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Founded in the mid-nineteenth century, the state of Jammu and Kashmir brought together areas that are culturally, linguistically and geographically diverse: Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Gilgit Balkistan and what is now Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It is in this genesis, perhaps, that the seeds of the current unrest lie. And the key to peace in this volatile region is in an understanding of this diversity. A Tangled Web: Jammu and Kashmir attempts to do that by tracing the journey of the land from being paradise on Earth to a paradise lost. The essays here familiarize the reader with the conflicting views on history, politics and autonomy pertaining to the region, and examine the various political, cultural, economic and social issues at play. Also included are features that voice the concerns of ordinary men and women who have borne the brunt of decades of unrest; as well as commentaries on the beauty, art and food typical of the area; and photo features that capture the ethereal and unique essence of a troubled Eden. As analysts and politicians, academics and artists try to make sense of an increasingly volatile situation, A Tangled Web offers an insightful perspective on what is undoubtedly an area of great strategic and geopolitical significance.
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Ira Pande is a well-known editor who has worked with Seminar, Biblio, Dorling Kindersley and Roli Books. She is currently chief editor, IIC Publications. She is the author of Diddi: My Mother s Voice and has recently translated Shivani s Apradhini: Women without Men.
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