Former Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief AS Dulat's book is selling like hot cakes in Kashmir, literally. Hundred copies vanished in the first two hours in Srinagar with people queuing up to get their copies and placing orders online.
"The book is creating history as far as sales are concerned. I sold 100 copies in two hours. I have ordered more to meet the demands, which is tremendous and unheard of," said Sheikh Ijaz, owner of Kashmir's leading publisher 'Gulshan Publishers,' who also owns a bookshop in Srinagar's Lal Chowk, told Hindustan Times.
Around 6pm on Tuesday, the new lot of 100 copies ordered by the 'Gulshan Publishers' are already sold out given the pre-orders placed by buyers.
"There are people coming in cars and security personnel checking in to buy the books. I do not know who all is buying it but it seems it evinced interest from all sections of society," said Ijaz.
Titled 'Kashmir: The Vajpayee Years,' the intriguing realities about New Delhi's engagement with separatists, jaw-dropping disclosures and unheard takes on the Valley leaders' lives has generated a huge debate within the Valley.
From separatists and their supporters to bureaucrats to students, people are buying the book. "I can recall that BN Malik's book 'My days with Nehru' published in 1971 created a similar kind of buzz. People then were curious to know what happened between Sheikh Muhmmad Abdullah and Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru around 1953.
"Similarly, people are interested to know what has been written about resistance and pro-accession leaders of the Valley," said Z G Muhammad, Valley's well-known author and columnist, who ordered the book online a few weeks ago.
Muhammad says the information about leaders and what happened in the backchannels are evoking a huge degree of curiosity.
"Dulat played a significant role on the backchannels in Kashmir and engaged separatists. So general masses after listening to recent disclosures in TV interviews are curious to read the book," he added.
According to Ijaz, after Bashaarat Peer's 'Curfewed Nights', Dulat's book may touch new numbers in sales in Jammu and Kashmir.
Former chief minister Omar Abdullah, while commenting on the book for NDTV portal, wrote: "My problem with the book is a far more fundamental one. My objection to the book starts and ends with only a two-part question - should the book have been written in the first place, and having been written, should it not have been subjected to some sort of vetting to make sure it doesn't compromise any ongoing or possible future operations?"