And The Valley Remained Silent

A Saga of Forsaken Aboriginals

by Chandra Sundeep
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Rahul Magazine’s And The Valley Remained Silent: A Saga of Forsaken Aboriginals is a first-hand account of the events and circumstances that led to the mass expulsion of Kashmiri Hindus in the early 1990s. The author left the place he called home at the age of 18 to never return.

The thought of one’s motherland evokes a profound nostalgia in the mind of a person forced into exile.

These lines from the book perfectly reflect the author’s emotions and also of all those who have been forced to leave their homes.

The narration starts with a brief history of the Kashmir valley, right from the Nilamata Puranas to the arrival of Sultans, Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs, and the Dogra rule to the independence of India and the partition. The author chronicles the arrival of terrorists from across the border, changing sentiments of the Muslim neighbours, the role of the Indian Army, attitude of locals towards the army and the terrorists, and even the implementation of Article 370.

Set in the 1990s, in this heart-wrenching memoir, the author narrates the incidents building up to the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus from the valley. He shares harrowing details of the torturous events his family underwent. Along with his personal story, he narrates various other real-life incidents of the cultural genocide.

This book does not feel like a work of propaganda. Rather, it is backed by personal experience and in-depth research.

Even though, in terms of writing quality, it is not the same as Our Moon has Blood Clots by Rahul Pandita or The Infidel Next Door by Rajat Mitra; it still had the same effect on me. I was in tears thinking of the pain, suffering, and denial our fellow brothers and sisters have endured.

I was drawn in right from the title and prologue. There couldn’t have been a more befitting title for this painful saga. 

Quoting a line here from the prologue that tells us why it is important to read this book and all such books written on this ethnic cleansing.

If the truth is not told, then there is no hope for reconciliation; under such circumstances, our rehabilitation back in the Valley seems inconceivable. There outside the synagogue, I realised that those who had killed our people, usurped our property and desecrated our temples needed to perpetuate the myth of a conniving Kafir, to justify their misdeeds—to themselves and to their next generation.

I would recommend “And The Valley Remained Silent” to anyone who wants to know more about the sufferings faced by Kashmiri Hindus.

 

Wordsopedia Rating 4/5

 

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Title: And The Valley Remained Silent Author: Rahul Magazine
Publisher: Sabre and Quill Publication date: 1 January 2022
Genre: Non-Fiction–True Accounts Format: Kindle
ASIN: ‎B0BH583STB No. of Pages: 288

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