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Indian Dogs go back-The story of Hall Transit camp

Posted in hindus, india, kashmir by Sandeep on August 10, 2016


One can see a Graffiti that writes- Indian Dogs go back-widely in Kashmir.

The recent incidents in Kashmir, put a stamp of approval on this graffiti. The incidents of attacking of KP’s in transit camps at Hall, Kupwara and vessu further strengthen this belief of the Jihadi –separatist nexus and their supporters. And turning a blind eye on these incidents puts a question mark on the intentions of PDP-BJP Govt.

Why am I writing this? Well, Please read:

I was told briefly by some of my Kashmiri Pandit(KP) friends, about the incidents that transpired with them, after the killing of Terrorist Burhan Wani, at Kashmir. These employees are working under Prime minister’s package for kashmiri migrants, at Kashmir. They are protesting at jammu and Delhi from last 27 days under the banner of All migrant employee association.

An acquaintance, who resided in the ‘Hall Transit camp’ , and was present in the camp from 8th july 2016-15th july shared his poignant ordeal with me in detail. He requested to keep his name Anonymous. I will address him as Ajay in this write up.

“So, Ajay, what happened with all of you, during the nights of 8-10th july”, I asked him over Phone. There was a pin drop silence from the other side. “May be, he is trying to recollect”, I thought. “Are you there, Ajayji?”, I enquired once again.

He cleared his throat, and thus began his story.

“ The news of Burhan Wani’s death came to us at around 8-8.30 p.m. on 8th july. We were apprehensive that, we may get attacked once again.”, Before he could complete his sentence, I interrupted him and asked curiously, “ Have you been attacked previously too?”

“O Yes. Officially, we have been attacked 11 times, and unofficially, it is 17 times. We were attacked in the past , when Afzal Guru was hanged. Every year, on Deewali, the miscreants hurl stones on our Houses. We do not burst crackers on Deewali, not that we don’t want to, but we get attacked if we do so. Instead we only light up the Diyas.” He informed.

Please continue, I requested him.

“Because of our apprehensions, and our past experience, we locked the main entry door of our colony/camp. At around 9.00 p.m, the loud speaker of the local Mosque urged the Kashmiri Muslims(KM’s) to gather at the Mosque. Within no time, a crowd of 5000 people gathered outside the Mosque. A stringent voice from the Loud speaker of the Mosque directed the crowd to surround our colony.” Said Ajay and he paused for some time.

“At least 4000 so-called-miscreants encircled us and started raising derogatory slogans against us and against India. But the most used slogan was-Indian dogs go back. We were the dogs, as we were the Indians. ” He explained. “ Then, they resorted to indiscriminate stone-pelting .They hurled at least 40-50000 Stones on our quarters. The shrilled tones of their slogans was frightening. We felt like trapped pigeons. Children in the camp were crying out of fright. Some of the children clung to their mothers for comfort and hid their eyes in the bosom of their mothers out of fear. Many women fainted repeatedly out of fear”. His voice was brittle. I could feel uneasy emotions welling up in me as well.

“A rivulet passes near by our transit camp. The Jihadi-Mob diverted the route, and the direction of the stream to our compound, They wanted to flood our camp, so that we would be forced to come out of our colony. And kill us. But they could not succeed in their devilish plans.” He said emotionally.

“The hostile mob tried to break the main Door. Some goons or so-called-jihadis, tried to scale the main wall of the compound. It was at that time, the Police(4-5 numbers) meant for our protection, came forward to our rescue. They opened fire into air in order to scare away the mob. 65 rounds of bullets were fired to scatter the crowd. And it did helped. But briefly”. His voice modulation was sketching out pictures of the incidents in my mind.

“Did the mob run away after the fire into air incident”? I asked curiously. “No. It was a temporary respite. The Mob, re-gathered and started hurling stones at us again, once they realized that the police was out of ammunition. They also hurled glass bottles at us. It was so scary. We thought, they would kill us and rape the ladies of our camp”. He said in chocked voice. “The hostile crowd damaged 8-10 cars too, that were parked inside the premises of the camp.”He complained. “The respite came at around 12.30 a.m in the form of rains. It rained heavily and the belligerent crowd dispersed. At least, for the time being” .He informed.

“Didn’t you tried to contact the administration over phone”?, I asked him. “We called up everyone in our contact list. We contacted the police as well as the administration. But whole administration had collapsed. Or if any Administration, existed, it did so to aggravate our woes. The administration was playing wait and watch policy and had kept the lives of the Kp’s of our camp as a bait. They were missing, when we needed them the most.” He complained.

“To be honest with you, we thought, we would be dead soon. We were like the frightened pigeons. We were concerned about the welfare of the two and a half year child, who was hit by the stone. We were nervous about the condition of a pregnant lady of our camp. We needed a doctor. We needed protection. We needed administration. But we were wronged by all those, who are in power.” Said he in a distressed tone.

“What happened after that”. I inquired.

“Next day i.e 9th july 2016, some policemen came to our compound for our protection, but they left the camp by evening. We were again left with the usual 4-5 policemen. And now they were unarmed.” He informed.

“The local Mosque at around 3.30 p.m once again urged all the KM’s to throw away all the Indians. It was a direct threat to us. But nobody cared for us. Again the Mob swelled by the late evening and encircled our camp. Again they pelted stones on our houses. Again they raised the belligerent slogans. Again they gagged us to leave the valley.” He was getting angry. And I could feel a sense of helplessness in his voice.

