One of the leading public intellectuals of Jammu and Kashmir, the veteran journalist and activist Balraj Puri, died today in Jammu. He was 86.
There's a good obituary in the 'Indian Express' - here's the link - and another in 'Rising Kashmir'.
Balraj Puri was active in both the Quit India and Quit Kashmir movements of the 1940s. He was very well connected, and a player as well as a commentator in Kashmir's politics and public life. Puri was regarded as an architect of the Indira Gandhi-Sheikh Abdullah accord of 1974.
Among Balraj Puri's many books was 5,000 Years of Kashmir, published in 1997. We hope to post a full obituary in due course.
Amitabh Mattoo, Director of the Australia India Institute at Melbourne and a former Vice-Chancellor at the University of Jammu, has talked to 'Greater Kashmir' newspaper about the valley, the situation of the Pandit community, and his desire to help establish world-class day and boarding school in Kashmir.
'Kashmir is my home, will always be part of my being, no matter where I am physically located. Kashmir’s history, its politics, its social trends are my passion. Each time I visit Kashmir there is a mystical thrill that I experience, which can only be reflective of a deep atavistic connection. I probably have one of the largest private collections of books on Kashmir. But, more important, in today’s digital age it is possible to conduct real time rigorous analysis sitting anywhere on the globe.'
Here's the link.