Tag Archives: jihad

Aftermath of 19 jan 1990-How and why I fled Kashmir

1990, jan 19, invoked the demons within the people of a large section of the majority community to commit the heinous acts blatantly. Kashmiri Pandits’s(KP’s) still dread that cold night of January. Most the KP’s felt that they will be attacked by the colossal Islamic-mobs meandering the lanes and sub-lanes of the valley with an anti-India mission that night. The cacophonous slogans by the mobs instilled a fear among the KP’s. And the bullets from the A.K 47’s of the militants that killed hundreds of KP’s made sure that the Hindus flee Kashmir.

19 Jan 1990 triggered the subsequent events that cleansed the KP’s as a community from the valley. While many quixotic flowery dreams of the KM’s were soon shattered, when the Army took over, the wounds left by that bestial night left a gangrene in the minds of KP’s as a community .It will be 24 years now, since KP’s left the frenzied valley of the 1990.Not a single KP had thought that their return to their motherland will take such a long time. The forced departure was gruesome but quick .However their return to the valley is still elusive. And with passing time, they are slowly but surely getting erased from the Tapestry of Kashmir.

My encounter with two friends Dalip Bhat and Sanjay Bhat, who left the valley in 1990; their experience, and what made them exit from Kashmir after that cold night of 19 Jan 1990!

Few days back ,I asked Dalip, “what does 19 jan 1990 mean to you?”He said, ”Nothing ! I don’t think of Kashmir anymore.” I asked surprisingly, “why is it so?”. He looked straight into my eyes and said, “Do you remember when you visited me while I was posted as a casual worker with Govt. department at Pulwama, Kashmir.” I said calmly, “Yes! But what has it to do with Kashmir!” He said , “I was working on ad-hoc basis with the Forest department .I was just 19 years old in 1989.But I was happy. My village in Murran, pulwama was everything to me. We had rice-fields and orchards. And cows. My family was self-sufficient. I or my family had never- ever thought of moving out of the valley . But then the militancy erupted and the militants backed by Pakistan started killing us. Everything changed after that”. He paused, as if thinking something. “In the midst of a spring night of 1990, I fled Kashmir along with mine and Sanjay’s family . Sanjay’s father was on the hit-list of militants. We were moving stealthily from karfal mohalla to fateh Kadal with our belongings. Karfal mohalla was more sensitive at that time.” He said. His mobile phone rang .He saw the number and excused himself to attend the call.

When Dileep came back after 5 minutes or so, I requested to him to continue. He thought for a while and said, “After many physical, mental and verbal abuses from the majority community, who were clearly on a mission to free Kashmir from the Indians-including us, We somehow managed to reach Jammu.” I interrupted him and asked him, “ Tell me something about your early experiences of Jammu?”.He yawned , stretched his body for a moment, smiled and said, “I lived in Misriwala camp for three years. I was running a grocery shop there. For another one and a half years, I became a trader. I was a sort of stockist of polythene bags. Then I went to Delhi and worked there for 2 years. I came back to Jammu after my mother fell ill in 1998. Thereafter, I opened a Hardware shop in lower Roop-Nagar and I am still in the same Business since then.” There was a sense of pride in what he was saying. “How is your Business now?” I asked him.

“It is good.I have nine shops in a row. Business is excellent. In spite of everything, I feel, I need some more space to stock things like sanitary ware, tiles etc.” “how do you got the idea of opening this shop?”, I asked him. He said, “when, I came here back in 1998, I sensed that lot of KP’s are constructing new houses. Hence, I too opened a shop. And as it proved, It was really a very good decision.” I quipped “But, you didn’t really answered my question, which I asked in the beginning i.e Jan 19 1990?”.

