Monthly Archives: May 2011

Political empowerment of Kashmiri Pandits!!!!

Some years back, I along with a group of Kashmiri Pandits  got a chance to meet one of the top most politician (name withheld) of J&k and spent good two hours discussing Kashmir and its people. The politician looked keen to involve Kashmiri Pandits in the politics of Jammu and Kashmir. At that time the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir was Mr. Mufti Mohammed sayeed and his government had initiated and build condominiums for the migrant Kashmiri Pandits at Budgam. The senior politician candidly told us that there is a section of Kashmiri Muslims who is opposing the return of Pandits vitriolically as they have illegally captured the properties of Kashmiri Pandits .This politician also told us about the incapability of arresting the culprits by the administration as that can turn into a political Blunder. At that time,T.V and print media were also aggressively promoting the new found bonhomie between the two communities of Kashmir and many pundits even showed interest to go back to Kashmir and live in those flats.

PDP was signaling and conveying through different modes to Pandits to come back to Kashmir as they claimed that normalcy has returned to Kashmir, The other political heavyweight Mr. Faroq Abdullah in the meantime visited Kashmiri Pandits at Misriwala Camp, jammu and warned them not to return to Kashmir as Things were not congenial for the return of Pandits to valley. But sure That time around 2007 things looked more normal ….

During that time ,A KP friend of mine even bought a piece of land in Kashmir and was interested in building a new house, but it proved to be a Bubble waiting to be busted as after a year or two the Amarnath Land row agitation unveiled the curtains of hatred and showed the ugly facet of religious intolerance and rift- which was already present somewhere between Hindus and Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir. The spoilsport was played by Syed ali shah Geelani, a known xenophobiac , who played the role of a Demagogue and claimed that India is Building a colony in Baltal and told his followers that very soon by these tactics the Majority population will be Marginalized by Indian population, PDP also did not left any stone unturned and tacitly and sometimes openly supported Geelani and company.

Then came the Jammu and Kashmir elections and people of Jammu and Kashmir come out in Large numbers for voting which culminated in Mr.Omar Abdullah becoming the youngest Chief Minister of J&k. Many KP’s also tried their luck and jumped into the fray of electoral battle but all had to bite the dust. Not a Single KP won and not only that ,most the KP’s who had contested elections lost their security deposits, Even the traditional Habba Kadal seat was also lost which was otherwise considered to be a KP stronghold.

Now after a long Gap, the politics of Kashmir saw two new K.P entrants, a 52 year old housewife Ashajee, a Kashmiri Pandit , who was elected a Panch from Wussan village in Baramullah, and last week another Kashmiri Pandit ,Shri Makhan lal Zutshi was also elected Panch and that too unopposed from village Tahab,Pulwama. Their victory made Headlines in many newspapers and many congratulated them including me. But their victory also unfolded the untold story of political alienation which the KP’s have been facing since long.one of the reasons for exodus of Kashmiri Pandits was Political marginalization since KP’s do not have any political power in Jand K. lack of political will by the leading political parties of J&K was another reason for not taking any appropriate steps to bring back KP’s in the political fold at least since last two decades .

There are 4130 Sarpanchs(Kashmir-2164, Jammu-1966) 29719 Panchs(Kashmir-15959,Jammu-13760) number of Block Panchayats-143(Kashmir-77, Jammu-66) and 22 District Panchayats. Out of the given figure above two Kashmiri Pandits made it and became Panchs!!! What is this news conveying ? Is it the dawn of the political rebirth of Pandits or the Remnants of political decadence?

2 out of 29719 comes to 0.006%, Is this an achievement or shame!!! I will definitely term it as a big shame,a joke on the part of democracy…It is believed that the population of Kashmiri Pandits is no less than 7 Lakhs !!! though ,no survey has been done regarding the exact population of KP’s since many decades ,However there is a statistics(old) with JK government, but that is questionable and hence not authentic.

it has been reported by a section of Kashmiri Muslims who were architects of the exodus of K.P’s that there has been no Genocide of K.P’s, no one ousted K.P’s from Kashmir, Only Indian Army looted the houses of Kashmiri Pandits who left for safer places, No one destroyed the temples of Hindus of Kashmir but nobody can explain how and why the temples were broken!!!, Kashmiri pundits were lured by Jagmohan to leave Kashmir and leave their palatial Bunglows and Multi-crore properties only to live in tattered camps and get mindboggling Rs 800/family as assistance!!!

Coming back to panchayti elections, a Political section wants to project the news of KP’s winning panchayti elections as news which reflects political empowerment of K.P’s, But that is not. Elsewhere in India, becoming a panch or even a sarpanch does not make any ripples, but we are talking about Kashmir, that Kashmir which had a population of one million K.P’s in early twenth century and today not even 4000 are left , That is why two KP’s becoming Panchs have made Headlines…..But on the other side their victory has also stated without a word the general condition of Pandits and their story of last 21 years……

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Osama, Geelanis and Kashmiri Pandits….

