The Refugee Camp


The Refugee Camp


उसने कहा जब मरना ही है तो चलो मेरे साथ। और बस वो पाँच हजार जिंदा लाशें चल पड़ीं मौत की आँखों में आँखें डालने। वो चल पड़े शांति की तलाश में। कहते हैं अपनी जमीन और हक की एक लड़ाई सहस्रों साल पहले पांडवों को लड़नी पड़ी थी। अपनों को युद्ध में सामने खड़ा देख अर्जुन धर्मसंकट में थे और उन्हें इससे उबारने के समाधान के रूप में गीता का जन्म हुआ।

पर सवाल यह है कि शांति चाहता कौन है? पैसा, बाजार और ताकत तो अशांति में उत्सव मनाते हैं। सरकार और शांति दोनों ही कश्मीर में हर पल हार रहे हैं। कभी पत्थरबाजों के पत्थरों से, कभी सीमापार की गोलियों से, कभी पढ़ाई से बहुत दूर जाते बस्तों से। अकेली आर्मी या सरकार शांति नहीं ला सकती। न्याय, धर्म, स्वाभिमान और मानवता तो सिर्फ और सिर्फ एक आम आदमी की पहल से ही संभव है। क्योंकि एक वो ही है, जिसे शांति में नफा या नुकसान नहीं, जिंदगी दिखती है।

यह कहानी एक ऐसे ही आम आदमी ‘अभिमन्यु’ की कहानी है। वह अभिमन्यु, जिसने ‘अशांति’ के अर्थतंत्र पर सेंधमारी की और शांति के लिए पहला कदम बढ़ाया। और जब वो पहला कदम उठा, उसने एक ऐसी असाधारण परिस्थिति को जन्म दिया, जिसका किसी को भान न था। देखते-ही-देखते पाँच हजार जिंदा लोग एक आम लड़के अभिमन्यु के नेतृत्व में आत्मघाती दस्ते में तब्दील हो गए। शायद वो विश्व का सबसे बड़ा आत्मघाती दस्ता था। जीना तो मुश्किल था ही, पर क्या मरना आसान था? क्या होगा जब इनके आगे भी इनका अतीत खड़ा होगा? क्या इनके आगे भी इनके अपने युद्ध के लिए खड़े होंगे? कुरुक्षेत्र में लड़े गए महाभारत में गीता का जन्म हुआ। क्या यह कहानी ‘रिफ्यूजी कैंप’ वादी में चल रही लड़ाइयों का कोई समाधान खोज पाएगी?
The Refugee Camp; inspired by real events, is the ultimate story of human triumph. A story that inspires every Indian to the core and reaffirms belief in co-existence of peace, humanity and justice.

The Refugee Camp is the story of a boy; Abhimanyu’s transformation into a leader, who led 5000 men, women and children to the greatest suicide mission. A journey back home. It is a riveting story of human spirit and triumph in the face of grave adversities. Above all the story has a unique narrative that is simple to read and understand that no one can end terror unless we all stand up and take a stand. Abhimanyu – the central character of the story is a hero that resides deep within all Indians and it is just about time that we wake him up. This is an exemplary story that reaffirms faith in the secular fabric of India. It is rare that we come across a story so bold and gripping in in its narrative that it transports you deep inside a world of intense anguish, sorrow and stunning reality. The story of Refugee Camp needed a riveting cover design. Artists from 7 states drew 18 illustrations and ultimately it was a young bright artist from Maharashtra’s Jadhavpur university whose creation was selected to be the cover of Refugee Camp.