He deliberated for a while and said, “ the memories of Jan 19-20 and the aftermath will ever remain engraved in the minds all those KP’s who were present in the valley. Never before had we witnessed anything wicked- like that of 1990 . Even in my village Murran, the majority community indirectly facilitated our exodus. They had told us categorically that, in case of any militant attack on us, they will side with the militants. Some people say, the mass-madness of the majority community in early 90 was an instantaneous impromptu reaction of the Muslims towards an oppressed rule. OK, I agree for a moment. But will they, who have occupied KP properties or sold illegally KP properties ever wish for their return? Aren’t those people getting patronage from all the political parties? And what is the Guarantee that 1990 will not be repeated if KP’s opt to return back? Majority community en-masse created an environment that forced us to flee. Will there be ever any mass rally that will call for the returns of the KP’s back to the valley?” He fired questions at me. I had no answers. “I have struggled a lot to reach, where I am today. That is why I don’t want to think about Kashmir.” He said with a sigh. His phone rang again, he looked at his Mobile, then at me, I sensed that it was an urgent call. “Attend your call.I will wait”, said I. He went outside the room again. I started thinking about my last encounter with Sanjay.

I knew Sanjay since we were children. Dileep was his relative. In early April 1990, Sanjay was persuaded by his mother to leave for Jammu. He was told by his mother to attend a wedding at Jammu. Underneath the persuasion of his mother was the concern of his safety . Kashmir was a cauldron in 1990. Hindus were branded as infidels or informers and then hunted dead by the militants with impunity. Like every other Kashmiri Hindu, Sanjay’s mother too wanted to keep away her children from the trouble. Sanjay went to the Jammu in the first week of April 1990 on the behest of his mother.

When I had met Sanjay 3-4 months back, I asked him about his ordeal.“I was in Jammu in early April 1990, to attend a wedding. Though Jammu was calm, I knew Kashmir was not. I used to wait eagerly for the news from any source. Be it newspapers in the morning or radio or T.V. in the evenings. The news was disappointing and disheartening. Everyday, I used to listen that a K.P was killed in one locality or other. And then one late evening I got a call from my mother. She told me that my father is on the hit list of the Militants for being a “Mukhbir”(informer).I boarded the Bus to Srinagar early next day morning to help my family,. I reached my home in karfaol mohalla by night. My father was visibly shaken by the threat. He had not ventured outside his home for a week, not even to buy his cigarette. Instead, my younger brother used to buy tobacco and father used an old Hubble-Bubble to smoke.” I was listening to him with attention. “The killing of Satish Tickoo was still fresh in our mind. After all, he was the son of our landlord. Hence, we had taken the threat with seriousness. we were living like frightened pigeons” He asserted.

“We wanted to leave Kashmir ASAP. Every other day, a Kashmiri pandit was gunned down mercilessly by the militants. KP’s were framed by the militants and no-one would dare to challenge their Jihadi-gag-order. My father was a School master. He was a simple and a non-political man. Yet he was framed. I knew dozens of KP’s who were framed as informers. In fact each and every KP family had a member that was framed for being an informer. What was the message they were trying to convey?” he asked me. He took a deep puff of cigarette, inhaled it, rounded his mouth and blew the smoke in rings. Instead of answering, I was just looking at him . And then he said in a choking voice, “the message was clear that they don’t want a KP there- simple”

“How did you fled from Kashmir?” I asked him. He said, “Immediately, after I reached back to Kashmir, I starting looking for a truck to carry us and our belongings to jammu. After a couple of days, with the help of my KP neighbors, I arranged a Truck. My sister and his family were staying in Fateh-Kadal those days. The night , when we were fleeing Kashmir, I, Daleep and his cousin carried our belongings on our backs and travelled on foot from karfal mohalla to Fateh-Kadal in the midst of night. The Muslim ladies who saw us leaving en-route with our belongings, hurled philippics at us. The invectives and their curses are still fresh in my mind. A couple of ladies, out of hatred for our community, even spitted on us from their first-floor-windows. But, we did not stop. There were five more KP families with us in the truck. we had a sigh of relief upon reaching Jammu”. His face was visibly angry as he was recalling the incident.

