Monday, 10 August 2015

Book Review: Our Moon Has Blood Clots


‘I was 14 when we were forced to leave our home in Srinagar along with my family. For me, exile is permanent. Homelessness is permanent. I am uprooted in my mind. There is nothing I can do about it. My idea of home is too perfect. My idea of love is too perfect. Home and love are intertwined. I am like my grandfather, who never left his village his whole life. It was deepl embedded in his matrix: too perfect to be replicated elsewhere,’ said an emotional Rahul Pandita at the book launch of his book, ‘Our Moon Has Blood Clots’ in February 2013.

The heartbreaking story of Kashmir has so far been told through the prism of the brutality by the Indian state and the pro-independence demands of separatists. ‘Our Moon Has Blood Clots’ is a document about the unspoken chapter in the story of Kashmir which rarely receives any attention. The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits: the Hindu minority in a Muslim-majority Kashmir which was purged in a violent ethnic cleansing backed by Islamist militants. Consequently, 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forced to live in exile as refugees in many parts across India.


‘Our Moon Has Blood Clots’ is a heart wrenching tale about how heinous atrocities took place in a state and yet the government failed to soothe frayed tempers. The exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, sadly, remains one of the most disturbing chapters in India’s history. As Milan Kundera once wrote, “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” Yet, we see the indifference of our society which has been highlighted significantly in the book as the suffering of Kashmiri Pandits have been ignored. Theirs, unfortunately, is a story which has not received media coverage, no support from NGO cheerleaders, total ignorance from society at large and near neglect from successive central and state governments.


In a deeply personal account against forgetting, Rahul Pandita recounts how ‘home’ for him is no longer a reality. Having lost his brother during the violence, his book is revisiting history through the eyes of a local who has seen it all. The powerful tone of the book throws a sharp new light on to one of the most tragic conflicts in modern India. With every paragraph of this deeply compelling memoir ringing true, this book is a must read for anyone who is willing to explore truth in their own way. 

P.S.: This post was written as part of the Reading India Challenge hosted by #TSBC. To know more about the challenge, you may read about it here:

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