Author: Hassan Zainagiri
Publisher: Milat Publications
Price: Rs 280/-
The fire, and the paradise
The book is a good read for those interested in understanding today's India when you look at it from Kashmir
The book arrived in the market in May 2016, and soon Kashmir witnessed a mass uprising. As the title suggests—Kashmir, The Fire Underneath—the volcano erupted yet again, marking the third uprising, since 2008.
The book takes a reader on a journey which begins soon after the creation of BJP, the political offshoot of RSS. It thoroughly takes a reader to the sphere which led to the creation of BJP, which is, as per the book, havocking India. The author has given a detailed account of the ideologues of RSS such as V D Sawarkar and M S Golwalkar. How they shaped up RSS and which finally give birth to its political offspring.
The book is a detailed account of how BJP, , when it rose to the power in Delhi, began to inflict miseries on the minorities living in India, and Muslims were no exception. Campaigns like: Ghar Wapsi and Bahu Laao, Beti Bachao. Ghar Wapsi campaign was aimed to compel Muslims and people of other faiths to return to their original faith that is: Hinduism. V D Sawarkar, as per the author believed that Muslims and the Christians are actually the foreigners; they belonged to a foreign faith, and thus should return to their original faith. Both the campaigns, which have been chalked out especially for Muslims, can be traced to the origin of RSS.
The book provides a reader an outlook on today's India, which is modern to the naked eye, but a microscopic view will reveal that it is not different from any fascist nation. The Secular Democratic India is a hoax. There are ample examples in the book which are validating author's argument very well.
The book, as the title suggests, had to return to Kashmir. The author begins with the "unholy PDP-BJP" alliance in the state. It somehow suggests that it was all planned from the beginning; and was aimed to change the various demographic features of the state, if power is theirs.
The designs were soon unearthed; when the coalition government began to decide on various issues which were sensitive. Like the State Subject issue, Settlement of West Pakistan Refugees (WPR) and many other sensitive issues. The book suggests that how this alliance was aimed to create bipolarity in the state. Like: BJP represents Jammu and PDP represents Kashmir division. This creation of bipolarity in the state like Jammu and Kashmir can also be traced down to the creation of RSS. This, in the long run was aimed to divide the state on communal basis, or carve out another state of Jammu from the state, Jammu: where Hindus would be in majority. The PDP-BJP alliance is expected to give life to certain issues in the future as well which would be hazardous for the state, and which is surely going to increase the already existing alienation of Kashmir from the rest of India.
The book is largely based on the newspaper articles / reports (both local and national) and thus, the book in a way depicts the importance of reading newspapers.
The book has dedicated a good portion in describing the historical background of RSS, which in my opinion, could have been avoided. A chapter or two would have been sufficient. The portion dealing with Kashmir and the alliance of North Pole and South Pole (I mean PDP-BJP!) and the effects there of, is dealt with nicely.
One thing which is still on my mind is that if the author writes his weekly column, Comment for Greater Kashmir on Friday in English, what prompted him to write this book in Urdu? This book could have been received well in the market if it was written in English.
Although, a historical document, the book is a good read for those who are interested in understanding the current chaos in India. Apart from that everyone can read this book because everybody is, nowadays, interested in politics, and rightly so!
The reviewer is a member of Kashmir Book Club, an initiative to revive reading culture in Kashmir.