“It was after 48 hrs, on 10th july 2016, The Army came to our rescue. The Mob refrained to some extend, but still some stones were hurled on us. We asked about the security situation outside the camp from some people. It was decided that the employees would leave the camp for Jammu in the night. An arrangement was made to send away some 250 odd KP residents of the camp in the dead of night, during the next few days. By 16th july whole of the camp was deserted and the entrance was locked by us.” He informed. “The other camps too in the valley had to face the wrath of the Jihadi-Mob. The camps were stoned at Kupwara and Vessu too. An attempt was made by the miscreants at Sheikhpura too. And at all these places, The administration was caught napping.” He said. “There are around 2000 KP employees stationed at Kashmir. Out of these, 1665 employees were recruited under the PM Package. All the employees under PM Package are protesting against the injustice meted to them.” Ajay Informed.

“What do you want now from Govt”? I sked him.

“we all should be deployed/re-posted at jammu until all the KP’s are rehabilitated at Kashmir. We risked our lives in 2010, we were assured of security, we were assured that a conducive environment will prevail, But during all these years of service at Kashmir, we have noted that the jihadi-fundamentalists are gaining their ground and all their activities are directed towards us. We are the sitting ducks for them. Enough is Enough. At least, we did never raise our voices for Pakistan. We are proud Indians and we would like to remain as Indians.” He asserted.

“we also request the center to release our salaries unconditionally. Our KM counterparts in Kashmir, have got their dues from the state, in spite of being absent from the duty. We, on the other hand, have been told that we won’t get our salaries as we were absent from our duty. Why double standards for us”?, he lamented.

The communication was snapped because of some network issue. But, I guess, he told me, What I ought to know.

I was forced to think , Does it matter that KP’s are the indigenous race of Kashmir, with a known history of 5000 years! Does it matter to Hindus and India that Kp’s have been ousted from Kashmir purely on the basis of Religion! Does India care for the Hindus of Kashmir?

If yes,

Where is India? Sleeping? Or, has the eyes of justice been blinded by the shenanigans of the politicians and their polity and their version of Truth!

Kashmiri Hindus are proud Indians. And in Kashmir, when a Graffiti is painted that says, “Indian Dogs go back”. The Dogs that are referred to are Kashmiri Hindus as well….

The point is, will the grievances of KP employees of Kashmir redressed. Or will they be forced to go back, where they will again hear or see a graffiti, that says:

Indian dogs go back……

“Let us kill them”-My recent visit to Kashmir

Posted in genocide, hindus, india, JAMMU & KASHMIR, kashmir by Sandeep on September 30, 2013

Since 2006, I have visited Kashmir number of times. When I first went to Kashmir after 16 years, I was impressed by the hospitality of the Kashmiri Muslims. I recall vividly, my first visit to Nehru Park in 2006.I was sporting a “Tilak” on my forehead. There was a man selling “ Makai wat”( Maize/ corn).He was saying,” 5 rupaiy ka Ek, 5 rupaiye ka ek”(one corn for 5 rupees).I too approached him, and said in Kashmiri,” Kya se lala, yutah drogh kyazi chuk kinaan?”(why are you selling it so costly?).His face suddenly beamed with glee, He said, “ Oh ! you are a Kashmiri Pandit!, you are my brother, For you it is just 3 Rupees”. I was really touched.

I again visited in 2007, 2008.In 2009, I stayed in a rented room at Rajbagh for 2 months. I was repeatedly getting a feeling that Kashmir will return to pre-1990.I even purchased a plot of land near Avantipura from a Sardarjee. I made new Kashmiri muslim friends in Kashmir. I even used to joke with them about their favorite separatist Politian or Pakistan. Many times I used derogatory words for their chosen leaders or for Pakistan. I even had a religious discussion with them. They did not mind at all on the choice of words that I used in these discussions.

But my recent visit belied my faith, I had developed in my previous visits, forcing me to believe once again that Kashmir is not safe. At least not for Hindus.

Just a week back,I drove to Kashmir with my Dogra friend-Amit and my Business partner Atul from Haryana. The forced exile to jammu has made me learn to speak Dogri and Punjabi fluently. During most of our journey, we spoke in Punjabi. We reached to Jawahar tunnel at around 5p.m.We were stopped by two policemen. The name plate on their uniform suggested that they were Muslims. They asked us to come out of the car. We obliged. They asked us our names. Their faces suddenly hardened upon hearing our names. “Show the documents of this car” said one policeman in an authoritative tone. I promptly did as he desired. All the documents were up-to-date. Then suddenly, the other policeman hurled philippics on Atul accusing us all of smuggling opium. We all protested. In the meanwhile, many local taxis passed-by and the Drivers of the taxis waved their hands to the two policemen saying loud, “Asalaam-walikaum”. The policemen waved back while they said “Salaam”. The two policemen checked our vehicle in detail. The footmats, carpet, Bonet, seats, Dashboard, everything was checked. The whole operation took at least an hour. We were allowed to go later on. We were all feeling humiliated by their invidious behavior. Atul said repeatedly that we were targeted because of being Hindus.

Somehow, we reached Srinagar. I took my friends to a lodge at Rajbagh. Atul always wanted to stay in a Houseboat and I had assured him that we will sure stay at Houseboat at least for a night after a couple of days. we were at Kashmir in connection with a business deal.

I could visibly feel a difference in the attitude of the local KM’s. They seem to have a visible resentment and hatred towards us, whenever they came to know about our names. The bonhomie, it seems has again got lost somewhere. I could again feel from the eyes of the KM’s, what I had felt in 1989-90.I was scared this time. And I was not wrong.

