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Nandkeshwar Bhairava – Protector of Devotees

Posted in hindus, india, JAMMU & KASHMIR, kashmir by Sandeep on May 23, 2020

Bhairava Illumination – Vimarsh XXVIII

Nandkeshwar Bhairava – Protector of Devotees

– Sunil Raina Rajanaka

Note – The Incarnation Day of Lord Nandkeshwar this year is on 22nd May 2020

Tantra is way of life among vast majority of Kashmiri Hindus. Infact it origination, nurturing and its propogation has been from Kashmir where this school got integrated with day today life of the inhabitants that whatever they do or follow has its origination in Tantra rituals. Because of the vastness of this school various saints, regents and scholar’s adopted its methodology to follow the path of self elevation.

Kashmiri Shaivities emphasised on mutual coexistence with nature and chose natural symbols as a part of worship. Kashmir has lot many symbols like springs, trees, rivers, mountains and lakes. All these natural places were venerated and special days celebrated in their honor. Other important aspects have been their litany of details in the form of Mahatamyas which explain both geographical, spiritual and historical accounts of these places. During reign of Parvaersen in 6 CE the new city of Srinagar was to be founded the mighty king invoked the blessings of Lord Shiva and consecrated eight guardian Bhairava’s in eight direction of Srinagar. All these eight Bhairava’s have jurisdiction over which their lordship is undisputed among Kashmiri Hindus. These eight Bhairava’s are clan deity of Kashmiri Hindu families who believe in super natural powers of them as they have been protecting them since centuries.

One of the prominent Bhairava is Nandkeshwar Bhairava whose worship is done by families of Seer village near Sopore, Ghoshbug , Vanpoh , Sumbal ,Gotengo , Vilgam among others .

The Lord is worshipped in the form of big Boonye (Chinar) in all places . Later on Pandit Trilok Koul created a painting of Nandkeshwar Bhairava. The masters envisaged the form of Nandkeshwar as;

 The Lord is seated on bloomed louts in padamasana indicating awakened kundalini

 Reddish in the form which indicates Kriya-Shakti and Rajo Guna

 His lower right hand is holding trident indicating control over three aspects of Shakti

 The right upper hand is holding rosary which indicates constant contemplation of supreme

 Lower left hand is holding bowl of blood indicative of devouring the wicked.

 Left upper hand holding Vajra as a tool for punishment for those who create turmoil.

As per legend of Nandkeshwar a young boy managed to sneak into the assembly of deities which was presided by Creator Brahma at the place near Manasbal lake subsequently in the assembly of gods the young boy managed to get divine blessings much to the annoyance of gods. Later due to the intervention of Lord Shiva the boy was granted permanent place among the Shiv-Ganas. The adjudication of this dispute among the gods and this young boy was resolved by Lord Shiva in Sumbal and since than Sumbal shrine is considered as Darbar of Nandkeshwar whereas the original place of residence is at Seer in Sopore.

Many devotees have shared spiritual and lifesaving accounts of Nandkeshwar Bhairava. One of the account is that during 1947 Pakistani Tribal invasion the residence of Seer prayed to the Lord for protection and later invasion got foiled. In another account in Goshbug temple of Nandkeshwar a miscreant had stolen the idol of Lord and hidden the idol in cowshed. In few days of time many of his livestock died miscreant went to muslim faqir who on knowing the sacrilege done by the miscreant advised him to place back the idol in the temple. This miscreant realized his mistake and sort the apology from Hindu believers. Later his remaining livestock survived. In another account a Moulvi in Seer use to dump egg shells at door of Temple to hurt the sentiments of believers. Once his son was taking a bath on the ghats of the temple suddenly he got caught in the whirlpool and was about to get drowned. Despite cry for the help no one came forward to help the boy. Exasperated Moulvi suddenly prayed to the Nandkeshwar seeking apology for his miss conducts. Suddenly to the utter surprise of everyone his son got saved and reached the shore safely.

The general belief among the believers is that any desecration or disrespect of Nandkeshwar is duly punished. The devotees at Sumbal temple offer turmeric rice along with goat- liver whereas residence of Seer village offer do not add turmeric in the cooked rice. Any bride who got married from these areas is offering goat sacrifice to the Lord and is known as Razkath as a thanks giving to the Lord and also seeking his blessings for better future and conjugal life.

The incarnation day of the Lord is celebrated on Amavasya of Jyeshta Hindu month. After 1990 turmoil and mass exodus of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir the temple dedicated Lord Nandkeshwar Bhairava is newly constructed at Vitasta Vihar, on Akalpur road in Jammu. Where devotees regularly pay obeisance to their favorite Lord whom they believe protected them from all evils. Let us pray Lord Nandkeshwar Bhairava and beseech him for our worldly and spiritual progress.

