What has the response from Kashmir been to your book?
The response from Kashmir has been on predictable lines. Since 1990, there has been an orchestrated effort to wash off their hands from the ethnic cleansing of the Pandits in which many among the Muslim majority took part.
The Kashmiris from the majority community have written so many scathing reviews of my book. But not one of them has challenged the core of my book - that in 1989-90, 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits were rendered homeless and hundreds of them killed, raped, and maimed on the streets and inside their homes.
The truth, you see, is like the sun. It blinds you when you look at it. You should have the moral courage to look at it. Those who deny us our truth lack the moral courageHow do you perceive the ground situation in Kashmir today? What are your feelings about the calls for ‘Azadi’, which are still on? Do you think demanding Independence is just a front for joining Pakistan?
If Kashmir was to be declared Independent today, it would not be able to survive its independent status even for 24 hours! It would be gulped in no time by countries surrounding it.
Moreover there is no vision in the slogan of ‘Azadi’ or independence of Kashmir. Did Kashmiris ever have a dialogue as to what Independence for Kashmir would encompass? For instance, would independence also mean the freedom and consolidation of areas occupied by China and Pakistan?
Even in PoK there is no ‘Azadi’ or independence visible. In many ways the calls for independence are a front for joining Pakistan, in my view. The calls are made to break the shackles of being ruled.Image: A 1998 file picture shows bodies of Kashmiri Hindus killed by unidentified gunmen in Wanhama village of Ganderbal town on the night of January 26. 23 Hindus, including nine women and four children, fell victim to indiscriminate firing of three killers.Picture copyright: AFP. Any unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.Also see: 30 great opening lines from books