by Seema Kazi
South End Press
Kashmir is the world's most heavily militarized region--an earthly paradise and the nuclear powder keg of South Asia. From the 1947 partition of "British" India emerged two modern nation-states, India and Pakistan, vying for Western-style dominance on the international stage, backed with nuclear muscle and riding a downward spiral of "tit for tat" militarization on their borders and in their own streets. With the partition, the independent state of Kashmir became subject to a territorial grab, and Pakistan and India have violently disputed its boundaries ever since. Though millions of Kashmiri civilians, and ultimately the world at large, are caught in the crosshairs of the deadly impasse, Kashmir's long struggle for self-determination has all but disappeared from mainstream consciousness.
In Kashmir re-centers the focus of this battle for justice on the most resilient survivors of the pervasive multi-state violence: Kashmiri women. Making thoughtful use of rare, candid interviews, Seema Kazi constructs global lessons from the experiences of women living under intensifying militarization, manifested in the Kashmir valley as a daily onslaught of sexual violence, murder, family destruction, grinding poverty, and social death.
Breaking the long silence on one of the most dangerously misunderstood crises of our time, Kazi boldly holds up a mirror in one hand and a warning in the other: The world may continue to ignore Kashmir, but only at our peril.
Seema Kazi is an internationally regarded expert on feminism, human rights, and violence against women around the world. She lives in New Delhi.