Mohan Lal Koul

PART II

Chapter 11

LOOT AND BURNING OF BOOKS

Kashmir as a nursery of learning and religion has to its credit multi-dimensional and multi-faceted contributions to the mainstream culture and civilisation of India. There is no segment of human learning and abstract thought which intellectuals and thinkers of Kashmir have not nourished and enriched with loftiness of their thought and sublimity of their expression. The prolific faculties that they were endowed with have found remarkable expression in the annals of philosophy, aesthetics, poetics, sculpture and architecture and more than most in mathematics, astronomy and astrology. Kashmir as is universally recognised vitas a pivotal centre of Sanskrit learning and erudition and as such had been a locus of attraction for a galaxy of scholars and savants with urges to satiate their thirst for knowledge and up-date their learning levels and scales. Kalhan, Jonraj, Srivar, Abhinavgupta, Somanand, Utpaldev, Somdev, Kshemendra et al transformed Kashmir into an intellectual centre of tremendous reputation through their scholarly attainments and this was how on the basis of trendsetting contributions to the total canvas of learning and scholarship Kashmir earned the honoured appellation of "Sharda Peeth", a hallowed centre of learning.

Islam tumbling like an avalanche upon Kashmir was ruthless in the destruction of "Sharda Peeth", its heritage, value-structure and usages. The Muslim anxiety religious in nature to destruct and root out the past of Kashmir (and as is well - known past lies buried in books) generated an unabated fury to tear, mutilate and burn the treasure-trove of books that reflected like a mirror the 5000-year old cultural and civilisational history from the seminal promptings to the stages of full flowering. As the ruling cliques of Muslims sharing their ethos of intolerance, strife and disorder with their co-religionists inhabiting various regions and belts of territory were in pursuit of the malignant objective of genocide of Kashmiri Pandits, it would have remained an unfinished task of a set agenda had they not burnt their books on a stunning scale. As is amply testified by historical evidences the Buddhist, Shaivite and Vaishnavite places of worship littering over the land of Kashmir were not only cultural and religious symbols but receptacles of learning and centres of golden light of enlightenment dispelling mental obscurities and intellectual cobwebs through rare books and tomes orchestrating an ethos that surmounted the crude and un-seemly antagonism and strife generated in the name of religion. The destruction of books and libraries involved the same parameters of religious zeal and fanaticism with which destructive proselytisation was pursued and realised.

The genocide of Kashmiri Pandits owing its perception and motivation to the Sayyids was translated into actual praxis by Sikander, the book burner, who executed interalia the deliberate plan of destruction and decimation of Hindu knowledge and learning with the objective of promoting the Islamic brand of theology and learning with alien origins. As a psychopath with theo-fascist traits and proclivities he added new chapters to the Muslim history that is replete with instances of burning of books and libraries. The books as cultural objects dilating on Hindu learning, philosophy and theology were savagely fed to the kitchen fires and bath-room boilers of Sayyids who have been acclaimed as the harbingers of Islamic faith in Kashmir. The libraries which were set on fire with impunity went on burning and smouldering for months on end. Not only did the psycopath impose punitive levies and cesses on the Pandits but also destructed their faith and its reflections and explanations in books with the vicious objective of causing a hiatus in the history of culture and civilisation that the Pandits of Kashmir had actively shaped and were a heir to.

Records Srivar, "Sikander under the inspiration of yavanas (Muslims) burnt books, (saklan pustakan) the same way as fire burns hay."

Being an erudite scholar of Sanskrit Srivar has deliberately taken to the plank of wrong grammar to focus, stress and disseminate Sikander's heinous crime of destructing books on an unimaginable scale.

Again he records, "All the scintillating works faced destruction in the same manner that lotus flowers face with the onset of frosty winter."

As an inveterate enemy of human knowlege and learning Sikander replicated the Muslim history of burning libraries that were bedecked with precious books on all segments of human learning and creative impulses. The Kashmiri Pandits vexed and mortified at whole-sale despoliation of their precious heritage and cultural objects fled with a portion of their book-treasure to the mountainous regions and inaccessible forest areas where they could be safe and secure from the Muslim philistines. Some Pandits extra-keen to save their tomes and manuscripts from the Muslim destructionists crossed the mountain ramparts girting the valley to the plains of India.

Writes Srivar, "The erudites of that period witnessing the en masse destruction of books by Muslims fled their land with some books through mountain routes."

Sikander harnessed state machinery to get the houses of Pandits ransacked and looted and the choicest books thus got were consigned to the flowing currents of rivers, oozing waters of lakes and wells and hurled into deep ditches and ravines.

Records Walter Lawrence, " All books of Hindu Learning which he (Sikander) could find were sunk in the legal lake and after some time Sikander flattered himself that he had extirpated Hinduism from the valley."

A Muslim historian Hassan also writes, " All the Hindu books of learning were collected and thrown into Dal Lake and were buried beneath stones and earth."

On the total destruction of treasure-trove of books in the times of Muslim vandals led by Sikander, Jia Lal Kilam records, "Even in their miserable plight they (Pandits) did not forget their rich treasures which linked them with their past. They felt that they were custodians of their past cultural heritage-the illuminating treatises on the stupendous Shaiva philosophy and other great works on literature, art, music, grammar, and medicine-works which have excited the wonder of an admiring world and wherever they went they carried these treasures with themselves. Judging from the depth of thought displayed in these works that have been preserved, their high literary merit, their insight into the depth of nature, their poetical flights, their emotional Devour coupled with an incisive logical treatment of the subjects dealt with in them, one can easily imagine the colossal loss the world has been subjected to by the acts of vandalism which resulted in the destruction of hundreds of works which contained the labours of more than two thousand years."

The destruction of books as leitmotifs of Hindu worldview, Hindu philosophical probes into supra-sensible realms, Hindu historiography, Hindu aesthetics did not diminish in its fury even in the comparatively peaceful times of Zain-ul-Abidin popularly known as Budshah. It is surprising that before his conversion to Shriya Bhat he is said to have constructed a cause-way from Naidkhai to Sopore with the temple stones and pillars along with invaluable stock of books that were looted from the temples, libraries and Pandit houses. He is the same king that rehabilitated the Pandits after their first forcible and massive exodus from their natural homes to unknown destinations.

The prolific and high calibre Kashmiri pandit scholars and intellectuals having scaled heights in creative drinking based on an all-embracing outlook and psychical diversity w ere reviled, humiliated and tortured to death. Bhuvaneshwar who had tremendous reputation all over the country for his amazing levels of scholarship in Vedic lore and learning was harassed and put to an orgy of plunder and loot (lotri-dand). Ultimately under motivations of infinite bigotry he was butchered in a merciless Muslim manner. His severed head smeared with tilak as a caste-mark was hurled away on a road-side with a view to instilling fear and trepidation among the intellectuals who had not renounced their religion and continued contributing to the indigenous expressions of learning and scholarship. All the Brahmans who were learned and had mastery over theology were exterminated. The fanatical intolerance and inveterate hatred that was exhibited against Hindu lore and learning and especially scholars irrigating them led to the demise of an ethos that had fostered plenitude and plenteousness of scholarship and learning.

