Table of Contents
   About the Author
   Kashmiri Hindus: Origin ...
   Sultan Zain-ul-abidin
   The Sayyids as Oppressors
   Chak Fanatics
   The Mughals
   The Afghans
   Sikh Rule
   Dogra Rule
   Post-1947 Scenario
   Jammu and Ladakh ...
   Bakhshi Ghulam Mohammad
   Ghulam Mohammad Sadiq
   Sayyed Mir Qasim
   Sheikh Abdullah Sows Seeds ...
   Farooq Abdullah ...
   Ghulam Mohammad Shah ...
   Rajiv-Farooq Accord
   Proxy War Declared
   Muslim Fundamentalism
   Terrible Plight of Minorities 
   13th November, 1991
   Download Book 

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity



by T. N. Chaturvedi

(Former Home Secretary and Comptroller & Auditor General, Government of India)
Kashmir has been celebrated in legend, mythology, history and poetry for ages. The very word Kashmir, till not long ago would evoke the mental image of a land of peace, beauty, harmony and learning. This is what makes its trials and travails today much more agonising. There is a plethora of books by travellers, historians, sociologists, anthropologists and other experts belonging to various disciplines on different aspects of the life of the people.

Since the aggression of Pakistan in 1947 after the merger of Kashmir with India, this part of our country has been in the eye of storm. A large number of scholars have explored the genesis and character of what has been often called the Pakistan problem. But there is no problem, no dispute, except the changing contours of the policies of Pakistan. The situation has got muddied because of the continuing brazen Pakistani propaganda.

One is not unaware as to how sometimes the views of the many so-called scholars of international relations have undergone transformation assuming hostile complexion to the Indian standpoint, due to Pakistani maneuverings. It becomes necessary that from time to time the various facets of the Kashmir situation should be analysed afresh and facts brought out to enable the world opinion to comprehend and appreciate the Indian side of the case. It is useful even for our country- men so that they do not get beguiled either by the subtlety of Pakistani propaganda or the mealy-mouthed johrases of many dogooders, foreign or of indigenous variety, masquerading under the banner of human rights, peace and goodwill among neighbours, etc. It is, therefore, imperative that the coming generations in India remain are familiar with the tortuous and tragic tale of Kashmir, particularly the sad happenings of the last decade.

In the recent past, the former Governor of Jammu & Kashmir published his valuable study on the cobwebs of Pakistani effrontery, the political chicanery of the powers that he in Kashmir and the ostrich- like attitude of the Indian Government from the very beginning till today. General Nanda's book, with his intimate knowledge of Kashmir situation is another notable contribution among a few others.

The present book by Prof. Mohan Lal Kaul, an academician hailing from Kashmir, belongs to the same genre. It has the intensive feel and poignancy of personal pull and academic objectivity. The learned author has tried to unravel the mystique of Kashmir, its past and its present, as the title of the book indicates.

In the first eight chapters, Shri Kaul analyses the origin and ethos of the Kashmiri Hindus and thereafter, briefly but vividly, outlines the main features and principal landmarks in its history till the end of Dogra rule, which provide the necessary perspective for what is happening at present. He touches upon the political, economic, literary, cultural and religious developments of this period.

The subsequent chapters clinically dissect the tangled post-1947 developments in their totality, which provide the meat of the book. The policies and programmes of the different Chief Ministers, beginning with Sheikh Abdullah and ending with Farooq, have been examined with facts and figures many myths have been shattered.

The chapters dealing with the rise of Muslim fundamentalism and its nature and the plight of minorities make a dismal reading and bring out sharply the blissful ignorance, follies and brazen inadequacies of the Government of India.

Article 370 has been the instrument for fostering separatism and providing legitimacy to rampant corruption leading to insurgency and the exile of over three takh Hindu Pandits from their hearths and homes, making them refugees in their own homeland. The kid glove policy of dealing with antinational insurgents, all along assisted by Pakistan by providing money and arms and now with foreign mercenaries, has only helped to complicate the situation on the ground. The role of the ISI and the support of The O.I.C. stand exposed. It is a pity that the basic issue of the maintenance of national sovereignty and morale as well as sacrifices of our security and military forces is attempted to be diluted by some intellectuals in the name of human rights, plebiscite, self-determination and such emotive phrases generating miasma of misperception, misinformation and disinformation about political realities. Dr. Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, through his utterances both in the Parliament and outside, had warned the countrymen of the looming dangers. Even his ultimate sacrifice, four decades ago, in Sheikh Abdullah's jail did not move the purblind Government. It is a matter of satisfaction that the Indian Parliament. through a unanimous resolution transcending all political differences. has asserted its rightful claim to the territory in Jammu & Kashmir, illegally occupied by Pakistan. The people have spoken and it is for the Government to chalk out its future policy and strategy.

Shri Kaul deserves all commendation for writing the book which helps to illumine many dark corners. One may not necessarily agree with the entirety of his diagnosis. observations or even conclusions. As a small example, I do not think Shri B. K. Nehru, as Governor. was pro- Sheikh. I know personally that as Governor he made even Sheikh Abdullah realise and recognise the claims of protocol. The delicacy of functioning with rectitude and propriety, while trying to balance and reconcile the conflicting requirements has to be kept in view. But the overall analysis of the learned author stimulates thinking.

It is a scholarly and documented work without being ponderous. It is authentic in its composition and unsparing in its presentation of even unpalatable facts. In any case, an honest book dealing with Kashmir is bound to be controversial. But that speaks of its relevance and worthwhileness. Shri Kaul has indeed succeeded in unveiling the past and unravelling the present of Kashmir for any discerning reader and in giving a glimpse of the unfolding tragedy in the future, unless the nation takes lessons from the past and acts in the present.

T. N. Chaturvedi
Currently Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha
Mandakini Enclave,
New Delhi.

Kashmir: Past and Present



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