• Summary
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The advent of Islam in medieval Kashmir gave birth to a narrative that describes forcible mass conversion of Hindus, eviction of local people and wanton demolition of religious symbols. A minority of Kashmiri Brahmans and their progeny who did not convert to Islam built and successfully perpetuated this narrative over the centuries. Following the eruption of armed insurgency in Kashmir and mass migration of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990, this community narrative has turned into the Indian mainstream view on Kashmiri Pandits.


Months before the first signs of militancy started showing, Kashmiri Pandits were already talking of mass migration from the Valley as a recourse to ‘dwindling employment opportunities’ for the community in Kashmir. Through the word of mouth as well, an impression was created in major cities of India that the Pandits in Kashmir were harassed, their temples desecrated and women molested. During the summer of 1988, H. N. Jattu, President of the All India Kashmiri Pandit Conference, spoke about the ‘silent exodus’ of Kashmiri Pandits, as members of the community were finding it hard to get government jobs. When he warned that if the situation was not changed for the better, the rest of the Kashmiri Pandits would also be forced to leave ...

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