Book Review by Ashok Dullu

The Book has nothing new to add to Itihas or contemporary history of Kashmir.

As per the publishers ,the  Book has been positioned as a serious non-fiction. This would be useful for those interested in South Asia studies , particularly about the region & its people it writes about-Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandits. It is a well-researched and referenced title and tries to provide a counter narrative at least from Sultan era to date.

Disclaimer - I belong to the community ,whose narrative, past  & present, the Author has chosen to dismantle – Kashmiri Pandits. My  challenge thus is to be as objective as possible and not to fall prey  to same infirmities and biases as the Author of this book has.


To put this Review in context ,I reproduce the  blurb of this book: 

The advent of Islam in medieval Kashmir gave birth to a narrative that describes forcible mass conversion of Hindus, eviction of aborigines and wanton demolition of religious symbols. A minority of Kashmiri Brahamans and their progeny who did not convert to Islam built and successfully perpetuated this narrative over the centuries. In the course of time ,new elements were added to it. Following the eruption of armed insurgency in Kashmir and mass migration of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990,this community narrative has turned into the Indian mainstream view on Kashmiri Pandits. 

Kashmir: Exposing the Myth behind the Narrative challenges the existing narrative through historical facts and cross- referencing. It exposes many fallacies used to uphold this narrative and dissects the work of historians that has sustained ahistorical perceptions over a long period of time. The book links history to the present and facilitates an understanding of the situation today.

SWAPAN DASGUPTA, in an  article about Political parties appropriating the heroes of History ,wrote- The more meaningful disputes arise at the intersection of history and contemporary politics. Most political parties claim a vision that involves what Edmund Burke beautifully described as a contract between the living, the dead and the unborn. This demands cherry-picking facets of the past to suit present priorities. Can this theory get extended to the Author who make attempts to recreate History, one wonders.

In her book – The Making of Early Kashmir -Landscape and Identity in the Rajatarangani, Shonaleeka Kaul asserts, “The fact that Kalhana’s Rajatarangani gave rise to at least three sequels by other Kashmiris over the next four, tumultuous centuries of Kashmiri history and was still regarded as the foremost representation of the land by Abul Fazal when the Mughals descended on the valley in the late 16th century decidedly attests to the persistence of the power and deemed authencity of Kalhana’s discourse.”

The Author of the Book has chosen nine chapters to expose the alleged myths about the historical as well as contemporary narratives .Let us examine these one by one.


The narrative that Kashmiri Pandits are aborigines conforms to a classical  definition of the word – a person ,animal or a plant that has been in a country or region from earliest times.

The thesis postulated by the Author is – The story of Kashmir’s origin and its people ,as given in the Nilmat Purana, rests on the existence of the Nagas. If there are no Nagas, the edifice of the story tumbles. The Author then traverses the Ancient Past to prove that Nagas did not exist in Kashmir.

Let me quote Swapan Dasgupta where he attempts to make a distinction about” Itihas” and History. Ithihas -is a cocktail of reality , myth, folklore and the unending quest for dharma -that shapes the popular view of the past. Clinical history doesn't quite match the Indian imagination.

The Author by quoting a reference admits  existence of Nagas in the main land India. A word here about the Author’s (or the quoted reference ) emphasis on differentiating between Kashmir and Main land India - this is a  modern construct and cannot be dragged to ancient past. The Author very deftly avoids all material ,though admittedly belonging to mythological domain, which supports the existence of Nagas in Kashmir. The absence of proof – excavations being quoted as not indicating any Naga motifs is no proof of existence or non existence.