Abhay Pratap, an iconic righteous journalist and owner of The Truth published from the valley. Abhay Pratap has always believed in secularism and brotherhood among diverse faiths. His stand against terrorism has earned him wrath of the militants but that has never deterred the brave Abhay. His son Abhimanyu is a happy go lucky boy of 20, who believes in the virtues of his father. Abhimanyu has always lived a protected life in a surreal world created by his father’s ideology. Their lives take a dramatic turn overnight when they are forced to flee, leaving everything behind to start their lives from under the torn tents of a makeshift refugee camp. Abhimanyu in particular comes of age as his values are put to test in the real world full of vivid flavours of friendship, love and everything in-between. The story takes yet another ugly turn when Abhimanyu gets into a tangle with the local Police Inspector and ends up killing two cops and what follows is a deep churn that transforms a young boy into a revered leader who leads a mass suicide mission with 5,000 people. What starts as a struggle of refuges uprooted from their land transforms into a narrative of struggle for existence, harsh realities of life and culminates into a crescendo across political circles in India and Pakistan. The terror groups get into action to stop these people from entering into the valley as they know if these people return then their reign of terror will end too. They issue threats to Abhimanyu and the people that they will be killed if they try to return – Abhimanyu responds “If coming home means death then so be it” - that he is indeed coming to die. The last chapter of the book then deals with a cresendo of emotions and questions. Will Abhimanyu and his people be able to cross over into the valley and end the reign of hatred and terror with the message of non-violence? 
Will Abhimanyu’s suicide mission galvanise local people of various faiths into action and inspire them to rise against terror? 
Will the terror factory of Pakistan allow Abhimanyu to bring in peace in India? 
These are some questions answered in Refugee Camp.

Refugee Camp was born out of a six year- old girl’s question to the author,” Kashmir is so beautiful, why can’t we live there?’ I did not have answer then, my book Refugee Camp is my answer to every child of India;” Yes we can and we will one day go back and live in the land that belongs to every Kashmiri.”

Refugee Camp has a hair-raising account of those 48 hours that changed the face of humanity and the worst atrocities like mob lynching were committed on ethnic minorities. In a way, Refugee Camp is a tribute to Abhimanyu from Mahabharata in all of us, someone who stood against tyranny, evil and demons against grave and imminent dangers. Fear consumes us as much as hatred does and so says the author to leave our fears and hatred aside and take a step towards finding hope, finding peace and building a country that we truly want for ourselves.

The book captures authentic historical and geopolitical narrative of over a thousand years that eventually culminated in the events in 1988 and 89. Kashmir and news - the words go parallel. Despite that, a major incident in the history of Kashmir has been talked about very little. One reason could be that the media in the eighties was not the way it is now but the bitter truth is that, there is a deliberate attempt to distort the history of Kashmir taking away the soul of Kashmiriat. Therefore, the world is likely to forget that how six lakh people lost their homeland, culture and their own identity. The book tries bringing forth the pain and agony of those six lakh people. Refugee Camp lays bare an extensive narrative encompassing events like the siege of Alexandria and the crusades, Afghan and various war lords dominance of the valley leading to British era and the systematic destruction of KAshmirs social fabric by subsequent Indian Governments beyond 1947.

Thousands of years ago the battle of Mahabharat had Chakravyuh as a symbol of terror and Abhimanyu decided to break it at the cost of his life. The same situation exists in Kashmir today, terror is that chakravuyh but no Abhimanyu is coming forward to break it. Refugee Camp deals with the same predicament; ultimately people of Kashmir have to unleash the Abhimanyu who resides within us in order to destroy terror. Refugee Camp is that one and first book that inspires people to take a stand and stop waiting for God’s miracle”. This is one book which every Indian irrespective of caste, colour and creed must read to keep the hope and story alive.

What make this book different from others is the book charts a way that how people can come together and rise and against terror.” claims Ashish Kaul, the writer of this book. He further believes that the future generations need to know what really happened in Kashmir in 1989 and that no Government or armed forces can ever resolve the Kashmir issue. It is ultimately the people of Kashmir who have to choose between peace and Terror”.

Cover of Refugee Camp is an expression of the message of the book. Drawn by Sudha Verma, an artist and friend is a message for all of humanity that seeks Peace, Humanity, Dignity, Justice and Religion to thrive.