Amarnath yatra in the sepia era

Posted in hindus, history, JAMMU & KASHMIR, kashmir travel, kashmiri pandits by Sandeep on May 22, 2020

<img src="https://kashmirblogs.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/img-20200522-wa0024.jpg" alt=”” width=”720″ height=”661″ class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-2394″ />

(received through whatsup messages)

My Reminiscences of Broked Promises

Posted in hindus, human rights, india, JAMMU & KASHMIR, kashmir, kashmiri pandits by Sandeep on April 25, 2020

It was the peak winter month of January 1987 with a record snowfall in Kashmir. 1986 had been very harsh to a lot of Kashmiri pandit families, due to hidden and cowardly acts of burning their households,temples and properties mostly in Southern districts Anantnag etc during the rule of gull
Shah, brother-in-law of Farooq Abdullah.

Immediately, after opening of locks in ayodhya in February 1986; Some people
say these riots were engineered by Mufti Mohammad sayeed to get a hold on the chair of chief minister.
I was living with my entire family in my village Mazhom ,18 kilometres west of Srinagar. It is also a railway station now.

There were a total of 2 Kashmiri pandit families divided into 8 households, comprising of a total headcount of 34, from the oldest to the infant .Till then, living peacefully co-existed with about 1500 households of Kashmiri Muslim Brethren.

This peace and Harmony was Broken in an unprecedented engineered act of fire, when 2 houses belonging to Kashmiri Pandits were gutted by miscreants in the dead of night. Frightened, we ran helter-skelter consoling each other. villagers turned on the scene, and helped to douse and control the fire of the thatched roofs with all wood frames. Fire fighting staff came 3 hours later from pattan and fire was finally doused- but not the flames of fear and anxiety that we all suffered.

Next day onwards, a temporary police post was erected in our vicinity making us a target of dislike and suspicion amongst a few villagers, due to continued presence of unarmed local police. Some revenue personal and a deputy minister turned up within a fortnight asking one of our household heads to get new clothes prepared for their youth.
The Revenue personal was also conveyed that they were educated yet unemployed. They gave their assurance of help.

The assurance given at that point proved to be a just a lip service. No compensation or relief etc was given to us for the reasons best known to the authorities.

Rajiv Gandhi, had taken charge as prime minister in 1985 after the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi in 1984, after which riots against Sikh community countrywide took place. Gull Shah government was dismissed in march 1986 and governors rule was imposed. Instead of promoting Mufti Syed as CM of the state, he was made rajya Sabha member and Union tourism minister. It is widely believed that this step was taken to make way for Rajiv Gandhi’s longtime friend Farooq Abdullah.

Interestingly, Farooq Abdullah’s Govt had been toppled by engineering defections of NC MLA’s previously. Gul Shah-his brother in law, had been installed as CM.It is believed that Mufti Syed orchestrated this in order to fulfill his underlying ambition of becoming the state CM.

An accord between Rajiv and Farooq was signed in Nov 1986 to the displeasure of senior Congress leaders that included Mufti syed as welk. Elections were declared to be held in 1987.

Before elections, Rajiv Gandhi visited Kashmir amidst a thick snowfall. A visit to gulmarg along with his friend and host,was on the itinerary. It was snowing heavily during that night and we noticed snow dozers clearing the road early in the morning , a hundred metres from my house. The police presence along the road showed up and most folks of the village gathered along the road to Gulmarg-that passed through our village. In addition to our main house, a hundred metres from this road, we had another small house cum grain store just on the roadside.

All our community folks queued alongside the edges of the Road to have a glimpse of the motorcade. At that time, My elder son was one and half years old and was distinguishable amongst the crowd due to his fair face and Apple red cheeks from a distance.
He was held by my younger sister . The pilot car appeared and the PM’s Jeep followed at a gap of about 200 meters. Rajiv Gandhi was at driver’s seat himself and Farooq Abdullah by his side. The Wives of both leaders Sonia and Molly were settled in the middle of the SUV. Going at a slow speed due to snowy road and presence of people along its edges .

No sooner did the PM’s Jeep reached near my house, an old KP lady- shobhavati- in a traditional KP attire almost jumped in front of the PM’s vehicle , to the shock of everybody present there!
Rajiv Gandhi applied brakes to a halt. The security personnel immediately appeared and threw a ring around his vehicle. He inquired about the lady and her problems. she tried to explain in Kashmiri. Being very near to this scene, Rajiv Gandhi waved at me asking to tell him what shobhavati was saying ,which I precisely told him .
I told him that her house has been damaged by the fire and her 32 year old son is still unemployed , and that no relief was provided to her as a fire victim.

