“The human face of a conflict we see too much of, yet do not know enough of.”
A social activist and freelance writer, Meera Khanna has been working with militancy-affected widows and children in Kashmir for over a decade. She is the founder-trustee of Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia, and has been closely associated with a number of peace initiatives.
Her book, “In a State of Violent Peace: Voices from the Kashmir Valley” shifts the commonplace focus on the political situation, the army or the border wars that is prevalent in the many literature on Kashmir and attempts to humanise the conflict through memoirs of lives lived in Kashmir.
The people, whose lives the alternatively raging and simmering conflict has an inexorable hold on, is brought to the fore. There are the stories of Mahmuda Ali Shah who was the icon of women’s empowerment in the Valley; Surayya Ali Mattoo and Khaleda Begum, the daughters of Sheikh Abdullah; Krishna Misri, who was literally hounded out of Kashmir by militants; writer and academic Neerja Mattoo, who chose to stay on in Kashmir despite the dangers; Bilal, a former militant and many others.
These are tales of compassion, courage and faith in Kashmiriyat to counter to the broader focus of conflict reportage. The shifting perspectives and contradictory facts in these histories assert that there is no singular narrative for the people of Kashmir.
This event will be an extraordinary opportunity to listen to Meera’s experiences and inspiration for the book first-hand. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and acquire a deeper understanding of the author, the book and the circumstances prevalent in Kashmir.
Event organised by Serene Communications
Book published by HarperCollins
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