The book contains 14 chapters. The author has compiled the book on the descriptive narration of persons belonging to few elite families of Kashmir who are known to her. She has mostly discussed the events which have reportedly taken place in 1947 during Kabali Raid in PoK and the valley. What happened during the turmoil of post 1990 period, hardly any event finds mention in her book. She has concentrated her visit from Gupkar to Brain Nishat only. She has not consistently recorded the sequence of events which confuses the reader. In recording the narrations, the events have not been synchronized with the facts and figures. One fails to understand, as to why a forest lessee along with Mirdulha Sarabai on way to Muzafarabad and Kuhala in search of his mother and sister, went to Lahore instead of Muzafarabad, to meet one doctor from Kashmir which was not so important. Whether the Forest Lessee traced his mother and sister later on, nothing has been mentioned putting the reader in complete anxiety and suspense.
At page 66, she states that G.M. Sadiq and Bakshi Gh. Mohammad were deputed by SMA to Lahore to mobilize support to sustain the agitation. The author is not clear to explain whether these two leaders succeeded in their mission or not. she further writes that G.M.Sadiq was accompanied by one S.Z an unknown political entity. Now it is for the contemporary historians to find out in what capacity S.Z had accompanied G. M. Sadiq to Lahore. And also assess her role in the political history of Kashmir to find out the truth. The author's book is based, mostly on oral statements, of the persons discussed in his book without any historical records and facts. She has over glorified the role of S.Z in the resistance movement against the raiders ignoring the contribution made by other Kashmiri women also.
The author at page 75, has not given any figures about Hindu refugees if any who had come to Srinagar from Jammu and did not mention anything about the incidents that took place in district Udhampur and Jammu.The author is also mislead by stating that non secular separatist elements had made inroads in the government during the late 1970's when it is a fact that every J&K government has always been a secular in its dealings. S.Z was promoted as administrative secretary of tourism department and later on adjusted as member of PSC after retirement. She was rewarded suitability by the government for the contribution if any she had made during Kabali raid. But as a member of PSC, her role remained controversial as she could not deliver the justice to many deserving candidates. Chapter 1, 3, 4 and 12, revolves around the four persons who belong to one family. The family has remained connected with seat of power all along and made GMC /women's college Srinagar as their family's domain for a pretty long period.
In chapter, 2, 5 and 10, the author seems to have recorded nearly the true description, narrated particularly by A.M.Watali, former DIG. His report regarding select list of teachers showing how the nepotism had taken precedence over the merit was really an eye opener for the government. It is an admitted fact that in J&K it was not the issue of regional imbalances but the corruption and nepotism which had always taken precedence over the merit.
The author has mentioned in one of the chapters that the rumors were making round in 1953, that the CIA and British intelligence were responsible for the arrest of Shiekh Abdullah without giving any recorded evidence. Actually it is said to be a well planned conspiracy hatched with the centre by some of his close cabinet colleagues to dislodge the government lead by a popular leader of the time and secondly to make their own political mileage.
It is also wrong to say that Kashmir is simply a law and order problem due to increasing unemployment with out ascertaining the root cause.The present Kashmir which is reduced to almost half of the area it had before 1947 and by retrieving of the same has made it a political issue also. Kashmir being a conflict zone is continuously passing through the period of political uncertainty and instability. It would have been better, had the author visited some of the orphanage in Srinagar city particularly "Rahat Ghar" etc and met some families of militancy effected areas of Kupwara and Baramula to get the first hand information and assess herself the human losses and tragedies which the people of the valley have underwent and are still undergoing during the state of violent peace, instead of recording the narrations of the some elite members of society who are sitting in their cozy and comfortable rooms at the foot hill of Zabarwan. However the book is interesting and worth read.
Reviewer is former IGP