” wajahat ko bulao” , ordered Rajiv Gandhi.
A long motorcade of bureaucrats and politicians and other personnel was lined up behind his SUV and some of their occupants had got down ,struggling among villagers gathered there, to reach near PM’s vehicle.
Farooq Abdullah as usual turned vociferous at the peak of his volume,hurling choicest indecent abuses in the name of revenue authorities and divisional commissioner. “Yiman chhuv na kenh dyutmut”? ( have you not given them anything ?You have left this shabbiness at the roadside) Farooq’s wife was along with Sonia Gandhi in the rear seat.

Somehow, Sonia Gandhi caught a glimpse of my son with apple red cheeks and waved at my sister-who was holding him- to come near. Taking that one and half year old kid in her lap, she loved him and then handed over to Rajiv Gandhi who too fondled him and asked ” kiska bachha hai”? I responded and took the child from him. In the meantime some secretary had reached near PM with a stenos pad in his hands.

“write down a house and a job for her son” PM of India ordered amongst the hundreds present there. Many more people tried to ask favours among the crowd. To all those Farooq Abdullah asked to keep their applications ready. On their return journey these would be collected and acted upon. I don’t know what fate fell on all the other applications and demands,but one thing I know for sure; Prime minister of India Rajiv Gandhi’s orders on spot, in presence of a large crowd of machinery and media were not carried out, making our small community of 34 people in that village a topic of mockery and fun.

I wonder if he and his office ever used to bother to take note of follow up action on promises made while touring , to innocent people, who chose them to high office. The only thing I remember is many villagers congratulated me because king and queen of the country had put their hands on my son’s head, so a sign of auspiciousness.

Soon however ,my son ,his whole family and his whole community were forcibly exiled from their ancestral homeland that left me wondering whether it brought auspiciousness or misfortunes…..

By-Sh. Virendra Bhat ji

Dilapidated House and A Temple

Posted in kashmir by Sandeep on March 31, 2020

A number of temples and Houses belonging to the minority Kashmiri Hindus are in Shambles in the Kashmir valley.

Reminiscences of Sheen Bhagwaan(snow man@ Kanataal).

Posted in kashmir, travel by Sandeep on February 2, 2020

The snow looked fresh, But, I was told , it was a couple of days old.There were intermittent patches of soggy grass at the edges of the snow.The snow facing the sunny side of the Mountain had thawed.I sauntered for a while, just to have a good look of the Vistas, and then I knelt down and grasped the snow with both my hands.I pressed it hard and made it like a ball-a small snow ball.I threw it up in the sky and watched it fall down as it hit the Bough of the Devdar.It broke into many parts.some parts fell down on the bed of snow and a part of it became a sort of powdery-ice and disappeared in the thin air.

I again took some snow in my hands, pressed it again and made yet another ball.This time, I rolled it on the snowy-surface and with each turn, the ball became bigger and bigger.I made a couple of big Snow balls, each ball as big as a Football. I was doing all this to make the *Sheen Bhagwan* or Snowman- like I used to do in my childhood at Kashmir.

The Kashmiri pandits used to call the Snow-Man as Sheen(snow) Bhagwan(demigod); while the Muslims called it as ‘Sheen(Snow) Mohnuy(man).

Back in The valley, I used to make a big Snow-Man as there used to be enough snow to make the big torso and the big head of the Snow-man. I also used to make the outstretched arms of ‘SheenBhagwan’.we used to put coal in place of the eyes of the Snow-Man. It used to take many days or weeks for the snow man to melt completely.

But things were different here.

I had to supplant tiny twigs in place of the coal, in order to make the eyes of the Snow-Man. And , When I tried to put a peice of a thicker twig for Nose, It just crumbled. I re-made it once again.This time without a nose.

While, I was making The ‘Sheen-Bhagwan’,The renewed feeling of holding the snow in my hand put me in a reverie. I could see and hear my late Grandmother telling me, “sheenas syeth ha Dyazi Aatha “(Snow will burn your hands).I was literally feeling again my hands burning.Nevertheless , I was enjoying the Child’s play along with my Son as my wife was amusingly looking at us.

There were few apple tress on those steps of Kanatal. Those step-fields disappeared somewhere down in the valley.Few steps were covered with snow. Many tourists, like me were just enjoying the snow.

Far-Far away, The spectacular, snow-capped, redoubtable Himalayas stood a witness to all of our activities.I stayed there for some time and tried to capture and live the moment.