Nona Dev, Jaya and Bhima Brahman with their depth of knowledge and breadth of vision were forced to commit suicide by leaping into the rivers. The Kashmiri Pandit scholars who were highly venerated for their varied contributions to learning and aesthetics were subjected to the mutilation of body-parts and gruesome killings. Nirmal Kanth who had mobilised resistance against Muslim holocaust was physically eliminated not for encouraging apostasy but for his attainments in the annals of learning and scholarship. Men of letters were put to a whole-sale massacre and the books which they had authored were looted, torn and burnt.

Records Shuka, "Khwaja Mir Mohammad on the other hand induced Kak Chakra (Kaji Chak) who was alarmed at the work of Nirmal Kanth and others to give him permission to act against them, and actuated by malice caused them to be killed."

Sukha again laments, "O Brah,nans, where in this Kali Yug are your Brahmanical spirit and practice? It was for want of these that the sorrowful and the affrighted Nirmal Kanth and others were killed. The oppression of the Mausalas (Muslims) which began in the times of Saidas (Sayyids) was perfected by Kaka Chakra (Kaji Chak)."

To push out Sanskrit from the Muslim courts and relegate it into an oblivion Persian was introduced and patronised by Muslims strutting the corridors of power. It was a big conspiracy to wean the Pandits away from Sanskrit language which had been the fountain-head of their lore and learning and was spoken even by women. The position of Kashmir in the domain of Sanskrit was so preeminent that it came to be regarded not only as the abode of Goddess of Learning, Shardapeeth, but also as the Sarvajnapith (abode of all forms of learning). Without being prolific on the significance of Sanskrit it can be said that Sanskrit is even now the foundation of the Kashmiri cultural heritage. Banishment of Sanskrit and its replacement by an alien language was an onslaught on the essence of Kashmiri identity. What would accrue from the language policy of the Muslim rulers was to deprive the Pandits of their sustenance by keeping them away from the administrative apparatus. But, to the shock and dismay of the fanatics, Kashmiri Pandits with an ardour for learning and scholarship took to the learning of Persian and made amazing and breath-taking contributions to the realms of Persian poesy and prose. But, Hazar Khan, the Pathan surrogate, did not take it lying down and issued orders banning the learning of Persian by the Pandits. If a Pandit flouted the flat, he as always was straightaway to be butchered.

Comments Jia Lal Kilam, "The Pandits were strictly forbidden to read Persian and the penalty for the infringement was certain death. The degrading and unwholesome consequences of this order can well be understood when we bear in mind that the Persian was then the court language and the affairs of the state were conducted in this language. It is a known fact that the Kashmiri Pandits' mastery over the Persian language was second only to the Persians. The result was that they secured an entrance into the administration of the country. But Mir Hazar wanted them to be ousted for all time from the administrative machinery and this he could achieve with ease if no Persian knowing Pandit was available."

The fundamentalist forces in Kashmir that were in the processes of spreading their tentacles opened their agenda with the declaration of war on books that were not of Islamic brand and hue. Darwin was the first target as his Theory of Evolution does not conform to the Islamic tenets. The Jammaat-i-Islami as the rabid fundamentalist organisation launched a campaign to ransack libraries in the educational institutions and flared ban on books which did not correspond to their fake knowledge about man, world and God. The Kashmir university funded by the University Grants Commission and headed by the Governor of the state was denuded of two thousand books including the works of Milton, G.B. Shaw, Shakespeare, H.G. Wells and tomes on Hindu Philosphy in a Nazi style. The book-shop vending works of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Morris Cornforth, Winwood Read et al was looted in broad daylight at Batamaloo, Srinagar. The library of the Information Centre run by Government of India was looted by the progeny of Halaku Khan and set on fire. The book titled as "Pachan" authored by a Kashmiri literattuer was torn and burnt on the streets of Baramulla and the author was imprisoned for no fault of his for months on end. A Muslim progressive accused of heresy for having books of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao et al was harassed by instituting cases against him and with the onset of Muslim terrorism he was cruelly squirted with bullets and killed.

As is well-known the Muslim insurgency backed up by the militarised Islamic forces opened its ruinous agenda in 1988 and touched a crescendo in 1989. The Muslim marauders could not but suppress their innate urge and proclivity to loot, plunder and arson the properties and estates left behind by the fleeing Pandits. They desecrated and destructed their temples, harvested their crops and annexed their lands and to cap it all looted and burnt their books as repositories of learning and knowledge. Targetting each Kashmiri Pandit house for loot and ravage as per the delineated plans the ruthless marauders acting in the name of Islam destroyed paintings in oils or in water colours and sketches of inestimable value and images of gods and goddesses and human figures sculpted out of bronze and other materials to quench their savage thirst for the annihilation of their religious foes. The Muslim destructionists chasing the grand plan of ethnic cleansing have been following to a dot the objective of uprooting and destructing the indigenous patterns of culture which are embedded and enshrined in books in the native language. Books in the words of Jean Paul Sartre are "Culture objects" replete with value-based conceptualizations about the inter-action that humanity in general had between itself and the surrounding milieu. Books are a sure key to self-discovery and also provide a safe corridor to the past. Books establish the continuity and coherence of a civilization. As the Muslim revanchists in their designs are out to destroy the community of Pandits, numerically a minority, they are destroying their books to give a hiatus to their 5000-year old cultural and civilisational process and also break their un-interrupted tryst with the goddess of learning. There is much of pith in the statement "If you want to destroy a community, burn its books."

Man can beget sons but he cannot beget books. As a commonsense stuff it can be understood that a man impelled by his natural instincts and drives can procreate but he is absolutely incapable of procreating a book symbolising his culture as an accumulated store-house of values, traditions, customs and mental patterns. A book invests a man with self-articulation. It gives him a definition and invests him with a high sense of pride. The Muslim marauders with five hundred years of history in Kashmir have been chasing Islamisation with a view to rendering the Kashmiri Pandits as "Cultural destitutes" by destroying their "Cultural autonomy" which they presume is the prelude to their deculturation, assimilation and final decimation without any resistance. With the motive of destroying Sanskrit learning and its vestiges in Kashmir the invaluable treasure of Sanskrit manuscripts in Sharda script that was preserved in the Research Library, Srinagar was shifted to the Department of Central Asian Studies where it is said to have been dumped in gunny bags left to the care of hostile moths. The manuscripts are a veritable treasuretrove dilating on mind-body disciplines, recondite philosophical doctrines, arcane fortune telling systems, integrated theoretical systems from aesthetics to rhetoric and complexities of language nuances.

