Nitasha Kaul’s debut novel ‘Residue’ was released in the year 2009 and it won ‘Man Asian Literary Prize’ by defeating six well established writers of Asia. The book also made her first Kashmiri woman novelist. The novel speaks of a long tale of a lost identity of Kashmiris outside of Kashmir. For many, the novel sounded like a typical Kashmir story—as it approaches politics through very personal struggles.
Nitasha lives in London and presently working as a Assistant Professor at the University of Westminster, London. About her education, She has done BA Honours in Economics from SRCC, Delhi University, a Masters in Economics with a specialization in Public Policy, and a Joint PhD in Economics and Philosophy from the University of Hull, UK (2003). She has travelled to over 55 countries around the world, with a camera and a notebook, documenting the strangeness of the everyday and the otherness of the present.
In 2013, she has again come into limelight for hitting Indian state left, right and centre, highlighting every possible human rights abuse committed by its forces in Kashmir during a press conference in London. In December 2015, and the lady was in Al Jazeera’s talk show calling spade a spade while confronting Ram Madhav, BJP’s national general secretary, by raising issues about mass graves, disappearances and other rights abuses in Kashmir.
For speaking in non-communal terms about Kashmir’s history, politics, this Kashmiri Pandit Woman is labelled as “regressive liberal” by her adversaries. She was established as a reckoning Kashmiri voice because of her unapologetically anti-India write ups. Since 2010, she argued, people cannot dismiss the legitimate demands of Kashmiris by calling them ‘Islamist’ or ‘foreign-backed.’
Nitasha believes that Kashmir isn’t owned either by India or Pakistan. Both these postcolonial nations, she said, are interested in the territory of Kashmir, not the Kashmiris themselves. “And yes,” she asserted, “if Bhutan can be an independent country, then certainly Kashmir can be.” It’s not about viability, she stressed. “It’s really about whether we have that imagination.”
Her first book ‘Imagining Economics Otherwise: encounters with Identity/Difference’ (Routledge, 2007) is a scholarly monograph on economics, philosophy. She still writes, speaks on political economy, economic justice, economic violence besides on neo-liberalism. Modern economics has been divorced from ethics, she believes. “It cloaks itself with scientism and neglects issues of power and identity.”