Author Rahul Pandita had filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra launch his book Our Moon has Blood Clots in Mumbai, last evening. The book tells the story of the Kashmiri Pandit community who were forced by Islamic militants to leave their homes and spend the rest of their lives in exile in their own country.
Rahul Pandita was fourteen years old when he was forced to leave his home in Srinagar along with his family, who were Kashmiri Pandits – the Hindu minority within a Muslim-majority Kashmir that was becoming increasingly agitated with the cries of ‘Azadi’ from India.
The heartbreaking story of Kashmir has so far been told through the prism of the brutality of the Indian state, and the pro-independence demands of separatists. But there is another part of the story that has remained unrecorded and buried.
Our Moon Has Blood Clots is the unspoken chapter in the story of Kashmir, in which it was purged of the Kashmiri Pandit community in a violent ethnic cleansing backed by Islamist militants. Hundreds of people were tortured and killed, and about 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their homes and live outside of Kashmir.
Rahul Pandita has written a deeply personal, powerful and unforgettable story of history, home and loss.