The books looted from Pandit clusters prior to their total decimation have been contemptuously torn, mutilated and scattered over the interiors of the houses. There are marauders who have collected numerous books on varied subjects, and have been selling them by weight. There is a special class of Muslim marauders who have dumped a huge stock of invaluable books in their residential quarters and have been selling them to retailers who in turn tear them page by page and convert them into cones and other geometrical shapes to vend off their retail items like tea, sugar, salt, spices et al. There are Muslim fanatics of the Jammaat-i-Islami breed who make a pile of the looted books in the isolated corner of a lane and set it afire chanting "death to Pandit Kaisers." A few more cunning among them harness the services of Kashmiri Pandit hostages staffing back in the valley and despatch them to Jammu and other metropolises to mobilise the sale of old manuscripts in Shardascript at a lucrative price. The horoscopes looted from Kashmiri Pandit houses are also a saleable item with the looters.

An officer in the state government, a literattucr by all standards, at the time of "office move" from Jammu to Srinagar way back in 1992, was shocked and dismayed to learn about the sale of the looted books at a particular shop in a down-town locality. Camouflaging his real identity he made a foray into the Muslim den and succeeded in locating the shop. While accosting to the Muslim shopkeeper putting on a well-cut beard he was plainly informed that he had been selling books looted from the houses of Pandit Kafirs who had fled the land thus rendering a damage to the on-going movement. On enquiry he was told that he himself had been looting books from the Pandit houses and then he had contacts who have been pursuing it as a profession at the behest of respectable Muslims. "Who are the persons at whose behest they pursue it as a profession?" asked the officer. "That I cannot tell", was the reply. Ultimately the officer was led into the interior of the shop where he purchased 5 kgs of books for fifty rupees. When back home he was surprised and vexed to find that the books he had purchased included Stein's Rajtarangini and two volumes of Nilmat Puran. On perusal he discovered that all the books he had fetched home bore the signatures of the Pandits who had purchased them with the moneys that they had earned with the sweat of their brow. For the officer it was a shock, but for the Muslim looter it vas a religious act as he was vending off booty legitimised by the Textual injunctions.

Amritsar as sources say has emerged very lately as the active disposal market of loot from the Kashmiri Pandit houses. Old hand-written manuscripts in Sharda studded with miniature paintings on their margins and books on varied segments of human learning are said to be openly being marketed. One such looted manuscript has been acquired by an Institute pursuing research in the culture of Kashmir at Delhi. Gangs of cloth and textile peddlers mostly from the Punjab and Delhi have been thronging the city of Srinagar and have been operating as conduits for the disposal of knowledge and culture looted from the Kashmiri Pandits houses.

There is a definite and pin-pointed information about some Muslims who have piled up incredible stocks of looted books and manuscripts and other antiques in their houses and have been desperately searching for touts throughout the country to dispose of their booty for hefty sums. Some such touts have already made their presence felt in Jammu. People interested in the history of Kashmir are fully aware of the fact that a cause-way in the Anchar Lake was built with the books of Hindu lore and learning, but they will have to up-date their knowledge by the Muslim act of setting up a business in the area of looted books and manuscripts.

The Muslim insurgents with religious motivations have ethnically cleansed Kashmir of its original natives and there is a consistent drive to destroy their cultural and religious heritage thereby robbing them of the characteristics of a religious minority with a deep-seated consciousness of its distinctive identity. Books as a vehicle and source of heritage have been under the Muslim onslaught and this is what prompted the author to probe the grievous losses by way of books that the Kashmiri Pandits have suffered. Ten prominent Kashmiri Pandit artists, twenty professors, thirty-five teachers, ten political workers of long standing and eighteen farmers were contacted and their book losses recorded. Some cases are highlighted to focus on the cultural genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits in their native lanc1 which political myopics still consider a tranquil secular oasis.

P.N. Kachru an Artist

P. N. Kachru is a graduate from the Punjab University. He kept terms in Post-graduation in English Literature, 1945-46, in the same university. He earned a Diploma in Fine Arts (Painting) in 1944. He has been the founder member of the National Cultural Front established in November, 1947 to combat the tribal storm-troopers who invaded Kashmir in October, 1947. He has also been the founder member of Progressive Artists Association, The National Cultural Congress, J&K State Cultural Congress, the J&K Artists Association and the visionaries. He has held numerous exhibitions of his paintings at various art centres in Delhi, Bombay, Lucknow and Srinagar. He has also participated in numerous national exhibitions held by Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi, Hyderabad Art Society, Academy of Fine Arts, Calcutta, Bombay Art Sociery et al.

He shot up in the art scenario of the country when he earned a number of awards from Hyderabad Art Societal and Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, J&K State. In 1988 he was invested with "the Veteran Artists" Award by AIFACS, New Delhi.

Kachru had no fewer than four thousand books which have been looted by the Islamic looters. In fact, his house was the first to be looted when the loot, plunder find arson of Pandit houses gained the fury of a campaign. The looters were gage with the enormous booty that they got from the house. His writings and his treasure of paintings as his life-time achievements have also been looted. The losses are inestimable not only to the person of Kachru but to the entire cultural history of India.

The books he had and stand looted are as under:

a) A rare collection of Agama Tantras of Kashmir

b) Books on Kashmir Philosophy of Shaivism

          c) Books on Kashmir History (Kalhan to modern)

          d) General History including Toyenbee

          e) Books (rare) on Kashmir Buddhism

          f) Books on the Indian and European Philosophies

          g) Valuable fabulous volume (illustrated) publication of Time -

          Life series on: Mathematics, space-time, Astronomy, Space Research and Discovery

          h) Encyclopacdia of World Art (running in volumes)

i) Fabulous books on art movements like Gandhara, Mathura, Gupta, Byzantine, Renaissance, Impressionist and Post - Impressionist Art.

i) Volumes by and on Sartre, Heideggaar, Kierkegaard and Neitschzhe

          k) Volumes on English Literature
l) numerous collected research documents and Indian medieval Paintings.
Trilok Koul, an artist

Trilok Koul is a graduate from the Punjab University. He Kept terms in Post-graduation in Mathematics, 1944-45, in the same university. His artistic impulses led him to Baroda for the systematic training as an artist and he stayed there for nearly five years and earned a degree in Fine Arts. He has been the founder member of the Progressive Artists Association and Kashmir Artists Association and numerous other organizations which he has not been able to name as all his relevant records and documents which he had with him when back at home but now have been looted by the Islamic looters. Along with Santosh and Kachru he has been the life-breath of the art movement in Kashmir about which Herman Goetz remarked, "It seems to be bridging the gulf of 600 artless years of Kashmir". he has also been a founder of the Baroda Art Group alongwith the well-reputed artists like Bendre, Shanti Dave, Jyot Bhat and Ghulam Rasool Santosh. When asked about the losses he has suffered by way of loss of his books and paintings, he made a telling reply, "As if I was not born at all. As if I have done nothing in my life. I have not lived and struggled. I was not educated at all and I never painted. I have no family and no background." He felt very much vexed about the loss of his painting "How Green was my Valley" signifying a land-mark in his career as an artist.