Soon, It was time to go.

Though, The snowman which I made was far from being called a perfect.Yet its imperfection was just perfect to titiliate and activate some of my childhood memories.

And relive the winter of Kashmir….

Holocaust Day protest at Jantar Mantar (19/1/2020)

Posted in genocide, hinduism, hindus, india, JAMMU & KASHMIR, kashmir, kashmiri pandits, politics by Sandeep on January 22, 2020

THE WRATH OF GHAR DEVATĀ

Posted in hindus, india, JAMMU & KASHMIR, kashmir by Sandeep on December 31, 2019

And the Power of Myth
____________________________________
The year was 2003!

We were forced to sell our ancestral house in Sathu Bar Bar Shah for peanuts to the Muslim who had forcibly occupied it. Why? What made us so helpless? Let us start from the beginning.

The story begins in early Twentieth century.

Two young men, Madho Ram Fotedar, and his elder brother Thakur Das Fotedar, construct their own house at what was then the outskirts of Srinagar, in Sathu Bar Bar Shah, on a piece of barren land under the loving supervision of their elder sister who is a mother to both of them.

Time passes.

My grandfather, Kailash Nath, is born in this very house. He leads a life of penury but silent dignity in this loving home of his, which stands testimony to his travails. Bearing all his troubles with total surrender to his beloved Iśṭa, Amṛteśvar Bhairava, he dedicates most of his waking hours before and after work, to prayer and the Śaivist rituals with clockwork regularity. And he never forgets his Ghar Devatā, whose auspicious day, he always celebrates on the cold, wintry night of the month of Poh, dedicated to Him, the divine caretaker of a Kashmiri home.

More time passes.

Kailash Nath is a grandfather now. My father, my uncles, I and my brothers and sisters, his whole clan, live together in this very house. Each brick, each corner of the house, the smell of crumbling walls, are all a part of our extended bodies. My grandfather’s prayers have become long, now that he is retired. His day starts early as he enters the Ṭhokur Kuṭh at Brahma muhūrta and does not leave the company of the Bhairava until it is noon. The evenings too are spent in prayer and once in a while his spirituality overflows on to his grandsons.

I am one of them!

Silently, the Sanskāras fall like seeds on the fallow ground of the mind, unseen, unfelt, but ready to grow at some unknown future date. And then he passes away. I get married. My elder son is born there, in the same house!

Four generations by birth! Almost a century!

Meanwhile my dear uncle continues the traditions of the house. All the Śaivist rituals, all the Pūjās, all the traditions, are conducted with the same fervour.

Of course, he does not forget the Ghar Devatā!

Then 1990 happens! We all wonder as to where all our gods have gone. In utter dismay, we are all forced to abandon the house, a home to a total of five generations, four of which were born there. A mega-joint family is painfully broken up. Ultra-nuclear families take a forced, painful birth and are scattered all over the country. Some of them leave for foreign shores.

Why did the Ghar Devatā abandon us when we needed Him the most? Why was the Divine Mother silent? Why did Amṛteśvar Bhairava not come out of His deep meditations and show us the right path when we were at a loss to understand what we would do to survive?

Well, like the most of us, we too became unbelievers, at least the younger ones. Our gods were dead. The Darwinian world was a ruthless place were only the fittest survived.

So, we also started fighting our ruthless, lonely battles, for, we had either to survive or to simply die!

Now let us turn the clock back to the present time!

Stories from back home come filtering through. The initial buyer had sold it away to some other person. That person, a Muslim of course, had rented each of the rooms to Bihari labourers who kept on leaving rapidly for some unknown reason. After some time, it was rented out to the locals. They too left, and in quick succession, the house went from one Muslim family to another.

And now the house is abandoned!

Why?

In front of our house was a small school that was pompously called The Mahila Maha Vidyalaya. The ground floor had a row of shops that was rented out and one of the shops had a tailor master who was a friend of my grandfather. Both, whenever free, used to play chess together in the shop. They loved the game a lot and I too developed a fascination for this game as I joined them whenever I was free. This grand old man, the Muslim tailor master, is still alive and very much aware of the world around him.

And he has a story to tell regarding why our house has been abandoned.

It is the Ghar Devatā!

The story goes like this:

It was initially the Bihari labourers who had complained that they were seeing some ghost who would trouble them during the dark, cold nights of the harsh winters. Being unable to bear such horrific visions, they would leave. The local Muslims initially thought that it was some kind of superstition that Hindus usually suffer from; so, the house was subsequently rented out to Kashmiris, for, you see, the followers of the religion of peace, do not believe in the superstitions of Kafirs, wretched as we are!

