Sheikh Abdullah : The Caged Lion Of Kashmir – Chitralekha Zutshi (Hardcover)


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The Kashmiri leader Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah (1905-82) is one of the best-known and most controversial political figures of twentieth-century South Asia. A fierce Kashmiri nationalist, Abdullah is best remembered for opposing the Dogra monarchy’s exploitative economic and political system; securing Jammu and Kashmir’s accession to India in 1947; passing revolutionary land reforms as Prime Minister of J&K; and later for championing the cause of Kashmiri self-determination—as a consequence of which he was imprisoned for two decades—before coming to terms with the Indian government in 1975. He has been alternatively celebrated as a patriot and reviled as a traitor in Kashmir, in India and in Pakistan.

In this richly researched and elegantly crafted biography, renowned historian Chitralekha Zutshi transcends these labels by placing Abdullah’s life in the context of critical global developments in the twentieth century. She deftly illustrates how his political trajectory—forged in the inequities of the princely state system and burnished in the flames of anti-colonial nationalism, Islamic universalism, socialism, communism, secularism, communalism, federalism and the Cold War—embodies the becoming of India itself. Based on new archival sources as well as oral histories, this book is as much a biography of one Kashmiri as that of an entire generation of leaders who shaped the politics and institutions of twentieth-century South Asia.

This is the second book in the Indian Lives series, edited and curated by Ramachandra Guha.


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