ABOUT THE BOOK:
PART 1 :
The Kashmir Story (1 and 2) are a veritable encyclopaedia on Kashmir. Part 1 traces the history of Kashmir beginning from the legends of Nilamatapurana to Kalhana's Rajatarangini followed by Jonaraja's, Srivara's and Sukha's historical accounts which give us a vivid account of kings, their rule and misrule with the existing political, administrative, economic and social life.
It describes the rise and fall of the Gonanda, Vikramaditya, Lohara, Karkota, Utpala dynasties with the fascinating palace intrigues, romances and civil wars. It also describes the topography of Kashmir highlighting its important places and frontier regions. It traces the rise of Kashmir as a seat of learning detailing its great scholars and their famous works.
It tells us the origin of Kashmir Shaivism, how Buddhism became a part of the classical culture of Kashmir and its impact, how Rinchan and Shah Mir came to Kashmir and a land ruled for thousands of years by Hindu kings became a Muslim state. How Sultan Sikandar's persecution of people of other faiths was offset by the tolerant rule of Budshah. The secular character of Akbar and Jahangir's love for Kashmir is highlighted. The book ends with the cultural highlights of the Medieval period with scholarly works of Abhinavagupta, Lal Ded and her famous vaakhs, poetry of songstress Habba Khatoon and the verses of Rupa Bhawani.
PART 2 :
Part 2 of The Kashmir Story starts with the Sikh rule in Kashmir under Maharaja Ranjit Singh followed by the Dogra rule. The book traces how the age-old composite culture of Kashmir (Hindus and Muslims co-existing peacefully) was replaced by the canker of communalism.
Against the backdrop of India's independence on 15th August 1947 and the turmoil of partition unfolds the saga of the accession of Kashmir to India by Maharaja Hari Singh. From Sheikh Abdullah we arrive at his grandson Omar Abdullah. The National Conference and Congress were defeated in the 2015 elections and the BJP and PDP jointly formed the government.
The book traces the rise and spread of terrorism in the Valley. It chronicles the heroic deeds of Indian soldiers who died protecting Kashmir from Pakistani raiders and army. It describes the conflicts of Siachen and Kargil and the unfortunate exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley. It highlights the love of the Mughal emperors for Kashmir reflected in the splendid architecture of the gardens and lakes. There is an engrossing account of the rich craft traditions of Kashmir - the shawls, namdas, samovars, kanger, houseboats, the springs, lakes, forests, flora and fauna. Kashmir is rich in performing folk art and folklore. The lifestyles, social festivals of Hindus and Muslims, their food are described vividly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Arjan Nath Chaku (1917-2011) was born in the Valley of Kashmir during the reign of the Dogra rulers. In 1947, frenzy and chaos engulfed India, especially Kashmir. Arjan Nath came to Delhi with his family and young son, Inder in 1948 and become a journalist with the Daily Hamdard. As a journalist he met Mohammad Ali Jinnah who was on holiday in Gulmarg. He also met Acharya Jivatram Bhagwandas, JB Kripalani and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on their visits to Kashmir. He regularly wrote articles on Kashmir politics for Koshur Samachar, New Age and Press Trust of India.
In the 1990s, Inder K Chaku headed the Media Office in Srinagar. His dream of living in Kashmir was shattered when he had to join the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley. He moved to Jammu and then to Delhi, where he worked for the Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. He wrote plays and translated them into performance and also directed programmes for the armed forces. He participated in International Film Festivals and worked with Theatre Titans of India, Shambhu Mitra, Bansi Kaul and the famous dancer Birju Maharaj. He writes regularly for Koshur Samachar and Naad.