Tag Archives: kashmiri pandits

Yaarbal..

As a teenager and -that too in Kashmir- The Mountains, valleys, lakes , streams and rivers just looked so familiar,natural, perennial and Ubiquitous .Even in my imagination and dreams, I would see myself somewhere surrounded by these elements.

Swimming was my all time favorite activity. Being a Rainawarian, I used to swim in Dal Lake very often . And whenever I used to stay put for night/s at my ‘Matamaal’ in HabbaKadal during summers, I used to make it sure to go for a swin along with my friend Sanjay to River Jhelum near the bridge of Habba-Kadal .

We had chosen the ‘Yarbal’ (Bathing Ghat with steps)of ‘Purushyar Temple’ as a base for our swims.We used to  swim across the River and reach The opposite bank of Yarbal , then swim back. Because of the drift of river, we were flown down and while coming back towards the purushyar, we were further drifted away downwards. We used to run barefoot in the bylanes and reach back to The Yaarbal. The River was deep and many a times , we would hear about the incidents of drowning. But we were expert swimmers and that hardly bothered us.

Sometimes, we along with other teenagers and children would jump from the Bridge of HabbaKadal straight into the Vitasta.The exhilarating feeling of jumping and hanging in the air for some seconds was awesome.So was the feel of the adrenaline rush ,  when our feet touched the Sandy bed of the Jhelum.

I re-visited Kashmir last year in the month of August.I had hired a taxi and directed the Driver-Ajaz to take me to Habba Kadal.Once we reached the Bridge, I told him to stop.I looked around but could not identify most of the New Habba Kadal locality.I alighted the door and stepped down.

The  KP’s once formed the majority population of this area.Their conspicuous absence added to the feeling of being at an unknown, yet familiar place.

A new Bridge has been constructed just adjacent to the Old bridge. When I looked down from the bridge to River Vitasta, she looked emaciated. I tried to compare her with the images of Jhelum,that were imprinted in my memories. She looked as if someone had drained out all her water and her vigour.The shallowed-Vitasta, looked as if   she was ashamed of her present condition.

I ambled further the bridge and turned right towards a by-lane.I was told that it will lead me towards the famous ‘Purushyar Temple’.I walked ahead in the claustrophobic , stinking , narrow bylane and within a couple of minutes ; I had another glimpse of the temple. It was already late evening.I stood for some time at the mouth of the wider staired lane ,that lead to the temple . Few steps further downwards , I could see the barren Yarbal.

I could recall vividly , how the ‘Yaarbal’ abuzzed with activity.In the mornings, KPs  from the adjoining locality visited the Purushyar temple, some even used to take a dip in the waters of Vitasta before entering the temple.Other’s  used to come in the Late morning and take a bath with the River-water.They rubbed and covered their bodies with the thick froth of the Soap. The bubbles of the froth would many a times float in the air for a short distance and then  blow off silently. Some people would be seen washing their clothes. A few people would just sit on the stairs and watch the River passing by.

I turned my sight towards the Temple.It looked as if somebody had turned on a Bulb.I peered through the late evening light , but could not see any figure. Nonetheless, it was evident that , some KPs are coming to the temple and are offering their prayers.However, I could not see a single soul around the temple.The so familiar waft of the incense sticks and ‘Dhoop’ too was absent.So was the resounding peal of the temple bell.

Few Passerby’s looked astonished at my behaviour. After all ,how many people would stand at that junction and look at the Yaarbal and Temple in that late evening ! For them , my behavior was suspicious.A group of men gathered at some distance from where I was standing and started murmuring something.

Finally a man from that group came forwad and  asked me in Kashmiri, “Are you looking for someone?”. I smiled and in a friendly way, I answered, “Oh Nothing”. I gestulated. “Well, I have spent some of my early days in this area.I just wanted to see the places where I had lived”. “Are you a Kashmiri Pandit?” he asked exitedly. “Yes, I am.” I replied. “I am looking for a KP friend’s house, who too lived in this locality, but can’t locate it”. I added.

“Most of the people who live here now, have come from other localities. But, there is this fruit-vendor at the start of HabbaKadal.He knows about all the Pandits of this area.I will lead you to him”. He said warmly. “Yes, I saw that Vendor.I will speak to him just now.” I feigned.”I think I should go now.” I informed him. He shook my hand firmly and went away in the lane and disappeared from my sight.It was dark now.I decided to go back and in no time, I reached the bridge, where the driver of the cab was waiting for me.

Ajaz-the cab driver was waiting for me anxiously. As soon as I approached him, he said impatiently, “Should we go now Jenab?” Without looking at him, I answered , “Just give me two more minutes.”

I walked a few steps further on the HabbaKadal bridge.I again looked down at the Vitasta.I could just see the reflection of the shimmering lights on it. I looked at the Purushyar temple once again for the last time. It was dimly lit.The Windows were still closed.

And the Yaarbal still barren……

Indian Dogs go back-The story of Hall Transit camp

 

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……

The Shankaracharya Hill

‘O! Shankaracharya’,-the holy Hill

answer my prayers.

I tried to woke him up.

 

He opened his eyes

He looked intensely at me.

Like a  father

who has met his Son

after a long time.

 

 

‘You seem familiar, but wait!

Let me ask my Heart,

That has started beating again’

 

it looked as if he

Was  searching in the leaves of past

And matching my Heart-beats with the

Beats of his Heart.

he closed his eyes

And he became silent.

 

Atop the Hill

To wake him up

I pealed the Bell

And Screamed

‘O! Shankarcharya’

Why are you silent?

 

 

He opened his eyes again

and said

‘Nobody talks to me like you do

For them I am a huge

Mass of boulders

I am Lifeless for them

For you

I am your creator

I am your identity

I long for you

As much as you do for me

I live in your Heart

As much as you do in mine.

