Islam, Women and Violence in Kashmir

Nyla Ali Khan

Since 1989, religious fundamentalism and exclusionary nationalism in Indian administered Jammu and Kashmir have generated political and social turmoil that has eroded the ethos and fabric of Kashmiri culture. These forces are responsible for the silencing of dissenters, economic deprivation, lack of infrastructure, mass displacements, political anarchy, and repression of women. 

Nyla Ali Khan, the granddaughter of the first Prime Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah, gives an insider's analysis on the political and social turmoil that has eroded the ethos and fabric of Kasmiri culture. She monitors the effects of nationalist, militant, and religious discourses and praxes on a gender-based hierarchy.


“… Probably the first time a Kashmiri women rises above herself and her unfortunately limited role (particularly in these last two decades of violence, destruction and mayhem) and attempts to voice her opinion so emphatically. You will come to clearly understand through Nyla Khan’s instructive style that a journey into Kashmir symbolizes a strange exaltation that is an undefinable quest but, like a torrential rainstorm, both cleansing and destructive.” – AGHA ASHRAF ALI (historian and veteran educator)

“… Sadly, Kashmir has been captive, during the past sixty years, in the making of the myths of origin of India and Pakistan. Even more sadly, it now seems unable to resist the birth of a new creation myth of its own, which promises to replicate the efforts of its tormentors faithfully. Once a community experiences the trauma of state-formation at its expense, its capacity to envision a different kind of political arrangement weakens. Happily, the myth may not have yet gelled in Kashmir. This is where Nyla Ali Khan comes in.…” – ASHIS NANDY (political psychologist and sociologist of science)


"This book must certainly be read by anyone who studies the juxtaposition of gender and Islam, also those who have an interest in the region, and perhaps by those who ponder over the epistemology of sovereignty, geopolitics, nation states or even nonstate nationalities." – Jaskiran Mathur, Journal of International Women's Studies