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Kashmir's Contested Pasts: Narratives, Sacred Geographies, and the Historical Imagination
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Kashmir's Contested Pasts: Narratives, Sacred Geographies, and the Historical Imagination (Hardback)

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Kashmir's Contested Pasts is a longue duree history of the historical imagination in Kashmir. It explores the articulation, within Kashmir's multilingual historical tradition, of the idea of Kashmir and the idea of history in conversation with each other. Contrary to the notion that the Indian subcontinent did not produce histories in the pre-colonial period, the book uncovers the production, circulation, and consumption of a vibrant regional tradition of historical composition in its textual, oral, and performance forms from the late sixteenth century to the present. Analysing the deep linkages amongst Sanskrit, Persian, and Kashmiri narratives the book contends that these traditions drew on and informed each other to define Kashmir as a sacred landscape and polity. It argues that within this interconnected narrative tradition, Kashmir was, and continues to be, imagined as far more than simply an embattled territory or a tourist paradise. History and history writing, the book further illustrates, were defined in multiple ways-as tradition, facts, memories, stories, common sense, and spiritual practice.

The book thus offers a historically grounded reflection on the memories, narrative practices, and institutional contexts that have informed imaginings of Kashmir and its past, and explores the challenges posed to these ideas in Kashmiri political culture today.

History & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topicsSocial & cultural historyHistory & PoliticsRegional & national historyAsian history Publisher: OUP India Publication Date: 24/07/2014 ISBN-13: 9780199450671  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Chitralekha Zutshi is Associate Professor of History at the College of William and Mary, in Williamsburg, Virginia. She specializes in Modern South Asia, with particular interests in Islam in the Indian Subcontinent; interactions between religious identities, regional movements and nationalism in princely and colonial India; commodity and consumer cultures in Britain and colonial India; ideas of history and historiography in pre-colonial and colonial India. Kashmir's Contested Pasts is her second book.

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