Humanity and violence though antonyms, are at the extreme sides of the pendulum called History. The pendulum swings from violence to Humanity and back from Humanity and violence.
Before commencing further, I would like you to go back into History of Kashmir, when King Sikander Butshikan (1389-1413) was ruling over Kashmir. He broke almost all the Hindu-temples that existed at that time. According to W.R. Lawrence, the Aryan Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir were given three choices-death, conversion or exile. “Many fled, many were converted and many were killed, and it is said that this thorough monarch (Sikandar) burnt seven maunds of sacred threads of the murdered Brahmans”. As for the statements of Hassan and Lawrence, six maunds of sacred threads of converts and seven maunds of murdered Pandits were burnt. The number of people, to whom these thirteen maunds of sacred threads belonged, might have been tremendously colossal. A mammoth number of the Saraswat Pandits also went into exile, causing the first disastrous mass exodus of the community.
His Son King Zain-ul-abidin, reversed the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.He restored all the rights of Kashmiri Pandits, rebuilt many desecrated and broken temples and gave full freedom of religion to the Pandits. That is why, even today, he is referred as ‘BadaShah”-The great generous King.
The former was an example of violence and the latter an example of Humanity.
In modern times, I am reminded today, how in 1990, my community of 5lakh Hindu minorities were forced to flee their hearth and homes in the dead of night. Hundreds of Hindu-temples were broken or desecrated . Many properties of the Hindus are still occupied illegally by the miscreants.
The mass agitation and the organized violence of 1990 was not impromptu. It was rather the effect of decades of hatred sown meticulously by the so-called-mainstream political parties of Kashmir. It will be pertinent to mention here the role of plebiscite front- the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah. Under the guise of Plebiscite, communal hatred was sown in the minds of the Kashmiris. An impression was given to the majority Muslim population, that they are being discriminated upon, because of being Muslims. The remedy that was suggested by the activists of this front was rather diabolical in nature. Hindu-subjugation was projected as the justice and hegemony of the majority-Muslims. During the two decades of existence of Plebiscite Front, communal hatred was successfully planted in the minds and in the polity of J&K.
1990 was the culmination of the hatred, mistrust and communal abyss. And violence was rather used as an expression of religiosity and freedom of expression.
The role of Pakistan in fomenting violence in Kashmir can not be condoned. In fact, they are the sponsors of the violence in J&K. They have overtly and covertly tried in 1947, 1965 and 1999 to capture Kashmir rather unsuccessfully. But, they have successfully projected their image as a savior of Muslims-at least among the Kashmiri Muslims. Since 1990, they have engaged India in a low intensity warfare by creating Terrorists and molding the minds of terrorists on the name of ‘Jihad’.
It becomes extremely dangerous, when violence against any community is being justified, particularly on the name of Religion. Mass-Rejoicement over the killings on the name of religion is extremely sickening, But, that is what happened with the Kashmiri Hindu minorities in 1990.
The local Mosques-that are supposed to give religious sermons-acted as mouthpieces of the perpetrators, who evoked hatred against the minority Hindus of Kashmir. The loudspeakers resounded with threats against Kps and Hindus. It acted as a tool to instill fear among the Hindus, At the same time, it also made it evident that they have complete control over the administration.
The local Government headed by Faroq Abdullah had totally collapsed. There was chaos all around. Democracy was replaced by mobocracy. And Kashmiri-Hindus were killed in the most grotesque and inhuman ways.
In 1990,Tej Krishan Razdan, came back from Punjab to his native village in Budgam District, as he had heard from the TV, and read in the Newspapers about the deteriorating situation in the Kashmir valley. The Target-Killing of Kashmiri Pandits had started. He wanted to make sure that his family is safe and was thinking of shifting his family to a safer place. Little did he knew , what was in store for Him.
On 12th Feb. 1990,in Budgam, He was accosted by one of his Muslim friends. He persuaded Tej Krishan, to accompany him to Srinagar and both boarded the Matador from Budgam to Srinagar. When the Matador reached Gaw-Kadal, Suddenly, his Friend, pulled out a Revolver and Shot him several Times in the chest. He was dragged to the Local Masjid and his Dead Body was put on display there. It was only in the evening, with Police intervention, his body could be secured.
He was killed mercilessly. He was labeled as an informer. So were hundreds of KP’s. It had become a normal practice to kill any KP and then label him as an informer. Before Killing an KP , the militant in many cases would subject the Body to dismemberment, and incidents , like gouging out of eyes, Multiple Fractures, Skinning of KP Victims took place. The inhuman way of Killing was a part of the Planned Strategy, that was carried out by the Militants backed by Pakistan. The message was clear to the KP’s that,
“Don’t you dare to stay here “.