Even if we give the Author the liberty of assuming that Nagas did not exist , but he does not tell us  where did he come from assuming that he too belongs to a past of the same  so called aborigines. He avoids postulating  the origin of population in Kashmir. I am compelled to  quote the Author in his article(Iqbal’s indifferent Brahman cousins) as under:

Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s Kashmiri lineage and pride in his roots are well known. Like the majority of Kashmiri Muslims, his ancestors, who came from a Kashmiri Brahman gotra Sapru, had converted from Shaivite Hinduism to Islam and at one stage migrated to Sialkot.
Iqbal’s taking pride in his Kashmiri origin is generally explained as his being proud about his Brahman ancestry. However, his son, Javed Iqbal disagrees. He believes that renounced beliefs carry no importance in the personal life of an individual and that their influence dissolves after a generation or a half.

Kashmiri Pandits use of aborigines of Kashmir is an apt definition. Take Mythology into account we are more than 5000 years old in Kashmir. You want clinical history alone  we are at least 3000 years old in Kashmir. The respect for dead as indicated by Burzohom excavations indicates a culture akin to Hindus.

What comes to fore is what a historian postulates - no historian can describe the past as it truly was and that the very methods which the historian must use to reconstruct the past, i.e. his selection of facts, his omissions, his emphasis, his ability to describe events, are inseparable from the historian’s own personality and from the age in which he lives.(Beard)

The most ancient period of Kashmir history is what has come down to us from Nilmat Puran through Kalhan’s compilation of  the earliest narratives. Vedic religion was the dominant influence on the lives of Sarswat migrants into the valley. However their old doctrines and ways of life of the plains were soon modified and adapted to their new environment. A certain degree of adaptation was required initially, as a concession to the indigenous Naga tribes already inhabiting it, with whom Rishi Kashyap, who was the leader of the Sarswats, had negotiated to allow for peoples permanent residence in the valley. Prior to this ,the migrants used to return to warmer areas at the onset of severe winters which the valley experienced.

The frontier region north of Gomal pass, consisted of uninterrupted mountains inhabited by tribes who would in extreme winters up there climb down to the valley. The Nilmat Purana ,according to Kalhana identifies these tribes as Pishachas. So the Nagas were in constant conflict with Sarswats and Pishachas. This conflict got accentuated by limited arable land available. The draining of waters of the Satisar lake came as a relief. The theme of Hemal Nagrai reflects the process of integration and assimilation of Sarswats and Nagas.

Mind’s Eye

The Author quotes Walter Lawrence’s  “Valley of Kashmir” indicating that  it is “a trustworthy record from the middle of ninth century  onwards” only .In the words of Chitralekha Zutshi – Such interpretations of the past, of course, are not new, deeply rooted as they are in the historical method adopted and promoted by orientalists and colonial historians who labelled Indian texts as “mythical”, while producing their own “factual” histories of the Indian subcontinent.

The Author   also alludes to a division between  “Orientalists “( Europeans?)  and  “Nationalists”   ( Indians? ) view point of Rajatarangani. This in my opinion is a modern construct.

Translations and Commentaries of Rajatarangani should always be seen and appreciated together. Stein has maintained that distinction .R S Pandit may not have done so, but in no case does it  take away the importance of the work. The author totally betrays the bias against RSP ,by alluding to his reason ,for translating Rajatatangani  - to please his father- in- law, Moti Lal Nehru.

The Author is trying to judge this work through clinical history methodology , forgetting Kalhana’s   own admission about the authenticity of earlier parts well before his time. I shall reproduce two quotes to support this argument as follows:

“the interest of Kalhana’s Rajatarangani for Indian history generally lie in the fact that it represents a class of Sanskrit composition which comes nearest to the chronicles of medieval Europe and of the Muhammadan East. Together with the later Kashmir chronicles which continue Kalhan’s narrative, it is practically the sole extant specimen of this class.”….Aurel Stein

