22 years: A Kashmir Story
A perfect evening was hosted by Ratan Kaul and Shilpa Raina Wahal to celebrate the launch of the book, 22 Years: A Kashmir Story, authored by Bill K. Koul. The event saw esteemed panellists engrossed in a discussion on the subject ‘A Kashmir Story’.it too
The renowned personalities who were part of the panel were Dr. Subramanian Swamy, MP Rajya Sabha, Dr. AK Agarwal, Chairman National Council on Rail Transport, ASSOCHAM, Dr. K.L Ganju, Counsel Gen. Union of Comoros, and Gen. JJ Singh. The guest list comprised of ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina Dr. Sabit Subasic, ambassador of Algeria Hamza Yahia Cherif, Tara Gandhi dancer and actor Shivani Wazir Pasrich, Dr. Sanjana Jon, entrepreneur Naresh Grover, and former Indian women cricket team captain Anjum Chopra, to name a few.
“In my twin capacities of Executive President of Kashmiriyat Preservation Foundation and Advisor Delhi Lit Fest, it was only fitting that we commemorate this black day when we Kashmiri Pandits (KP) had to forcibly flee our homes in the state of J&K. Bill Koul's poignant tale of a quarter of a century in exile of the Pandits in their own country is a moving account of a community adrift, displaced and alienated. The forced exile, overnight changed the demographic profile of the state - a 5,000 years unbroken record of indigenous domicile totally wiped out. Like the famed 'hangul ' of the state, the KP also veers dangerously towards extinction.the book hopes to highlight the human tragedy and restore the faith,” said Ratan.
“As someone who is an actual displaced person from my native homeland J&K, I was aware of the goings on even as a child. Growing up, stories of my parents Kashmiri Pandit friends' exile were part of drawing room conversations. This is a part of our history we have chosen to ignore since it's not been given the kind of attention it deserves! The tales in this book are humane accounts of real people who suffered for no fault of theirs, and these are stories that needed to be told. Bill Koul has taken up the task to do so, and I commend him for it. It is my privilege to be supporting the cause through the launch of this significant book,”remarked Shilpa.
Renu Kaul, Managing Director – Vitasta Publishing maintained, “Being a Kashmiri Pandit myself, I am proud to have published The Kashmir story. The book is a comprehensive history of the State till the present. I hope this small role played by Vitasta helps start a dialogue in favour of them.”