As, I had promised Atul,I took him to a Houseboat near Nehru Park, Dal-gate. We took a “Shikara”(boat) to reach the other side , where there are number of Houseboats. Atul started a conversation with the Manager/owner of the Houseboat. The Manager agreed for Rs 1200/night/room for all three of us. In order to re-confirm with me, Atul said in Punjabi ,” Is this rate OK” .I too answered in Punjabi, “yes”. As we were talking to the manager, a person came into the Houseboat and started speaking to the Manager in Kashmiri, “Are they tourists?”, the manager said,”yes”, “Are they Hindus ”asked he. The manager said, “yes, they are”. Suddenly he raised his tone and said loudly in Kashmiri to the Manager, “ Let us kill them all tonight”. The manager didn’t answer.

They didn’t knew that I too was a Kashmiri. My friends didn’t knew what had transpired. I calmly intercepted the two Kashmiri muslims, as I said in Punjabi,” We will go and fetch our luggage”. The manager nodded his head in agreement, While the other man used scurrilous language for our group in Kashmiri. I asked deliberately to the Manager,” What did he say?” The Manager said,” he is saying OK, Let them stay here”, I smiled at the Manager. He smiled back. I asked my friends to leave that place. When we reached the other side of the lake near the Road, I narrated them the whole episode. They were shocked and scared. We decided to return to our previous lodge at Rajbagh and leave the valley early morning.

These incidents, I believe are a pre-cursor to the incidents that are going to follow. I sometimes used to think that KP’s shouldn’t have left the valley, even in 1990.But looking at the recent events that took place with me, Kashmiri pandits did the right thing. I don’t know why, but my Kashmiri Muslim friends have again got into the mould of 1990.The emerging trend is dangerous. Many more lives will be lost before the peace will dawn again in the valley which Sage Kashyap drained thousands of years back. I have my fingers crossed.
Narrated byRavinder Koul

Assam and Kashmir ethnic cleansing…

Posted in hindus, india, islamic jihad, JAMMU & KASHMIR, kashmir by Sandeep on August 21, 2012

Assam –has notoriously and conspicuously grabbed the News Headlines for the ethnic( read religious) conflict between the Bodos and Bangla muslims(read Bangladeshis) which has taken more than 75 lives so far in the last month or so. The area of conflict was the Bodoland where Bodos constitute more than 90% Hindus .Bodos and majority of Hindus in Assam attribute this violence to the influx of Bangla Muslims(read illegal).The indigenous Assamese muslims have so far refrained from any provocative statement on this conflict.
The name coined for this Violence is ethnic violence(It is religious)

In Kashmir the indigenous Kashmiri Hindus(Kashmiri Pandits) were forced by the Muslim Jihadis to leave by selectively killing them .the cold blooded murders led to the mass exodus of kashmiri Hindus.

In the case of Assam violence, there has been reported a mass exodus of around 5lakh people. The displaced people constitute both Bodos as well as Bangla Muslims.

In the case of Kashmir,at least 4 lakh people got displaced from their homes .All the displaced people were Kashmiri Hindus.

The repercussions of Assam violence resonated in whole of India and the people of North-East particularly Assamese were targeted in Pune, Mumbai ,Bangalore, Hyderabad .People from Assam thronged to their nearest Railway stations and fled to Assam fearing more attacks from the Muslims.

No such repercussions as Hindus are peace loving .It has been thousand years since India attacked any country. In fact majority of Indians are still oblivious to the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus.

The Bangla Muslims constitute more than 30% of the total population and their votes are extremely important for political parties, they can bring into power at least two Lok sabha M.P’s(Member of parliament).There are rumors that certain political have given their tacit approval to the influx of illegal Bangladeshi Muslims.

It is believed that in early 20th century the numbers of Kashmiri Hindus were one million, which declined to 4-7lakh, as they have been migrating to other parts mainly because of the lack of religious freedom in Kashmir .However 1990 proved beyond doubt that those who had migrated in 40’s had taken the right decision, At least they didn’t suffer the ways their successors suffered in 90’s.
Kashmiri Hindus have no voice in the political arena of J&k. Even the central government have so far behaved invidiously with them.

The governments at the state and center have refrained to use the word communal in the case of Assam Violence and have blamed the repercussions and retaliatory action of Muslims on Pakistan and ISI.

In the case of Kashmir ethnic cleansing, It was said by the Government that Pakistan ,ISI ,Muslim terrorists brainwashed by Pakistan were responsible for the killings and mass exodus of Hindus. As a Kashmiri Hindu I know who are responsible for my exodus and I remain witness to the blatant lies and blatant injustice of my own successive governments.

There has been ethnic violence between the Bodos and the Bangla Muslims in the past also and once the violence subsided, the bodos and Muslims have moved back to their homes. This time also they will repeat the same.

Last year many Kashmiri Hindus came back to Kashmir, this year thousands of Kashmiri Pandits came back to Kashmir. But Alas, they came back as tourists to see their motherland, where they and their ancestors had lived from last 5000 years.
23 years have passed since Kashmiri Hindus left their homes….
Returning to their native land is still a dream……………………..a distant dream..

The pain has been expressed in the following lines..

In my Dreams
I saw my childhood
happily screaming
and running
up and down the stairs
of my erstwhile home
when I opened my eyes
I saw my Childhood
mauled and Chocked…

In my Dreams
I saw my Happiness
blooming in the flower
that embelleshed
the kitchen garden
of my erstwhile home
when I opened my eyes
I saw my happiness
withered and crumpled…

In my Dreams
I saw my Grandparents
playing with me
in my erstwhile home
When I opened my eyes
I looked sadly
at the photo of my
Late Grandparents…

In my dreams
I saw my freedom
roaming around the
chinars and in the brooks
i saw my freedom
riding the kite above
my erstwhile home
when I opened my eyes
I saw my freedom
incarcerated and in shackles…

In my Dreams
I saw my soul
in the erstwhile home
of my loved ones
drinking the nectar of love
at the feet of lord shiva
when I opened my eyes
I did not see my soul
for, I have not seen my soul
since that day
when I was forced to
leave the home where
I was born………..