“The Rajatarangani offers a narrative of the lives and times of various dynasties which ruled Kashmir from the earliest known periods- end of the Mahabharata War- to Kalhan’s own time. His work can be divided into three parts .The first part includes Books I-IV, commencing with legendary events of the Mahabharata war. It derives largely from the legends that form the early history of Kashmir ,including the Nilmat Purana, the Mahatamayas and the Puranic Samhitas. The second section that is Books V and VI, covers the “historical “ records of the reigns taken from earlier written accounts arranged in a definite chronological sequence. The last section of his work – Book VII AND VIII – is devoted to events that he has personally experienced or from narratives of living witnesses to various events. These are more objective in their observations ,except where he expresses his own opinion of events or persons .They certainly lack the eulogical style of earlier authors, though none of the works to which he refers are available today for our reference.”…..Suneethi Bakshi

So the critique of this excellent work manifests itself in the works or commentaries. The  Author is not revealing any mystery and shatters his own  exposition about “ minds eye “ and “divine intuition”. All works of literature are through mind’s eye only and author’s seeking divine support is not amiss.

Once again quoting Shonaleeka,”I therefore urge reclaiming the poem from hegemonic but troubled understanding of it as history – only to perhaps restore it ultimately to a more integral notion of historicality that is sensitive to the literary,is internally consistent,and is true to the contents of the text rather than to externally levied criteria.”


The Author quotes Kalhana’s writings itself about the father of iconoclasts – Harsha (around 1101 AD).So he accepts the authenticity of his writings. How is the Author claiming that  Sikander Shah’s (1389-1413) description in history as an iconoclast is biased. There have been worst iconoclasts before him. The author states that “Jonraja’s account of the worst excesses of the most zealous Muslim ruler was merely an echo of Kalhana’s description of Harsha”. He goes onto describe the situation before Sikander ascended the throne as chaotic ,where the difference between vice and virtue was blurred. It is also a fact that the First migration of Hindu’s took place in his reign and  initiation of the Islamic tenants and how to treat Kafirs was already established in Zakhirat -Ul -Maluk  by  Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani (AD 1314-AD 1385) .He only enforced it through Suhabhatta, the convert. In his time Sayyid Ali Hamadani’s son  Mir Mohd. Hamadani entered  ( 1393) with a band of 300 Sayyids like his father who came with 700. Concept of creating a Sheikh -Ul – Islam and offering it to Sayidds  or the Hindu converts was Sikander’s idea to forcefully enforce Sharia.

I shall also quote from R L Hangloo in his book – The State in the Medieval Kashmir which will elucidiate the state of affairs under Sikander  :

  • Under Sultan Sikander ,the  Sayyids sought a clear mandate from the Sultan to deal with all decisions. Their overriding influence led to civil strife which the Sultan was forced to put down with strong hand.
  • Therefore we are apt to think of Sultan Sikander’s  reignas one of interesting and critical periods in the history of the medieval state in Kashmir. For the Sultan struck upon all chords of duty incumbent upon him even though his contemporary chronicler Pandit Jonaraja does not dwell either objectively or with critical appreciation ,on his reign.
  • The iconoclast fury of Sultan Sikander seems to have shocked him( Jonaraja) more than anything else in the kingdom……
  • RLH refers later to Sultan’s total submission to Sayyids and quotes Zutshi – in the sweep of his religious enthusiasm enforced by the exhortations of religious fanatics, Sikander was carried off his balance and committed excesses against non-muslim subjects…..

So the assertion of the Author that the persecution of Hindus that Suhabatta and through him Sikander, is accused of ,has political rivalry behind it rather than any religious bigotry does not hold water.

The innuendos about Jonaraja’s religious sentiments & indifference shown to his standing as a scholar by Sikander , is at the least ,a biased opinion of the Author.

Sanskrit scholars not finding anything of worth to write about Lalded or Sheikh Noorudin is a fact and the  mystery has not been resolved as on date.

Attributing the destruction of temples to earthquakes alone  and exonerating Sikander is ludicrous.


From 1320 AD to 1947 AD, Kashmir was ruled  for 627 years by Sultans (241 years), Chaks( 27 years),Mughals (165 years),Afgans ( 66 years) ,Sikhs (27 years) and Dogras /British( 101 years).

