Independent Kashmir

An incomplete aspiration

By Christopher Snedden

Independent Kashmir

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5614-3
  • Pages: 464
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £30.00
  • Published Date: June 2021
  • BIC Category: Anthropology, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom, RELIGION / Islam / History, LAW / Islamic, HISTORY / Asia / India & South Asia, Society & social sciences / Nationalism, Islamic Countries, Indian sub-continent, Kashmiri


The desire for an independent Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) is an old aspiration. After being independent for 72 days in 1947, J&K's ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, and the state's leading politician, Sheikh Abdullah, wanted this international status to continue for J&K. While neither had the acumen, nor, in Abdullah's case, the physical freedom, to pursue independence, the aspiration remained alive. In 1988, disenchanted Kashmiri Muslims instigated an anti-India uprising seeking azadi (independence; freedom) for Kashmir. However, in a rare India-Pakistan agreement, they concur that neither J&K, nor any part of it, can be independent. Nevertheless, the aspiration continues. Independent Kashmir examines what Singh, Abdullah and Kashmiris have done to secure independence for J&K or for their region in this disputed entity. In doing so, it provides a focused, in-depth history of J&K from around the mid-1920s to the present.


1 Decolonisation and the departure of the British from India
2 Maharaja Hari Singh and his accession issue
3 The significance of Kashmir and Kashmiri identity in J&K
4 The rise of Kashmiri aspirations, 1924-47
5 Sheikh Abdullah's pursuit of independence for 'Kashmir', 1946-53
6 Sheikh Abdullah's pursuit of independence for 'Kashmir', post 1953
7 Kashmiris and independence since 1988
Conclusion: To be independent, or not to be independent? That is the question
Appendix I: Comparison of J&K with other entities
Appendix II: Kashmir Valley Muslims in J&K and their numerical dominance
Appendix III: Border or territorial changes, actual or attempted, in South Asia since 15 August 1947


Christopher Snedden is an Australian political scientist, politico-strategic analyst, academic researcher and author

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