Uncertain nights, fear filled nights, terrorized nights…………. in the beautiful snow covered valley of Kashmir – that’s ‘Curfewed Night’ by Basharat Peer
Peer was born in Kashmir and continued his education in Aligarh far away from his strife ridden birth place. He then moved on to Columbia University to study journalism. Peer started his career as a reporter at Rediff and Tehelka and is currently based in New York as Assistant Editor at Foreign Affairs
‘Curfewed Night’ is a brilliant book that essays the plight of Kashmiris in the serene valley. Who is to blame for the plight of these innocent peace loving people?, the governments of India and Pakistan?, the Army that mans the borders?, the terrorist who have no scruples? – there is no answer to these questions, neither in reality or in Peer’s ‘Curfewed Night’.
What hits every Indian or world citizens, for that matter, is the plight of innocent people, be it Mubeena, who was gang raped by army personnel on the day of her marriage or Rasheda, Ansar & Hussein who were tortured by the army or the thousand others who suffered at the hands of the Indian Army, the Pakistani militants and separatist groups like the Huriyat. Where is the respite for these beautiful people of Kashmir? The reader’s hearts go out to them.
The book also talks about the impressionable youth to whom gun –trotting terrorists are demi-gods.
Is there light at the end of the valley, will someone sit up and set things right? Basharat Peer has no answer – neither does anyone.
Do read the book, for every reader’s prayer may be heard by someone who can make a difference!
‘Curfewed Nights’ has won the Vodafone Crossword Book Award 2008, in the English Non-Fiction category. Hats off to Basharat for touching a touchy subject!!!!!