‘Kashmir is an integral part of India’. I have heard this line parroted by leaders of all political hues. It has always sounded like an arbitrary statement designed to rebuff Pakistan, and to reaffirm India’s military might over a coveted geographical area. Recently I came across facts that have changed my perspective on Kashmir totally. Facts that have astounded me. But more than that baffled me, for they reveal glaring lacunae in the history we have been led to believe so far.
This is the introductory paragraph to an article which has supposedly been written by author and academic Ira Pande. This ‘article’ has gone viral on social media ever since it made its appearance online, and has been shared widely on Facebook. It has also circulated on WhatsApp.
Among those who have shared this write-up is Francois Gautier, infamous journalist and ‘indologist’ of Nostradamus fame. He posted it on July 1, 2018 and was shared over 450 times. However, the write-up shared by Gautier is not credited to Ira Pande and does not mention her name, although the text is identical to what has been circulated in her name. Instead, the text that Gautier has shared has been ascribed to one Dr. V S Karnik.