It was sometime after 2012 that Kashmiri activists on Facebook began asking me to study their freedom struggle & write about it. To be honest, before that I had never heard about it. For a while I put them off but they would not take no for an answer. So I committed myself to studying their history by going to the library at the local branch of the University of Texas. All of the books in that collection were written in that distinct US State Department way & were only useful in seeing how the US government portrays things. In that regard, the voices of the freedom movement are ignored or treated as ‘Islamist jihadism’.
It turned out to be much more fruitful to search the article data base & news reports, including in Indian media. Since the issue of Pandits (Kashmiri Hindus) is so often thrown in Kashmiri’s faces, I investigated that issue—& got it all wrong because my sources were tendentious & nationalist. My Kashmiri friends wasted no time in correcting me & I had to go back to the extensive library data bases.
Now I understand the basic disputes around Pandits but still need a deeper grasp & in pursuing that am coming up against the same scholarship problem. There is certainly excellent scholarship available to Kashmiris but not so accessible to others. For those of us who would like the best scholarship on the Kashmiri struggle without plowing through volumes of rubbish, can Kashmiri friends suggest those books, articles, journals, writers you think most important?