Video of Protest by Muslims of India at Jantar Mantar(8-8-10)

Posted in kashmir by Sandeep on August 10, 2010

Muslims as well as Sikhs stood with their Kashmiri Hindu Brothers at Jantar Mantar,Delhi on Sundat(8-8-10).These Muslim brothers strongly condemned the killing of innocent lives in Kashmir and held Pakistan and separatist Hurriyat responsible for the Mayhem in Kashmir….

Photographs of protest@jantar mantar(8-8-10)

Posted in kashmir by Sandeep on August 9, 2010

Hello!!! Kashmir is my home...

media..will you really report????

I too have a voice...

see my tiranga!!!!

my protest--my way

tiranga---tricolor---my true color

even in pain, I can manage to have a smile...

India is greater than religion

do u hear us?

this is not peace

small girl appealing for some common sense

Sikhs and Muslims also joining in...

An Kashmiri activist

Mr Geelani, were you served biriyani for the day?

Posted in kashmir by Sandeep on July 9, 2010

Mr Geelani, were you served biriyani for the day?

More than a decade-and-a-half back I was on a photographic assignment to Fatepur Shekhawati, a town in Sikar district of Rajasthan, known for its exquisite havelis and frescos. It was a beautiful, wintry but sunny Friday afternoon at the bus adda in Jaipur. When the bus didn’t leave at its stipulated Rajasthan Roadways timing, I went to the driver to ask why he was delaying the departure. “I am sorry for the delay, bhaisahab,” he said politely and pointing towards a remote corner on the platform, he added, “Some countrymen are offering their Friday namaz.” As I turned around, I found some 8 to 10 Muslims offering namaz in a seamless queue and in perfect synchrony. It was a sight to behold, and to be honest I loved it. For a Muslim in India, and that too in a state like Rajasthan, where Advani et al had left no stone unturned spewing venom against Muslims some years before that on Babri issue, it was azadi at its best.

Since it was only a few years before this incident that I had become a so-called Kashmiri migrant (some Indian dhoti-clad, paan-spitting politicians still call us refugees, not knowing the difference between the two; but that is another story, not debatable here), my instant reaction to this incident was that the bus driver is a Muslim. I could not hold my inquisitiveness and asked him if he was himself a Muslim. Pat came the reply, “I am a Hindu.” Needless to say, I had asked a ridiculous question.

More than a decade-and-a-half later, and some 3 weeks back, as I was taking pictures around old Amirakadal in Srinagar, I found this little boy of around 8-9 years jumping into almost every other frame till he caught me perfectly into one that I intended to have this gloomy-looking but typically-smiling man (a trait wed to Kashmiris – both Pandits and Muslims – despite pain and parch) in thirties selling fresh currency notes in exchange for the old, torn-out currency.

The boy was impressive and innocent, likable to the core, and rather than dissuading him from doing his lovable mischief, I tried to strike a chord with him. Reluctant and shy in the beginning, he walked a step towards me later. “You look pretty smart in the picture,” I complimented. He smiled and came one more step closer, his cheeks growing pink. “Do you want to see how you look?” I asked. “Aa hawkhe haz,” he asked as if doubtful. As I handed over the camera to him for a live view, his doubts shrank and trust grew more. Looking at himself he smiled and tried to frolic away; but before he would, I asked him if he was studying. He gave a vertical nod first and soon effaced it with a horizontal one; seemed to be in no mood to take another question on the topic and freed himself from my grasp and went out of sight.

Long after the incident, the boy was lingering on my mind and I wondered what his hybrid nod meant. Did he mean he was enrolled in a school but because of frequent hartals and official/ unofficial closures he was infrequent to attend; or did he mean school, as it used to be, was nomore a basic right of children in the Valley? I cannot and must not presume answers for this dilemma; because I leave that to Syed Ali Shah Geelani and men and women of his ilk who are so blinded by their personal aspirations and interests that for young boys as these they feel it is wise to let them march from post to pillar instead of encouraging them to go to school. For innocent boys as these – sadly some of whom fell prey to bullets recently – this certainly is not azadi of any sensible kind.

However, for people like Syed Ali Shah Geelani this must be azadi of the very true and ‘kind’ kind. Diagnosed with renal cancer he knows no other country (not to speak of a bankrupt nation as Pakistan) could have been as sumptuous on him as India by providing him free sarkari biriyani and free medical treatment throughout his detentions and doing everything to defy God’s will and keep him up and running against the nation itself. Azadi, for him, is his best weapon to incite vulnerable parents of the Valley to deprive their children of the previous gift of education, exploit youth to pick stones, take out procession and alas, destroy their own futures by what can never be a fulltime, honorable profession; so much so that youth of the Valley have found a good pastime in sanghbazi until CRPF retaliates.

For Syed Ali Shah Geelani azadi, as a Urdu word, would be more sweeter than Kashmiri phirni, since it is this word that helps him blackmail India and extract money from Pakistan to prevent his own fortunes from plummeting. There are reports that Hurriyat chairman has received a whooping 80 crore rupees ever since the “struggle for self-determination” began. Hurriyat is once believed to have remarked that the money was “collected” for “relief and rehabilitation” of “militancy-affected people of the Valley”. Relief and rehabilitation? One may ask where and what did they rehabilitate so far. And can one expect relief and rehabilitation from a party that incites hapless Kashmir’s to come out in to streets, pick stones with an intention to kill or get killed in the process. All this looks preposterous; it may be a human being on one or another side of the fence; at the end of it all, it is someone’s son, someone’s brother, someone’s husband and someone’s loved one that departs.

