You will find plenty of books on Kashmir by politicians, journalists, army officers, Kashmiri Muslims and Pandits narrating their experiences. BUT you will never find—an outsider IAS officer’s perspective.
Sonali Kumar, a starry-eyed young woman, joined the IAS in 1979 to make a difference to India. She was allotted the state of Jammu & Kashmir where she spent 37 years trying to understand the people of Kashmir, solve their problems and focus on development.
What she found was disturbing—an apartheid regime exists in Kashmir where the humanity is divided between insiders and outsiders; where outsiders nearly become second class citizens.
She tried to make the administrative system “people friendly” but soon became a victim herself.
Little did she know that her quest for development in Kashmir will become a fight against corruption, nepotism, communalism and anti-nationalism—all mixed together.
She doesn’t realise that the vested interests she had hurt, will soon hit back. And may even cost her career, house, perks and happiness. Will she succeed? Or will she fail?
Sonali Kumar, as an outsider, brings a fresh perspective to the Kashmir problem NEVER TOLD BEFORE. The book is worth reading for anyone even remotely interested in the Kashmir problem.