“Jan 1990 invokes fear, anarchy ,mobocracy, A.K 47’s, shrilled tones of the loudspeakers of the neighborhood mosques. cold-blooded murders of KP’s. Burning schools. Burning houses .Burning bridges. Burning tyres. Stoning of tin-rooftops of our houses in the middle of night. And an idiosyncratic resentment and hate towards my community” said infuriated Sanjay .I too had experienced the same. Every KP had experienced the same.

By now Dileep came back. After discussing some personal issues, I asked for his permission to leave. I stood up and moved towards the door. As I was leaving, he said, “ It was 28 April 1990, 2.00a.m in the morning, when I fled from Kashmir. I want to forget it all. But Somehow, I can’t”

I know for sure, not a single KP has forgotten Kashmir. The aftermath of the clear, cold night of 19 jan 1990 still haunts the community of KP’s. The slogans raised by a large section of Kashmiri Muslims like “Asa gach Pakistan, Batao ros te batnav saan”(we want Pakistan with KP women and without KP men) clearly reflected their state of mind, and the ghouls reigning their mind and conscience in the 90’s. The prolonged time away from their homeland has in fact made KP’s return to Kashmir difficult. If The aftermath of 1990 intensified the anti-India emotion among the Kashmiri Muslim youth, It also created an abyss between the valley of Kashmir and the Kashmiri Pandits, depriving them to return, to the land of their ancestors even after 24 years.

Year after Year, more and more people like Dalip opine that they will not return to Kashmir now, because for them, professionally, there is nothing they can do in Kashmir. Still, there are many who wish for their return everyday. But, I fear that nothing will change if the State Gov. and GOI doesn’t make a roadmap for the return of KP’s exactly the same way, as desired by the KP’s as a community.

But will they?

Balidan Divas–Some pictures-14-09-10-jantar mantar

Balidan Divas was observed across various locations in India.A rich tribute was paid to the departed Martyrs…
some more pictures of Balidan Divas(BK Ganjoo Park) can be viewed here

Once there was a Kashmiri pandit…..

Once upon a time , There lived a community in Kashmir, who were known as Kashmiri Pandits…

Imbibing their age old customs, They lived in the valley till the eighties..

As the angel of death Azrael hounded them in early nineties…


In the dead of night, they fled from the valley, lest they get killed, by the Islamic mob …

Killers killed old and young, their conscience deaf towards the cries of helpless and a child’s sob….


Their only sin was that they were Hindus and loved India and believed in peace and god’s grace…

While the jihadis celebrated the killings of pundits with impunity as they left their sinister trace….


The demagogues incited the poor and Bourgeoisie to kill the minority for the sake of heaven….

And the Jihadis indoctrinated the rape and killing of infidels as religious duty and a sign of Brave men…


With deceit, can killing of unarmed neighbor be termed as pride and bravery, and a struggle for independency…..

Alas, Vicarious knowledge has never given anyone tranquility, peace and a berth in heaven, nor Ecstasy..


Ostracized & penniless, they had to leave their hearth and homes, During the height of Jihadic mobocracy….

Now, left with little faith have become disillusioned and disheartened with so called pseudo-democracy….


Now In kashmir, Gone are the times of Pandits, when there was goodness and a time of simple folks..

In the land of Amarnath, even shiva has failed to behold the Islamic crescent in his hair locks….


Are there still any good men left, who can stand by truth, justice and maintain their dignity and poise…

Have been looking for those stoic & brave men, who can shake the dead conscience by their stentorian  voice..

