New Delhi: A new book by India’s former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Nirmal Chander Vij (retd), claims to offer a “complete picture” of the conflicts in Jammu and Kashmir, and the way forward.
Published by HarperCollins India, Gen. Vij’s book, The Kashmir Conundrum: The Quest for Peace in a Troubled Land, will be released on 28 December on SoftCover, ThePrint’s online venue to launch nonfiction books.
In the book Gen. Vij argues that the conflicts in Jammu and Kashmir are “symptomatic of the India-Pakistan rivalry” post-Partition, and contextualises the issue by beginning the book with a summation of the region’s history.
“To understand Jammu and Kashmir and its problems, it is important to take a historical perspective of the state to appreciate how it has impacted the nature, behaviour and psyche of the people,” Vij writes.
The General, who was Chief of Army Staff from January 2003 to January 2005, traverses centuries to detail how the region has changed hands, including the reigns of emperors and invasions prior to the Treaty of Amritsar in 1846, which “marked the commencement of the history of Jammu and Kashmir as a political entity”.
He then dwells on the events post-Partition, providing a “comprehensive and up-to-date account” on the issue, which includes an analysis of the scrapping of Article 370 by the Narendra Modi government in 2019.
“With this momentous decision, the government seemed to have closed all options for any negotiated settlement on Kashmir with the separatist parties in Kashmir and also with Pakistan,” he writes.
Gen. Vij had served as Director General of Military Operations during the Kargil War. Following his retirement in 2005, he has served as founder-vice chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority and the Director of think tank Vivekananda India Foundation.
(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)