JAMMU: Written by Dr. Arun Kumar, an IAS officer of 1979 batch of the J&K Cadre, a novel imagining a scenario when Kashmir becomes FREE has just hit the market. The story, the author says, has been whirring around his mind for almost 40 years. The story of what will happen if the mobs on the roads of Kashmir could achieve what they have been shouting for — Azaadi?
Now everyone knows that no amount of stone throwing or causing mayhem on the streets of Srinagar can help achieve that. Nor can any amount of military action including nuclear sabre rattling by Pakistan make that “pipe dream” come true. But what if India on its own walks out of Kashmir and makes Kashmir FREE? Now, why should that happen? And what will then happen to the regions of Jammu and Ladakh?
Spread over 48 chapters, KASHMIR IS FREE is that, what-if peep, in to a not-too-distant fictional future when Kashmir attains freedom from India. As is apparent from its first chapter, which is printed elsewhere in this paper, this is an astoundingly realistic politico-bureaucratic thriller that will grip you by the throat and shake you to the core when you finish its 70,000-words of pure adrenaline rush. Where after you may like to join the author with a prayer that such a scenario NEVER comes true.
As an ex-J&K hand, who has served the nooks and crannies of J&K for over 37 years, author Arun Kumar believes he’s more than qualified to do justice to this thrilling plot. As Chief Executive Officer for over six years from May 2002 to June 2008, readers may recall Dr Kumar’s outstanding contribution to professionalizing and modernizing the two world famous Shrine Boards viz Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) and Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB). He is the one who introduced helicopter services for both these shrines and electric buses for Vaishno Devi.
The book is co-authored by Prasenjeet Kumar, who is the author/co-author of over 27 books and whose books (57 titles so far) translated into French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, and Portuguese sell in over 50 countries. The book is available world-wide in both print and eBook version from online retailers like Amazon. The hardcover edition in India has been published by Manas Publications, and can be ordered through any bookseller in India, or through Amazon or Flipkart.