24 November, 2020

Paper Jehadis And The Lie Of The Land

A reply to the charges levelled by Prem Shankar Jha in his last week's column

Paper Jehadis And The Lie Of The Land

Prem Shankar Jha's writings on Kashmir illustrate the truth of an amusing remark British journalist Christopher Hitchens once made to me: he became a journalist, he said, because he could no longer trust the press. Now Jha (Self-inflicted Wounds, October 2) has joined Swapan Dasgupta of India Today in accusing me of being unpatriotic. The immediate provocation is a three-part article on Kashmir I recently published in The Hindu and The New York Review of Books. It's always a tricky business trying to clarify things said elsewhere, in a different context; and I would request interested readers to look up the articles in The Hindu and on nybooks.com. In the meantime, I'll try to nail some of Jha's falsehoods.

I was in Kashmir when 35 Sikhs were massacred, hours before Bill Clinton began his state visit to India. Soon after the news of the massacre, New Delhi blamed the Hizbul Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Toiba. There was no evidence for this accusation at this...



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