Once upon a time , There lived a community in Kashmir, who were known as Kashmiri Pandits…

azaad.pandit@gmail.com

sacrifice day

The new generation of KM’s and KP’s, who are in their teens and early adulthood, have grown up in the absence of each other and know about each other only through the word of mouth from their elders, they may not share the same vibes as their ancestors once did in Kashmir.
Practically, no communication between the two communities of Kashmir with common ancestors, has given rise to mistrust and miscommunication, which can only be corrected by people to people contact.
In early 1990, when militancy was at the peak ,terrorists were enjoying VIP status, and were killing innocent people, majority of whom were Kashmiri pundits at will. Many terrorist supporters were helping terrorists by giving them minute to minute details about their targets. In most of the cases these informers happened to be neighbors of hindu victims.
But, there were other Kashmiri Muslims also who risked their lives to save their Pandit neighbors. But their good intentions could not stop the exodus of 3,50,000 Kashmiri pundits. The bullets of Gun had not only killed innocent lives, but also the conscience of many muslims.
20th year of Balidan divas(Sacrifice day)(Photos above) was observed on 14 sep 2009.20 Panun Kashmir activists tonsured as a mark of respect towards the Martyrs.Kashmiri Pandit organizations in Jammu,Delhi and rest of India paid their Homage to those Martyr’s who were Murderered cold bloodedly by the implacable, Blood thirsty Jihadis, funded and backed by Pakistan. This low cost warfare tactics has severely put a big dent on Pakistan’s precarious economy, which largely survives on financial aids provided by Middle east countries and U.S.A. Majority population in P.O.K are fed up with the step motherly treatment by Pakistan’s political system dominated by Punjabi Muslims…
input by M.zijoo

Hindus feel the heat in Pakistan

Riaz Sohail
BBC News, Karachi

Wealthy Hindus like Garish Kumar are targets for kidnappers
The kidnap and murder of a Hindu engineer in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh has increased the insecurity among fellow Hindus.

Garish Kumar disappeared last month near Hyderabad city, 250 km (160 miles) from the port city of Karachi in Sindh.

His dismembered body parts were later found near a madrassa (Islamic religious school).

Police initially said the crime was committed by an outlawed Muslim militant group. Five people were arrested.

However, Hyderabad’s police chief, Shaukat Shah, the incident now seems to be a simple kidnapping for ransom case.

Minority report

Kumar’s father, Saspal Das, is a trader from Kunri town in Sindh’s central district of Umerkot.

Most Hindus are poor peasants and serve as bonded labour

“No one listens to the Hindu minority,” he complains. “”We have no security.

“We are targeted because we are Hindu. There is no other reason for kidnapping Garish.”

Pakistan is home to some 2.5 million Hindus, 95% of them living in the southern Sindh province.

Most are poor, low-caste peasants.

However there are also some successful upper caste businessmen. In Sindh, they are a hot commodity for bandits.

They lack the protection afforded to local tribal Muslims.

Whole tribes often go to war with one another in rural Sindh over any slight to their members.

That cushion is not available to the Hindu minority.

Protection money

In recent years kidnapping for ransom and armed robberies have multiplied in the area and Hindus have increasingly been the focus of attacks.

Hindus have to pay thousands of pounds to avoid kidnapping

Many pay protection money regularly to local gangs or influential figures. But in spite of this they are still targeted.

Santosh Kumar, a rice trader from Larkana town in upper Sindh, and his two brothers were kidnapped in separate incidents in 2006. They were later released after paying a huge ransom.

Another wealthy trader from the nearby city of Sukkur in Sindh, Sundeep Kumar, was kidnapped in 2005.

He was released after paying a ransom of over a million rupees ($16,000), according to local sources.

The ransom can sometimes go up to five times that amount.

But not all Hindus are as rich as Sundeep Kumar.

Last August, a youth, Ramesh Lal, was kidnapped. His relatives could not afford the ransom, and his body was later found at a police check post.

In the last three years at least five Hindu traders have been killed after being kidnapped or offering resistance.

“Powerful oppress the weak”

Ramesh Lal, a Hindu MP in Pakistan’s parliament says, “The Hindus are not as rich as portrayed.”

“Often the kidnappers ask a huge amount that the families cannot pay. As a result the hostages are killed.”