A study of Kashmir’s history shows that a sizeable section the Pandit community has always wielded enormous influence on the affairs of the state, and its members always held power and clout ,irrespective of who ruled Kashmir.

The Author opens his angst against Kashmiri Pandits ,on account of their prowess to ingratiate into corridors of power ,in this chapter by quoting a famous 20th century leader from the state- Sheikh Abdullah, who wrote in his autobiography  Aatash -e- Chinar that Pandits were “ Fifth Columnists” and “Instruments of Tyranny”. He also alludes to the fact that ,as per him, the Muslim majority accused Sheikh Abdullah of handing over Kashmir to India on a platter. He is at pains to explain how could a minority of 4% “ extend influence out of all proportions to its numbers.”

All that he has written about the Pandit community is only supporting Kashmiri Pandit narrative that they were a learned & ambitious community who knew how to remain relevant in all circumstances inspite of the realty of their poor numbers.

The Kashmiri Pandit community by nature seem to be true existentialists from times immemorial.  They apparently are firm believers of the concept of “ Existence precedes Essence”, which means that the most important consideration for individuals is that they are individuals—independently acting and responsible, conscious beings ,("existence")—rather than what labels, roles, stereotypes, definitions, or other preconceived categories the individuals fit ("essence"). History will give you innumerable examples of this trait of this minority.

In most part of the 627 years of rule in Kashmir , the majority inspite of having their co-religionists as rulers could not have been suppressed by a 4% minority unless they did not have abilities and qualifications to get entry into areas of influence in various administrations.

Sayyids who made an entry at the beginning of Muslim rule in Kashmir were also learned and had sought entry into administration & were competing with Kashmiri Pandits. The Author never calls them “ Fifth Columnists” and “Instruments of Tyranny”.

Let us pick up some more gems of expositions from this chapter.

Kashmiri Pandits have always maintained that ‘slaughter, forcible conversion and migration ‘ resulted in only eleven families being left in Kashmir’. It is a metaphor and by definition may not mean exactly what it says. It is a figure of speech that refers, for rhetorical effect to a total extinction of the community .He goes on length to enumerate the exact number by quoting comments in Kashmiri Pandit historian Sukha Pandit. The Kashmiri proverb: k_ši:ri kaha:y gar_.; There are only eleven households in Kashmir; meaning a limited option.

While the weak ones from Kashmiri Pandits may have fallen a prey to conversions forced or otherwise, the ones who stuck to their own faith had to adapt to changing circumstance and they did it admirably. They learnt Persian which had become the court language, they created a class within their fold who would continue to learn Sanskrit and maintain their rites and rituals .

It is not uncommon for unqualified majority to pile all their miseries to a miniscule  community which itself has been a victim of persecution ,religious or otherwise. We were quick to adapt and exist as true existentialists.

The exaggerated claim by the Author about  Kashmiri Pandits being in positions of power disproportionate to their numbers is shattered by the graphic below. 


The author postulates that 1931 may not be the beginning of resistance movement in Kashmir. He indicates that it began in 16th century(Last of Shah rule  and beginning of Mughal period).The claim about no footprints of Kashmiri Pandit community in this resistance movement may be valid as their influence in the state was by aligning with the rulers of the time. Why  the author doesn’t  include Sayidds in this category, is baffling, as they too were not part of the resistance movement even after being co -religionists. It is true that several attempts by Mughals were thwarted by Kashmiris. Not being part of this resistance historically indicates their entrenched position as being part of the administration. One should also remember that during the period referred to by the Author , the 3rd biggest Migration (1515-16) of Kashmiri Pandits was underway. Yusuf Shah Chak’s pleading with Akbar to help him regain his throne can’t be glossed over as temper of the times.

