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Kashmir's Contested PastsNarratives, Sacred Geographies, and the Historical Imagination$
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Chitralekha Zutshi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199450671

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199450671.001.0001

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(p.317) Conclusion
Kashmir's Contested Pasts

Chitralekha Zutshi

Oxford University Press

The conclusion highlights the book’s main themes, particularly the idea that it was their participation in a vibrant historical tradition across the centuries that allowed Kashmiris to not only frame Kashmir’s (and their own) past, but also define the entity of Kashmir itself. Through a co-mingling of the textual and oral on the site of the cosmopolitan vernacular Persian and the regional vernacular Kashmiri, a range of individuals located in multiple institutional contexts articulated their vision of history, the purpose of historical narration, and the idea of Kashmir. Whether their narratives defined history as a set of facts or a tradition of recounting the past; historical narration as spiritual practice or courtly activity; Kashmir as a sacred space, polity, region, or nation, narrating the past remained a deeply charged political activity. It drew its legitimacy not from the state, but from its location within a well-established tradition of historical composition.

Keywords:   Kashmir, history, historical narration, sacred space, polity, region, nation, tradition, vernacular, cosmopolitan

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