 

I am not silent

And you were

never away from me

In my silence

I was working within you

he said

 

I ask the sun in the morning

I ask the moon in the night

About my sons in the

Far away lands

I ask them to light your path

That leads to me

And I ask the cool breeze of the Night

To embrace you

And lead you to the Dream land

Where you find yourself in my lap

 

 

‘O! Child

I look silent

But in the silence

I become your motivation

I become your patience

I become your desire

I become your courage

And inspire to lead you

A step further

To regain what you have lost

And become determined like me

To achieve your Goal

And become me-The Shankaracharya Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lord Spontaneous (Shivratri-Herath)

The esoteric form of Shiva as Swacchand Bhairava with his consort Agoreshwari is central to Kashmir Shaivism, writes Sunil Raina

Shivaratri, celebrated on the 13th day of the dark fortnight of the month of Phalgun, is also called Har-ratri or Herath in Kashmiri. The festival has great religious and spiritual significance as it coincides with the emergence of Shiva tattvas on the physical plane. Shiva, at the early dawn of human creation, thought of Shakti, and in her search, donned the form of 18-armed Swacchandnath Bhairava.

Shakti, frightened by this form of Shiva, cast a glance on a pitcher full of water, wherefrom emerged Vatuk Bhairava and Rama Bhairava to defend her. Shiva at that time changed his form to Jawalalinga. Amazed by Shiva’s new form, Shakti along with her defending bhairavas merged with the Jawalalinga. Since this event is believed to have taken place on triyodashi, Kashmiris celebrate Shivaratri on this day, whereas the rest of the country, celebrated the festival on chaturdashi when the linga was pacified.

The esoteric form of Shiva as Swacchand Bhairava with his consort Agoreshwari is central to Kashmir Shaivism, and has been in existence since medieval times. Swacchand Bhairava signifies the prakasha, or the light consciousness, and Agoreshwari signifies vimarsha or Self-awareness. Swacchanda — as the term is understood — means free, independent and spontaneous and is synonymous with Swatantra. Kashmir Shaivism says that nondual conscious freedom is the only freedom that exists where the union with the Absolute is singular, amounting to you being Shiva, and is not dual.

This esoteric form of Shiva is imagined and deified as:

lWhite, five-faced and wide-eyed lord.

lHe is adorned with serpents and wears a necklace of scorpions which is called gunas. The word gunas in Kashmiri means serpent; Kashmiri women wear gunas bracelets that have at their ends, two serpents or red scorpions gazing at each other. This is symbolic of his instantaneous play with the bonds of soul.

lHe wraps a lion skin around his hip and an elephant hide over his shoulders.

lHe wears a garland of skulls, has a black throat and 18 arms.

His consort, who sits on his right thigh, has the same characteristics. By the power of his autonomy, the lord manifests this form with the highest level of Shakti. The lord has done so to facilitate and allow aspirants to enter the light of impartible that is indivisible or nondual as there is nothing like this in appearance anywhere else.

He is wide-eyed. He is in Bhairava Mudra intent on liberation of souls. He is focused within. He neither opens nor closes his eyes. He is overflowing with consciousness and bliss and has three power tools: icchha or will; jnana or knowledge and kriya or action. It is with these tools that Swacchandnath Bhairava manifests this universe with his fivefold acts of shristi or creation, stithi or sustenance, samhara or dissolution, triodanha or concealing and anugraha or revealing.

lBy his act of shristi, he holds and nourishes the universe in a way that he manifests the universe on the panoramic canvas of his identity.

lStithi is the persistence, the moment in which the consciousness is immersed in its projected content.

lSamhara is retraction; consciousness reabsorbs the content it has projected, essentially turning it towards nondual essence.

lTriodanha is enfolding or concealing of creation with respect to time and space.

l Anugraha is unfolding or revealing projections in the manifest world.

With these fivefold acts, Swacchandnath Bhairava, along with Agoreshwari, create an animate and inanimate world, thus unleashing the divine play of reality. The world is nothing but the mirror image of Swacchandnath Bhairava, and to recognise this unity between the individual soul, is the purpose of a well-meaning life. Shiva spreads the nectar of creativeness; shields the jivatman from torturous transmigration; brings forth the inner consciousness by tearing apart the individual ego, which essentially is ignorance; terminates maya; binds the universe and brings forth bliss, which is unlimited.

The night of Shivaratri is essentially considered to bring supreme awareness of Shivahood on the physical plane among aspirants. It removes nonduality among the souls and pushes the seeker to the higher orbit of Self-realisation. The festival of Shivaratri is celebrated with grandeur and reverence in every Kashmiri Hindu household, where each family member observes a fast and contributes towards making this festival a great success.

 

Written by:-Sunil Raina

Leftist-Jihadis; where is my free speech?

 

On the name of ‘Free Speech’-The sloganeering at the JNU in early Feb, in Support of the Terrorist Afzal Guru was meticulously planned by the Jihadists and supported by the leftists. This combination of leftist-jihadi in India is very peculiar and rather Unusual. The Islamist are the religious zealots, and they propagate Islam and its ideology. The communists on the other hand are known to be Atheist. So, how come they have become the Blood-Brothers!

The slogan, “Bharat tere tookde Hoonge, InshaAllah InshaAllah” is no way an expression of Free speech, Rather it shows, how much tolerant Hindu-India is. Had the slogan, “Pakistan/China tere tookde ho” been raised in Pakistan/China by any minority, He would have been hanged to Death by now.

I wonder, “What is a free speech”?

“Free-Speech”-reminds me instantly of the sloganeering that was witnessed by me in Kashmir, when every Mosque in my vicinity gag-ordered my community to either mingle with them( and become a Muslim) or else be ready to die. I was a victim. I was the oppressed. But, I didn’t had the freedom of ‘free speech’. There is no way, any minority group in a Muslim Majority area can have the privilege of a ‘Free Speech’.

For Leftists, all the problems existing in India is merely because of the Brahmins. Being a Kashmiri Hindu, that too a Brahmin, I am by-default deemed to be fit to be called a Fascist, communal and any attempt to raise my voice against the atrocities meted out to me in a Muslim Majority state will be turned down by the leftists and term it as a Threat to Indian Muslims and the secular fabric of India. The terminology of the “Victim” changes when it comes to the Kashmiri Hindus.

My lands have been encroached illegally by the Muslim Majority, My temples desecrated or burnt Down by the Jihadis, My Brethren murdered in the most inhuman way. But for the people of Leftist-Jihadi mindset, I remain as an oppressor.

The leftists claim to be the messiahs of the oppressed; and they often term their opponents as fascists. USA is a Fascist. Japan is a fascist, so are all the powerful nations where communism failed miserably. They often quote, “The violence of the oppressor is unjustified, but the violence of the oppressed is Justified.”