Trilok Koul is a name in Indian painting and has held numerous exhibitions at Delhi, Bombay, Hyderabad, Calcutta et al. He is known for his commitment to art. He has earned multiple awards establishing his distinction as an artist from the Bombay Art Society, All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society, Academy of Arts Amritsar and numerous First Prizes from the Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, J&K State, et al. Very lately he has been honoured with "Sharda Saman" instituted by the Panun Kashmir Organisation.

Paintings lost or looted

a) All art works of personal collection numbering one hundred and fifty (mostly oil paintings on canvas)
          b) Paintings three in number purchased from Jatin Das

          c) Pen-portrait of Koul drawn by Jatin Oas

d) A portrait of Koul's sister delineated bv S.H.Raza in 1948

e ) Paintings gifted to him by Kachru, Santosh, S.N. Bhat (Late), Kishori Koul.

          f) A painting gifted to him by Solegoankar.
g) A painting purchased from S.N.Bhat when he was at the peak of his creativity.
Koul had thousands of books on varied subjects. The principal authors who were on his shelves were: -
1. A. Huxley 2. Voltaire 3. Aristotle 4. Cllellani 5. Homer 6. Shakespeare 7. Plato 8. Bacon 9. Neitschtze 10. Boswell 11. Darwin 12. Franz Kafka 13. Books on Picasso 14. The Book of Art (Vol.9 is saved from the cruel marauderes) 15. K.C.Pandoy, an expert on Indian aesthetics 16. Bharat as the author of Natyasastra.
Dr. Kashi Nath Pandita, a Scholar

Dr. Kashi Nath Pandita is a known scholar of Perisan. He retired as the Director of Central Asian Studies, University of Kashmir. He has authored a number of books. During debasing exile he has highlighted the human rights violations of Kashmiri Pandits at various national and international fore. In this connection he has toured nearly fifty countries crusading for the restoration of home-land to the Pandits that the Muslim fundamentalists have robbed them of. The losses that he has suffered by way of books are described by him as under:

"As a scholar and lover of Persian Literature I considered myself very fortunate to have got an opportunity at an early stage of my career to study at the highest Institute in Iran, the University of Tehran (1959-62). During my four years stay I saved each penny to purchase valuable books. On my return (I came by a ship) I carried back 5 big wooden containers filled with books.

These were all printed works of immense value-classics. In all these numbered 2500 big and small works.

Prior to that and after that I went on adding to my fund till my exile in 1989-90. I had collected nearly 120 manuscripts in Persian including about 60 manuscripts I had inherited from my ancestors. These included rare specimens of Persian calligraphy like illustrated Shahnama, Diwan of Hafiz, illustrated Rubai's of Khayyam. I had obtained other rare printed books like Persian-French Dictionary in 5 volumes, literary history of Persia in 4 volumes, Persian Dictionary in 4 volumes and a large number of works on Iranian history and civilisation. In particular the fund contained books on Zoroastrianism, Avest and Pahalvi which were my special study in the domain of linguistics.

My father had also nearly 300 books on history, Geography and general knowledge which had come to me as a bequest.

Then there were volumes of class lecture notes of immense value.

All this fund has been taken away and perhaps destroyed as the entire house has been destroyed and turned into a public latrine in my absence on exile."

Dr. Vishva Nath Drabu

Dr. Vishva Nath Drabu graduated from the Punjab University and took his masters Degree in History from the same university. He is a Ph.D. from Banaras Hindu University. He started his teaching career as a lecturer of History in D.A.V. College, Hoshiarpur and later joined the Govt. Degree College, Baramulla in 1963 as Professor of History. His book "Kashmir Polity" is his doctoral thesis which won him the Jammu and Kashmir Cultural Academy Award in 1988. He has earned acclaim as a scholar of depth and understanding through the research papers which have been published in various research journals of the country. He has worked on the Lok Prakasa of Ksemendra which has been listed for publication by the Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. His stupendous work "Saivagamas" has won him accolades from intellectual circles in the country. He is at present working on the Art and Archaeology of Kashmir.

Dr. Drabu when pushed out of Kashmir under a Muslim fundamentalist conspiracy started living in a camp at Muthi in Jammu. He has lost everything by way of material goods. He had one thousand books which he had purchased from his meagre incomes as a professor. Some valuable books he has lost are as under:

a) Books on Ancient Indian History and Culture

b) Books on general History of India from medieval period to modern times.

c) Books on Political Science which included Lasky and Sabine

d) A rare collection of Kashmir Shaivagamas

e) All Rajtaranginis from Kalhan to Shuka

f) A rare collection of art books which included a) Gupta Art by Harley b) Gupta Art by Jonathan Williams c) Gandhara Art in Pakistan by Ingolt d) History of Indian Art by Hutchinson e) Art in Central Asia by Rowlinson

g) He had procured a catalogue of Pehsawar Museum from Dacca in Bangladesh

h) Bronzes of Kashmir by P. Paul

i) Art and Architecture of Kashmir by P. Paul

j) Ancient Monuments of Kashmir by R.C. Kak

k) Early Sculpture of Art of Kashmir By Paul

l) A Handbook of Sri Partap Museum by R.C. Kak

m) His daughter, a medical doctor, had more than one hundred books on various topics of medical science which also have been looted.

Pandit Dina Nath Muju

"I have lived my life. What even if they kill me and what will they gain by killing me?" These are the words of a saintly son of Saraswati, Pt. Dina Nath Multi, who was robbed of his life at mid-night by the Muslim killers. Was this eighty-year old man really a threat to their plans of establishing an Islamic state? The day he was ruthlessly killed the Pakistan media blared out that a patron of Indian informers was exterminated. And the progeny of so-called Rishis believed in what was drummed into their ears.