Even Hindu women and children are not spared by the kidnappers

The President of the Hindu council in Sukkur district, Mukhi Aishwar Lal says, “the powerful always oppress weaker communities… Hindus are weak so they are targeted.”

He relates how a few years back a Hindu family travelling by local bus were kidnapped by local bandits, while rest of the passengers were allowed to go.

Around that time some foreigners were also kidnapped in the same area. The police secured their release without any payment, but the Hindus were released after a huge ransom was doled out.

Such incidents increase the feeling among Hindus that they have no say in power and authority in the country.

Political apartheid

In Pakistan’s political system, the minorities, such as Hindus, Christians and Sikhs, remain outcasts despite represented in every major political party.

After Gen Pervez Musharraf seized power in 1999, he scrapped the controversial separate electorate system introduced former dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq in 1980s.

Under the separate electorate system, non-Muslims could only vote for candidates of their own religion. Seats were reserved for minorities in the national and provincial assemblies.

Critics said Muslim candidates no longer had any incentive to pay attention to the aspirations of the minorities.

Gen Musharraf hoped to reverse that by the simple step of abolishing the system. But that appears to have failed.

Sudham Chand, a Hindu community leader who led a local campaign to scrap the separate electorate system was killed in broad daylight. His murder conveyed many a message.

The killers were not arrested. His brother later migrated to India.

Ramesh Lal, a member of the National Assembly, says that the restoration of the conventional electoral system is of little use if the minorities have no security.

And still, he complains, no one asks the minorities what problems they are suffering.

Losing faith

Mukhi Aishwar Lal agrees that Hindus in Sindh are still afraid.

Garish Kumar’s grieving father, Saspal, wants justice

They are frightened to move outside freely. Some even put themselves under a self-imposed curfew after 2000 hours a few months ago.

“No-one is targeting the minorities,” argues Kishanchand Parwani, Advisor for Minorities’ Affairs to the Sindh Government.

But he admits that, although the minorities are supposed to be equal citizens according to the constitution, the reality is different. He accepts that they feel like second class citizens.

Garish Kumar’s father, Saspal Das, still retains faith in the system: “I will fight till I get justice for my son.”

But many Hindu families who stayed in Pakistan after partition have already lost faith and migrated to India

militants in j&k are terrorists-ZARDARI

Declaring that India is not a “threat” to his country, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has described the militants operating in Jammu and Kashmir as “terrorists”, the first such admission by any top Pakistani leader.

“India has never been a threat to Pakistan. I, for one, and our democratic Government is not scared of Indian influence abroad,” Zardari told ‘Wall Street Journal’ in an interview

He spoke of the militant groups operating in Kashmir as “terrorists,” the paper said noting that former President Pervez Musharraf would more likely have called them “freedom fighters.”

Indicating a major shift in Pakistan’s well known position, Zardari had, as chief of Pakistan People’s Party, said in March that the ties between two countries should not be held “hostage” to the Kashmir issue, which should be left for future generations to decide, raising hackles at home.

The latest positive signals from Zardari come days fater his maiden meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on the sidelines of UN General Assembly meeting.

Replying to a question, Zardari said he had no objection to the India-US nuclear deal so long as Pakistan is treated “at par.”

“Why would we grudge the largest democracy in the world getting friendly with one of the oldest democracy?” he said.

Asked whether he would consider a free-trade agreement with India, the paper said he responded with a “string of welcome, perhaps even historic, surprises.”

While seeking better ties with New Delhi, he noted that “there is no other economic survival for nations like us. We have to trade with our neighbours first.”

About Pakistan’s economic crisis-the central bank has about two months’ worth of foreign currency reserves left to pay for the country’s imports of oil and food-Zardari said he looks to the world to “give me USD 100 billion.”

The paper says he imagines Pakistani cement factories being constructed to provide for India’s huge infrastructure needs, Pakistani textile mills meeting Indian demand for blue jeans, Pakistani ports being used to relieve the congestion at Indian ones.

