Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits were slaughtered by jihadis in the year 1989-90
A whole generation of Kashmiri Pandits has been rotting away in abysmal and squalid conditions across the country, thanks mainly to the callous apathy of the government towards addressing their grievances. Now can the new dispensation at the centre rehabilitate languishing Pandits in their homeland?
Terrifying. Muslim mob flags a bus, thrashes the driver, breaks windows, is about to set it on fire, when some occupants plead they are also Muslim. The Mob separates them, douses the bus with petrol. Fortunately, some elders prevent a tragedy. SILENCE,” tweeted A Ranganathan, author and columnist.
This happened in Ranchi, Jharkhand on the July 8 , 2019. But this is not a new phenomenon—it is just a REPEAT of what happened in Kashmir in the late 80s and early 90s. It is eerily uncanny.
Recently, a trend was followed by many people on the orders of Pakistan. No prizes for guessing the trend correctly—it was “Burhan Wani” and just see who thought he was a ‘freedom fighter’— “They call them terrorists, I call them freedom fighters”, tweeted Separatist Syed Ali Geelani. Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations and chief spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces tweeted “Nothing comes without commitment, dedication and sacrifices. Heroes do it at the cost of their today for better tomorrow of next generations”.
Prof. KN Pandita clearly explained that it was Ghazwa-e-Hind that these terrorists are fighting for, not Kashmiriyat. He mentioned how Islam itself was a mission and not just a religion and its mission is the Ghazwa-e-Hind
Both the above tweets are actually more than enough to understand what the Kashmiri Hindus went through when they were forced to flee their homeland, thanks to the separatist forces within the country, supported by our neighbour, Terroristan.
Kashmir or “Kashyap Bhoomi” of Kashyap Rishi is now touted as being the land of the Islamic majority. So much so that Kashmiriyat now means “Kashmiri Shariyat”. The indigenous people of Kashmir, who have kept their culture alive, have been kicked out of the land of their ancestors. The murderous hordes have made it their own fiefdom today. For those apologists who say that it was the fault of the leaders and the Pakistani stooges, the video shared in the first tweet should clear all doubts about who carried out the skulduggery of driving out the Kashmiri Pandits. While it is a fact that those pulling strings were the Pakistanis, the hands that carried out the macabre hatchet job were those of the Kashmiri Muslims. “Raliv, Galiv ya Chaliv”! These war cries that echoed in the Valley were not just shouted in the Mosques there, blaring from the loudspeakers, but also on the streets. For the uninitiated, “Raliv, Galiv ya Chaliv!” means “Convert, Die or Leave!”
The fact is that no common man in Kashmir, be it Hindu or Muslim or Sikh or Buddhist benefited from Article 370 and 35A. How can any region make progress if there is no investment, no factories, no service sector companies?
Can one imagine the horrors a peaceful minority faced? It is not as if they were not brave enough to fight back. What held them back and made them leave was the utter horror of rapes and killings of women there. The bloodthirsty, murderous gangs of Muslims shouted two slogans repeatedly.
“What do we want?”
“What do we want?”
“Kashmir. Without the Pandit men; with the Pandit women.”
Which leads us to the question, “Did this happen suddenly?” No!. It was a series of events which led to the final showdown. For many months before that, Kashmiri Hindus who were in Government jobs were blocked from promotions, were given remote postings, generally sending a feeling of unease. The teachings in the Mosques had already become rabid and the Government was in the know of it. Endless processions of hysterical Muslim locals and their raging anti-India, pro-Azadi, pro-Pakistan slogans rented the air for months before January 19, 1990. In a flagrant violation of service rules, Muslim State Government employees actively supported and abetted terrorism. They worked as moles passing vital security, logistical and related information to the terrorists and their mentors across the border. Several policemen enlisted as ‘Jihadi’ volunteers, even crossed over to PoK while being on the payrolls of the government. But the Farooq Abdullah Government and the VP Singh-led Government at the Centre turned a blind eye to all that.
A Whole Civilisation Forced out; the World just Watched on
For hundreds of years, Hindus have been forced into conversions, flight from their homes and more, but we have been silent about our sufferings. Whether it was the Portuguese inquisition in Goa or the Tipu Sultan-led massacre in Srirangapatnam or the Aurangzeb-led assault on Sikhs and Marathas or the Partition, or the pogrom in Kashmir, Hindus have remained silent and bore the cruelty, the massacres, the tortures WITHOUT allowing their culture to vanish. This is why ours is the only ancient civilisation which still lives on. But even today, in this modern world, we are not allowed to live peacefully.
