‘They Snatched My Playground’ is a superb personal narrative of a journalist-turned BJP politician from Kashmir Valley Khalid Jehangir about his life in the Valley, it’s terrorism, it’s politics and about the silent majority whose voices are hardly heard or whose stories hardly spoken about.
Khalid had a distinct advantage in life in the sense that his adolescence and youth had coincided with the most violent phase of Kashmiri terror starting with early 90s. An Indian by conscience and conviction, not by any opportunism or choice, Khalid actively participated in that phase as a ‘rebel’ in the separatist milieu, the dominant public theme with the youth of the Valley at that time. In an intensely anti-India climate, he stood as a staunch Indian.
His experience of growing up with and countering the separatist and terrorist narrative in the public life of the Valley as a student and later as a socially conscious journalist and political activist forms the central theme of this book.
Although his first book, Khalid told his story in a very mature and professional way intermixing the personal life and political reality in a superbly engaging way trying not to bore the reader and conveying his convictions through various phases of his personal life like his marriage to a non-Kashmiri and non-Muslim girl from South etc.
An engaging read for everyone wanting to know the struggle many Kashmiris endured during the days of terrorism in the Valley and how some like Khalid could stand up with courage of conviction.