrahas. How terrible it is to live in fear!
I have one criticism for the lack of a better word of the book. Since the book is about Kashmir, the author should have also elaborated more on the massacre of the Kashmiri Pandits and the violence meted out to pro-Indian Muslims. But, the author should have talked about the brutalities inflicted on these people which made them refugees in their own state. They ended up in slum-like places in Jammu or some moved to other places in India.
The book is good, but it would have been great if talked about the perspective of the security forces also. State police, paramilitary or the army — all these people live under constant threat to their lives well.
They can face bullets, bombs, or lynch mob anytime. Some of the victims of torture by the security forces also admitted that all soldiers were not bad — there were decent men too. Many of these men would have preferred to be anywhere else but in Kashmir. But, they have mouths to feed at home.
Militancy inevitably leads to such a vicious environment where compatriots have nothing but suspicion, fear and hatred for each other.
To the civilians, the security forces are the oppressors but to the soldiers, even the innocent Kashmiris are potential terrorist-sympathizers and anti-nationals. The author has shared an anecdote about his interactions with a young paramilitary officer.
Initially the man was arrogant and hostile. He showed signs of relaxation and turned towards me. I talked about my friends form my Delhi University days. He was from Delhi University too. He had been in a college next to mine. He seemed to have transformed into a Delhi University alumnus and forgotten he was an Indian paramilitary officer posted in Kashmir.