The oppressed is always who adheres to their ideology. Otherwise how can we justify the stoic silence of the leftists on some of the issues where the Oppressor was a Communist Country and the Oppressed was someone, who did not adhere to their ideology. They condone the atrocities by any communist Nation or Group.

It will be foolish of me to expect that the so-called-liberal-leftist can ever propagate and live in any Muslim Nation; That is why the ideology of communism could not make any inroads in these nations; except for Turkey, where it showed some strength, some resistance, before it got swallowed by the totalitarian-religious-ideology.

In fact both the ideologies are expansionist, totalitarian and there is no room for the dissent.

Tibetans are still languishing in India. They like the Kashmiri Pandits were forced into the Exile by their oppressors. But for the leftists, Tibetan Buddhists and their supreme leader, Nobel prize for peace winner-Dalai Lama is a Fascist.

Kashmiri Pandits, who were ousted by their leftist cohorts-the jihadis, are not allowed to return to their Homes. In fact there are no Homes left now as 50% of the properties were sold in Duress and the other 50% are illegally occupied by those people whom the leftists term as the “Oppressors”. The reason for being them as Oppressor is merely because of the Prefix ‘Pandits’ to Kashmiri Hindus.

The leftist and the Jihadis dream of balkanization of India. They do not recognize India as a Nation and are often heard opining that with so many linguistic differences between so many ethnic and regional groups, The Title or the Nation, ‘India’ is a misnomer; citing examples from the past when there were more than 600 small Princely states under the Britsh.

The Leftist-Jihadi combination are also supporters of all those groups who are advocating for separate Nations to be carved out from India. In short, they are the enemies of the Nation, who are merely propagating the Chinese and the Islamist Propaganda. And get paid for their Endeavour by their masters.

It is a war waged by the Islamists and the Chinese, through their surrogates, Otherwise, how can the incidents of Muslim-Suppression in China be explained. Islamist are under attack in the province of Xinjiang. Imams from its eastern Muslim majority Xinjiang region were forced to dance in the street and swear to an oath that they would not teach religion to children. The imams were also forced to tell children that prayer was harmful for the soul.The Muslim imams were further forced to brandish the slogan that “our income comes from the CKP [Chinese Communist Party] not from Allah”.

Similarly the Communists were slaughtered by the Islamist forces in Indonesia in 1965-66.It is estimated that in that slaughter nearly 1 million people were murdered. The majority of the people were those, who were active communists or their supporters.

The Jihadis ideology and the leftist ideology though totalitarian and Expansionist, are totally opposite to each other. The leftists who are showing their dissent against India are the puppets of China, and the Islamists represent an ideology, where the world population recognizes Islam as their religion. It is just because India happens to be their common enemy, they have embraced each other. This combination will remain till the Time India remains as a Nation. Otherwise there are ample examples, some of them cited above, that indicate that are these two ideologies can not stand each other.

And for the ‘Free Speech’-As long as it is termed as an expression against Hindus and against the Nation of India ; and as long as India remains a Hindus majority state, they will be tolerated.

Unfortunately…..

 

By-Manish Zijoo

 

The Night-A story of a Kashmiri Hindu.

It was jan 1998. Veenaji was in the Kitchen. Her Husband Roshanlal was reading the newspaper in the living/Drawing room of their cramped two-room Govt. Quarters at Tope Sherkhanian. She could hear the flipping  sound, when her Husband turned the leaf of the Newspaper. She was thinking about her children, who were perusing   ‘B.E’ in Pune. A knock at the Door was heard clearly in the backdrop of the silence of the Quarter. Roshanlal stood up and opened the Door. A man was standing outside.

“Namaskar Roshanlalji. I am Irfaan. Your neighbor from Banamohallah”. Veenaji too had heard the’ knock’, she came out from the Kitchen out of curiosity. Her Husband, greeted Irfaan. “Come inside. Why are you standing there!  “. Pointing towards Veenaji, Roshanlal asked Veenaji, “Did you recognize him?” The face looked familiar, But She could not recognize him. Irfaan, it seemed understood the confusion of Veenaji. “I am the Son of Khatijah. Remember my Mother! “.  Veenaji’s face lit with happiness.“Yes. I remember her. How is she?” asked Veenaji. “ She died last year because of Heart Failure.” Said Irfaan with regret. She was saddened to hear what he said. “I am so sorry. Please have a seat. I will make tea for both of you.” She went back to the Kitchen.

Irfaan had come to Roshanlal to persuade him to sell his share of  ancestral house. Veenaji was listening to them, while she started making  tea . The memories of her last visit to Kashmir were still vivid. She recalled how she along with her Husband Roshan Lal and their two  Children , a Son-Sachin and Daughter- Meenakshi had moved to Jammu .Her Husband was working in the Govt.Secretariat. They used to live in the Govt. Quarters Tope Sherkhanian. They had moved to jammu in Dec-1989.

J&K has two capitals, i.e, summer capital-Srinagar and winter capital-Jammu. Every year,In winters, the employees of the Govt. Secretariat would move to Jammu for 6 months ; and move back to Srinagar in summers for rest of the 6 months. This custom was/is in vogue since the times of Dogra Rulers . This was/is termed as “Durbaar Move”.

veenaji lit the Gas Stove. She put some milk, sugar and water in an utensil and placed it on the stove.  She looked through the Kitchen Window, although she was not looking at anything, But her past.

The memories of the past started flashing in front of her eyes.

Veenaji and her family loved the winters of Jammu. It would be sunny and warm in Jammu, compared to the cold and gloomy weather of the Srinagar winters. But that year,in 1989-90, It was different. In spite of the warm and sunny weather, she would occasionally feel the shivers. Not because of the weather, but because , on T.V and Radio, she would listen to the news . The merciless killing of the Kashmiri Pandits had started.

And then came the horrendous macabre night of 19 jan 1990.And everything changed after that.

In the last week of Jan 1990, that late night, Her elder Brother Makhan lal along with his family landed at their residence in Jammu. He had come by a taxi. His old mother –Amaji, wife-Lalitaji and two sons Rakesh and Sunil too had come.