Pandit Dina Nath was a real Pandit. He would be busy reading and writing with his back erect till late in the midnight. His study stacked and stuffed with books on variegated branches of learning, from historic to philosophy, from J. Krishnamurti to Vivekanand, from Socrates to Democritus conveyed all about the man. He has written innumerable articles which are mostly un-published and his son, Dr. G.K. Muju, is collecting them to give them a book form. He had a distinct style of his own and his exposition was lucid and expressive. His essay on "Spanda" (what it means) has won him acclaim from the American scholars working on Kashmir Shaivism. "Shine ever more llrightlv" is his essay which he starts, "Today all of us have electric light in our houses. The light in our room shines through a bulb. If there is no bulb there is no light and the light cannot shine without the bulb. But the bulb itself cannot give us the light. There must be current of light flowing into it."

Pt. Dina Nath Muju had nearly five thousand books which the Muslim looters have looted. His treasure of books included

a ) Valuable manuscripts in Sharda (pothies)

b) All works and lectures of J. Krishnamurti

c) All studies on J. Krishnamurti

d) "Song of Life" as a rare collection of poems by J. Krishnamurti

e) Complete file of "Theosophist"

f) Theosophist literature

g) Nearly two dozen old Kashmiri Paintings

h) All works on Kashmir Shaivism from Vasugupta to Abhinavgupta

i) All studies on Kashmir Shaivism

j) Rare works on Indian Philosophy especially Vendanta

k) His own writings on various topics are lost

l) A 200-paged book "Kashmiri Language and Grammar" in Devnagri script was authored by him and was ready for publication. If it is retrieved or was looted as booty is yet to be confirmed.

Pt. Anand Ji Razdan

Bandit Anand Ji Razdan of chowgam Noms a saintly person. A reputed saint, Divakak Ji lived at his place for a considerable period of time. It was at his initiation that Anand Ji chose and vowed to be a celibate. He would spend most of his time in worship and finally took to meditation. His fame as a saint spread througth most of the villages wherefrom devotees would throng his house for blessings. He was in close contact with Gasha Kak Ji and Sarwanand Ji who were acknowledged as reputed saints with achievements in mystical realms.

Pandit Anand Ji had lots of books mostly devotional in contents which he had stuffed in fifteen wooden boxes. He had some original manuscripts on Kashmiri Shaiva saints including Siddha Sri Kanth who was the celebrated preceptor of Lal Ded the mystical lark of Kashmir. He was a poet and wrote religious hymns. Some of them were printed also and were made available to his devotees. He in his ecstasy would sing the hymns he himself had written.

All his poems, books and manuscripts are looted by the Muslim looters.

Kanya Lal Pandita - a lawyer

Kanya Lal Pandita is law graduate from the University of Kashmir. He has been a practicing lawyer and in the wake of Muslim terrorism he like majority of his co-religionists tied his native land to a secure zone in Jammu. He owned three houses which have been burnt by the Muslim arsonists. He had a well-equipped library of law-books and reporters which catered to his requirements as a practitioner of lava. The books that he had gone in for with his hard earned money were either looted or fed to the fire. With the grievous loss of his books he belt crippled as a lawyer and had to refurbish his library with new tomes. The losses he has suffered are:

a) All India Reporter 1950 (12 parts )

b) All India Reporter 1951 (full set)

c) All India Reporter (full sets) 1952 to 1961

d) Civil Procedure Code (3 Vols)

e) All India Service Reporter (1950 to 1989),

f) Service Law

g) Law of Writs

h) Chandigarh Law Reporter (1970 to 1989)

i) Mitra Limitation Act

j ) Medical Jurisprudence

k) Six versions of Quran in English gifted to him by a Muslim separatist now abroad namely Mohammad Ayub Thakur

l) Kashmiri Version of Bhagavatgita written by Pt. Tara Chand, a scholarly person

m) History of Kashmiri Pandits after 1947 in manuscript form written by Prakash Ram Pandita

n) Bible and Guru Granth Sahib

Prof. M.L. Kokiloo

Prof. M.L. Kokiloo is a scholar of Sanskrit and an expert on Kashmir Shaivism. He has personal achievements both in the fields of learning and spirituality. He belongs to the legendary family of Kokiloos who have made positive contributions to the culture and tradition of Kashmiri Pandits. His house at Banamohalla is burnt by Muslim marauders. He had nearly three thousand books including some rare manuscripts of immense cultural value which have been looted and burnt. He regrets the loss of a book " Shivaratri Puja Padati" which dilated on the worship of lord Shiva on the festival of Shiva-ratri. He equally mourns the loss of "Jwala Puja Padati" which as a manuscript was written by an unmarried daughter of the family with a deep spiritual bent. The Kokiloos have been an epi-centre of the Kashmiri Pandit learning and scholarship. An ancestor of the family has authored a work on Sanskrit grammar which even stein has made a mention of. He possessed rare manuscripts of the works of Kashmir Shaivism and all versions of Rajtaranginis.

Badri Nath Nissar

Badri Nath Nissar is a reputed poet, author and journJlist. He is the president of All India Sahitaya Sadan (Regd) J&K, Gehwara-e-Adab (Read) Haryana and "Sapan Mala" Memorial Committee, Jammu. He is the patron of Panjabi Adbi Sangam (Regd), J&K and Farawani-e-Adab, Hissar, Haryana. He is also the life-member of Bazm-i-Bekhud (Regd) Delhi and Kashmiri Pandit Sabha (Regd) Jammu. He is the editor of the Kashyapvani, Jammu.

About the books which he has lost and valued them more than gold he writes:

"A portion of collection of books, besides my own authored ones, Urdu, Hindi, Sanskrit, Arabic and Panjabi, was learnt to have been looted and burnt in Srinagar from my ancestral house at Purushayar, Habbakadal, II Bridge much before our house was set ablaze on 11.6.1996 by the Kashmiri fundamentalists, extremists and Muslim neighbours. Some detail of books is as under:

Kumar Sambhava by Kalidas

Malvikagni-mitra by Kalidas

Bhagvatgeeta with Urdu translation in verse and explanation Ganesh Stotra (75-year old)

Bhawani Sahastranam with Hindu/Urdu translation and "Namavali" - (100 year old)

Bible, an old manuscript in English

Zaboor (Urdu)

Yuhana Ki Anjeel (Urdu)

Quran (3 Nos)-(different sizes and shades)

Quran-i-Hakeem 16"x12" (Brail)

Amrit Varsha (4 series) Hindi

Shakuntala by Kalidas

Satyarth Prakash (Hindi)

Galib Panjabi Libas Vich (Panjabi)

Tarian Bhare Angarey (Panjabi)

Farhang-i-Amra (70 year old)

Farhang-i-Amra (Jadeed)

Karim-ul -Lughat

Feroz-ul -Lughat

Jehangiri Farhang

Hindi-Urdu-English Dictionary (4 Nos)

Poetry and Prose-Self Publications

Aij az-i-Islam, Guldastani- i -Islam

Sukhan wari, Asasa, Ashkbari

Mukhzan-i-Asrar-i-Nav ( Prose )

