History has turned Kashmir Pandits, the original inhabitants of Kashmir, into a miniscule minority community. The political developments and the militancy have forced them out of their hearths and homes. They are scattered all over the country and abroad. Obviously, therefore, their existence as a community with a distinct identity is in danger. The present book is intended to illustrate the unique features of this community, draw a portrait of their characteristics and give an insight into their intrinsic qualities. It gives a detailed account of their way of life, their rituals and festivals and all that goes into making of this enlightened community. It also shows the changes it has undergone in various ways and the manner it has adapted to the changed circumstances, while remaining firm with their roots and moorings. The book is intended to serve the twin purpose of giving a picture of the community to outsiders and rekindling a sense of pride among the Kashmiri Pandits about the richness of their culture, tradition, philosophy and their socio-religious character.
T.N. Dhar (b. 1934) is a well-known poet and writer who writes under the pen name 'Kundan'. Born and brought up in Kashmir, he is an Honours graduate Sanskrit and Hindi from Kashmir University and an ICWA from London. Extensively travelled that he is, he has made a place in the literary circles by his writings in Kashmiri, Hindi, Urdu and English. He has authored a dozen books on a variety of subjects including Education, Philosophy, Religion and Literature. He was the editor of a prestigious trilingual monthly journal of more than fifty years' standing for about six years. His articles appear in various journals regularly and his poems have been included in the anthologies published by the Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi and the Academy of Art, Culture and Languages of Jammu and Kashmir. Presently he is the consulting editor of a prominent journal published from Bangalore. He was the recipient pf Pandit Prem Nath Bhatt memorial Amateur Journalists award for the year 2000.
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