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Kashmir untold: Alternate narratives of Kashmiri migrants

Pathak, Prateeksha 2022. Kashmir untold: Alternate narratives of Kashmiri migrants. MPhil Thesis, Cardiff University.
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"Your history gets in way of my memory" (Farewell-Agha Shahid Ali) Historians typically privilege documents over other non-verbal sources to gather information about the past. Documents, however, do not touch the lives of thousands of people who were impacted by cataclysmic historical events such as the Insurgency of 1989. The violence of 1989 forced minority communities from Kashmir, especially the Kashmiri Pandits, to leave their homeland. This forced displacement was accompanied by a movement of memories and possessions, belongings and anecdotes, some of which still remain concealed in silence. When Pandits embarked on this arduous journey away from home, never to return, artefacts they chose to carry became their loyal companions. These objects had witnessed children wail for their homeland, they had been caressed when men and women sought comfort during rainy days, and sometimes they were sold off to get food on the plate. The objects had touched lives of many stranded families and witnessed their struggle first hand. However, when asked to recollect the past, these objects sit silently towards the periphery, in favour of written records. My dissertation will focus on the objects carried by internally displaced Kashmiris to understand their attempts to preserve their lost home and culture by preserving the artefacts from the Valley. I will begin by analysing how Kashmir is represented in public archives, national history, documents and cinema. This will highlight the discord between the popular representation of the Valley and the experiential memories of Kashmiris. After highlighting the void, through objects and oral-history interviews, I will analyse the lived experiences of Kashmiri Pandits, which have not been given ample space in national and regional histories. Focusing on these material possessions will highlight experiences that have been cumbersomely framed in language but gracefully shaped within these artefacts, enabling us to re-present Kashmir through the memories of the locals.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 April 2022
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2023 01:30

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