Around thirteen years back, My friend who was my classmate met me after a gap of year or so in Bangalore, a  self confessed moderate Muslim from Kashmir Valley . He was feeling ebullient because he could feel the absence of Fear and uncertainty which has become synonym with Kashmir since last 21 years. There was a visible change in his physical appearance and he was looking weak , his face had lost that healthy pinkish tinge which was found ubiquitously  on the face of Kashmiris-whether Hindus or Muslims. I  asked him the reason for his cadaverous looks and he said,” I was picked by the Police in Kashmir for being  hand in glove with the terrorists and I was beaten mercilessly and  even some of my bones were cracked”, I asked sympathetically ,” Is that True?” He said,” No, I was framed by a former terrorist who has now become an informer”.

We had a good time together until the word “TALIBAN” popped up in the discussion. Taliban was new at that time and I had no interest in another Extremist Muslim Group operating in Afghanistan. But my friend bubbled with joy at the name of Taliban and said,” Taliban is doing good work in Afghanistan, they are adhering to the tenets of Islam and I pray to Allah that their ideology spread to every part especially Kashmir.” I thought he calls himself moderate,yet he is visibly exited about “Talibanis” and got lost for a while thinking of those who  don’t call themselves moderates!!!

Yesterday Prime Minister of Pakistan Yusuf Raza Geelani came out with clarification for the first time after the death of Osama Bin Laden who was hunted down by the American navy seals in the Backyard of Military establishment of Abbotabad in Pakistan . Pakistan just got “exposed” and It was sheer shame and a slap on the face of Pakistan, Many wrote that Pakistan’s golden Goose is Dead. No longer can they extract  Billions of Dollars from U.S.A ,the way they used to, on the name of Osama Bin Laden.

Prime Minister Geelani flayed Al-Qiada with some strong words but Tactically omitted out the other Devil namely the Taliban. It is widely believed that Taliban is the creation of Pakistan’s  I.S.I  and whole world knows the relation of Al-Qiada with Taliban.The terminologies or names such as Jamat-ul-dawa, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen or Taliban may sound different but they are just the different facets of the same epidemic which has killed tens of thousands of innocent people and ISI has been supporting these groups for a long time now. The whole episode of “Laden” made it evident the role of I.S.I in giving shelter and other strategic tools to Osama Bin laden and thereby Al-Qiada.The other Islamic extremist groups are safe in Pakistan as long as they don’t challenge directly U.S.A the way Al-Qiada did.The role of Pakistan as the center of Islamic terrorism as well as outsourcing of terrorism on the name of Islam has become crystal clear…

Meanwhile Another Talib of Kashmir, Syed Ali Shah Geelani  lead the funeral prayers for the most wanted Terrorist of World and declared him a “Martyr” an Hero of Islamic world and said at the same time,” Kashmir is not a battle of religions”. If it is not the battle of religions then why on Earth did he led the funeral procession of a man from Middle east!! …By the way he has scored a point by restricting the duration of Amarnath  Yatra to 15 days which was previously extended to one month.

Ethnic cleansing of Minorities is widely prevalent in every Country where Islam is A Major religion. Taslima Nasreen’s Book  “Lajja” which was written in the Backdrop of Babri Masjid demolition has captured the mind and Mood of Islamic zealots Photographically. I had read that Book long time back and I still remember the names of the protagonists family  like suranjan, Sudhamoy, Kironmoyee and Maya, while Maya does,nt come back to his family and It is presumed that she has changed her faith to Islam in order to live, the other three at the end flee to India in order to survive. Isn’t it the same thing which happened to Kashmiri Pandits, we left our homes and properties too in order to live. We left our everything in order to escape  the Bloody ideology of Islamic fundamentalists, which had long time back left us with two choices-convert and embrace Islam  or Die. At the time of our exodus there was nothing like Babri Demolition, or any other Hindu-Muslim riot in India but still,  Kashmiri Pandits were ousted because they happened  to follow a different faith.

Kashmiri Pandits-the victims of Jihad ,know very well the devious designs of fundamentalists and separatists. The Crocodile tears of Former terrorists and separatists has little effect on us. They may act to be friendly  and laugh with KP’s but their laughter is like the laughter of Hyennas-Deceptive ,cunning and dangerous for the lives of K.p’s.

Is their a civil society of Kashmiri Muslims who have ever raised their voices in support of K.p’s? the answer is “NO”. There are some moderates, but what is the use of those moderates who like the three monkeys of Gandiji-see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil whenever it is a question of Kashmiri Pandits. But when it comes to the Human right issues of Kashmiri Muslims, suddenly from             Gandhiji’s Monkeys they transform into torn out loudspeakers and cry and scream for the violations.

The mainstream political parties are to some extent better than the separatists but till now there has been no sincerity, synergy and cohesiveness in their words and actions. Their lip service underline their unctuousness and their political interests  and more so over they have to water the garden of their vote bank .

Since last 21 years time has stood still from the KP perspective, Kashmir –The land of our ancestors  is still far, our deserted homes tell the story of our forced exodus, our depilated temples tell the story of the battle of our faith, The lakes and mountains of Kashmir silently recognize us as their own but cannot utter a word and those who have the power of speech have never spoken for us. we may go to visit Kashmir as many of us do But none, not even those who are working there under PM employment package can call it “SWEET HOME”…..not under the present circumstances……..