Just as Rahul Pandita was a young boy —14-years-old — when he and his family left their home in Srinagar (“When the water in the spring turned black,” Jan. 19), I was 12 years old in 1947 when raiders occupied most of western and northern Kashmir decimating the Maharaja’s army in a matter of just two days. The Maharaja himself ran away to Jammu. Kashmiri Muslims, true to their tradition, sheltered their Pandit brothers in their homes and their womenfolk provided Muslim style dresses to the Pandit women so that no harm came to them. There was not a single report of killing or rape of Pandits at our hands. The restraint exhibited by Kashmiri Muslims was unmatched at a time when more than a lakh of their co-religionists were being massacred across the Pir Panchal range by Hindu reactionaries.
Alas! In 1990, all Kashmiris across the board got carried away by the machinations of extremists. While Muslims got carried away by reactionaries from the West, the Pandits were targeted by Hindu zealots from the south.