Against the backdrop of the US-Pakistan row over the cross-border raids in the restive tribal belt by coalition forces from Afghanistan, Zardari said “I am an American friend” and admitted that the US is carrying out Predator missile strikes on the Pakistani soil with his Government’s consent, the paper reported.

“We have an understanding, in the sense that we’re going after an enemy together,” he said.

“I am not going to fall for this position that it’s an unpopular thing to be an American friend. I am an American friend,” he said.

About the Pakistani security forces firing on the US aircraft, he said it was merely an incident, “and while incidents do happen, they are not important.”

Zardari also acknowledged the problem that had bedevilled past efforts at US-Pakistani cooperation, particularly in intelligence sharing: the widely held suspicion that Pakistani intelligence services continue to cooperate with, and even arm, the Taliban.

“You know, you keep an uglier alternative around so that you may not be asked to leave,” he said, in reference to allegations that while Musharraf was fighting Islamic radicals with one hand, he was protecting them with the other.

Zardari refused to go into further detail other than to say he “solved the problem”. The head of ISI Nadeem Taj was replaced this week by Ahmad Shuja Pasha. (PTI)

Kashmir Ki Pukar-real reasons!!!!!!

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission has received information from Pakistan that the government of the North Western Frontier Province has banned the booklet on Kashmir titled “Kashmir Ki Pukar” (loud voice of Kashmir) on October 21 by issuing an official notification. The writer was informed through telephone calls that if he enters the province he will face dire consequences, including loss of his life. The writer is receiving threatening calls at his home and to his mobile phone insisting that he denounce the book and make an apology in public, otherwise his family will not be safe. The writer says that most of the calls are from the officials of Pakistan secret services (ISI). When the writer made a phone call to the number from which he was receiving the threats no one answers the call. Even if it was answered by chance, there is just an announcement telling that this number is not in use. The police have not yet registered the author’s complaint of being threaten yet.
CASE DETAILS:

Mr. Arif Malik is a prominent journalist from Mirpur, the capital city of the Pakistan territory of Kashmir and has worked in several leading newspaper companies in different cities of the country. He is the editor of monthly magazine “Bharosa” in Mirpur, which was closed down after the ban on his booklet was announced by the government. The book “Kashmir Ki Pukar” (the loud voice of Kashmir) was largely circulated in Pakistan and it has given a different view about Kashmir’s stand with the Pakistani government and holy war in Kashmir on the both sides of India and Pakistan.

The writer criticised the Muslim religious Parties and their leaders about their role in holy wars in the book. Mr. Malik accused the government of Pakistan that it had treated Pakistani side of Kashmir as its colony, not as an independent state and claimed that Pakistani Kashmir is run by the ministry of interior of Pakistan. Although Pakistan Kashmir has a parliament, the elected members all have close connections to the government of Pakistan and the military intelligence service including the ISI.

He also pointed out the role of the ISI in the holy war against India by referring to several examples from the past. The audacious greediness of religious fundamentalist parties and its leadership was also criticised by him in the book and he pointed out the privileges that those people had been enjoying over the propaganda that they made during the war, urging youths in the country to sacrifice their lives for the holy war.

In the book he also pointed out a cynicism towards the two-faced attitudes of the religious parties that once fought against Pakistan government for the rights of people in the Kashmir territory and called the youth to sacrifice their life for the so called “holy war” against the imperialism of the United States. The religious parties now are catering to the extremist Pakistani government.  

The writer, Mr. Arif Malik is now facing threats to his life since his book was published. He tried to register the report to the police however the Mirpur police station refused to register the case. Instead the police officials said this is a high profile matter so that only high officials in the rank of Superintendent Police can register this type of case. The writer is receiving continuous threats, not only from fundamentalists groups but also from the army, particularly from the ISI. Mr. Malik and his family cannot move about freely after they started to receive threats and now they are taking shelter in different places. The government of NWFP instructed the police in the province to arrest the writer when they find him in the province.

