This is a remarkable photo. It captures a group of young Kashmiri Hindu Pandit girls taking up arms to defend Kashmir against the invasion of Pakistan in 1947. The “Kashmiri self-defense corps” kept Pakistan away until the Indian army arrived in Srinagar.
It was a Kashmiri Muslim conference leader named Muhammad Ibrahim Khan who went to Pakistan and invited Pashtun Kabalis to invade Kashmir in 1947. These tribes were brought from FATA(today’s Taliban region). Their motto was “Zar Zan Zameen”=” Gold Women Land”. They were helped by the Pakistan army with guns, ammunition, and people. They had already wreaked havoc upon Baramulla and destroyed everything and everyone they could lay their hands upon. Murder, arson, rape, temple destruction. You name it. They did everything in Baramulla.
The women in this picture have been identified as (from left) Usha Kak, Kaushalya Kaul, Krishna Misri, Shanta Kashkari Leela Bhan, Jai Kishori Dhar, Indu Pandit, Khurshid Bakshi, Zainab, Usha Kashyap, Jai Kishori Vaishnavi, and Laxmi Rambal.
This picture tells me something else. If only politicians of those days had shown an iota of political will instead of remaining mute witnesses, Hindus would not have been driven out of Kashmir. Courage was never lacking in them.