the-south-asian Life & Times                 January - March 2011




 Editor's Note


 Cover Story
 Kashmiri Pandits

 Eminent Pandits
 Neel Kashkari

 Veer Munshi

 Pradman Kaul

 Pandit Bhajan Sopori

 Photo Feature
 The Obamas in India


 100 years of aviation
 in India

 Mt. Kailash
 Stairway to Heaven

 In the footsteps of
 Smythe in Garhwal


 The Wild Ass

 By O P Dutta









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Kashmiri Pandits

A Tradition of Excellence

For a community that numbers less than 500,000, Kashmiri Pandits have a stellar record and tradition of professional excellence. They have the highest literacy rate among all groups in India. Their intellectual prowess and wisdom made them indispensable as advisers to many a ruler. No princely or royal court was complete without their presence where they held lucrative posts and important titles. Also because of their competence and proficiency in languages Sanskrit, Persian, Urdu, and English The Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh, especially, held them in high esteem. Their liberal, broad-minded and secular views also made them good teachers. Kashmiri Pandits have made significant contributions to the evolution of human thought and creative pursuits like literature (mainly Sanskrit), language, science, music, art, and philosophy. India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a Kashmiri Pandit.

Many among them have risen to the top rung some at very young age. They have made international headlines, steered multibillion dollar companies, and stunned the world with their paint and music.

SALT unfold in its pages the personalities and persona of some very extraordinary and remarkable Kashmiri Pandits of our time, among them:

Neel Kashkari

Veer Munshi

Pradman Kaul

Pandit Bhajan Sopori

Mani Kaul

Hari Kunzru

Anupam Kher

Suresh Raina

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