It has become an irony in Kashmir that when a sanghbaz gets killed, people who initiate him into the most medieval act actually convey his dear ones a message that he was worth just Rs 50 to 150 a day. Well-meaning, thoughtful people of the Valley realize this; some even want to speak out since they believe it is time to be in peace rather than turmoil, but they can’t since either they fear elimination or don’t have a platform to do so. History is also testimony to the fact that evil spreads fast; trampling goodness on its way.

Goodness in the Valley has been strangulated; but fortunately still prevails. People at the grassroots, irrespective of being rich or poor, still beat with a warm heart; they welcome you, they hug you and they respect you as a fellow human being, a fellow Kashmiri from whom they had departed 20 years ago. Matchless hospitality, as against azadi, runs through these people’s veins. Such people – during my personal and innumerable interactions with them – have come as a ray of hope who might keep the impeccable Kashmiriyat alive.

The general perception that I gather is that people of this understanding are well-informed about all aspects of the Valley as it stands ruined post-terrorism now and as it was beautifully flourishing before murderers started getting glorified post-1990s. That must bring Kashmiri awam to Yasin Malik, whom money accumulated from terrorism landed him from a congested Maisuma Bazar house to a plush new bungalow in Maisuma, not to speak of commercial buildings, hotels, and investments in real estate not only in Kashmir but in United Kingdom also. Renunciation of violence, as he has done, after accumulating so much of fortune is a natural and safe recourse from the movement that took lakhs of lives in what he had promised as “separation of Jammu & Kashmir from secular India as an Islamic Nation”. Ironically the guy who can barely speak sense, whenever he opens his mouth, says now he is looking for “peaceful methods to come to a settlement on the Kashmir conflict.” Sadly no one questions his integrity that he had shown earlier, no one dares him ask his accountability for the personal fortunes he has built over the dead. Average, hapless Kashmiri has been and still is at the receiving end; his mind practically a hostage to a misled thought emerging from a perverted mind. The trend is fatal, and if it continues parents would wish in future if only they could have reverse the past for their children’s good.

Bytheway, it is Friday again, and across the length and breadth of the country devout Muslims would be offering juma namaz peacefully (and surely in complete azadi) in thousands of mosques. In the Valley, however, menacing concertina wires have been put up to prevent any human movement. A friend calls me up and says he has run out of milk and vegetables for lunch; and in the same breath (almost as a salute to his Kashmiriyat) he asks me if I needed anything? I tell him I can live on just oxygen-rich air nonstop for at least 76 hours; but am seriously worried about Geelani whether or not he was served in time his regular biriyani for the day ….

source:Dr. Sanjay Parva
the author can be contacted at– drparva@gmail.com

Miscommunication between KP’s and KM’s

Posted in kashmir by Sandeep on June 1, 2010

It has been more than 20 years since kashmiri pundits left Kashmir valley because of Terrorism. In these years one generation of Kashmiri Muslims and one generation of Kashmiri hindus Were born and raised in two distinctive religious, political and geographical areas.

It is obvious that the experience of both has been different. Both are part of fairy tales, those bed story tales which this generation has heard from their elders . Short Anecdotes of Kashmiri Hindus like ”Kashmir is not a safe place for us.Jihadis will kill us, because we are Hindus” may sound true for the new generation of hindus who were born outside Kashmir, because They have seen their parents and relatives struggling hard for their basic existence. They have seen their aged grand and great grandparents poignantly recalling their hey days in Kashmir. They have also seen their grandparents die with a unfulfilled last wish of returning back to their home in Kashmir. They have heard that bomb blasts, cross firing and killing is a routine affair in Kashmir.

Kashmiri Muslim Generation has grown up to somewhat similar anecdotes and bed time stories. “It is not safe in Kashmir,It is not safe in Jammu. It is not safe in Ahmedabad.It is not safe in delhi and Mumbai” and the young generation has their reasons to believe what their elders say. They have seen how even innocent and well educated are framed for being a terrorist before being proved innocent by the high court’s of India. But the whole process takes months and years as was in the case of prof. S.A.R. Geelani.

The two Kashmiri communities viz Kashmiri Hindus and Kashmiri Muslims have very little faith on each other, thanks to miscommunication of 20 years. Whenever some organization tries to bridge the gap between the two communities, the efforts gets hijacked and sabotaged by those surreptitious and greedy   elements Who have made a killing out of 20 years of unrest in Jammu and Kashmir. Unfortunately, these people are still at the helm of the affairs.

There are also some elements who would not like to see Kashmiri pundits back to Kashmir. These elements have illegally captured properties of Kashmiri Hindus and they are the first to come to streets and protest against return of pundits to Kashmir. Politicians of Kashmir are aware of this fact and they choose to Close their eyes and remain mum on this whole affair at least for the time being.

There has been a paradigm shift of opinions of Kashmiri Muslim towards Kashmiri Hindus and lack of Communication between the two is the prime reason for all the misunderstandings. separatist parties will never enter into the fray where the two communities try to sort out their differences and enter into a dialogue as this will subsequently dilute their influence and power . mainstream political party will also never try to bring the two communities closer because of the strings attached to vote bank politics of India. In the best interest of both the communities, the community volunteers should make their best effort to reach out to each other. There are many if’s and buts’ which arises from the present scenario. Instead of haranguing each other the two communities should open a channel of formal as well as informal communication. They should at least give it a try..