But then, the problem started getting repeated. Particularly interesting was the story of the last occupant before the house was abandoned altogether in January this year. What actually happened?

The topmost floor of our house, the fourth one to be exact, called the Brāri Kānī in Koshur, where our Ghar Devatā used to have his food on the auspicious day, had been reconstructed just a year before we were forced to leave, and it had been given to me, my wife and our young son, Anshuman, to stay in. I had made a small library of my chosen books in the same room which I had grown so very fond of. The Ghar Devatā was requested to shift to an adjacent part of the Brāri Kānī, where he had His last meal in December, 1989, before we left for good.

So, the story goes, two members of the last Muslim family, were sleeping in the same room, on that fateful night early this year, the grand old tailor master swears, and when they got up in the morning, they found themselves lying in the verandah on the ground floor. Horrified, they could not explain as to how this could have happened after a fretful night of fearful nightmares. Being young, they were not aware of Kashmiri Hindu rituals and superstitions; so, they called the elder ones, and, in all seriousness the unusual occurrence was discussed in an assembly of the wise.

Our grand old tailor master was one of those elders!

After a lot of discussions, many agreements and disagreements later, the verdict was passed!

It was the Ghar Devatā of the Fotedar clan!

What clinched the judgment was the serious observation of the tailor master friend of my grandfather. He had seen his late friend celebrating this peculiar day in the dead of winter and heard many stories about this divine protector. The assembly reluctantly accepted what the tailor master had to say. He was the oldest and the wisest after all.

The house stands abandoned now!

What is my Ghar Devatā doing there, now that He is all alone?

We have not fed Him anything all these twenty-nine years.

Is He hungry?

Is He angry?

I do not know, but I seek His forgiveness.

After all He is a god and I am a mere mortal!

By -Dr. Sushil Fotedar

The miraculous saga of a captive( stories of forced exodus of kashmiri Hindus)

Posted in genocide, hindus, india, JAMMU & KASHMIR by Sandeep on December 31, 2019

