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  Diary of a Kashmiri Pundit – Book Review  


By: Damodar Kulkarni
September 03, 2005
iews expressed here are author’s own and not of this website. Full disclaimer is at the bottom.


Almost everybody knows about this book – Diary of Anne Frank, which has exposed the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany and the gruesome acts of Nazis and their hate spreading ideology. Well, for those few who don’t know and as a quick refresher, I would like to give a brief introduction of that world famous diary. “Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl who lived and died during the Holocaust. The Frank family hid from the Nazis for two long years in a Secret Annex at the back of a warehouse. During that time, Anne kept a diary in which she not only wrote about the horrors of war and about the Jewish plight. Fifty years after Anne's father published The Diary of Anne Frank, it has become the world's best-known memoir of the Jewish Holocaust.”

Is there any book exposing the plight of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir? Yes! And the name of the book is, 'Under the shadow of militancy - diary of an unknown Kashmiri' by Tej N. Dhar, published by Rupa Publications, Delhi. (Dear Diary...horrific notes from Kashmir Valley)

The author says that the book is based on the diary of some unknown Kashmiri Pundit. The book has presented this diary to us in more readable form. There are various parallels between this diary and the diary of Anne Frank. I would like to point them out now. 

What makes this book different than the other similar books?

Few points are behind the distinguishing features: The book presents first hand information about the facts that the Hindu Pundits had to and still have to suffer. The Hindu Pundit, the original author of the diary just jots down the gruesome events in chillingly simple artless words. The author has tried to give justice to the emotions of the original Pundit by not acting much politically correctly – he has been successful in producing what we can call a kind of unabridged edition of the diary with some commentary. The political incorrectness and the nakedness of the gruesome acts that appear in the book are the salient features that we have to appreciate. In short, this is not a book by some Human Rights Expert depicting the politically correct bird’s eye view while sipping beer in his/her air conditioned room. 

Another factor that has been unique is that the author is not the so called ‘pro-Hindu, shunned by the secularists kind of’ person. This bears some vital implications. Most important implication is that the secularists cannot just easily trash away the book saying ‘the book is far from truth and tries to stir the communal harmony’. This is the way they trash away almost all other books that try to depict the Hindu plight under Islamic onslaught. For example, the books by Sitaram Goel have been literally trashed away by the seculars in similar ways. 

What is our duty as a nationalist Individual?

If we, the Hindus, cannot and do not appreciate the historical and political importance of this book, then we must not cry that other people, like the ones from the west do not pay any heed to our plight.  Already we have lost and wasted too much from the history; let not the present go down the drain. This book is a good place to have first hand information on how Islamic terrorism spreads and wreaks havoc on people of other faiths. I was shocked when I found that even the eminent RSS member in my area with whom I talked about this book, didn’t know anything about the book. I then presented him with one copy. He admitted that ‘something’ must be done. I don’t know what he meant by ‘something’, but I know that first we have to read it AND second, make others, our family members, our relatives, our friends, read it. Let’s not cry and spew out lame excuses like ‘we lack strong media’. Everybody knows what that means – unwillingness. The lack of media must not stop us at least from reading such books AND I know it cannot. With whatever resources we have at our disposal, we can do it AND we have to do it. I appreciate sites like for providing a much needed platform to express politically incorrect views. In short, we must stop acting like the famous village idiot. 

As a last note, I would like to point out this blood-chilling fact: Although the sufferings of Anne Frank were equally reprehensible, in case of diary of Anne Frank, the world could know at least the name of its original author; BUT in case of 'this shadow of militancy', the world will never know the name also of the original author. We, the Hindus, must invest some time and few bucks to at least read what that unfortunate Hindu fellow had to experience. 

I personally feel indebted to Mr.Tej N Dhar, who showed the courage to shed some light on ‘that’ diary AND who is honest enough not to edit the diary to make it politically correct. Let this diary be the guide to the much long awaited Hindu Holocaust Museum. That’s why I recommend this book strongly.

Damodar Kulkarni

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