Kashmiri Pandits seek US govt help in the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in Panun Kashmir

Posted in kashmir by Sandeep on January 25, 2010

International Kashmir Federation (IKF) marked the 20th year of the Kashmiri Pandit exodus which began in January 1989 on the U.S. Capitol Hill. IKF met with the State Department officials and members of Congress and Senate on January 20 and January 21 for assistance with the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits. A memorandum was submitted to the Secretary of State which read:
Kashmiri Pandits hail from Kashmir, the northernmost area of India and have been struggling for past two decades as refugees in their own country. “In fact, today marks the day two decades ago, when 350,000 Kashmiri Hindus, called Kashmiri Pandits, were driven away after thousands were murdered and raped.
We call it the Exodus Day for Kashmiri Pandits, which is recognized throughout the world to remember those unfortunate people as well as bring awareness to this issue. Right at the moment, thousands of these uprooted people are living in other parts of India as refugees. In direct violation of the Constitution of India and the United Nations Charter, the Kashmiri politicians have denied the basic human rights to Hindus.
They have also purposely created an atmosphere of uncertainty and insecurity so that like Hindus, Sikhs and secular Muslims of Kashmir region, the Hindus of Jammu and adjoining cities feel extremely unsafe and helpless and are forced to leave their homes and hearths en mass.

The Government of India has not made an effort to rehabilitate the Pandit refugees in their own country. It has been only talking about their return without any consideration for their safety. The only thing the Government must do is to carve out a safe haven for this minority community in Kashmir. This safe haven, also called ‘Panun Kashmir’ meaning ‘My Kashmir’ will allow the Kashmiri Hindus promote their culture in safety.
The first requirement is survival, culture comes later. Kashmiri Pandits want to return to Kashmir because, first, they have lived there for thousands of years; second, because their jobs are there; third, because the backdrop of their ethos is there.
This community is scattered all around India and is very quickly losing its culture and heritage. By carving out this land in the Indian State of Kashmir, the Government of India would be allowing this intellectual and very educated community to live without fear of persecution.
The Government of India needs to address the question of the social, political and economic aspirations of the community, which must be considered as an indispensable component of any future settlement on Kashmir.

“Twenty years have passed and our people are still disenfranchised politically, socially and economically. More than 45,000 people are still in camps. The State Government of Jammu and Kashmir has been busy making false promises while Government of India has been consistent with a policy of appeasement”, said Jeevan Zutshi, the Chairman of International Kashmir Federation, an international body of Kashmiri Pandits fighting for the survival of their community. IKF delegates came from New York, California, Washington, D.C and Florida.
They met with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Owen on the morning of Thursday January 21st for more than an hour. Maharaj Kaul, IKF delegate from New York started the meeting with the history of ancient Kashmir up to 1947 and Pakistan’s insurgency and indoctrination of the muslim majority community in Kashmir, which otherwise was an example of religious harmony and co-existence.
Deepak Ganju, IKF delegate from Florida and the past President of Kashmiri Overseas Association (KOA) talked about the deplorable state of the Kashmiri pandit refugees in camps in Jammu. Mr. Owens was familiar with the Kashmir Problem but was appalled at the level of adversity faced by Kashmiri Pandits.

Jeevan Zutshi talked about various resolutions and declared that the only solution to the present crisis was to carve out a separate land for Kashmiri Pandits and other nationalistic and peace loving Indians within Kashmir.
“Kashmir is the home to 750,000 Pandits and making an enclave for them within Kashmir will provide a legal territory and they can feel a high level of security so they feel they belong in their ancient land where they have been for thousands of years. This land will be administered by the Central Government of India.”
IKF then had a candid discussion with Congressman Mike Honda who admitted only knowing of the Kashmir Problem through an international Symposium convened by Mr. Zutshi in 2003 and attended by Jim McDermott, Terrista Schaffer, Congressman Pete Stark and various think tanks.
Mr. Honda was very receptive to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits in India and promised his support.
IKF then briefed Republican Congressman Ed Royce, Congressman Frank Pallone, Congressman Jerry McNerney and Senator Sherrod Brown of the Kashmir Problem and the Panun Kashmir movement.
“It was a very successful set of meetings in which the plight of Kashmiri Pandits was front and center. It was also an achievement that they were further educated on the Kashmir Problem and Panun Kashmir solution”, said Jeevan Zutshi.

3rd World Kashmiri Pandit Conference concludes

Posted in kashmir by Sandeep on April 13, 2009

3rd World Kashmiri Pandit Conference concludes
Pandits want nothing short of Homeland

