HORNED MOON by Ian Stephens


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For twenty-one years the editor of The Statesman in India, Ian Stephens brought a great deal of understanding and conviction to his tour through the Muslim countries for which he names his book (Ramadan, of the horned moon, is fasting month). As he traverses again in words the roads taken in 1952, he also draws in significant incidents and interviews that occurred earlier, especially in referring to the Partition of 1947 and the Kashmir dispute over which he disagreed with Indian policy and faced Mountbatten's distress -- a situation which culminated, after a middle-road inter- Dominion policy, in his resignation some three years later. Travelling in the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent which he calls Delkaria, with a genuine concern for the fate of the area and its way of working this out, he talked with leaders and townsmen and tribesmen in Pakistan, Kashmir, Afghanistan. He decided that the ""Pakhtuonistan"" problem seemed largely bogus or at least third rate in comparison with that of Kashmir. The dynamics in the dispute between India and Pakistan, the problem of the communal or secular divisions of territory, the role or retaliation (or even seeming retaliation) as a political weapon -- these are some of the concerns of Mr. Stephens. He presents them mixed in with personal encounters and friendships and the flights he enjoys so much,- as a result, there is for this reader a sort of clogging of drains. The American audience may not be so awake to the problems of this area as the British. Extraordinary and beautiful pictures.

Publisher: Indiana University Press