As soon as they arrived at their residence, Lalitaji hugged tightly Veenaji and started crying. “it is only by God’s grace that we have reached here safely.” She complained amidst sobs . Amaji tried to console her as she said, “Lalitaji, don’t be a weakling. Be bold. You have yet to face the hardships of life. Be always grateful to God.”

They stayed with Veenaji for some days with this hope that the violence unleashed by the terrorists will be abated soon. But  the destiny of Kashmir had its own plans. After a month, They realized that it might take a long time before they would return back to Kashmir. It was decided by the two families that, they would enroll their children in Jammu for studies , as it was safe.

Since Veenaji and her Family didn’t knew that the situation would deteriorate so much in Kashmir; hence when they had moved to Jammu on the eve of annual “Darbaar move”, they had not taken any documents such as the Mark sheets and other educational documents related to the education of their children. Without these papers, it would be very difficult to get the admissions in the Schools and Colleges. Also, She wanted to get  the documents related to banks such as FD, Saving a/c etc.

Somewhere in  March 1990, She decided to go back to her residence at “Bana Mohallah” , Habbakadal, Kashmir.It was decided that Her sister-in-law lalitaji too would accompany her. In fact Lalitaji had volunteered herself to accompany her. The Males of the House were barred to go to Kashmir as they were more prone to be Shot by the Militants.

They flew to Srinagar and  landed at the Airport by 3-4 P.m. It took them almost 4 hrs. to reach their house at Bana Mohallah. The lanes and by-lanes were muddy as it had rained the previous night. Some Muslim neighbors , who saw them entering their Mohallah, murmured something. By their Gaze , it looked  as if they didn’t wanted them to be there. As they were about to enter their House, Khatijah-the neighbor and friend of Veenaji , came from nowhere and greeted her with a Broad smile. “How are you veenaji. I missed you. Now since Durbaar move will be over shortly,   you be staying  in Kashmir till November!” she exclaimed.  Veenaji  warmly asserted “No, I will stay here for a few days and rejoin my family. We will come back in Mid-April.” She half-lied.  Veenaji knew that she will leave Kashmir tomorrow for Jammu and may not come back next month.

“Then stay put for the night at my house. The curfew will be imposed very soon and you will not get Rice and any other food-item after 15 mintes ”  Pleaded Khatijah.  “ I have brought some rice and Dried-vegetables with me. Thanks .” Veenaji  kindly declined. But Khatijah kept her conversation going and it took another 20-25 minutes before Veenaji and her Sister-in-law entered their house.

Veenaji’s Husband  Roshanlal lived in their ancestral house along with his three Brothers and 3 cousins. Their house was Big and hoary with a courtyard. Though, the house had 25 rooms, But it housed 7 nuclear families. Roshanlal, his 3 Brothers and 3 Cousins(Brothers) though were living in one house, But the wives of all the 7 brothers had decided to cook separately , in separate Kitchens, for their Families(consisting of Husband and Children).All the 7 Brothers had partitioned the 25 rooms in almost equal proportion. Apart from a Kitchen, Veenaji and her Husband had inherited 2 big rooms.

On a normal day, prior to 1990, their house was abuzz with activity. In the morning and in the evenings, many a times, one would hear the synchronous hissing sound from the steaming pressure-cooker, coming from 2 or more Kitchens of the House at the same time. The floating aroma of Knol Khol(Hak) or lamb-meat would titillate the Olfactory of the whole neighborhood. In the afternoon, the shrilled voices of the Children playing in the courtyard was common .In spite of 7 separate kitchens, Veenaji and her 6 co- sister-in-law would often share their delicacies with each other.

But the House was different this time.

As soon as Veenaji entered her House, she was welcomed by the eerie silence. It was frightening. All her 6 co-sister-in-law and their families too had moved to Jammu. The last family that had moved from this house to jammu was almost 15 days back.As she climbed-up the stairs of her house, a strange fear crept  into her heart. It was almost 8.00 P.M by now and the darkness had covered almost everything.

She and Lalitajee were feeling the Hunger pangs. Into the utensil, Veenaji took a handful of rice from the polythene  bag , she had brought with her from jammu. Soon, she realized that she has forgotten to get a matchbox or lighter to light up the cooking gas stove. “I will go downstairs to Ashaji’s kitchen and get the lighter .” she informed Lalitaji. “Do you have the keys of that Kitchen?” asked Lalitaji. “No, she never locks her Kitchen.” Replied Veenaji. “It is so scary here, I too will accompany you.” Said Lalitajee.

The Kitchen-door was indeed unlocked. As soon as Veenajee, switched-on the light, her face became pale out of fear. Shockingly, she exclaimed “Oh! My God. Someone is cooking here!”  . “Hey Bhagwan ! what will we do now?” asked Lalitajee nervously. She was Gaping and beating her chest. Veenaji  knew that her sister-in-law is weak-hearted and might behave strangely or may even faint.

She assessed the situation quickly. There was a matchbox lying on the ground. Many burnt match sticks were scattered over the floor of the Kitchen. From The cooked rice in the utensils, it looked as if ,just a few hours back, someone had cooked it. She did not waste much time in investigating. She opened the cupboard that was at the right corner of the Kitchen. She swept her fingers over the things in the cupboard and soon took a lighter , a torch and a candle from the cupboard. And switched off the main light of the Kitchen and closed the door.

“Follow me quickly”, she whispered . Lalitajee did not protest and followed the instructions. “As we know, someone is using the Kitchen of Ashajee, It might be a militant or a group of Militants. We cannot afford to switch-on the lights and invite any unwanted trouble. Understand Lalitaji?” she looked at her sister-in-law. Lalitaji was very scared, but she acted Bravado and said , “Yes, I do. You are right. But can we make the dinner for us?” she asked. “No. We cannot, since, the aroma of the Rice might give them a clue, that someone is inside the house.” she explained to Lalitaji. “Anyways, I don’t feel hungry now”, lied Lalitaji.They ran up towards the room.

Veenaji  pulled an iron-Chest, that was placed at the corner of the room . She opened the lid and switched-on the Torch. suddenly, Lalitaji could see A bundle of papers, some folders containing some documents, a photo album, and some books. Veenaji took only a couple of  Folders from the Box, closed the lid and placed it to the original position. Lifting the two folders in her hands, she said to Lalitaji, “This is for what we came here and took all the trouble”. She kept the two folders in the bag, that she had brought with her from Jammu.

