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‘Mr Kashmir’ A.S. Dulat’s memoir sheds light on the life of a spymaster

Published by HarperCollins India, ‘A Life in the Shadows' by A.S. Dulat will be released on 28 December on ThePrint's Softcover.

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In A.S. Dulat’s memoir, ‘A Life in the Shadows,’ the successful spymaster, synonymous with Kashmir, breaks his silence. The first spymaster to write a memoir, the notoriously private Dulat unfurls a life few have dared to live. No ordinary narrative, it contains a rare wit and carries forward the secrecy that has defined A.S. Dulat’s colourful and insightfully lived life.

The book covers it all – from a bloody childhood in Lahore and New Delhi and the dramatic changes that ensued as a result to Dulat’s adventures as a young intelligence officer during a tumultuous time in India’s history. He gives accounts on his meetings with well-known international spymasters, as well as his travels to remote corners around the world.

The book will be released on 28 December on ThePrint’s Softcover, an online platform for select non-fiction books.

Where Dulat truly shines is when he sheds light on Kashmir, a region he knows deeply and understands intimately – both on a personal and political level. He shares his insights on Kashmir both pre- and post- the abrogation of Section 370.

“Sometimes, books take on a life of their own because of the way they capture the zeitgeist or tap into a subject that is central to the lives of millions of people. In the case of The Spy Chronicles, it is a bit of both,” said Rezaul H. Laskar of the Hindustan Times, accurately capturing the spirit of India that teems through the span of the book.

“When I wrote Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years”, some people said, ‘This is only the tip of the iceberg. This fellow knows much more.’ That is actually right in many ways. Kashmir is an endless story. Even this memoir, I would say — it only reveals the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot that one says, and a lot that one cannot say. So maybe, we can save that for another book!” said the author.

Dulat is the former head of R&AW, India’s external intelligence agency. After retirement, he was appointed as advisor on Kashmir in the Prime Minister’s Office and served from January 2001 to May 2004. Brimming with charisma, he accumulated “a reservoir of goodwill” during his stint in Kashmir, to the extent where he was tagged as “Mr Kashmir”.

Also read: ‘Original, unique & unprecedented’: New book examines India’s history through its geography

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