Kashmir in Sickness and in Health


Book: Kashmir in Sickness and in Health
Author: Gulzar Mufti
Publisher:  Partridge India
Pages: 306 pages/p/b
Publisher: PartridgeIndia
Year: 2013
ISBN 9781482810004

In his new book, Gulzar Mufti examines 150 years of political ups and downs in Kashmir and their impact on the well-being of its people.

Well-known U.K. surgeon Gulzar Mufti’s new book entitled ‘Kashmir in Sickness and in Health’ takes the reader down uncomfortable avenues of the enchanting but troubled and war-riven Kashmir Valley. Mufti, who was born in Kashmir, has pulled off the task of juxtaposing the last 150 years of Kashmir’s turbulent history with its medical, educational and social development, from the start of Dogra rule in the mid-nineteenth century until the present time.

To illuminate specific aspects of the story, the author cleverly interweaves the narrative with his own experiences of growing up in downtown Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir.

Well-researched and powerfully insightful, Kashmir in Sickness and in Health skillfully dissects the roles of various individuals from within and outside the Valley who shaped the destiny of this land and steered its social and intellectual development.

The heart of the book lies in the inspiring and pioneering work of British missionaries who laid the foundations of modern healthcare and education in the Valley.

The following excerpt from the book sums up the author’s feelings about the need for a change in the status quo:

“Sultan Zain-ul-Aabidin, popularly known as Budshah, ruled Kashmir from 1420 to 1470AD. He inspired Kashmiriyat - the code of Kashmiri consciousness - and transformed this land into real paradise. Even today when labourers pull or push at heavy goods with full force, they recite loudly the words Budshah, Padshah (Budshah, the Master King). He is probably the only ruler who arouses a feeling of respect and reverence in a Kashmiri mind, because his period was known for freedom of thought, justice and good governance. Perhaps Kashmir Valley is waiting for another Budshah to restore it to health.”

The author, Ghulam Rasool (alias Gulzar) Mufti is a consultant urological surgeon in the UK. He also works as a Medical Director for Care UK and as a Fitness to Practise Panellist for the General Medical Council UK, and lives with his wife in Kent. He was born and brought up in downtown Srinagar and obtained his primary medical qualification from Srinagar Medical College. He visits the Valley frequently and is keenly interested in Kashmir’s history, and its political, social and healthcare development.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 November 2013 on page no. 21

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