The People Next Door

The Curious History of India’s Relations with Pakistan

February 2019 9781787380196 352pp


This book traces the seven decades of the India–Pakistan relationship since the bloody partition of the subcontinent in 1947. Events, anecdotes and personalities drive its narrative to illustrate the cocktail of hostility, nationalism and nostalgia that defines every facet of Indo–Pakistani relations.

T. C. A. Raghavan illuminates the main events of this tumultuous dynamic through the eyes and words of key players and contemporary observers. He exposes how, in both countries, this shared past is seen through radically different prisms; how history keeps resurfacing, with unavoidable resonance, to this day.

The People Next Door digs beneath the obvious political, military and security issues, evoking other perspectives: divided families and unwavering friendships; peacemakers, war-mongers, and contrarian thinkers; intellectual and cultural associations; the footprint of Bollywood; cricket and literature—all are an intrinsic part of this most profoundly tangled of relationships.


‘TCA Raghavan puts his experience as a diplomat and training as a historian to excellent use in offering a sensitive, rich, and accessible history of India’s relations with Pakistan. An unavoidable text for anyone interested in making sense of modern South Asia.’ — Dr Avinash Paliwal, SOAS, and author of My Enemy’s Enemy: India in Afghanistan from the Soviet Invasion to the US Withdrawal


T. C. A. Raghavan is a former Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan and Singapore. He has a PhD in History from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and is the author of Attendant Lords: Bairam Khan and Abdur Rahim, Courtiers and Poets in Mughal India. 

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