Since 1947-48, when India and Pakistan fought their first war over Kashmir, it has been reduced to an endlessly disputed territory. As a result, the people of this region and its rich history are often forgotten. This short introduction untangles the complex issue of Kashmir to help readers understand not just its past, present, and future, but also the sources of the existing misconceptions about it. In lucidly written prose, the author presents a range of ways in which Kashmir has been imagined by its inhabitants and outsiders over the centuries-a sacred space, homeland, nation, secular symbol, and a zone of conflict. Kashmir thus emerges in this account as a geographic entity as well as a composite of multiple ideas and shifting boundaries that were produced in specific historical and political contexts.
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