Eminent people from different walks of life like National Wrestling Champion Sangram Singh, Singers Sunalii and Roop Kumar Rathod, Reetender Singh Sodhi (Former Captain of World Cup winner team – U19), Actor & writer Rahul Singh among others have supported Refugee Camp. Chief Of the Army Staff General J.J Singh (retd) has written the foreword for Refugee Camp who says “ The Refugee Camp is a journey back in time and unapologetically candid about the real Kashmir that lies hidden behind the digital facades. In many ways, The Refugee Camp as a story delves deep within our souls and reflects our forgotten history that has been rewritten many times over to the extent that what we know perhaps may be a lie and therein lies the genesis of terror in Kashmir. Above everything else this is a story of hope told in an extremely simple yet compelling manner .

This is also the first ever book which has been backed by a legendary Pakistani singer Hassan Jahangir, who says “I have many friends in India who have given me and my music great love. I feel sad that people on both side of India and Pakistan are suffering because of terrorism. The book Refugee Camp is an extraordinary tale of a young boy who stands against terror to bring peace. This book is a must read for every person in India and Pakistan who truly believes in peace. Most important aspect of the book is it’s message that peace is not an option but the sole purpose of humanism”.

The book is available at leading online portals like Amazon and Prabhat Prakashan (https://www.prabhatbooks.com).
Author Profile
Ashish Kaul - Chief Creative Officer & Founder - FOLKLORE Entertainment

Ashish has been a part of Media and FMCG industry for over 24 years and helmed executive leadership roles across global brands like Zee Network, Hinduja Group, Bajaj Herbals, Association of Motion Pictures & TV Programme Producers, Prakash Jha Productions ( TV & Digital Business). Ashish is also an advocacy columnist who writes for leading publications.
Quotes

The Refugee Camp is a journey back in time and unapologetically candid about the real Kashmir that lies hidden behind the digital facades. In many ways, The Refugee Camp as a story delves deep within our souls and reflects our forgotten history that has been rewritten many times over to the extent that what we know perhaps may be a lie and therein lies the genesis of terror in Kashmir. Above everything else this is a story of hope told in an extremely simple yet compelling manner .
General JJ Singh (retired)


I have many friends in India who have given me and my music great love. I feel sad that people on both side of India and Pakistan are suffering because of terrorism. The book Refugee Camp is an extraordinary tale of a young boy who stands against terror to bring peace. This book is a must read for every person in India and Pakistan who truely believes in peace. Most important aspect of the book is it’s message that peace is not an option but the sole purpose of humanism.
Hassan Jehangir
Singer and Composer


The Camp is an amazing edge of the seat plot full of human emotions that make you cry out loud in pain. First time I got to know the real Kashmir and the kind of emotional turmoil Kashmiri Pandits have gone through to protect their lineage and solidarity for India. The Camp has a hair raising account of those 48 hours that changed the face of humanity and the worst and unspoken holocaust of native Kashmiri Hindu’s from the valley.

The most interesting thing about the story is its deep roots in secularism as it makes a pitch for peace to return. The Camp is indeed a story of hope and that we Indian’s must stand-up together and fight terror. The Camp is a story that was over due for all the Indian’s to know the true story of Kashmir.

The Camp is a tribute to our brave soldiers of the Army fighting terror in the valley and the Abhimanyu of Mahabarata who resides in all of us"

Sunali Rathod & Roop Kumar Rathod
Singers, Music Composers, Indian Film Industry


My life has been full of challenges and hardships that I can’t even begin to explain. Had it not been for my perseverance and courage I would have still been living out of a wheelchair. The Camp is a story that has extraordinary courage and I find the central character Abhimanyu so much like me. The Abhimanyu from Mahabharata displayed unparalleled valour in entering the chakravyuh and laid his life fighting the veil forces, however, the Abhimanyu from The Camp finds a way to end terror in the Kashmir valley. Not only has the author told an untold and forgotten story but also written it in a manner that is shakes and stirs the soul.
Sangram Singh,
International Wrestling Champion, Actor, Mentor & Coach


Refugee Camp “ written by Ashish Kaul is an exemplary story of triumph of the human spirit ! It is shocking to learn the truth behind the fate of about 5 lac Countrymen, caused by inhuman fanatics, as the rest of India remained silent. If you truly are Indian, then this book should be a priority !
Rahul Singh,
Actor, Writer, Entrepreneur
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