King C Bharati

Jammu, April 12: The two-day 3rd World Kashmiri Pandit Conference (WKPC) today concluded with a spate of resolutions for the future strategy of the community and stressed that the community would settle for nothing short of their own Homeland within Kashmir Valley with a Union Territory status.
The unanimity among the speakers was focused on the demand of Homeland while many other suggestions came to fore for the future course of action to fight the apathy of the central and state government towards the community which has been facing extinction in their 19th year of forced exile.
The concluding day was devoted mainly to women and youth of the community to discuss the challenges faced by these sections in exile and set agenda for the future with speakers debating on the topics: KP Women: Challenges in exile and KP Youth in Exile: Challenges galore.
While women were seen more aggressive today with a speaker asking the community not to stick to two child norm because of dwindling KP population while youth stressed for more pragmatic and modern approach to save the culture and the future of the young generation.
The twin sessions were fully surcharged with many speakers spitting fire reminding the audience that KPs were still a force to reckon with and infusing new energy to the restless Pandits who find themselves at the cross roads of the future.
The short documentaries depicting the plight of KPs in exile and their massacres in Valley brought tears to the audience while the delegation of Sikhs from Batote and Anandpur Sahib called for aggressive approach to fight the discrimination.
Ashok Khajuria, state president of the BJP while assuring whole hearted support of Jammuites to KPs thanked them for their wholehearted support during Amarnath agitation and asked them to fight all kinds’ discrimination unitedly.
Khajuria while extending full support to Homeland assured to take-up KPs problems in Assembly.
He said that Hindus would have to wake up as in India secularism means anything anti-Hindu which has to be fought out valiantly by all the Hindus together.
It was Dr Shailja Bhardwaj who set the stage on fire with her fiery speech recharging the entire Zorawar complex prompting S Mehar Singh from Anadpur Sahib to come on stage to present a Shawl to her.
S Mehar Singh thundered on stage asking KPs to produce such fiery daughters if they want to exist in this kind of discriminatory atmosphere.
S Mehar Singh also presented a Saropa to Dr Agnishekhar on the occasion as a symbol of support to the community.
Earlier Dr Phoola Kaul termed Jawahar Lal Nehru as a blot on the face of community blaming him for the entire mess that the community was facing now.
She hoped that some day some KP would rise like a Phoenix to washout that blot and set this community free from the clutches of official apathy.
The women speakers lamented that the only Hindu school for KP women: Lal Ded Girls School was destroyed by the terrorists to finish every symbol KPs in Valley.
They said that KPs must keep in mind that they will return to their native land reminding them that if Jews could go back to Israel after 2000 years why KPs can’t keep their hopes alive to reclaim their land.
The women who spoke on the occasion include Dr Shailja Bhardwaj, Dr Khema Koul, Dr Phoola Koul, Ms Bharti Bakshi, Ms Priya Raina and Dr Susheela Katroo.
Later during the youth session Sidarth Zarabi, senior editor (news) Network 18 asked the community to work out a common minimum programme instead of wasting time on unity moves.
Zarabi said that community would have to be pragmatic and unity was not possible which was evident from the way our national politics was going on adding it was the time of coalitions and KPs too must form a coalition where issues would be important rather than the individuals.
Others who spoke during the youth session include Rahul Koul, Reshim Hangloo etc.
Panun Kashmir also presented Kuldeep Wattal Memorial awards to prominent KPs which include Krishan Ji Langoo, Kuldeep Saprui, Ravi Bhan, Naina Sapru, Lovely Wangoo etc.
In a significant development the separate homeland demand was also endorsed by a cross section of different organizations and individuals including Kashmiri Samiti Delhi, All India Brhamrishi Maha Sangh, All India Saraswat Brahman Association and Roots in Kashmir, a Delhi headquartered global organization of Kashmiri Pandit youth.
In a show of solidarity with the basic demand of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits many intellectuals from Jammu including Dr. Jitender. Singh, Mr. Ram Sahay,’ Mr. B.S. Salathia, and Mr. Ashok Gupta of Shiv Sena have already expressed their full support to the homeland demand of Kashmiri Pandits during the first day of the conference.
Among the prominent speakers who spoke in favour of separate homeland demand of the displaced Pandits included Ashwani Chrangu and Sunil Shakdar a prominent Kashmiri Pandit leader and former president of Kashmiri Samiti, Delhi.
The Kashmiri Pandit speakers expressed their great appreciation for the accommodation and support provided to them by the people of Jammu. They expressed their full support and solidarity with the people of Jammu in their fight for removing the regional discrimination and Kashmir centric policies of the government.
Among the demands put forth by the conference were the creation of separate homeland for Kashmiri Pandits, state subject certificates for all seven lakh Kashmiri Pandits world wide, inclusion of all eligible displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the electoral rolls of the state, constitution of a Jammu based tribunal to speedily resolve the cases of illegal occupation of Pandit properties in the Valley, equal treatment to the refuges from POK and West Pakistan.
Spates of resolutions were passed during the different sessions of the conference as a document to form, the future course of action by the community.

The new proselytizers

Posted in Uncategorized by Sandeep on February 12, 2009

10 Feb 2009, 1921 hrs IST, Tarun Vijay

Nandita Das created a stir by scripting and directing “Firaaq”. It’s a soul-stirring movie. Nandita, the director and scriptwriter, has tried to be as honest and candid with the celluloid as her deep-rooted commitment to her political ideology. Terrifyingly impressive is the way she uses silence as a tool to etch her message on the viewers’ minds. The actors live the characters they represent. And she admits frankly, “It’s a political movie.”

As a filmmaker and journalist, I would give her full marks for a political statement that has been registered so strongly that this film is going to have better effect than a hundred thousand people’s gathering.

Surely, more than a movie it’s a political statement. She is a person with strong colours of ideology and she has done what she thought she must do. “Firaaq” will certainly get rave reviews in the Indian media. She has already received some international awards, and like “Slumdog Millionaire”, the film has passed the test through “firang” eyes and hence must be all the more acceptable to the “progressive secular, peace loving” people here who have a large, global heart and express their feelings in English.

Apart from its technical qualities of cinematography, editing, direction and script it almost convinced me that barbarism begins with Hindus.

There would be a couple of critical articles or comments, if any, criticizing the movie on ideological points or for the depiction of the events, which may be found completely wrong and devastatingly hateful. These critics may forget that this is a political movie that would sell because the West needs a Jamal or a Mohsin to be rewarded to help it cover the feelings that emerged after 9/11. Having heard Nandita on the movie and seen the clips, I too would have converted to her views if the Godhra incident was not vividly clear in my mind.