Apart from the target individual killings of the Pandits; to keep away KP’s from coming back into the valley, the Pakistani Backed Militants also carried out Massacres’ of Kashmiri Pandits from Time to Time. On 21 Mar. 1997, in Sangrampra, 7 KP’s were led away in the dark and shot dead. On 25 jan. 1998, in Wandhama, 23 KP’s were massacred and the local Temple damaged. On 23 March 2003, at Nadimarg, 24 KP’s were massacred.
Not only that, to dissuade the KP’s from coming back, and instill a fear psychosis, the Militants confronted KP’s in Jammu region too.3 KP’s were Killed in Garhat Gool village, Ramban by the Militants impersonated as Army men. They identified and separated 5 KP’s amongst the passengers that were travelling in the Bus. There were Muslims as well as Hindu Dogras too travelling in the same Bus, but they were not touched at all by the Militants. The 5 KP’s were ordered to alight from the Bus. Sensing danger, 2 KP’s escaped from the clutches of their captors as one jumped down into the ravine and the other one ran up towards the Hill. The rest of the3 KP’s were Shot Dead. There was a 6th KP in the Bus, who escaped Death , as he did not revealed his real identity. Instead, he had introduced himself as a Muslim and was thus saved.
The message was again Loud and Clear to KP’s-“Don’t you dare to return, back to the valley”.
Having said so, It will again be pertinent to mention here that, for the normal human beings- who for the most of the time remain as just pure, simple ‘Human beings’, the above incidents will melt down their hearts. But, for the strategists and jingoist politicians of Pakistan and their kashmiri corroborators, It was all a part of well-planned strategy.
Pakistan is using Kashmir as a shield to its existential threat as a Nation. It has somehow galvanized its public on the name of Kashmir, by using phrases likes, “We the Muslims”, “Jihad” etc. It has unctuously projected itself as a messiah of Kashmiris. The fact however remains that, Pakistan has illegally donated part of J&K, i.e the Aksai-Chin to China-its partner in crime.
China, on the other hand is exploiting the natural resources of Baluchistan, and are using the sea surrounding the Pakistan to further their regional hegemony and project itself as a superpower.
We know this fact that Pakistan is at the brink of inevitable balkanization. We all know, how the rights of Baluchis or Baluchistanis have been blatantly trampled upon by the Pakistan, irrespective of their common faith. We must remember that erstwhile East Pakistan too was a Muslim-Majority area, But they opted to be a separate Nation . This makes it clear that Religion alone can not be a binding factor. The local indigenous culture too is important.
But in case of Kashmiri Hindus-who shared the common culture with the majority community; Religious fanaticism weighed down the centuries old Kashmiriyat-The kashmiri word for communal harmony.
The seeds of hatred sown by the selfish polity of Kashmiri politicians , Pakistan and its Kashmiri corroborators have grown up to become the trees laden with the fruits of violence. And this violence has taken thousands of lives over the last 28 years. This violence has uprooted a whole community. And this violence has prevented the Kashmiri Hindu community to come back to Kashmir.
Before sheikh Mohammed Abdullah made the Plebiscite front, he had made another political Party – The National Conference-which still exists. It was Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah and his National conference who came to the rescue of Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs in 1947, when Pakistan had attacked Kashmir and were selectively killing only Hindus and Sikhs. The comrades of National conference laid down their lives to protect the lives of Kashmiri Hindus and Sikhs.
It is rather strange, that when most of India and Pakistan was burning in religious-Violence, Kashmir remained untouched and the Hindu-minorities of Kashmir felt safe there. However, the peace was blown into pieces by the violence unleashed by the Pakistani terrorists and everything changed.
Terrorism and violence are synonyms and they both are destructive for the mankind. To protect the mankind, the evil of terrorism must be completely rooted out. Any group or Nation, that is manufacturing terrorists must be dealt with Iron Hands.
Pakistan, we all know expertise in manufacturing terrorists. In fact, that is their only expertise. The world must unite together to fight this evil. We should not wait for another 9/11 attack, or London Bombings, or Mumbai attack, or for that matter, another Taliban or another Kashmir. These all are directly connected to Pakistan.
For the best interest of the world, Baluchistan and Sindh area should be taken away from the present Pakistan and announced as separate countries.
For the Kashmiri Hindus, The elusive symbol of peace-The Dove is still caged somewhere and so is the Humanity. It has been almost 27 years now, since Kp’s were ousted by the Violence unleashed on the name of Jihad. There is still a hope, that peace will prevail once again in the valley.
Time has come when the World must come together and wipe out the terrorism completely from the face of Earth, so that, the pendulum will sway again towards the Humanity, the peace prevail and the Doves free once again..