This narrative of Majority Muslim’s in Kashmir should be viewed in context. We are in 1931 ,a lot of churning of political happenings was under way in India. Many from the Majority community had broken the shackles of lack of education . Sheikh Abdullah was a shining example of this breakthrough.1931was perhaps ,the tipping point of resentment against the regime of the time by an awakened majority in the state.

The Kashmiri Pandits making a common cause with the Trader community who were  looted can’t be held against them. The mass movement after 13th July was highly communalized. Inept state response ,especially police handling, made matters worse. Repression  was rampant. Prem Nath Bazaz has exhaustively brought out the scenario in his book – Inside Kashmir.

All the miseries brought upon the majority community cannot be  attributed to  the miniscule population of Kashmiri Pandits. The fact that they were Hindus and many of them were part of the Maharaja’s administration can’t be held against them. I am yet to find a historical fact which will prove that the Muslim majority had any genuine love for their co-linguals ,the Kashmiri Pandits. The  space for them kept shrinking as the majority  got awakened to their citizen rights and got educated. Kashmiriyat  was more of a slogan to buffer the  impact of majority coming of age and resorting to reprisals towards minorities by the governments in power.

Agitation (1967):

This is one chapter where the Author seems to mostly stick to   facts. The one fact we cannot forget is that Parmeshwari stuck to her decision in spite of the agitation. The episode thus became a tipping point for the Pandit community similar to the shooting of the cook that became a tipping point for 1931 agitation. As indicated by the author based on his interview of a journalist , the agitation was the “ net result of accumulated grievances of Pandits who were previously ruling the officialdom and had developed a sense of deprivation since 1947 when the Muslim majority started claiming its due space in government services”. The agitation became an easy route to express those latent fears that were not finding an expression until then.

The assertions of majority community  coming in conflict with Pandits was mainly in terms of squeeze of opportunities within the state. That jobs will get distributed in proportion of population, is a fair game ,especially if the majority had an embedded narrative of historical victimhood ( Sikh & Dogra rule) .Majority had a sympathetic state to back them.

Prior to 1986 , the majority community cannot be said to have engaged in a planned suppression of Pandits as a society in the post independent India.  Apart from assertion of majority rights ,Pandits may not be able to prove any communal agenda .

The fact that the Agitation later petered out without any meaningful benefits for the agitators shows as much the lack of unity amongst Pandits as it shows apathy by the state. The author has gone overboard about Jan Sangh hand in the agitation. This is as normal as it was for the Muslims outside the state meddling during and post 1931.

Migration (1989):

The author contends that Pandits were talking of mass migration in view of ‘dwindling employment opportunities’ even before 1986 when the militancy surfaced. One may not be able to contest this assertion.

That something was brewing in the state vis a vis Separatism, Aazadi and Pakistan’s open support of these objectives was no secret then as it isn’t now. That it may assume the form of a mass agitation with guns in hand was perhaps not imagined .

The overt communalization of the militancy starting from Anantnag in 1986 was a signal enough that Pandits are not secure in their homeland. The inability and insensitivity  of the state apparatus to provide security to minorities  was another factor in precipitating the march. Comparing the Pandits stand during Glancey commission affair and situation of1986 and after is laughable as it is stretched irrationally.

Selective instances quoted about camaraderie between Pandits and Muslims have been amply pointed out by the Author to steer the cause of migration to a frivolous narrative that it was forced by Indian state through the Governor.

I quote from my article about return of Pandits to valley to give the plain and simple truth about our migration… We keep wondering why Muslim population in Kashmir ,threw to winds ,the age old relationship with Pandits in the period leading to our exodus in 1989-90. Obligation to the solidarity with their co – religionists  perhaps outweighed their obligation of natural duty to protect their Kashmiri fellow citizens. They had a misplaced notion that with guns and backing of Muslim fundamentalists within and  from across the border, they will achieve  “Aazadi” and perhaps even usher in “Nizam-e-Mustafa”. Kashmiri Pandits  being a physical symbol of secularity, were willfully made targets. It was their greatest mistake which on the individual level they are ready to acknowledge. So called Kashmiriyat and the importance of Kashmiri Pandits in their lives was sacrificed for Religious reasons and for misplaced Political notions.

