This is the second book in the Indian Lives series, edited and curated by Ramachandra Guha.
The Kashmiri leader Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1905-82) is one of the best-known and most controversial political figures of twentieth-century South Asia. A fierce Kashmiri nationalist, Abdullah is best remembered for opposing the Dogra monarchy's exploitative economic and political system; securing Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India in 1947; passing revolutionary land reforms as Prime Minister of J&K; and later for championing the cause of Kashmiri self-determination---as a consequence of which he was imprisoned for two decades---before coming to terms with the Indian government in 1975. He has been alternately celebrated as a patriot and reviled as a traitor in Kashmir, in India and in Pakistan.
In this richly researched and elegantly crafted biography, renowned historian Chitralekha Zutshi transcends these labels by placing Abdullah's life in the context of critical global developments in the twentieth century. She deftly illustrates how his political trajectory---forged in the inequities of the princely state system and burnished in the flames of anti-colonial nationalism, Islamic universalism, socialism, communism, secularism, communalism, federalism and the Cold War---embodies the becoming of India itself. Based on new archival sources as well as oral histories, this book is as much a biography of one Kashmiri as that of an entire generation of leaders who shaped the politics and institutions of twentieth-century South Asia.
India is not the most important nor the most powerful country in the world. However, it has strong claims to being the most interesting. This modern nation is heir to a rich civilizational history, with the rise and fall of mighty empires juxtaposed with the rise and renewal of great religious traditions. The past two centuries have witnessed an epic struggle against colonial rule as well as the construction of the world's largest democracy---in the inhospitable soil of the world's most hierarchical society. This history, ancient and modern, has featured many extraordinary individuals active in a variety of fields: politics, spirituality, social reform, science, literature, art, music, film, sport and more.
Each book in the Indian Lives series, written by a leading writer/scholar, focuses on the life and legacy of an important figure from India's history.
|Sheikh Abdullah: The Caged Lion Of Kashmir
|Fourth Estate India
|Number Of Pages:
|28 December 2023