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In truth, there was no “whole.” Apart from the territory of British India, there were hundreds of sovereign principalities, each of which individually negotiated the terms on which it would merge with either India or Pakistan. While Partition and the horrifying violence that it caused is a deep, unhealed wound in the memory of the subcontinent, the violence of those times, as well as in the years since, in India and Pakistan, has as much to do with assimilation as it does with partition.
His unstable, tattered kingdom of Jammu and Kashmir lay on the fault lines of the new border between India and Pakistan.
The rebellions that had broken out against him in 1945 had been aggravated and subsumed by the spreading bush fires of Partition.
The business of assimilation has been complicated and painful and has cost tens of thousands of lives.
What is unfolding today on both sides of the border of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir is the unfinished business of assimilation.
In the western mountain district of Poonch, Muslims, who were the majority, turned on the Maharaja’s forces and on Hindu civilians.
In Jammu, to the south, the Maharaja’s forces assisted by troops borrowed from other princely states, massacred Muslims. Lucid and probing insights on a range of matters, from crony capitalism and environmental depredation to the perils of nationalism and, in her most recent work, the insidiousness of the Hindu caste system. Of being fully alive in our world, such as it is, and of getting close to and listening to those for whom this world has become intolerable' John Berger 'Arundhati Roy calls for 'factual precision' alongside of the 'real precision of poetry.' Remarkably, shecombines those achievements to a degree that few can hope to approach' Noam Chomsky 'Unflinching emotional as well as political intelligence...Radical and readable, they speak always in defence of the collective, of the individual and of the land, in the face of the destructive logic of financial, social, religious, military and governmental elites.In constant conversation with the themes and settings of her novels, the essays form a near-unbroken memoir of Arundhati Roy's journey as both a writer and a citizen, of both India and the world, from 'The End of Imagination', which begins this book, to 'My Seditious Heart', with which it ends.The act strips the State of Jammu and Kashmir of its special status — which includes its right to have its own constitution and its own flag.It also strips it of statehood and partitions it into two Union territories.What happened in the Indian Parliament last week was tantamount to cremating the Instrument of Accession.It was a document with a complicated provenance that had been signed by a discredited king, the Dogra Hindu King, Maharaja Hari Singh.That in this age of information, a government can so easily cut off a whole population from the rest of the world for days at a time, says something serious about the times we are heading toward.Kashmir, they often say, is the unfinished business of the “Partition.” That word suggests that in 1947, when the British drew their famously careless border through the subcontinent, there was a “whole” that was then partitioned.