The Assault is not Yet Over
Recently, in Pune, a conclave was held on the current situation of the Kashmiri Hindu Pandits, their past and what steps can be taken in the future to help them return to their homeland. This conclave was a “One Nation Movement” by “India 4 Kashmir” a pan-India movement. At this conclave, eminent personalities like Padmashree Prof KN Pandita ji, Shri Moti Kaul, Shri Ramesh Hangloo, Ashoke Pandit, Meenakshi Sharan, Ritu Rathore, Dr Charudatta Pingale, Vivek Agnihotri, Shefali Vaidya, Rati Hegde (including this writer) and more spoke on these topics.
Prof. KN Pandita clearly explained that it was Ghazwa-e-Hind that these terrorists are fighting for, not Kashmiriyat. He mentioned how Islam itself was a mission and not just a religion and its mission is the Ghazwa-e-Hind. Kashmir is centre to the Islamic Caliphate and that is why they are using armed insurgency to retain that land. Democratic India is a spoke in their wheel of establishing the Islamic Caliphate across Asia. 70 terrorists were released in July 1989 (including Yasin Malik and Bitta Karate) by Farooq Abdullah to enable and expedite this heinous mission in Kashmir. During the interactive session later, he also mentioned that it would be incorrect to say that Shias or Bakerwals and other tribes are Nationalists and the others are against the Nation. He cautioned against pitting one group against the other. He also praised the current Government for bringing the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus and terrorism into the limelight and in international forums. Pakistan had to be identified as the bearer of terrorism in the world and they had to be isolated and shamed.
There are many canards being spread about Kashmir which have been used to build a narrative which is very much anti-Kashmiri Hindus. Let us take a look at some of these canards:
- It was Governor Jaganmohan Singh who was responsible for the Kashmiri Pandits fleeing the Valley
Nothing could be more falsifying than this. It was clearly the Pakistani Government along with the murderous Kashmiri Muslims with their various associations like the Hurriyat and others who were responsible for the flight of the Kashmiri Pandits from the valley.
- Kashmiris are migrants/ refugees!
One of the biggest narratives built by the Kashmiris was that terrorists were labelled as militants. The other big narrative was the labelling of forcibly-displaced Kashmiri Hindus as Migrants or Refugees. A migrant is “a person who moves from one place to another, especially in order to find work or better living conditions.” The Kashmiri Pandits were facing genocide. They were driven out of their ancestral homeland. How then can they be called “Migrants”? A Refugee is “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.” Kashmiri Hindus went out of one part of their homeland into another within their own country. And they would have gone back if the situation had improved! If a person shifted from Karnataka to Uttar Pradesh, would he be called a “refugee”?
But such terms were used intentionally to prevent the vicious agenda of Kashmiri genocide from being taken seriously. Thanks to various representations by the Kashmiri Pandits in the United Nations (UN), people took note of this and now the correct terms are used in the UN. Unfortunately, mainstream media still refuses to open their eyes to the Kashmiri genocide and calls terrorist militants and displaced Kashmiri Hindus as refugees or migrants.
- The displaced Kashmiri Pandits only lost their homes
This has to be one of the saddest narratives ever built. It just doesn’t take into account the lost childhood of lakhs of children of the Kashmiri Pandits. They had seen ruthless murders and rapes and still get nightmares about them. But they were silenced. To shift from a spacious home to a rented tenement with no toilet, no drinking water or electricity, no proper school is a horror for any children. Kashmiri Hindus lost their ancestral lands, their culture, and their places of worship. In fact, they lost everything. No one speaks about the billions of rupees worth of movable property and investments that the Kashmiri Hindus had to abandon overnight. It is sad that media houses show videos of some abandoned houses which are still untouched. But no one shows those houses which have been illegally occupied. Who will foot the bill for the losses suffered by the Kashmiri Hindus?
