Author: Rahul Pandita
( Exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits 1990)
About the book:
Kashmir has always been the target for external forces right from the 14th century. From Mughals, to Afghans, to East India Company, to Dogra Dynasty who eventually decided to merge with India during the partition. At one time Kashmir was a very prosperous, opulent state with benevolent rulers, later started deteriorating because of numerous invasions. Inspite of all the setbacks, Kashmir rose only to be scarred by the 1990 exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits from which they could not recover.
This wasn’t a crime of passion, but a pre-planned, well trained, systematic attack on the minorities who were first psychologically then physically threatened so much that they had no choice but to flee overnight, leaving behind everything they had worked for all their lives. Some families are still running with no permanent roof over their heads but a bleak hope of returning to the homes. They lost everything. Those who survived the massacre, succumbed to the trauma. Friends, neighbours, colleagues with whom they grew up, shared food, celebrated festivals, betrayed them.
This book gave me goosebumps like I never felt before. Mainly because it isn’t fiction. All that inhuman, maddening, damning torture happened with the Kashmiri Pandits. This memoir by the author, a refugee himself, who had to flee when he was just a child, gives a detailed yet precise report of the exodus of the Pandits alongwith with a brief history of the United Kashmir.
So well written and articulate, reading about it raised many questions in my mind. So many whys! Every story is deep, impactful and true. I urge every one to read this book. It is indeed an eye opener.