Sir Salman Rushdie: the Kashmir we have lost


“We, who live in these luxury limbos, the privileged purgatories of the earth, have set aside thoughts of paradise. Yet, I tell you, I have seen it and walked by its fish-rich lakes. In Kashmir, it is paradise itself that is falling. Heaven on earth is being transformed into a living hell…”

Bombay-born Salman Rushdie in Shalimar the Crown.

In this podcast, Rushdie, who was knighted yesterday, explains what has happened.

“The kind of Islam that existed in Kashmir was… of my grandfather’s kind. It was devout, yes, but it was also very lightly worn. It wasn’t something beat their fists on tables about. It was not menacing or threatening. It was mild, mystical and lived in harmony with people of other religions. It was that Islam that was attacked from across the Pakistan border by radical jehadist groups with a quite different view of Islam.”

Sir Salman Rushdie in conversation with Steve Paulson