Kashmir: Past and Present
Unravelling the Mystique
centuries Kashmir has been a fascinating subject for authors and analysts.
Volumes have been written about its multi-taceted aspects. But since the
division of the Indian subcontinent and emergence of independent states
of India and Pakistan, the predominent theme of such books has been political.
But since the closing months of 1989, the Islamic
fundamentalism struck the Valley of Kashmir, Firdaus (paradise on earth),
with fanatic ferocity. The cult of the gun overwhelmed the ideals of human
brotherhood preached for centuries by the Valley's Rishis, Soofis, saints
and savants. And this paradise has became a hell.
True to their cult, the fanatic terrorists misnamed
militants struck against the temples of learning schools, colleges, cultural
cum media institutions, as well as development projects and state buildings
etc. Special target of the fundamentalists' lunatic fury was the peace-loving
and talented minority community, popularly known as the Kashmiri Pandits.
About three lakh members of this community had to run for their lives,
leaving behind everything. At present they are living and suffering the
indignities as refugees in their own motherland.
This extremely aweful and shocking experience
has given birth to a different kind of authors and analysts. Their books,
some of them already published, is the result of their firsthand experience,
as well as their revised opinions and rethinking on many vital subjects
that deeply concern and influence our contemporary life. This book by Prof.
Mohan Lal Koul, Kashmir: Past and Present-Unravelling the Mystique,
is one such book.
One may or may not agree with the assessment and
conclusion that the author has arrived at, but these words of a renowned
scholar-administrator, Shri T.N. Chaturvedi (M.P.) from his well-argued
Foreword will certainly compel the reader to ponder over the issues that
very much concern us. He writes: "It is a scholary and documented work....
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 author's alma mater
D.A.V. High School, Rainawari, Srinagar, Kashmir
which was pillaged and torched by
the Muslim Fundamentalists of Kashmir.