- Kashmiri Pandits were rich and prosperous unlike their Muslim counterparts
Nothing could be further from truth. Kashmiri Hindus had all kind of jobs, right from a peon’s to that of a Manager’s, from teacher to doctors, from bus conductors to drivers. Yes, some were well-to-do, but then even the Muslims were well-off. If not, how come that 15 lakh Kashmiri Muslims live outside Kashmir, while only a minuscule of Kashmiri Hindus live abroad. The displaced Hindus still live in camps under squalid conditions. If they were so rich, could they have not brought bungalows for themselves elsewhere? The irony is that while Kashmiri Hindus cannot go back to their homes for a summer holiday, the Kashmiri Muslims can do that without fear of their house being destroyed or ransacked or them being killed.
- Kashmiris benefitted from 370 & 35A
This lie has been forcefully perpetrated by the Kashmiri Muslim politicians again and again. The fact is that no common man in Kashmir, be it Hindus or Muslim or Sikh or Buddhist benefited from Article 370 and 35A. How can any region make progress if there is no investment, no factories, no service sector companies? This article was purposefully inserted to keep Kashmiris perpetually dependent on Government largesse. It was a way to tame the common man and to keep the Government at the Centre in tenterhooks. Only the separatists and the unscrupulous and corrupt politicians of Kashmir (not Jammu, or Ladakh) benefitted. Today, the Abdullahs, the Muftis, Geelanis and such anti-national elements have amassed crores of rupees. But the common man, who still believes he is fighting for Azadi or Jihad, is wearing torn clothes, collecting Rs.500 per day for stone-pelting. This is the right time to make them realise why these sections were included. Article 370 and Sec. 35A has to be scrapped and the Kashmiri Hindus are grateful to Shri Narendra Modi and Shri Amit Shah for having spoken boldly on this point, and their resolve to get rid of both.’
- No one would invest in Kashmir even if Art 370 & 35A were removed
To mislead the people of the country, this canard has been spread that neither the Kashmiri Hindus will return, nor will anyone invest in the State. Yes, if terrorism is not controlled, it is obvious that no one will want to go to that State. But the fact is that removal of the above will drive the last nail in the coffin of the separatists. As it is the common man of Kashmir has realised now that neither Pakistan, nor the separatists or politicians are genuinely interested in their welfare. The situation of Kashmiris in PoK and the abysmal surrender of the Pakistani Government to the Chinese is not hidden from anyone now. In fact, the people of PoJK too are now interested in separating from Pakistan altogether. This is why the separatists and politicians are so flustered. The only way to bring a balance and peace in the region is to allow for investments and people movement in the State.
Do we understand what permanent displacement of Kashmiri Pandits will do to the nation? Do we understand what will happen to the rest of Bharat if Kashmiri Hindus never get a chance to go back to their homeland? What is there that will prevent the Minorities from running amok in other parts of the country and displacing people from there forever? We must exercise our inalienable right over Kashmir. A look at the following chart will help make things more transparent how Hindus ruled the land of Kashmir for over 4700 years while Muslims ruled for less than 470 years and that too, because of tyranny…
As Shri Ramesh Hangloo pointed out, Kashmir was the fountainhead of our civilisation. Sharada lipi was the lipi with which Sanskrit too was written. Abhinav Gupta, on whose works Pratyabhijna Darshan or Trika philosophy is still learnt, hailed from Kashmir. Adi Shankara too had to go to Kashmir and take permission to sit on the Sharada Peetham to be declared as a Jagadguru.
Can we lose out on our culture, our heritage, our identity as the oldest living civilisation, just because an enemy country wants to occupy it through its dubious emissaries? This is a question for every Bharatiya and for our government too.
A country which doesn’t respect its past, cannot have a respectful future. When the world today looks up to our Nation to learn about spirituality, the one thing that grants real peace and wisdom, should we not take pride in upholding our rightful place as the protectors of Dharma?
In the face of mounting attacks on the Indian Army amid false claims that the Army has been ill-treating the Muslims, especially after the Modi Government came to power at the Centre, the small, indigenous population of Kashmiri Hindus are fighting back. They are approaching the UN under the Genocide Convention of 1951 to declare that genocide took place in Kashmir in 1990.
Till now, the term used in the UN was ‘akin to genocide’. They are protesting this cover-up. They want the UN to work with the Indian Government to resettle them in their homeland. As Indians, we all should shed our silence on the trials and tribulations faced by the Kashmiri Hindus for the last 30 years. It is time we changed the false narrative being spread to defame our Government and strengthened the hands of the Government to disclose the truth.
(The writer is a Mumbai-based columnist)