As Ramesh Marhatta, a Hindu village boy, originally from Uttrasu in Omanagari of South Kashmir unveiled to me the layer after layer of his horrendous tale of kidnapping, night-long torture and gunshots by armed terrorists way back in 1990, I shuddered to think of the brutality and savagery with which the terrorists will have done to death hundreds of our innocent community members when armed insurgency broke out in 1990 in Kashmir. Ramesh Marhatta, I imagined, is the rarest of the rare cases of a Kashmiri Pandit escaping definite death while in the captivity of the jihadist terrorists who were out for the genocide of the community. The pain and suffering inflicted on the kith and kin of the unfortunate slain Pandits under similar circumstances still resound under the blue dome of the sky waiting for the day of retribution.
The youthful Ramesh left his village and came to Srinagar to find a means of subsistence for himself and improve his life somewhat. After a number of unsuccessful attempts, he somehow managed to find an opening as a casual radio announcer in Radio Kashmir in 1985. He decided to work with perseverance in the hope that one day he might get regularized and thus manage his life.
He hired a room in Sonawar, a locality not far away from the Radio Kashmir where he worked to earn a living. The room on the first floor of the building belonged to a local Muslim gentleman who was good and sympathetic to him. As he continued walking up and down day after day to his workplace, he came to know a taxi driver he sometimes hired to ferry him to his workplace or residence in Sonawar. The taxi man, a Muslim, was known by the name of Nana. They often met and gradually developed friendly relations with each other.
It was early 1989. Ramesh and some more of his colleagues noticed that the local Muslims, who usually called themselves lucky guys if they found casual employment in Radio Kashmir, had begun to decline the offer. No Muslim was prepared to be recruited in Radio Kashmir. To him, it was somewhat puzzling.
On 26th of September 1990, Ramesh returned from work to his room and went to the kitchen to prepare a bite. It was 7.40 PM and the time for the news from Radio Kashmir. He switched on his transistor and sat down to hear the news. Suddenly, he heard a loud sound of footsteps coming up the stairs. A large group of men with masks over their face and Kalashnikovs in their hands barged into his room. He was taken aback and trembled at the sight. The masked men brandishing guns and pistols and numbering anything between 30 and 40 began hurling endless abuses on him without giving any reason for doing so. Ramesh’s heart sank as he saw death hovering over his head. One among the terrorist group began questioning him about his profession and the reason for his staying back in the valley. He replied that he had a family to support and was only a casual radio announcer, and he had no scope of earning a livelihood in an unknown place like Jammu with inclement weather.
As the interrogation proceeded, one from among the group numbering anything between 30 and 40, armed and masked men asked Ramesh to come out of the house with them. At this moment suddenly the owner of the house appeared in the room. He heard that the terrorists wanted Ramesh to come down. He picked up courage and told the terrorist that they could ask Ramesh any question here in the room and there should be no need of taking him out. While this altercation was going on, Ramesh found that one of the masked men was no other than Nana, the taxi driver who had befriended him. However, he gave no indication that he had recognized Nana as that would have cost him his life in no time.
Then in this melee, the terrorists blindfolded and handcuffed Ramesh. He was dragged down the stairs like a corpse. They kicked and heckled him as they dragged him to the other side of the road. They banged his head against an electric pole which sent a shock down his spine. He got unnerved and resigned to his fate.
Blindfolded and handcuffed Ramesh was dragged through some lanes and then dumped in a vehicle and brought to some destination. After alighting from the vehicle he was taken through a passage he thought was something like a slippery tunnel. As he was dragged on, he received many baton strokes from his captors as if he was a beast and not a human being. Once inside a house, his blindfold was removed and hands untied. Now began the dreadful night-long interrogation and torture of Ramesh. He was made to sit in a chair. One after the other group entered the room, subjected Ramesh to questioning, often repeating the same questions again and again. In between questioning, the terrorists would rub burning cigarette bits against his body and he cried in pain and agony. Each group adhered to the same pattern of questioning, hurling abuses and rubbing burning cigarettes against his body.
At about midnight a group of terrorists entered the room. It was led by a lady whom they addressed as Asiya Ji. The torture method which this group employed was to place a hot rod on his feet. The pain was unbearable and he lost power even to cry. The leader of this terrorist group introduced himself as Azam Inqilab. Till then he had not heard the name of either Asiya or Azam Inqilab. Ramesh vividly recollects that only a few of the group of 30 or 40 spoke chaste Urdu which made him think they were Pakistanis while the rest of them were Kashmiris. Those who spoke only Urdu spoke it with Punjabi accent. They beat, thrashed and kicked him as hard as they could and then told him to lie down. Now the group engaged itself in discussing how he was to be killed. One suggestion was to cut him into pieces under sawmill while the second proposal was to gun him down on the roadside near a drain. The plans of killing Ramesh were discussed in his presence and within his hearing. He was already half dead with pain, agony and torture, and they were planning how to deprive me of the remnant of life left with him.
As the discussion among the terrorists about how to put an end to Ramesh was going on, the sound of azaan – the call for the Morning Prayer – came to his ears. He imagined it could be about 4 AM the usual time for the morning azaan. While listening to the call for prayer, Ramesh realised it was the same voice he used to hear every dawn around the same time when he was in his room. It came from a loudspeaker fitted to a three-storey house.
Dawn was nearing. The terrorists collected some gunny bags and rope lengths. They again blindfolded Ramesh. After about thirty minutes of walk, the terrorists put him on a vehicle and moved away to execute him. After reaching some unknown destination, the car stopped and Ramesh was pulled out of the vehicle and pushed towards something like a nullah. Ramesh knew that he would be killed in a couple of minutes and thus begged for life saying he had done nothing to punish him with death. In this disorderly situation, Ramesh’s handcuff became loose and he removed the blindfold from his eyes. As he opened his eyes he caught the sight of some light atop the Shankaracharya temple on the sombre and serene hillock. As he looked around, he found about 15 terrorists surrounding him and some more sitting in a Contessa car parked at a little distance. All terrorists had aimed their guns at Ramesh. The dance of death began.
A young boy with a gun stood behind Ramesh. He fired four shots at him. Three of the four shots hit him in the right hip and abdomen area. With bullets embedded in his body, Ramesh in desperation took to his heels and ran away in a zigzag manner while the terrorists continued showering bullets on him. Fortunately, none of those bullets hit him, Ramesh ran towards a nearby army camp about 200 meters away and asked the guard on the gate to let him in to save his life. The guard suspecting that Ramesh was a terrorist, aimed his gun at him and asked him for hands up. The wounded Ramesh had no strength to lift his hands and fell down on the earth. The guard dragged him inside the gate. When Ramesh spoke to the teashop owner close to the gate of the camp, the vendor came to know that he was a Hindu who had been kidnapped by the terrorists and wanted a safe place. The guard immediately informed his superiors and instantly there was movement in the camp because the news had been flashed across last night that a Hindu radio announcer had been kidnapped in Sonawar area by the militants.
The army authorities reacted immediately and brought an ambulance and Ramesh was admitted in the Badami Bagh cantonment hospital. The army doctors operated on him. Three days later he regained his consciousness. The surgeons told him that the bullets were removed after 18 hours of surgery. The message went across that the kidnapped person had miraculously escaped death and was being treated in the hospital for the gunshots. The day Ramesh regained consciousness, Governor Girish Chander Saxena accompanied by the Director-General of Police visited Ramesh in the hospital, consoled him and praised him for his bravery and fortitude in going through such a deadly ordeal in captivity. The DGP asked him if he could bring to his mind the locality where he had been kept as a captive for the night. Ramesh had no clue but told the DGP that the sound of the azaan he had heard at 4 AM while in captivity of the terrorists was precisely the same which came out from a loudspeaker fitted atop the three-storey house of the locality in Sonawar where he lived. A few days later the DGP visited Ramesh again and told him that his guess was correct and the police had swooped on the hideout of the terrorists in the same locality wherefrom a large cache of arms and ammunition was recovered.
In the meanwhile, a terrorist organization called Hizbul Mujahideen issued a press statement in local newspapers that Ramesh had attacked the jihadis of their group and hence an attack on him was conducted. This was an example of the disinformation campaign of the militants with a twofold purpose. One was to shift the onus of attack on him and the second was to strike fear among the Hindus in the valley to take note of HuM watching their movements and activities. The question put to Ramesh by the terrorist, viz “Why did you stay back in the valley while others (Hindus) left”, is a clear proof of the fact that ethnic cleansing of the valley was a definite agenda of the jihadi terrorists in Kashmir way back in the early 1990s.
Ramesh Marhatta was awarded by the State government for his bravery and his services were regularized in the AIR. He and posted to Kathua.
I congratulated Ramesh Marhatta for his bravery and the good luck he had to escape the bullets of the terrorist. This real story reveals how brutal and savage the terrorist was to the hapless Kashmiri Hindus, hundreds of whom were gunned down in homes, on streets, in offices or workplaces, in buses and odd places. This is the pattern of genocide that was unleashed against the small religious minority in 1990. Ramesh Marhatta, like all of us, laments those thirty two-years from the date of the event, as no inquiry commission, no investigation and no FIR about these crimes have been ordered.
feedbackexcelsior@gmail.com
By-K.N. Pandita