The terror ,no doubt affected  those elites from the majority community who were beneficiaries of the loot that these elites were part of – Politicians , Businessmen & Bureaucrats. As of now these very groups are confused between holding onto power and pelf attached to it on one hand and being part of the Aazadi ( Pak sponsored) coupled with fake  Islamist bravado( imagining to be part of global jihad for putting caliphates in charge all over globe)

It will be interesting to note that the help for  communities that got ejected was  (in terms of providing admissions to professional courses) enjoyed by all communities irrespective of religion. In fact Kashmiri Pandits ceased to be  the beneficiaries within 2 to 3 years of its existence on account of their meager numbers .A  major chunk of seats are cornered by eligible Kashmiri Muslims even now .

The fact of destruction of Temples and Shrines could have been dealt more sensitively than by pointing to three temples in Hari Singh High Street  being intact. There are  encroachments and outright grabbing happening even now.

The following paragraph will illustrate the problem in this area:

Dr. R L Bhat & his team under the aegis of PPNBMT has brought out a  book  titled Hindu Shrines of Kashmir. Prof. K N Pandita describes this compilation as a “lasting document of great historical importance” .The book indicates that there are 975 Temples and 428 Shrines in Kashmir spread in 647 villages and towns in 10 districts of Kashmir. The inventory also indicates that these religious places collectively hold 20 thousand kanals of land in all districts of Kashmir.

The desecration and vandalization has always been there. Records of this is abundantly available. It is in the post exile period that we have woken up to this reality. The book documents destruction of 347 of these. Prof. K N Pandita illustrates the problem thus – “the shrine of Gosaen Gund ashram occupying 20 kanals of land and 250 kanals of endowment, has not  only been subjected to cartographic engineering, and reduced to just 96 kanals 9 Marlas in the latest revenue records, but has also been bestowed with  a new name of Gond-e-Navroz.”This illustration will show the odds we are against in this endeavor.

Some temples have been written about being taken care by muslims. These are ASI employees doing their paid job and not out of any love for the minorities. One cannot deny that there are instances where the Muslim majority community has lent a hand to the minority for preservation of temples and shrines.

Now a word about Kashmiri Pandits not having sided with majority historically, when Kashmir was occupied by Mughals, Afgans, Sikhs ,Dogras. The author would have been appreciated by citing how they sided with Muslim occupiers as co- religionists to suppress the Hindu minority. How many of the Sayyids and Muslims from outside Kashmir helped the local Muslims against these very occupiers.


The Author has chosen to treat the subject very insensitively. He is making it more of political and a  turf issue for Majority community .Linking partition history with the present is to dilute the agonizing issue of Genocide, Forced Migration and yearning to settle back in your roots.

I am compelled to quote liberally from the book “ THE FIRST MUSLIM” by Lesley Hazelton especially the chapter Exile.

Yet no exile really breaks the ties of home. Even someone who  leaves by choice tends to focus on the place left behind. Emigrants turn, first, each day to the news from their country of origin……..But when emigration is not chosen but forced, the place left behind assumes ever greater proportions in the mind………Even as the exile establishes a new life ,the place left behind remains the homeland, the focus of all hope for a perfect future…. Lesley Hazelton….The First Muslim

Every Exile dreams of return. Not merely going back, but being welcomed back. Being begged to come back ,in fact ,in public righting of a great wrong. The place you return to will be the same – the landscape, the people, everything that constitutes the feeling of home – and yet transformed, and your return will itself be a sign of that transformation, a signal of hope for a new start, better future. This is the vision that sustains you through the years of exile……..Lesley Hazelton….The First Muslim

Margdarshan is also an articulation of the resolution to this problem of Kashmiri Pandits as exiles especially from the generation  which has come of age after the exodus. When so called “ Aazadi” can be termed as a  legitimate slogan for many from the post 1989 generation of majority, why is the Author irked by simple articulation of this yearning - “Margdarshan”.