Dakhl-i-Maikada (do)

Kitabat (-do-)

Khatoot-ki-Baat (-do-)

Other Collections

Rum Jum Kul Kul Masnavi Zahar-i-Ishk

Sheereen Khusroo Masnavi Khanjar-i-Ishk

Makhzan-i-Asrar Masnavi Qatil-i-Ishk

Masnavi Gulzari Naseen (Majaz Licknavi)

Aabi Hayat (Mohd Hussain Azad)

Dewan-i-Munawar (Pt. Bisheshwar Prasad)

Amar Nath Ji Ki Yatra (Pt. D.N. Warikoo)

Constitution of India, Indian Penal Code

Constitution of J&K, Ranbir Penal Code

Khaleefa Hoon Main Galib Ka (Hialal Chugatai)

Abr-i-Rehamat (Hilal Ahmad Zuberi)

There could be more books, besides Dharmic literature. I had packed all the books in 4 boxes for their transfer to Jammu in the wake of a new house that I built in Jammu. But soon Kashmir was engulfed in terrorist fires and I could never return to my land to retrieve my books which loss has rendered me an orphan and destitute in the field of literature.

C.L. Chrangoo

Chaman Lal Chrangoo is a retired principal of a Higher Secondary School. He is a post-graduate in Economics and is known for his progressive views on politics and national reconstruction. He in collaboration with a journalist yet on the threshold of his career conducted a survey on the rise and growth of Jamaat-i-Islami in Kashmir which was well appreciated by the circles that had organised the survey. He divas a lover of books and continues to be so despite economic hardship and indigence. On the losses that he suffered by way of books he puts as under :

"The so-called Jehad of Muslim fundamentalists in full cry in Kashmir smacks of barbarity, communal frenzy scant consideration for civilised demeanour and above all disgust for realms of gold. They have made bold to exhibit their contempt for learning and knowledge beyond the ambit of Quranic revelations. Motivated by the same creed of hatred of varied forms of knowledge other than Islamic they went whole-hog in torching of books enshrining indigenous form of knowledge. It is nothing but fanatic madness .

Kashmir as a seminary of knowledge and literary expressions has given to the world a treasure-trove of books which can be treasured by people of any faith but the Muslims. It is apt to put that books have not been destroyed and decimated now but Muslims have a history of destroying books either by putting them to fire or hurling them into the lake waters or burying them underground. It was done to uproot the indigenous culture forms to promote an alien, a foster culture form that these daunts is given currency as "Kashmiriyat".

I had a collection of five hundred books that I had gone in for from my hard earned incomes from time to time. As a precous prized treasure I valued it more than anything else. The collection had books on History like Tovnbee's 5 volumes, H.G. Well's World History, Majumdar's Ancient History of India, V.P. Menon's Integration of India States, Nehru's Discovery of India, Stein's Rajtarangini, and J.C. Dutt's four Rajtaranginis. It also included books on Economics which was my subject in post-graduation. Piago, Mill, Reicardo, Marshall, Malthus, Schumpeter as names in the domain of economic theorisarions urged one to bus books on the subject by the Indian authors as well.

On the side of literature Hardy, Dickens, WordsNN~ortll, Dostovcisky, Tolstoy, Shakespeare and modern-day essavists and playwrights filled the shelves and lent a new meaning to my life.

I also had a good number of books authored by progressive and Marxist scholars and theoreticians, Marx, Engels, Lenin,Trotsky, Dange, Maurice Cornforth, Rajoi Palme Dutt, D.D. Kalusambi, and others shaped my views on broad matters of politics. Among modern day sociologists and philosophers I had a prized collection of Eric Fromme and trilogy of Alvin Towel. I also possessed the Bagvatgita translated and commented upon by Dr. Radha Krishnan and Pickthal's Quran.

And it was a great shock to me when I heard that all the books except one were thrown out of a dis-shaped hole where once stood a window and its fixture and collected in one heap on one side of the compound of my house and a bonfire made of them all by sprinkling of kerosine oil. Halaku had done the same."

Radha Krishen Sher

R. K. Sher graduated from the Panjab University in 1942. He joined the government service as a "peshi clerk" in the year 1944. He retired as an office superintendent when his juniors who were Muslims retired as commissioner-cumsecretaries, Additional secretaries or Deputy Commission.ers. R.K. Sher is forthright in blaming the governments that came to power after 1947 which consistently pursued communal policies with a view to edging out Kashmiri Pandits. He was superseded fifty-three times with the result he could not scale the ladder of promotions which his Junior Muslims could with governments pursuing communal discrimination. After exodus R.K. Sher is a house-hold name as he has been hoghlighting the fate of Kashmiri pandits in exile and also fighting disinformation that has been unleashed against the community. There is hardly a day when a letter from Sher does not appear in the local and national press.

R.K. Sher is a voracious reader. He had his own collection of books which he had purchased from his meagre incomes. The losses that he has suffered alongwith the experiences of terrorism engulfing Kashmir arc put by him as under:

"Destiny having always leered at me, I was perpetually deep in troubled waters particularly during the ten years of the Sultanate of Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad. The then Chief Secretary to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, Mr. Ghulam Ahmad Shoonthu (Amma Shunth in Kashmiri parlance) was the most incompetent officer holding such a vital position. He was ridden with arrogance and fits of hypocristy blended with communal persuasions in consequence whereof many Kashmiri Hindus particularly myself were main target of his craze and vanity. My straightforward bent of mind did not suit his style of functioning resulting in my getting superseded so blatantly that I lost the very taste and purpose of life in the prime of mv hfe.

Be that as it may, I did not care as much fair such aft inhuman treatment for the fact that I looked at it as perversion of luck which as a staunch Hindu I believed in, as I felt dazed and rather bewildered at the incidence of terrorism in my lovable homeland, where I had settled permanently after serving the State Government for 32 years. My newly raised small dwelling at Rawalpora quite opposite to the High School on the other side of the road received a terrible innuendo that some-thing unusual was in the offing. It was 7.55 AM my sleep which is usually sweet in the morning was disturbed by gun-shots. It was January 25,1990. I left the bed-room shell-shocked and saw people gathered around the dead bodies of four Air Force men on the road. Incidentally an army truck passed by and lilted the bodies. I feel that instead of lifting the dead bodies so quickly, had these army men given a chase to the killers they could have caught hold of them. On my return I welt to the toilet where I felt that somebody was hiding at the hind side of my house. Had I opened the rear door of the toilet the killer youth might have forced his entry into my house at gun point. But fortunately I did not do so and the killer crossed over my compound wall and save himself in the fore-ground of Mr. Koul my neighbour opened Koul's gate and reached a bye-lane and disappeared from the public view. It was the first shot that terrorists had attempted to usher in Nizam-e-Mustafa in the once Hindu dominated Kashmir.