Source:-Daily Excelsior

The images of Saffron

Posted in kashmir by Sandeep on November 10, 2019

The Gool Massacre of Kashmiri Pandits

Posted in genocide, hindus, india, JAMMU & KASHMIR, kashmir by Sandeep on October 16, 2019

My Father Mr. Ashok Kumar Raina S/o Shivji Raina, native from Sopore(Baramulla Distt) was a great educationist, superb human being and a very loving father. As a person, he was very simple, down to earth, honest, tolerant, brave and very caring, He was M.Sc Physics (Electronics Hons.) from Agra Unversity. At a very young age of 23yrs, he was appointed as a Physics lecturer in Jr.College. He was very happy, the way his career was shaping. Routine transfers and new academic approaches were keeping his life busy. He was a responsible family man and created a nice balance between his personal and professional life.

In 1988, militancy had sneaked in our beautiful Kashap Land “Kashir”. There was Islamic terror spreading at a very fast pace and their motive was to spread hate, horror and scare in minorities particularly Kashmiri Pandits. Militants wanted to establish Nizama Mustafa. They started harassing and killing Kashmiri Pandits and also targetting Army and Airforce officials. Our Pro India sentiment was always mocked and crushed. In 1989 -90 under the sinister plan of ethnic cleansing, lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits were driven out from there homeland Kashmir. I remember me and my sister was sleeping and my father came and told us to get ready as we are leaving Kashmir. We got few suitcases ready and with the help of some local friends my father arranged Minibus for our family (me, my sister, my grandparents, my mother and father) left for Udhampur. I was 11 yrs old and my sister was 14 yrs. On the way, we saw thousands of KPs in trucks, cars, buses heading towards Jammu. My father told us that we are moving out of Kashmir because it is not the safe place for our community now, once things normalise we will come back, right now it is better to stay away from Kashmir.

It was a mass exodus and it was very painful. This was the story of every Kashmiri Pandit. We became migrants in our own country. We took refuge in Udhampur. The life of hardship and struggle started but in my heart, I was sure that we will see a better life as I considered my parents as heroes and knew that they will make it better for us. Every day I used to see the pain and agony in my grandparents and my parent’s eyes. Our usual schools started and we started adapting to different culture and climate.