They were sitting besides a window, so that they could have a direct and unobstructed view of the main Door, leading towards the courtyard. As it was still quite cold, they had draped themselves in the blankets. The main wooden Door of their House was Huge. A big rectangular latch, may be one feet long and 5 inches wide was connected to a wooden Knob  .The latch moved up or down angularly, if the Knob was rotated. The latch faced towards the courtyard and the Knob towards the by-lane. It would make a lot of noise, if someone would open or close the Latch of the Door. Lalitaji was constantly praying to Mother Goddess for their protection. They had even made a plan, in case a militant or a group of Militants enter their house.” In case any intruder comes here, we will slip beneath the Bed. Understand!” explained Veenaji to her Sister-In-Law. Lalitaji had nodded her head in approval.

Just past the midnight, It began to pour heavily. The staccato of the rain hitting the tin-roofs of the Houses was rather unwanted and irritatingly. The odd street lamp positioned on the pole went off too.  It was pitch dark outside. Because of the pitch darkness and noise, they thought, they have lost the chance of detecting  any intruder. Lalitaji was chanting the Hymns of Goddess Indrakshi rather loudly to invoke the blessings. But the sound  of heavy rains superseded her frequency of voice modulation .It stopped raining after a couple of Hours.

Both of them were feeling very sleepy. Pretending to be vigilant at this odd hour of the night, they were looking at  the main Wooden Door. They were drowsing. Their heads would inadvertently hit the wooden window pane and they would concentrate briefly their attention on the wooden door again. Then, they would drowse yet again. They did not talk to each other for couple of Hours.

And then Dogs began to Bark. They woke up.

 

A pack of Dogs were barking on a Shadowy figure. The figure, it seemed was waving something to keep away the Dogs. Soon, another figure appeared, it was smaller in the size than the one who was waving something. The smaller figure grabbed the Loose clothing, most probably the ’ pheran’ of the larger figure . It looked as if, the smaller figure was trying to stop the larger figure. And then, their conversation became louder.

“Leave me Aapa, I have to follow the orders”, fulminated the  belligerent larger figure . The other voice, that of a female in a protesting tone said, “No. I will not let you do it. I will talk to them tomorrow. I will tell them to leave”.

Veenaji’s heart sank. She recognized the voice of the female. It was unmistakably that of Khatijah. Her neighbor. Many thoughts crossed her mind. “Is somebody coming here to kill me. Am I going to live for another day or not! Will I be able to see my Children and Husband again.” She was weighed down by the weltschmerz. Tears began to roll down from the corner of her eyes .Fortunately for her, Lalitaji’s attention was focused towards the two shadowy figures and was unaware of the upheaval of emotions going on in her sister-in-laws’s mind.

The lone street light began to glow suddenly. They could clearly see the two figures. It was indeed Khatijah. Veenaji recognized the other figure too. It was Ajaz-The youngest Son of Khatijah. And, he was carrying a Gun. Khatijah had held the collar of her Son’s Pheran. Ajaz was approaching towards the main wooden door of Veenaji’s House. Khatijah was getting literally dragged, but she didn’t let loose her Grip on the collar.

Khatijah’s tone was changing constantly. From dominant to Pleading, she was trying her best to stop her son from opening the Door. But Ajaz was equally adamant. He dragged her to the Gate and rotated the Knob of the wooden Door. There was a creepy , unpleasant loud sound of opening of the wooden latch. Ajaz Kicked the door open.

“Oh my God! He is coming to Kill us.” Screamed lalitaji. She threw the Blanket and ran Hysterically from one end of the room to other end. “ Control yourself  lalitaji. Instead of getting nervous, think of a plan.”, she comforted lalitaji . She too came out from the warmth of Blanket and held lalitaji’s Shoulders with both of her Hands. “ Let us see and listen to what they are arguing about”. Lalitaji followed her without protest.

Ajaz opened the wooden door. Khatijah’s Grip loosened from the collar. But she grabbed the left leg of her Son. Ajaz kept her dragging. Her pheran was smeared in Mud. “ I will kill myself, if you do not listen to me”. She was crying. Ajaz stopped. He lifted up his Mother and began to clean the dirt from the pheran of his mother. She was still crying Helplessly. Something happened. Ajaz hugged her mother and said, “OK, As you wish. Let us go back”, in a comforting tone. Khatijah kissed the forehead of his Son. They both went back and closed the big wooden door. The dogs started barking again.

Veenaji and Lalitaji had a sigh of relief. They kept on looking at the wooden door until the Dawn. With the first azaan of the mosque, they left the house. Veenaji opened the wooden latch of the Door. She looked back at her House. Little did she realized that she was looking at her hose for the last time.

Within no time, they were at Habba Kadal. The security guards stopped them and asked, “Where are you going?”. Lalitaji’s face lit up. “We are Kashmiri Pandits. We are going to RTC. From there, we will board a Bus for Jammu”. The security Guards let them go. They were intersected and stopped by the Security guards at many places. Upon hearing that they are KP’s, they were let off immediately. It took them more than an Hour and a half to reach RTC by foot.

There were Buses and Taxis waiting for the passengers to take them to Jammu. A sardarji approached them. “Where will you go sister? Jammu! Come sister, in my taxi. Let me take you”. Both Veenaji and Lalitaji were exhausted both physically and mentally. They decided to go by Sardarji’s taxi.

They reached Tope Sherkhanian, Jammu by 4.00 p.m. Lalitaji  narrated the whole incident to everyone present there melodramatically. Veenaji had not interfered lalitaji. She wanted her to vent off her feelings.

Veenaji’s Brother’s family had stayed with them for more than four months, before they moved to a rented accommodation at Subash Nagar.

The tea was boiling in the utensil. Some portion of the boiling tea fell on  the Flame of the cooking gas stove. The burning smell of the tea, drew back Veenaji from her Past. She closed the knob of the gas and  cleaned the Stove with a cloth and washed her hands with a soap. After pouring the tea in the cups, she put the cups in the tray and came out of the small kitchen to the living room.She placed the Tray on the top of the Central table.Irfaan and  Roshanlal  took one cup each from the tray.