BACKGROUND INFROMATION:

The government of North Western Frontier Province (NWFP) is purely Islamic fundamentalist and the members are from Islamic religious groups who had started a holy war after the intervention of USSR in Afghanistan in 1980.

The fundamentalist religious parties have won the elections in NWFP in 2002 as an alliance group called Muttehda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA). This alliance has also won several seats in different assemblies including National Assembly. In 2002 MMA formed a government in NWFP and announced the Islamic system by introducing the Hisba bill (accountability bill) that allows district Islamic officers to monitor the religious conviction and practice of Islam of all citizens.
SUGGESTED ACTION:

Please write letters to the concerned authorities and urge them to provide protection for the life of Mr. Arif Malik and his family and take necessary actions to stop the intimidation and take legal action against the perpetrators. Please also demand the governments of NWFP and Pakistan to respect the freedom of speech and movement within the country as it has been guaranteed in constitution of Pakistan that meets the international human rights standards.

propoganda against hindus of kashmir

Here are the headlines which show that how Hindus in Kashmir are wiped out in last 19 years…source by Mr.Manish zijoo

Srinagar (January 4, 1990): Aftab, a local Urdu newspaper, publishes a press release issued by Hizb-ul Mujahideen, set up by the Jamaat-e-Islami in 1989 to wage jihad for Jammu and Kashmir’s secession from India and accession to Pakistan, asking all Hindus to pack up and leave. Another local paper, Al Safa, repeats this expulsion order.

In the following days, there is near chaos in the Kashmir valley with Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and his National Conference government abdicating all responsibilities of the State. Masked men run amok, waving Kalashnikovs, shooting to kill and shouting anti-India slogans.

Reports of killing of Hindus, invariably Kashmiri Pandits, begin to trickle in; there are explosions; inflammatory speeches are made from the pulpits of mosques, using public address systems meant for calling the faithful to prayers. A terrifying fear psychosis begins to take grip of Kashmiri Pandits.

Walls are plastered with posters and handbills, summarily ordering all Kashmiris to strictly follow the Islamic dress code, prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks and imposing a ban on video parlours and cinemas. The masked men with Kalashnikovs force people to re-set their watches and clocks to Pakistan Standard Time.

Shops, business establishments and homes of Kashmiri Pandits, the original inhabitants of the Kashmir valley with a recorded cultural and civilisational history dating back 5,000 years, are marked out. Notices are pasted on doors of Pandit houses, peremptorily asking the occupants to leave Kashmir within 24 hours or face death and worse. Some are more lucid: “Be one with us, run, or die!”

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Srinagar (January 19, 1990): Jagmohan arrives to take charge as governor of Jammu and Kashmir. Farooq Abdullah, whose pathetic, whimpering, snivelling government has all but ceased to exist and has gone into hiding, resigns and goes into a sulk. Curfew is imposed as a first measure to restore some semblance of law and order. But it fails to have a deterrent effect.

Throughout the day, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists use public address systems at mosques to exhort people to defy curfew and take to the streets. Masked men, firing from their Kalashnikovs, march up and down, terrorising cowering Pandits who, by then, have locked themselves in their homes.

As evening falls, the exhortations become louder and shriller. Three taped slogans are repeatedly played the whole night from mosques: ‘Kashmir mei agar rehna hai, Allah-O-Akbar kehna hai’ (If you want to stay in Kashmir, you have to say Allah-O-Akbar); ‘Yahan kya chalega, Nizam-e-Mustafa’ (What do we want here? Rule of Shariah); ‘Asi gachchi Pakistan, Batao roas te Batanev san’ (We want Pakistan along with Hindu women but without their men).