Finally a good news after a long time, in Aug 1991 my father got promoted to the post of principal Hr. Sec School. It was a great achievement and a sense of pride for all of us that at 42yrs, he was given such a huge responsibility. At this age, he already had 21yrs of lecturership experience and that itself was a big achievement. Being a young officer he was posted to Kargil(Ladakh), one of the toughest location in India. He served in Kargil from 1991 – 1994. We always used to wait for winters when my father used to come back home, those days used to be the best days. He used to bring a variety of dry fruits and the famous and best one was kubani ( apricot). We used to eat lot of them

Meanwhile, during this time we shifted from Udhampur to Jammu. In 1994 my father completed his serving tenure of 3 yrs in Kargil and he was transferred to Jammu.
Along with my father, 14 other people were transferred back to Jammu. Almost all of them were adjusted in Jammu ; except my father .

He was given the new appointment, he was transferred to Gool (Ramban). There is a norm in J&K Govt who so ever serves in Ladakh for 3 yrs is given an easy and posting of his choice option. My father has already served in Ladakh for 3 yrs and he was transferred to Gool which was also a very tough posting. My father personally met with then education minister and highlighted this issue, but he told my father you are a very young and dynamic officer and you have to go.
My father was denied the fundamental right of posting of choice by the Minister. By rules, he was not entitled to have back to back tough postings. The only fault of his was that he was young. A criminality happened there by flaunting the said norms. My Grandfather told him not to go but my father was very dedicated to his work and finally, he joined at Gool.
Gool was basically a hilly terrain and there were traces of militancy in and around that area. Gool as an area was influenced by Hizbul Mujaheedin Group. My father started his work and started spreading education in that area. There were young Kashmiri Pandit lectures working with him. I remember in some seasons ,all of them had to walk more than 30 km to reach Gool. I have seen bruises and burns on my father’s feet, he was a tough and strong man, he never bothered and moved on.

The darkest day of our lives was just around the corner. My father had come for summer holidays, it was 14th June 1997, the next day my father was leaving for Gool.
In the evening, I and he took my grandmother to an optician and then we went to Shiv Mandir in Jammu. I had chat with my father on loads of topics and we came back home. Ravinderji and Sushilji came to our place to discuss with my father, the travel schedule for tomorrow, as all 3 of them were going back to Gool.

Next Day morning on 15 June 1997 my father left for Gool, it was very early in the morning I was fast asleep. I told my mother why didn’t you wake me up as I wanted to say Goodbye to him. I never knew that I will never be able to say Goodbye to my father. Next day morning me, my mother and my grandmother were sleeping .At around 4 am , bell rang and my mom opened the door .There were few police officers who told us that the bus my father was travelling in was attacked by militants and several people are injured. Me and my mother rushed to my uncle and my uncle went with them. At around 7 am it was across all the newspapers that 3 Kps were killed by militants in Gool. I lost my senses and the day was a long walk of sorrow and grief. Our family was devasted and shattered. In the evening the dead body came, thousands of people were outside our house. we saw him for the last time, I kissed his forehead and finally said goodbye. My sister was holding me and crying. Everyone was crying and my mind had stopped working. I remember even after taking 11 bullets his face looked calm, his body felt soft. At around 10:30 pm all the 3 martyrs were laid to rest in the flames of celestial bliss, OM Shanti. It was the death of humanity.

According to some eyewitness
The bus in which they were travelling was stopped by men in army uniform, 7 Kms from Gool. All Hindus were asked to step down. By then it was clear that they were not security forces but Islamic terrorists. There was some resistance from Muslim passengers, seeing this, terrorist said they are not going to harm them, their commander only wants to talk to them, they even swear by their Prophet and Holy book. 6 Hindus ( 4 KP’s and 2 Jammuites) were taken out of which 2 people escaped one by jumping off the cliff and other by running up a hill. The remaining 4 were made to walk 30 metres near the nullah and 3 Kashmiri Pandits were fired upon by terrorists and martyred and the 4th ( Jammunite ) was allowed to go. The Message was clear. KP’s are the target.

– Shri. Ashok Kumar Raina – Principal
– Shri. Ravindra Kabu – Lecturer
– Shri. Sushil Pandita – Sr.Teacher

So it was a planned targeted killing. He was killed because he was a Kashmiri Pandit. He was killed because he was doing his duty with utmost sincerity and honesty. He was killed because he was the symbol of Kashmir Pandit growth. This heinous crime was executed by Billu Gujjar of Hizbul Mujahideen and Amanullah Gujjar Group. A couple of months later he was killed by Security Forces.

It took me longtime time to understand that my mentor, my hero, my inspiration, my father, was not there with me anymore. I am sure he is watching me from the skies and keeps on blessing us ..Luv you and miss you always ..

By- Vikas Raina