Irfaan and Roshanlal were engrossed in a conversation and were oblivious to veenaji’s presence. She was wringing her hands impatiently. “How is your Brother Ajaz?”, She interrupted Irfaan, with a tone of anger. Irfaan looked at her, Put the cup down,  and with a deep sigh, he  said with regret, “He died in an encounter with the security Guards 4 years back .He had become a militant. My mother pleaded with him to give up arms .But he did not listen”. And then he looked the other side. “I am so sorry.” Said Roshanlal apologetically. Veenaji did not tried to comfort him. “You carry on. I have some work in the Kitchen. Excuse me.”She said casually as she did not wanted to be a part of the conversation. She stood up and went again to the Kitchen.

She pretended to dish-wash. But for some reasons, once again, the Flashes of the Horrendous night kept coming to her mind…

 

 

 

 

 

3 reasons for the Radicalization of Kashmir(1947-90)..

3 reasons about the Radicalization of Kashmir(1947-90)..

In 1990,Tej Krishan Razdan, came back from Punjab to his native village in Budgam District, as he had heard in the TV, and read in the Newspapers about the deteriorating situation in the Kashmir valley. The Target-Killing of Kashmiri Pandits had started. He wanted to make sure that his family is safe and was thinking of shifting his family to a safer place. Little did he knew , What was in store for Him.

On 12th Feb. 1990,in Budgam, He was accosted by one of his Muslim friends. He persuaded Tej Krishan, to accompany him to Srinagar and both boarded the Matador from Budgam to Srinagar. When the Matador reached Gaw-Kadal, Suddenly, his Friend, pulled out a Revolver and Shot him several Times in the chest. He was dragged to the Local Masjid and his Dead Body was put on display there. It was only in the evening, with Police intervention, his body could be secured.

He was killed mercilessly. So were hundreds of KP’s. Before Killing a KP , the militant in many cases would subject the Body to dismemberment, and incidents , like gouging out of eyes, Multiple Fractures, Skinning of KP Victims took place. The inhuman way of Killing was a part of their Planned Strategy, That was carried out by the Militants backed by Pakistan. The message was clear to the KP’s that, “Don’t you dare to stay here “.

Apart from the target individual killings of the Pandits; to keep away KP’s from coming back into the valley, the Pakistani Backed Militants also carried out Massacres’ of Kashmiri Pandits from Time to Time. On 21 Mar. 1997, in Sangrampra, 7 KP’s were led away in the dark and shot dead. On 25 jan. 1998, in Wandhama, 23 KP’s were massacred and the local Temple damaged. On 23 March 2003, at Nadimarg, 24 KP’s were massacred.

Not only that, to dissuade the KP’s and instill a fear psychosis, the Militants confronted KP’s in Jammu region too.3 KP’s were Killed in Garhat Gool village, Ramban by the Militants impersonated as Army men. They identified and separated 5 KP’s amongst the passengers that were travelling in the Bus. There were Muslims as well as Hindu Dogras too travelling in the same Bus, but they were not touched by the Militants. The 5 KP-men were ordered to alight from the Bus. Sensing danger, 2 KP’s escaped from the clutches of their captors as one jumped down into the ravine and the other one ran up towards the Hill. The rest of the3 KP’s were Shot Dead. There was a 6th KP in the Bus, who escaped Death , as he did not revealed his real identity. Instead, he had introduced himself as a Muslim and was thus saved.

The message was again Loud and Clear to KP’s-“Don’t you dare to return, back to the valley”.

All these actions were not abrupt. In fact, if we look from 1947 onwards, the complete-Radicalization of the valley took many years and was carried out in at least 3 stages, before its culmination in 1990.

Plebscite Front(1955)
Sheikh Abdullah’s Bonhomie with Jawahar Lal Nehru was well Known. He formed “All Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference” in Oct.1932.The name itself suggested that the party ,he formed,was Muslim-centric. In 1939, He changed the name of “Muslim conference” to “All Jammu & Kashmir National Conference” and affiliated it to “All India state people’s conference”. At that time Pt.Jawahar Lal Nehru was the president of that conference. It is evident that Sheikh Abdullah was persuaded by Pt Nehru in one way or other to shun the Muslim conference, make a new party that looks secular, and affiliate the party to his conference.

After Maharaja Hari Singh signed the “Treaty of accession” with India, with the support of PT.Nehru, Sheikh was elected as the 2nd Prime Minister of J&K in March 1948. He remained as the Prime Minister of J&K till 1953, when he failed to prove his majority in the House. In fact all his Cabinet pledged their support to Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed-who went on to become the third Prime minister of J&K.PT. Nehru too was instrumental in abdicating the Shiekh. By, this time, the cracks had appeared in the Friendship of Pt.Nehru and Sheikh.

Pt. Nehru was informed by the Indian intelligence agencies about the ploy hatched by the Pakistani Intelligence agencies, CIA and Sheikh Abdullah and their information was substantiated by the Proof and Documents. From the Proof, It became clear that Sheikh was working against the Nation. For this Sedition, He was incarcerated by Bakshi Gh. Mohd.

The Plebiscite front was formed by Mohammed Afzal Beg -a trusted aide of Sheikh Abdllah- on 9th Aug 1955.He became its titular Head and Sheikh Abdullah was made the Patron of the Front. .From 1955 till 1974, The Plebiscite front acted as the main opposition. To Garner support, the members of this group exploited the religious sentiments of the Muslim Majority of the valley. Plebiscite front issued its own version of decree; and urged the people of Kashmir not to vote for the Congress or NC. Pertinently, National Conference was merged into the congress from 1965 till 1975.
At various gatherings, they would invoke the verses from the Holy “Quran” and incite the religious sentiments amongst the people. They intertwined politics and Islam for as long as “Plebiscite front” existed. They sowed the seeds of Hatred between the Hindus and Muslims of Kashmir.

The objective of the Plebiscite front was to carry out a referendum and through the referendum come to the conclusion whether:
1.Kashmir should accede into Pakistan
2.Remain with India
3.Become Independent Nation.

But after the “Indira-Sheikh” accord in 1974, Strangely , or rather comically, the Titular Head of the Front, Mohammed Afzal Beg, proclaimed that the purpose of the Plebiscite front was to cement Kashmir into India forever. Following the agreement with the Union government, Sheikh Abdullah merged the Plebiscite Front into a renewed National Conference in 1975, which won the democratic elections and affirmed Abdullah as the new Chief Minister of J&K.

