"People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them."
Late eighties was the time when Kashmir valley in the state of Jammu & Kashmir in the union of India witnessed an unprecendented revolution. The revolution was unleashed by its citizenry against the state which had deployed the military in the disburbed state and accorded it an impunity from the prosecution. Curfewed Night is a story of the much heated and sensitive issue of Kashmir conflicts where the the complexity of the situation has only made new benchmarks in the successive periods.
Basharat Peer was a teenager when the armed revolution in valley began. Born and brought up in a small village Seer in the valley, Peer is aghast and shocked to see the unfolding of the event. Pakistan, the country that is engaged in perpetual conflict with India regarding this territory called Kashmir, arms the civilians on the other side of the border and exports them to the Indian part of Kashmir to take part in the war against the state. As potrayed in the most elequent manner, Kashmiri youths in herds were enamored by the idea of armed revolution against the state, and chanted the slogan every moment of the day, "Hum Kya Chahte? Azadi" (What do we want? Freedom.) Peer witnesses his friends, relatives and neighbours joining the so called Jihad. Due to an excessively turbulent environment, Peer is moved out of Kashmir by his parents for his further studies. But the Kashmiri aura of 90's and lack of documentation of Kashmiri conflict bring Peer back to Kashmir to write a novel on it. Peer travels the length and breadth of the state to document the war crimes committed by Indian soldiers, agony of victims, role of state perpetrators, Pakistan's contribution in war, and the suffering of Kashmiri Pandits, the ethnic Kashmiri hindu community that was exiled by its own neighbours in the war time.
The landmines, militancy, soldiers, revolution, Azadi, Sopore, Kupwara, Valley, beautiful, heaven, crossfire are the words that will linger in your mind after reading the book. Basharat Peer's Curfewed Night is a saga of a territory whose people have embraced the disturbance of everyday in such routine fashion that a normalcy seems to haunt them now. It is an extraordinary attempt to potray the demolition of the haven.