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This book discusses all the questions related to Kashmiri Pandits and their relation and current issues regarding their return to Kashmir. The book explores the importance of return of Kashmiri Pandits for Kashmir and both major Kashmiri communities, especially those who really want to return home, out of their own volition and for all right reasons.
The book shows how to bring about a reasonable and realistic degree of practical and sustainable reconciliation between the two communities, whilst trying to make them stand in each other’s shoes, understand each other’s perspective and pain and then self-introspect sincerely, so that a bridge of mutual trust and acceptance is rebuilt between the two communities, which can then allow those Pandits who genuinely want to return cross over and be home.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
This chapter introduces the book to the reader. It provides the background information related to the exodus of the Pandits of Kashmir and talks about why, how and when most of the members of the Kashmiri Pandit community—the indigenous people of Kashmir—suddenly left their home in the valley of Kashmir. It also provides an overview of the general mindset of most members of the two Kashmiri communities—the Pandits and the Muslims, including the author’s current thoughts about the subject matter. It speaks about how the Pandit community became a victim of geo-politics in the region and the wider world. Was it a conspiracy? Was it a case of genocide? Was it a collateral damage to the Pandit community due to power tussle?
Bill K. Koul

Chapter 2. About Kashmiri Pandits

Abstract
This chapter provides important details about Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandits, including (a) etymology and geology of the Kashmir valley; and (b) genealogy, culture, secularism and global adaptability of Kashmir Pandits. It also discusses why Kashmiri Pandits are called by their nicknames—Dal-e-Bhatta (Bhatta as a dal (pulses)) or Dal-e-Gadva, (pot of dal)—and how their nicknames depict their general behaviour—a peaceful disposition, resilience, flexibility and tenacity, non-confrontational, which should be considered as their strength, and not as weakness. This chapter highlights uniqueness of the cultural and religio-spiritual aspects of Kashmir Pandits, which potentially faces extinction if they continue to live outside their nursery—their homeland of Kashmir—and don’t return home. The Pandits of Kashmir are an endangered community.
Bill K. Koul

Chapter 3. Political Orphans?

Abstract
This chapter aims to dispel the lies spread irresponsibly—by some mischievous individuals in Kashmir and elsewhere in India—that Kashmiri Pandits were (a) cowards who ran away without giving up a fight; and (b) bad people who deserved to be uprooted. The chapter highlights the sufferings of the community in the last three decades and why they did not attract any meaningful attention from the government of India in so far as the facilitation of their return is concerned, which could only happen by improving the political and security conditions in the valley. The chapter claims that, in political terms, the community does not matter because of their low numbers and an insignificant impact on the vote bank.
Bill K. Koul

Chapter 4. Issues in Pandit Community

Abstract
The chapter raises a number of clear and present challenges the community faces regarding their cultural identity. It discusses how the community may not be helping itself to save its cultural identity—by a lack of political vision, general indifference towards Kashmir, jingoistic volatility, dwindling family and community size, loss of family and social support system, and cultural metamorphoses by consciously or unconsciously changing their language, food and spirituality, in an attempt to assimilate with local cultures in the parts of India where they live. Many Pandits may have accepted the rest of India as their home and given up on Kashmir. Their younger generations, with no or little memories of Kashmir, have shown a general preference to marry within other ethnic communities of India.
Bill K. Koul

Chapter 5. Main Challenges for Kashmir

Abstract
This chapter talks about the main challenges faced by Kashmir—social, political and environmental. Given the history of the region and a strategic location of Kashmir, it argues why it is prudent that India and Pakistan must fight together terrorism and other common issues—social, liveability and environmental, education and poverty, climate change and so on. The chapter also argues why the Kashmir issue, if any, does not need any mediation by any external third party and can be resolved amicably only through dialogue between all stakeholders. The chapter discusses how, historically, Kashmir has been the politically significant part of a pampered State and if the issue will ever go away and, therefore, why India needs a vision to deal with this and other issues in India.
Bill K. Koul

Chapter 6. The Way Forward?

Abstract
The chapter highlights the importance of revisiting the history of Kashmir—pre- and post-1947—to understand the root of the Kashmir issue. It highlights the importance of reviving the literature, art and craft of Kashmir to preserve its unique cultural identity and to reconnect Kashmiris—Pandits and Muslims—with their roots. It raises the importance of the next five years for the return of Pandits to Kashmir for the survival of their cultural identity, restitching the traditional Kashmiri fabric and the completeness of Kashmir. It includes an assessment of the number of Kashmiri Pandits who may possibly return home provided the conditions in Kashmir are conducive for their peaceful coherence with their Muslim brethren. It spells the respective roles of both communities for stability.
Bill K. Koul

Backmatter

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