The day they were forced to leave their home in Kashmir

A photo album, a samovar (kettle) and a trunk full of fuzzy memories of cherry trees, lazy lunches and friendly neighbours — it’s been more than 30 years since they left Kashmir, and yet the families sound wistful when they talk about “home”. Between 1990 and 1992, over 70,000 Kashmiri Pandits fled from the Valley due to militancy, seeking refuge elsewhere. Many left their homes in a state of panic, under duress, not knowing if they would ever return.

Thirty-one years on, we spoke to a few families about what they recall of the day they had to leave, their idea of home and whether they would like to return to the Valley today, if given a chance. While the occasional visits of those who have gone back have been emotional and sometimes even bitter, they all share fond memories of their Kashmiri Muslim neighbours who are “eager to have them back home”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *