Once we had Everything: Literature in Exile
Edited by Arvind Gigoo, Siddhartha Gigoo and Adarsh Ajit
  • ISBN : 9789386473455
  • year : 2019
  • language : English
  • binding : Softcover
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Imagine being evicted from your home and being forced to live in a cramped tent with no electricity, no water, no possessions, no safety, and no security. Imagine being forced to live there not for a day or a month or year but an entire decade! This happened in modern India. In 1990, when half a million Kashmiri Pandits were expelled from Kashmir under militants’ threat to their lives, they had nowhere to go, and were forced to take refuge in tents and one-room tenements in camps in Jammu and elsewhere. Struggling to survive, the displaced people battled alienation, deprivation and fear. Yet, for years, they nurtured hope—of returning to their homeland, of keeping the civilizational ties to a 5000-year-old history alive. Seeing no progress on their return to and rehabilitation in Kashmir, that hope is dwindling now. The writers of the stories in this book have lived with the horror of having been banished from their homes with no place to call their own. They are still living with the harsh reality of not being able to go back to Kashmir even after spending twenty-eight years in exile. They are living with the pain of seeing their homes and places of worship ravaged. They ask: Who are we? Where have we come from? What is going to happen to us? This book has the answers. Kashmir is, and will always remain incomplete without its original inhabitants—the Pandits.