Goodreads Summary: Basharat Peer was a teenager when the separatist movement exploded in Kashmir in 1989. Over the following years countless young men, seduced by the romance of the militant, fueled by feelings of injustice, crossed over the Line of Control to train in Pakistani army camps. Peer was sent off to boarding school in Aligarh to keep out of trouble. He finished college and became a journalist in Delhi. But Kashmir—angrier, more violent, more hopeless—was never far away. In 2003, the young journalist left his job and returned to his homeland to search out the stories and the people which had haunted him. In Curfewed Night he draws a harrowing portrait of Kashmir and its people. Here are stories of a young man’s initiation into a Pakistani training camp; a mother who watches her son forced to hold an exploding bomb; a poet who finds religion when his entire family is killed. Of politicians living in refurbished torture chambers and former militants dreaming of discotheques; of idyllic villages rigged with landmines, temples which have become army bunkers, and ancient sufi shrines decapitated in bomb blasts. And here is finally the old story of the return home—and the discovery that there may not be any redemption in it.
My View: I had a really tough time with this book. It lurked on my bookshelf for so long because I used to pick it up, read a few pages, put it down and pick up another book. It was extremely difficult to finish reading it. Was it so bad? No it wasn’t. Was it so painful? It was painful but that was not the reason why I didn’t feel like reading it. The real reason was that I think as always when the story of a state/country is told, it is a one-sided view. And since this one-sided view showed a lot of hate towards my country, I cringed while reading it.
I must applaud the author for picking up a topic so close to his heart and exploring it all that he could and then writing it down. It takes a lot of courage to do that. A lot of things that I was unaware of were revealed to me in this book.
The book is a compiled list of history of Kashmir and what it has seen all this years; how the people there have survived, killed and been killed.
Although towards the end, the author does try to look at it from the other side but it is a mere trifle compared to the rest of the book.
Somehow the book is disjointed, it jumps from one incident to another but the flow is not smooth.
Overall, you may want to pick up this book if you want to see things from the Kashmir point of view.
I received a review copy of the book from Random House India Publishing but the views expressed are my own, I have not been given any compensation for the same.