Though the job of killing unsuspecting human beings was the most heinous in the present civilised world one feels that these terrorists deserve a word of praise for keeping their designs close to their chest. Not a wink of impending disaster could be perceived by the whole community. Once a neighbour asked my wife as to why she did not go to Jammu as usual. The poor illiterate woman could not smell a rat in the suggestion of Manzoor Ahmad. When things surpassed our imagination and my brother from Jammu pressed me to leave the valley I resisted because I had built a small dwelling alter having lived 32 years of my life as a nomad.

After my retirement my delightful hobby was to write extensively about the wrongs done to the community during Bakshi's Sultanate though there were many who prospered through his favours. With a view to supplementing my writing abilities I ventured to purchase about five hundred books out of my meagre pensionary emoluments on subjects like History politics and spiritualism. The Bhagvatyita the Quran the Bible and the Granth Sahib were the first books I went in for. Late Lala Durga Dass's compiled letters of Sardar Patel and Churchill's volumes on Second World War also adored my tiny but beautiful library. When I would be in my study with books near line and books on the shelves to look at I felt that I had all the riches and wealth of the world. I have no agony on account of the loss of my movable property but I feel terrible cheated by Providence which did not allow me a chance to bundle these books alongwith me to lend me support and succour in my prolonged exile. It is the greatest misfortune that could have befallen me. I sadly learn that many of these books have been torn into pieces and many arc sold as scrap. The Muslim looters did not only rob us of what we had by way of material goods but they robbed us of books which are the objects of culture and value systems."

Hriday Nath Vishan

H.N. Vishan is a retired lecturer in History. He served the State Department of Education for nearly thirty-six Years with zeal and dedication. History was his special subject. He had collected lot many books with savings from his petty incomes. About his losses by way of books he puts as under :

"I owe inheritance to a family that was dedicated to Education Department with the exception of my father who had found a job in the Revenue Department. My uncle known as Master Subhershan Vishan was a contemporary of two famous teacher-scholars Pt. Zinda Total and Pt. Shocker Pandit. He worked as a teacher in the Mission School established by Tyndal Biscoe way back in 1888. He was a complete man with high and lofty ideals. A trained graduate of those days he had earned tremendous reputation not only as a teacher but also as a voracious reader. Unfortunately he died prematurely and that was the reason he could not hold the same status in the scholarly circles as Master Ice and Shanker Pandit held. It was me uncle who inspired me to read books and collect books. As I had a special taste for history I took to reading books on history. I joined the Department of Education as a teacher in 1956 and whatever savings I had I would go in for books that met my intellectual and spiritual yearnings.

I had collected a small library of six hundred books on different subjects. This habit of mine continued with me till I was forced to abandon my sweet home as a result of militarised Islam. The fate of my house at Banamohalla cannot be in any way different from the houses of my co-religionists. It is looted, plundered and nearly destroyed. The books as I learn have been looted, burnt and some sold to retailers as scrap. Those who could burn the library in Alexandria could not spare my tiny collection of books.

The books I had included the following:

1. Great Men of India.

2. Nehru-the Lotus Eater of Kashmir by D.F. Kraka

3. Daughters of Vitasta by P.N. Bazaz

4. My years with Nehru by B.M. Malik

5. A Study of Nehru by Rafiquc Zakaria

6. Neta Ji Subash Chander Bose by Chaman Lal Razaz

7. Curzon to Nehru by Druga Dass

8. Mission to Lahsa by Younghusband

9. Sardar Patel correspondence Vol I to X by Durga Dass

10. Gulab Singh-the founder of J&K State by K.M. Panikar

11. Raj Tarangini-Vol. I, II, III by M.A. Stein

12. Rajtarangini by Ranjit Pandit

13. Birds of Kashmir by Ruthbrook

14. The History of Kashmiri Pandit by Jia Lal Kilam,

15. A History of Kashmir by P.N. Bazaz

16. Roses in December by M.C. Chagla

17. Ancient Monuments of Kashmir bv R.C. Kak

18. Valley of Kashmir by Walter Lawrence

19. Aurangzeb and His Times (2 Vols) bv J.N. Sarkar

20. Integration of Indian States by V.P.S. Menon

Dr. S.L. Kachru

Dr. S. L. Kachru is a post-graduate in surgery. His efficiency and calibre as a surgeon was throughly known to the people of Anantnag where he was posted in the District Hospital. As Muslim terrorism was fast gaining momentum there were massive anti-India and anti-Kashmiri Pandit demonstrations throughout the district. In one such demonstration Ghulam Mohammad Shah, old and ailing, also participated and among others he was arrested and detained in the police station where he breathed his last. The dead body was sent to the District Hospital for postmortem and Dr. Kachru on duty declared the death as natural. The issuance of such a certificate by the expert doctor triggered the wrath of Muslim insurgents and threatening letters started pouring in to the address of the doctor.

A threatening letter in Urdu dated. 30.10.1989 signed by the commander of JKLF, Pulwama reads as under:

"Doctor. Through your sinful act you have not only hurt our sentiments but posed a challenge to our prowess and through it you have invited your death. You have no right to serve on such a post. Resign your post within 15 days failing which you will meet the fate of the police officer of Wagura. "

It was followed by a report in the "Alsafa" date-lined 29 Nov., 1989 with the screeching head-lines:

"The Doctor issuing fraululent Death Certificate absconding. His abandoned car recorvered from Noorpora, Tral."

The rest of the news item reads

"It is reliably learnt that a surgeon specialist has been absconding for some days. According to K.N.B, the doctor had declared the death of Ghulam Mohammad Shah, F/o Shabir Ahmad Shah as natural though the deceased had fallen a prey to police excesses. After the happening the doctor had started receiving threatenting letters accusing him of mix-using his position just to earn favours from the government In view of threats to his life he had managed his transfer to Pulwama and was running his private practice at Awantipora. But now he has been absconding for some days. As per available information his abandoned car was found at Noorpora, Tral. It cannot be said with definiteness whether he has been abducted or he has gone underground."

Dr. Shadi Lal Kachru fled the scene to a place of safety. He lost all by way of material goods but his losses in books are enormous. The books numbering a thousand including journals and magazines stolen from his residence have been mutilated or sold as scrap. Some of the books which he has lost are as under :

1. Short practice of Surgery-Love and Bailey

2. Farquharson's operative Surgery

3. Harrison's Text Book of Internal Medicine

4. Clinical Methods in Surgery-K. Dass

5. Hutchinson's Clinical Methods in Medicine

6. Text book of obstetrics-C.S. Dawn

7. Shaw's Text-book of Gynaecology

8. Text book of Paediatrics-O.P. Ghai

9. Clinical Pharmacology-Lawrence

10. Meteria Medica-Ghosh

11. Gray's Anatomy

12. Modi's text-book of Forensic Medicine and Jurisprudence

13. Urology-D. R. Smith

S. N. Zadoo (Suman)

S.N. Zadoo passed his graduation in 1944 from S.P. College, Srinagar. He took his Masters Degree in Sanskrit from Lahore in 1946. After having earned Diploma in Library Science he joined services in 1947 as assistant librartian in J&K High Court. He passed Honours in Hindi from Kashmir University in 1958 in first division. In 1978-80 he did L.L.B from Jammu University through correspondence. He retired as Deputy Registrar from J&K High Court.