The Author has traced the history of Journalism in J&K. The author pinpoints the lack of avenues in the freedom of expression before independence. .Pre independence, there existed limited freedom and it extended to  news papers and journals too . We cannot  argue much about the freedom of press before independence. The scene is completely changed after the media revolution in 70’s.

Let us cut to post 1989 .The  Author refers to aversion of people in Kashmir about the fourth pillar of democracy as it  abounds in  mis representation of Kashmir in the media. The Author also agonizes about use of this media by radicals among Kashmiri Pandits especially the Television .We can debate about the content but there is no denying the fact that it is used as much by Aazadi and Separatist propagandists as by migrant Kashmiri Pandits. Nobody bars  majority community from coming onto the television debates. The numbers from amongst them speak for themselves. Social media is replete with postings from young Kashmiri Muslims  as they seem to be finding a voice. So the media is being used by all to promote their ideas or ideologies .In independent India , the author has failed to cite any examples of muzzling.

Now about the content. Any average follower of social media will tell you that the venom spewed  against Kashmiri Pandits and Indians in general, is mind boggling .In these times of conflict, one does not expect to hold back. Why is the author feeling that the free media is biased against Kashmiri majority ? We should understand that narratives will be advanced depending on which ideology ,right or wrong, you side with.

In an interview the author after the release of the book has said in response to a question on why were the narratives by Kashmiri Pandits not been contested so far - Perhaps they chose to remain politically correct by taking up less controversial subjects.

We must appreciate that the times have changed in respect of the media coverage and is not in line with age old conventional mode. This is the age of “ on your face” and should be as such. You have on one side ,separatist propagandists openly advocating Aazadi ,branding security forces as occupiers and on the other Kashmiri Pandits getting an open platform to air their grievances.

There can be exaggerations by media with a TRP bias but we are happy that media is open to all narratives.

The author admits to an environment of distrust at the moment and quotes-

“Whatever the level of mistrust ,there is no denying the fact that Kashmiri Muslims  want Pandits back amongst them , not as protected souls in barbed wire settlements but as next door neighbors sharing each other’s joy and sorrow.”

He is quick to record a rejoinder that KP’s have never associated with majority communities politics. He cites the example of KP’s associated with NC deserting the party. I will suggest one goes through Prem Nath Bazaz’s book  “Inside Kashmir “to get a fair view of this narrative.


Chitralekha Zutshi in her review of the same book has summed up beautifully :

Works such as Ahmad’s are particularly dangerous and tendentious because they mask their own political positions by presenting themselves as factual histories based on empirical research. Publication by a reputable publishing house such as Sage lends further credibility to Ahmad’s book, which selectively mines secondary sources by quoting them out of context to advance its particular agenda. As for primary sources, it picks and chooses for the same narratives that it dismisses wholesale as fiction to validate its claims.

 The author in an interview summed up his work by saying , “You have read a lot of fiction on Kashmir, now is the time to read some history.”

Taking the word of the Author that he has attempted to reveal history, I digress a little to talk about Objectivity of history. The debates on objectivity of History will perhaps never come to a conclusion .My interest in History  especially about Kashmir and my community rests on a premise  based on an Article by M. Eyler I. In this Article - Objectivity and Selectivity in Historical Inquiry ,he says, History is not just a product of the present, it is a creation. The historian creates history.

This book can easily be summed up by the following quote: No historian can describe the past as it truly was and that the very methods which the historian must use to reconstruct the past, i.e. his selection of facts, his omissions, his emphasis, his ability to describe events, are inseparable from the historian’s own personality and from the age in which he lives.(Beard)