However, During their existence of almost 20 years, the seeds of communalism had sprouted in the Hearts of the Kashmiri Muslim and remained so even today.

Unsuccesful Operation Gibraltor(1965):
Ever since, J&K acceded into the Dominion of India, Pakistan had tried its best to snatch away Kashmir by any Means. They had kept a close watch on India .When in 1962, the war broke out between India and China; the vulnerability of India got exposed in front of the World. It became evident that the Militarily equipments are Out Dated and their Air-Force is below standard. At least, this is what Pakistan thought. They were confident that the weapons that India possessed at that time are no match to their’s.

The episode of 1963, when the Holy relic of Prophet Mohamed was stolen, had flared up the religious emotions of the Kashmiri Muslims, and the episode had developed an intense feeling of Islam in KM’s. Pakistan was of the view that because of this incident, KM’s will side with them, if they happen to attack India and enter into Kashmir.

In 1965, They got another shot in the arm, when in an armed confrontation with India at Rann of Kutch, they had some gain .All these factors, made them believe that they not only ready to take India Heads on, But defeat India and annex Kashmir. However, they did not wanted to indulge into a full-fledged war with India.
Under the Operation Gibraltar; Pakistan had planned to capture all the high passes of Jammu Kashmir, and send their troops in Disguise into J&K, incite the Public against India and give the whole episode the color of Local uprising against the state. Their initial Plans succeeded to some extent. But their Theory, that the locals with side with them, was far away from the reality.
Pakistan pushed 40,000 Army personal of Azad Kashmir Battalion impersonated as Locals(Pakistan claims less than 1000) into J&K, But they were identified by the locals of Kashmir as intruders and non-locals. It was the Locals-who gave information to the Indian Army about the intrusion-and the Army took the corrective actions immediately. The fiasco of “Operation Gibralter” resulted in the war of 1965 between India and Pakistan.

Operation Topac(1988):
In April 1988, the President of Pakistan Gen. Zia-Ul-Hak, called a meeting in the President’s residential office. The meeting was attended by selected corps commanders, Top ISI Officials, an Afgan Mujahid Leader, and two Kashmir Liberation Front Leaders.The main contents from Presidents address were leaked through a mole from a third world country, and became available to India’s Research and Analysis wing (RAW) agents somewhere in sept-Oct 1988.The contents were as follows:

“Gentlemen, I have spoken on this subject at length before, therefore, I will leave out the details. As you know due to our pre-occupation in Afghanistan, in the service of Islam, I have not been able to put these plans before you earlier. Let there be no mistake, however, that our aim remains quite clear and firm-the liberation of the Kashmir Valley-our Muslim Kashmiri brothers cannot be allowed to stay with India for any length of time, now. In the past we had opted for hamhanded military options and therefore, failed. So, as I have mentioned before, we will now keep our military option for the last moment as a coup de grace, if and when necessary. Our Kashmiri brethren in the valley, though with us in their hearts and minds, are simple-minded folk and do not easily take to the type of warfare to which, say, a Punjabi or an Afghan takes to naturally, against foreign domination. The Kashmiris however have a few qualities which we can exploit. First, his shrewdness and intelligence; second, his power to persevere under pressure; and the third, if I may so say, he is a master of political intrigue. If we provide him means through which he can best utilize these qualities – he will deliver the goods. Sheer brute force is in any case not needed in every type of warfare, especially so in the situation obtaining in the Kashmir Valley, as I have explained earlier.

Here we must adopt those methods of combat which the Kashmiri mind can grasp and cope with-in other words, a coordinated use of moral and physical means, other than military operations, which will destroy the will of the enemy, damage his political capacity and expose him to the world as an oppressor. This aim, Gentlemen, shall be achieved in the initial phases.

In the first phase, which may, if necessary, last a couple of years we will assist our Kashmiri brethren in getting hold of the power apparatus of the State by political subversion and intrigue. I would like to mention here that as no Government can survive in Occupied Kashmir unless it has the tacit approval of Delhi, it would be unrealistic to believe that the MUF or any such organization can seize power through democratic or other means. In view of this,’ power must “apparently” remain with those whom New Delhi favours. We must therefore ensure that certain “favoured politicians” from the ruling elite be selected who would corporate with us in subverting all effective organs of the State. In brief, our plan for Kashmir, which will be codenamed as “Op Topac” will be as follows:

PHASE-1(TOPAC)
A low-level insurgency against the regime, so that it is under siege, but does not collapse as we would not yet want central rule imposed by Delhi.
We plant our chosen men in all the key positions; they will subvert the police forces, financial institutions, the communication network and other important organizations.
We whip up anti-Indian feelings amongst ” the students and peasants, preferably on some religious issues, so that we can enlist their active support for rioting and anti-Government demonstrations.
Organize and train subversive elements’ and armed groups with capabilities, initially, to deal with paramilitary forces located in the valley.
Adopt and develop means to cut off lines of communication between Jammu & Kashmir and within Kashmir and Ladakh by stealth, without recourse to force. The road over Zojila upto Kargil and the road over Khardungla should receive our special attention.
In collaboration with Sikh extremists, create chaos and terror in Jammu to divert attention from the valley at a critical juncture and discredit the regime even in the Hindu mind.
Establish virtual control in those parts of the Kashmir Valley where the Indian Army is not located or deployed. The Southern Kashmir Valley may be one such region.

PHASE-2(TOPAC)
Exert maximum pressure on the Siachen. Kargil and Rajauri-Punch sectors to force the Indian Army to deploy reserve formations outside the main Kashmir Valley.
Attack and destroy base depots and HQ located at Srinagar, Pattan, Kupwara. Baramulla. Bandipur and Chowkiwala by covert action at a given time.
Some Afghan Mujahideen, by then settled in Azad Kashmir, will then infiltrate in selected pockets with a view to extending areas of our influence. This aspect will require detailed and ingenious planning. The fiasco of Op Gibraltar (1965) holds many lessons for us here.
Finally a Special Force under selected retired officers belonging to Azad Kashmir, with the hard core consisting of Afghans, will be ready to attack and destroy airfields, radio stations, block Banihal Tunnel and Kargil-Leh Highway.
At a certain stage of the operations Punjab and adjacent areas of Jammu & Kashmir will be put under maximum pressure internally by our offensive posture.