S. N. Zadoo is a poet who writes under the pen-name of "Suman". He is well-versed in Kashmir Shaivism and is recognised as an erudite scholar on the subject. In recognition of his scholarship he was awarded a prize containing seventy-eight volumes on various facets of Kashmir Shaivism by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in 1966. For preparing a big-data of Master Zinda Koul he was awarded a prize by the Cultural Academy.

He has contributed numerous articles on Kashmir lore and learning to various magazines and journals. He also translated fore-most works of Shaivism into Hindi and written commentaries on them in Sanskrit.

About the losses that he has suffered by way of books he writes: -

"I belong to a family where Sanskrit learing is valued as an asset. My father, Pandit R.N. Zadoo, was a great scholar of Sanskrit and worked as editor, Sanskrit Section, in the Research Department. He had a number of rare manuscripts on Kashmir philosophy of Shaivism which I received as a precious bequest from him. The same I am dismayed to convey have been looted and must have been torn, mutilated or burnt.

I had may own books on Sanskrit poetics, Sanskrit drama and Sanskrit poetry. The number was more than a thousand which I had purchased from my meagre earnings. I had made additions to the works on Kashmir Shaivism which were bequeathed to me by my father. K.C. Pandoy's monumental work on Abhinavgupta, Jaidev's translations of Shiva Sutra and other works on Spanda and Pandey's translation of "Bhaskari" adored my small library. All the seventy-eight volumes that were given to me by the state government in appreciation of my Sanskrit learning have also been looted and I am told that these works of tremendous cultural value have been sold to retailers by weight who tear their pages to convert them into cones for selling their groceries.

I have lost my own writings which were published in journals and magazines. With their loss I feel as if I had never been put to learning institutions where I learnt to think creatively and write creatively. I had translated Tantrasar of Bhagwan Abbinavgupta into Hindi which I have lost and its loss is shocking. I had also translated Siddhitrayi of Utpaldev into Hindi which also is lost in the loot. I had some rare works of Sanskrit aesthetics and astrology. The same were in Sharda Script. The margins of the works contained miniature paintings which if enlarged would have blossomed out into full fledged paintings.

The loss of books which I valued so much has turned me depressive."

Dr. K.L. Chowdhary

Dr. K.L. Chowdhary is a reputed physician and neurologist. He did his M.D.(medicine) from Delhi Universitv and earned a fellowship in Neurology from London . Despite his brilliance as a physician he was superseded many a time by the Muslimised governments of Jammu and Kashmir. When he got displaced from his native place he was the Professor of Medicine in Medical College, Srinagar. Dr. Chowdhary is the life-breath of the movement that the Kashmiri Pandits have launched for homeland of which they stand bereft and deprived. Though a doctor by profession he has established his standing as a theoretician of depth and understanding. His assessments about the developments in Kashmir as published in local and national press are read with bated breath. He has also suffered losses by way of books and he writes:

"No sooner did I leave Kashmir on 1st May, 1990 on an indefinite period of exile than I realized that, besides being forced to foresake my motherland, I was leaving behind a legacy and a treasure spanning four generations and collected over nearly 100 years by my grand parents, parents, my wife, my children and my books, journals, encyclopaedias and reference manuals. Yes, we left behind books on art and craft, literature and language, science and religion, psychology and philosophy, classics and some rare manuscripts, books in English, Urdu, Hindi, Kashmiri, Sanskrit and Persian and translations of great works of art from one language into another. I don't know the exact count but the whole collection would not be fewer than five thousand. All that I carried with me was the Bhagvat-Gita, Gitanjali, complete works of shakespeare, Glimpses of world History by Nehru, the Rubayaat of Omerkhayaam and the latest text-book of Medicine by Harrison. I wish I had carried more and stuffed them into the suit-case which I carried along in place of the clothes I retrieved in haste.

I left behind a 50-year collection of my father's law books and library at his house at Barbarshah-SP College Lane Srinagar-spanning his professional career from 1935 to 1988 which included all the All India Reporters, books on constitutional and criminal law, other law manuals and reference books on legal procedure and civil law-all told nearly a thousand books. He had willed to donate the whole collection to the High Court Library of Srinagar and though I got lucrative offers for the lot I would not betray my father's command. Various people who occupied the house from time to time without my permission but within my knowledge offered to safe-keep the books but I hear that the collection is slowly dissolving and all that is left now is in a bad shape.

The library at my house in Indira Nagar, Srinagar included the following:

1. Text Medical books on various disciplines of Medicine, viz; general medicine, neurology, cardiology, psychiatry, nephrology, tropical medicine, gynaecology and obstetrics etc.

2. Medicinal journals spanning our career from 1967 in Medicine

a) Indian Heart Journal - Year 1978 to 1990

b) Neurology India - Year 1974 to 1990

c) Journal of Indian Medicinal Association - Year 1968 to 1990

d) Journal, Association Physicians of India. - Year 1968 to 1990

e) British Medical Journal - Year 1972 to 1982

f) Annals of Internal Medicine - Year 1976 to 1984

g) Indian Journal of obstetrics and gynaecology. - Year 1969 to 1990

3. Periodical (non-medicals)

a) National Geographic - Year 1980 to 1990

b) Readers Digest - Year 1940 to 1990

c) Condensed Readers Digest - Year 1962 to 1978

4. English literature

Classics, drama, Novels, Poetry by all time greats in English language representing the various continents where the language is spoken - numbering nearly 1500 books."

5. Hindi Books

On religion, novels, short-stories and the great epics, nearly 250.

6. Urdu Books

Including poetry by great urdu poets, Nearly 50.

7. Kashmiri and Persian books at least 10 including some old manuscripts.

Besides these were a number of Atlases, books of general information, three English dictionaries, one dictionary each in Hindi and Urdu and numerous other common journals like the Illustrated Weekly of India, India Today, Time Magazine, Sarita etc. for which we were regular subscribers for more than three decades.

What I miss most in exile is the company of the great men and women who have immortalized themselves through their written works. I feel intellectually crippled. The books call me to my homeland as much as the roots and the history of 5,000 years."

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