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Ruben Lavrentiev
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Curfewed Night: A Kashmiri Journalist's Memoir of Conflict and Hope (PDF Download)

Curfewed Night: A Memoir of Kashmir by Basharat Peer

If you are looking for a powerful and insightful book that tells the story of Kashmir, one of the most disputed and conflicted regions in the world, you should read Curfewed Night by Basharat Peer. This book is a memoir of the author's life in Kashmir, from his childhood to his adulthood, as he witnessed the rise of militancy, the crackdown by Indian security forces, and the human cost of the ongoing struggle. In this article, we will give you an overview of the book, its author, its themes, its reception, and how to download the ebook pdf version of it.

curfewed night ebook pdf download

The author's background and perspective

Basharat Peer was born in 1977 in a small village in Kashmir. He grew up in a middle-class family that valued education and culture. He attended a local school where he learned Urdu, English, Kashmiri, and Arabic. He was fascinated by literature, history, and politics. He also enjoyed playing cricket with his friends.

However, his idyllic childhood was shattered by the outbreak of violence in Kashmir in 1989. As a teenager, he saw his peers joining militant groups that fought for independence from India or merger with Pakistan. He also saw his homeland being turned into a war zone, with curfews, checkpoints, raids, arrests, killings, disappearances, and torture. He felt angry, helpless, and betrayed by both India and Pakistan.

He wanted to join the militants too, but his father sent him away to a boarding school in another state. There, he faced discrimination and hostility from some of his classmates and teachers who viewed him as a traitor or a terrorist. He felt alienated and homesick. He later went to study journalism at a university in Delhi, where he encountered more prejudice and ignorance about Kashmir.

He decided to become a journalist to tell the truth about his people's suffering and aspirations. He worked for various Indian newspapers and magazines, covering stories from different parts of India. He also traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan to report on their situations. He realized that he had to write a book about Kashmir, to document its history, its culture, and its tragedy. He returned to Kashmir in 2003, after a decade of absence, to research and write his book.

The main themes and stories of the book

Curfewed Night is a book that explores the impact of violence, human rights abuses, and militarization on the lives of ordinary Kashmiris. It is divided into two parts: the first part deals with the author's personal experiences and memories, while the second part deals with the stories of other people he met and interviewed during his visit to Kashmir.

The loss of innocence and identity

One of the themes that Peer explores in his book is how the conflict in Kashmir robbed him and his generation of their innocence and identity. He describes how he and his friends were exposed to brutality and bloodshed at a young age, how they lost their childhood dreams and ambitions, how they were tempted by the glamour and glory of militancy, and how they were disillusioned by its futility and corruption.

He also describes how he struggled to find his place and voice in a divided and hostile world, how he was torn between his love for his homeland and his desire for a better future, how he was conflicted between his loyalty to his community and his curiosity about other cultures, how he was challenged by his faith and his reason, and how he was haunted by his memories and his guilt.

The trauma and resilience of the victims

Another theme that Peer explores in his book is how the conflict in Kashmir inflicted trauma and resilience on its victims. He tells the stories of people who survived horrific atrocities committed by both militants and security forces, such as torture, rape, massacres, landmines, custodial deaths, and enforced disappearances. He also tells the stories of people who resisted oppression and injustice in various ways, such as protests, strikes, petitions, art, music, poetry, journalism, activism, and education.

He shows how these people suffered from physical, psychological, and emotional wounds, how they coped with fear, grief, anger, and despair, how they sought justice, dignity, and healing, and how they maintained their hope, courage, and humanity.

The culture and history of Kashmir