Kashmir has been in the news for over a quarter of a century. What is special about this State and why and how has the 'Kashmir Question' come to dominate the relations between India and Pakistan : These and other allied questions are explained in detail in this revised and enlarged edition.
Apart from this, Kashmir has a unique distinction of having the only history written in Sanskrit from the earliest times. Many baffling problems about certain events and their chronology in Indian history, have been solved by it. As such no student of Indian History can afford to ignore its deep study.
Till the appearance of this book a decade ago, there was no authentic and comprehensive history of Kashmir available in English. This work has, to a great extent, removed this lacuna. As Jawaharlal Nehru has said in the Introduction. "This fairly comprehensive history is, so far as I know, the only book of its kind and it is to be welcomed."
In twenty-five chapters the book relates the story of Kashmir's chequered fortunes under the early Hindu Kings; the introduction of Buddhism under Asoka, Kanishka's Buddhist Council held in the Valley; of Lalitaditya's ephemeral empire; and Avantivarman's enlightened rule. It gives an account of the introduction of Islam and of the Mughal rule over the State. The concluding chapters are devoted to the people's struggle for freedom, the events following the Partition of India and the armed conflicts between India and Pakistan in 1947,1965 and 1971.
The book throws light on the economic and social conditions prevailing in ancient and medieval Kashmir. It brings out Kashmir's contribution to the Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, to Sanskrit and Persian literature, and most important of all, to the development of a blended culture which is the hallmark of a Kashmiri even today.