I would have turned to take Nandita’s autographs with a sense of admiration if I had not heard the cries of Seema, whose father, mother and brother were slaughtered with a butcher’s knife in Doda, before her eyes, when she was barely seven, in the name of a jihad my secular friends interpret differently. I tried to ask a question: who were those Hindus killed and brutalized during the Gujarat riots? It’s impossible for me to keep mum or justify what happened after Godhra, which saw innocent Muslims being killed so ghastly that no words are enough to express the hurt. The colour of the tears of a mother, whether Hindu or Muslim, is alike. But dividing dead bodies and deciding levels of mourning on the basis of their faith should be as unacceptable as the killings of innocent citizens. Killing truth and colouring facts must also be called a pogrom of civility.

In fact, the secular messengers of the new gospel of hate have turned into aggressive proselytizers setting their worldview as a prerequisite to enter any socio-political or literary regime. They have successfully monopolized the world of various media establishing English as the only vehicle of intellectual discourse and thus keeping the doors to the higher echelons of elite and decision makers shut to those who belong to the Indian-language groups and represent the real ethos of the land. Although to make profits, these very secular groups would sell bhajans and show religious serials while attacking the very spirit of and the protective shields to such traditions in the very next programme. They can’t imagine winning votes with speeches in English or going to the common voter with a wine glass or a beer bottle in their hands. Yet, in their social circuit, they would raise the flag of “pub culture” and look with contempt at a person speaking an Indian language.

Just have a look at the loan forms of the banks. The last paragraph says “those blind, illiterate or signing in a vernacular language must get their signatures attested by someone who knows English”. Can this kind of instruction be tolerated in the UK or the US for their national languages? Even the use of the word “vernacular” for the national languages is a derogatory, colonial hangover. But who cares? They look at Indians as slumdogs, are alien to the threads that weave a fabric called India and treat the “natives” like Kipling’s Ramu. So when a western royal or head of state comes, he is made to cuddle a slum child with a running nose or taken to an orphanage for a photo op to show western compassion for the unprivileged. An Indian Prime Minister is never asked to give alms to the homeless sleeping on the stairs of St James in London or offer grants to an NGO in New York working for the victims of child abuse or teen mothers. Compassion must remain a virtue of the rich and powerful.

It is this English-speaking elite that determines what India must be reading or thinking or how Hindus must be behaving. They read about Hindus through Oxford or Cambridge publishers and show the temerity to sermonize those Hindus who have imbibed their dharma in their genes and lived every bit of it, making Kumbh melas possible and taking dips in the Ganga on the chilling mornings of Kartik and Magh. The secular proselytizer visits Kumbh, not as a devotee but as a photographer to take pictures of bathing Hindu women and sadhus using mobile phones, as if being sadhus they ought to live as cavemen. The pictures they wire to press agencies essentially depict the weird, intoxicated, obscene and the unacceptable face of uncivilized Hindus to the west.

They don’t know a bit about our faith, or what Magh, Amavasya or Saptami means. They take Sanskrit degrees in English and tell us, what’s the use of such knowledge in today’s world? To be futuristic means denouncing all that you have preserved since ages. That’s an alienated crowd of people with an accent, detached from the Indian reality.

They tell us, you bad guys, you demolished our Babri. Yet, not a single political party can dare to promise in its election manifesto that if it is voted to power, it would rebuild Babri over the present makeshift temple of Ram in Ayodhya. Their influence on the Indian masses is hardly worth noticing, yet their control on the media and political power centres makes them important. Their intellectual terror is so overpowering that today most of the national parties in India execute their proceedings in English. Poor and often unauthorized translations are dished out in Hindi and other Indian languages. The language, idiom and attitude of this “secular” English-speaking elite, controlling the media, advertising and governance remain alien to the indigenous fragrances which they dismiss as folk or ethnic contours, only to be enjoyed in a Suraj Kund mela.

The secular code is: abuse and misrepresent the facts about the opponents, use a pub incident in Mangalore more importantly than the anguish and pains of the soldiers demonstrating at Jantar Mantar, turn every news desk and edit control station into Godhra, throttling the other view point.

One isolated incident of the Hindu right would become a globally circulated representative of the Hindu intolerance and terrorism. None of us accepted the way Mangalore happened. Who cares whether Valentine’s day is celebrated or not. If someone says to me “Happy Valentine’s Day”, I will just smile and say “same to you”. That’s it. Those who find it a nice way to feel joy must be free to do so. But why I must say “yes, Valentine’s Day is the biggest symbol of love, amity and happiness” and feel elated seeing obscenities on the streets to prove I am an educated modern person?

To each one, his own. I must be ready to accept every happy occasion of any colour or faith or stream to smile and send compliments, but should it become mandatory as a fatwa?

But my questions to those who use incidents like Gujarat riots for awards and rubbing salt on Hindu wounds was: why forget Godhra and Doda and Anantnag and Kishtwar? In the case of Kashmiri Hindus, the “seculars” won’t like to earn displeasure of the jihadis.

I think it’s self-defeating to crib about such situations. If you feel injustice has been done, prepare to counter the wrongs through legitimate instruments.

Nandita did what she felt was right and did it quite courageously without bothering what the other side would feel. What did you do to present Doda or Godhra to the world? Who stopped any other Indian to make a movie on the pains and sorrows of Seema or to document the desecration of temples in Kashmir and record the woes of Hindus who had to pass through weird massacres like the one we saw at Wandhama?

The author is the Director, Dr Syamaprasad Mookerjee Research Foundation.