CKS’s Mona Bhan recently published a moving tribute to her late grandfather, Pandit Rughonath Vaishnavi. Pt. Vaishnavi, who passed away in 1996, was a champion of the Kashmiri right to self-determination.
I remember Rughonath Vaishnavi, whom I called Papa, waking up very early in the mornings ––– sometimes before the crack of dawn ––– to write. He wrote mostly on loose paper, before he typed up the hand-written version. After collating and organizing the sheets of paper, he would walk to the post office, a few miles from the house, to mail them to people he thought could weigh in on Kashmir. This was part of his everyday routine, and my starkest childhood memories are of him sitting in his chair, in front of his typewriter, either reading or writing feverishly while sifting through the stacks of documents that cluttered his table.
The essay was written for a pamphlet that includes Pt. Vaishnavi’s political writings.