Thursday, Dec 09, 2021
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Book Review

Voices Of A 30-Year War

Like a willow ripened, Husain’s patient immersion over decades into Kashmir’s tortured lives, told in the half-tones of conflict, has borne sombre fruit

Voices Of A 30-Year War
Voices Of A 30-Year War
outlookindia.com
2020-01-17T16:39:20+05:30

Sahba Husain’s Love, Loss and Longing in Kashmir joins a growing body of work about the nature and consequences of  the Indian state’s war in Kashmir. Yet, it is an unusual book—an intimate, well-­researched memoir looking back at Hussain’s decades of fieldwork and engagements as a researcher on violence and tra­uma in Kashmir, reconstructed from field notes and interviews, presented as a retrospective narrative.

In a deeply personal and brutally honest introduction to the thema­tically organised chapters, Husain describes the shock of her first res­earch trip to Kashmir in 2000. Her enc­o­unter with the intense militarisation and horrific state violence was profou­ndly destabilising. Haunted by memories of state repression during the Emer­gency through which she became politicised as well as by her grief as a recently bereaved daughter, Husain explores questions of pos­i­tionality, complicity, objectivity, and the risks and privileges of being an Indian, feminist, left-liberal Muslim woman trying to res­earch and write about Kashmir.

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