The Partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 left a legacy of hostility and bitterness that has
bedeviled relations between India and Pakistan for over fifty-five years. The two countries, both
nuclear powers now, have fought three wars since Independence and have twice come to the brink
of war in recent years. Each of their attempts to make peace has failed, and each failure has added a
new layer of anger and mistrust to existing animosities.
So what will it take for India and Pakistan to put the long shadows of Partition behind
them, once and for all.
Reviewing the turbulent history of their past relationship, Radha Kumar analyses the chief
obstacles the two countries face and looks afresh, in particular, at the Kashmir conflict, in the light of
the new opportunities and challenges that the twenty-first century presents. Kumar’s comparisons
with partition-related peace processes in Bosnia, Ireland, Cyprus and Israel-Palestine offer a
radically different perspective on the prospects for peace between India and Pakistan, and illuminate
the key elements that go into a successful peace process.
Lucid, incisive and optimistic, Radha Kumar’s essay, written at a time when a new peace
process between India and Pakistan has begun to unfold, challenges received wisdom as it argues
persuasively that the South Asian neighbours are today better placed to make peace than ever
Radha Kumar, a Visiting Professor at the Jamia Millia University, was formerly
a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and Director of its project of
Ethnic Conflicts and Peace Process. Her previous books include Divide and fall? Bosnia in the
Annals of Partition and A History of Doing: An Illustrated Account of Movements for Women’s
Rights and Feminism in India, 1800-1990.
Back of the Book
‘Kumar has broken through decades of hostilities and clichés to write the most important book on
the India-Pakistan conflict for a generation,’-Ahmed Rashid
‘A refreshingly new look at India-Pakistan relations from their inception to the present
times…Accurate, unbiased and lucid.’-Khushwant Singh
Interrogating India is a new series that looks at the common sense prevailing on some of the most
pressing issues of our times. Provocative and issues of our times. Provocative and incisive, it has
essays on themes ranging from secularism and terrorism to political representation and language,
which figure prominently in today’s middle-class discourse. Passionate, accessible and opinionated,
these reflections from some of India’s best minds should help us make better sense of the public
debate on these issues while, hopefully, provoking us to respond to the challenges they present.
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