In the preceding months, 3000 Hindu men and women, nearly all of them Kashmiri Pandits, had been slaughtered ever since the brutal murder of Pandit Tika Lal Taploo, noted lawyer and BJP national executive member, by the JKLF in Srinagar on September 14, 1989. Soon after that, Justice N K Ganju of the Srinagar high court was shot dead. Pandit Sarwanand Premi, 80-year-old poet, and his son were kidnapped, tortured, their eyes gouged out, and hanged to death. A Kashmiri Pandit nurse working at the Soura Medical College Hospital in Srinagar was gang-raped and then beaten to death. Another woman was abducted, raped and sliced into bits and pieces at a sawmill.

In villages and towns across the Kashmir valley, terrorist hit lists have been floating about. All the names are of Kashmiri Pandits. With no government worth its name, the administration having collapsed and disappeared, the police nowhere to be seen, despondency sets in. As the night of January 19, 1990, wears itself out, despondency gives way to desperation.

And tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits across the valley take a painful decision: to flee their homeland to save their lives from rabid jihadis. Thus takes place a 20th century Exodus.

——————————————————————————–
Srinagar (January 19, 2005): There are no Kashmiri Pandits in Srinagar, or, for that matter, anywhere else in the Kashmir valley; they don’t live here anymore. You can find them in squalid refugee camps in Jammu and Delhi. As many as 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits have fled their home and hearth and been reduced to living the lives of refugees in their own country.

Two-thirds of them are camping in Jammu. The rest are in Delhi and in other Indian cities. Many of them, once prosperous and proud of their rich heritage, now live in grovelling poverty, dependent on government dole and charity. In these 18 years, an entire generation of exiled Kashmiri Pandits has grown up, without seeing the land from where their parents fled to escape the brutalities of Islamic terrorism, a land they dare not return to, although that land still remains a part of their country.

A large number of them are suffering from a variety of stress and depression related diseases. A group of doctors who surveyed the mental and physical health of the Kashmiri Pandits living in refugee camps, found high incidence of ‘economic distress, stress induced diabetes, partial lunacy, hypertension and mental retardation.’ Statistics reflect high death rate and low birth rate among the Kashmiri Pandit refugees.

And thereby hangs a tragic tale that has been all but wiped out from public memory.

An entire people have been uprooted from the land of their ancestors and left to fend for themselves as a weak-kneed Indian state shamelessly panders to Islamic terrorists and separatists who claim they are the final arbiters of Jammu and Kashmir’s destiny. A part of India’s cultural heritage has been destroyed; a chapter of India’s civilisational history has been erased.

Had this tragedy occurred elsewhere in Hindu majority India, and had the victims been Muslims, we would have described it as ‘ethnic cleansing’ and ‘genocide.’ We would have made films with horror-inducing titles. We would have filed cases in the Supreme Court of India. Our media would have marshalled remarkable rage in reporting the smallest detail.

But, this tragedy has occurred in Muslim majority Kashmir valley, and the victims are all Hindus, that too Pandits. What has been lost is part of India’s Hindu culture, what has been erased is integral to India’s Hindu civilisation.

Therefore, the government makes bold to record that the Kashmiri Pandits have “migrated on their own” and their ‘displacement (is) self-imposed;’ the National Human Rights Commission, after a perfunctory inquiry, refuses to concede that what has happened is ‘genocide’ or ‘ethnic cleansing,’ though facts add up to no less than that, never mind that 300,000 lives have been destroyed.

And, our jhola-wallah brigade of secular activists rudely turn up their noses to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits: Hindu sorrow, inflicted by Islamic terror, stinks.

Now Year 2008 18th anniversary of the forced flight of Kashmiri Pandits, look back at India’s wretched history of secular politics and consider the terrible price the nation has paid at the altar of appeasement because the Indian State has, and continues to, toe the line of least resistance.

What exactly Those Terrorist are proposing? Are they saying that They have a fundamental right of self-determination and Kashmiri Hindus don’t have a right to exercise their fundamental right of political voice? terrorists can have a political voice and a peace-loving patriot cannot. What kind of standard is it?