PHASE-3(TOPAC)
Detailed plans for the liberation of Kashmir Valley and establishment of an independent Islamic State in the third phase will follow.

We do not have much time. Maximum pressure must be exerted before the general elections in India and before Indian Army reserves which are still bogged down in Sri Lanka become available. By the Grace of God, we have managed to accumulate large stocks of modern arms and ammunition from US consignments intended for Afghan Mujahideen. This will help our Kashmiri brethren achieve their goals. Even if we create a kind of “Azad Kashmir” in some remote parts of Occupied Kashmir as a beginning, the next step may not be as difficult as it appears today. On the other hand, it should also be noted that a part of the Indian Army, particularly the Infantry, will be well trained by now for such a situation due to their experience in the North-Eastern Region and more recently in Sri Lanka. But the situation in Kashmir will be somewhat different; more like the “Infetada” of Palestinians in towns, and on the pattern of the Mujahideen in the countryside to attack hard targets. A. period of chaos in the State is essential in the circumstances.

And what of our Chinese friends? They can do no more than ensure that Indian forces deployed against them are not moved. out; but this may be required only at the last or the third stage of our operations. Of course, if we are in serious trouble, the Chinese and our other powerful friends shall come to our rescue one way or the other. They will ensure if we do not
win-at least we don’t lose.

.”Finally, I wish to caution you once more that it will be disastrous to believe that we can take on India in a straight contest. We must, therefore, be careful and maintain a low military profile so that the Indians do not find an excuse to pre-empt us, by attacking at a time and at a point of their own choosing, at least before Phase 1 and 2 of the Operation are over. We must pause and assess the course of operations after each phase, as our strategy and plans may require drastic changes in certain circumstances. I need not emphasize any further that a deliberate and objective assessment of the situation must be ensured at each stage, otherwise a stalemate will follow with no good for Pakistan.

Conclusion
The seeds sown by the “Plebiscite Front”, and watered by its communal politics, and manure by Pakistan with “Operation Topac” gradually began bearing fruits for Pakistan. 1990 Jan is a testimony to the fact, that how the whole administration collapsed , and how the Mobocracy was rampant .The Fiasco of Operation Gibraltar prompted Pakistan to think differently.Rather than attacking India directly, they started a psychological war based on Islam and pushed forward their own version of islamization, that obliterated the Rishi-Sufi culture and burgeoned the salafi-wahabi culture in Kashmir. All the above factors made Kashmir the Hot-bed of Radicalization……

Refrences;
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Gibraltar
2. http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/op-topac-the-kashmir-imbroglio-i/3/
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plebiscite_Front
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jammu_%26_Kashmir_National_Conference
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1998_Wandhama_massacre
6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_Nadimarg_massacre
7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Sangrampora_massacre
8. http://www.rediff.com/news/jun/16kash.htm

My recent conversations in Kashmir…..

The jinx of going back to Kashmir after a gap of 25 years was broken last year by me; when I opted to go to the “Gangabal Yatra”. This year again, in Jul-Aug, I re-visited Kashmir with my Family. A month later, I was once-again in the lap of “Maej-Kashir”(Mother Kashmir) as I went for the “Gangabal Yatra” from 19-24 sep 2015.

One of my KP Friend-a travel buff-had recommended a guest house in Brain, Nishat. I was in touch with the Manager of the Guest house from last 15 days .I had informed him that I along with my friends will be checking-in on 22nd sep. We had expected to reach the Guest house by evening. We started from Naranaag at around 4 or 4.30 p.m and reached Nishat at around 6 p.m. I and my group of 4 friends alighted from the Bus at Nishat Garden amidst rains. It was already 6.00p.m.Because of the Rains, most of the Autos and Taxis were off the road. Immediately, we called up the Guest house and requested them to arrange a Taxi for us. In the meanwhile, we took shelter at a Shop opposite Nishat Garden. After waiting for another Hour and a Half, The Manager of the Guest House sent a Taxi to us.

The Driver of the Taxi greeted us with a “Namaskar”. His warm welcome was a pleasant surprise to us all. As soon as he took control of the steering, he started talking about “Good old days”, when KP’s and KM’s lived together. In a way, he was bold enough, as he admitted the atrocities committed by the majority on the minority KP’s in the early nineties. “We wronged you. But then, it was a different Phase.” Justifying the violence that marred the valley in nineties. I was looking at him, while his eyes were fixed on the road ahead. I could also smell Alcohol, while he spoke to me. “But then, Jagmohan too was responsible for your Exodus. He planned your exodus and you all fell into his trap.” He continued. Driving in the dark, through the alien lanes and By-lanes of Brian, Soon, we reached the Guest House.

We were received by the Manager of the Guest House-Bilal. He showed us the rooms. The rooms were Big and Tidy. In a traditional Kashmiri Hospitability, he served us the hot piping “Kehwa”. Sipping the Hot Kehwa, we unpacked our Bags, changed our Clothes, and tucked ourselves under the smooth, warm quilts. We were tired and We had planned an early Dinner, as we wanted to go to the bed as early as possible.

But then, the owner of the Guest-House Mr. Mir came in.

“The room is your property for the next 2 days.” He gesticulated. Out of courtesy, I respectfully said, “Please have a seat sir”. He immediately ordered a chair. Bilal hurriedly brought a Plastic Chair. After sitting on the Chair, He immediately enquired about our names and the localities where we lived in. When Manish and I told him that we used to live in Rainawari, He pressed his forehead with his right Thumb, as if recollecting something.

“Many years back, I was working as a contractor. I had been given a contract to build a Road near “Puej Mohalla” in Rainawari. One day, I heard the distinct Gun-Shots. From the sounds, it seemed as if many rounds of bullets were fired.” He said with intermittent pauses. We were all glued to his narrative. I could see the tense lines building on his forehead. “I also ran for Shelter. Suddenly a Door opened in a lane, and a lady told me to come inside.” Said he ,in emotive voice. “I hid myself under the stair case. The whole area was cordoned off by the CRPF. Suddenly few CRPF men barged in.” He again paused. His voice had become softer and feeble. “Those men, raped the ladies of the House, and I could do nothing.” He sobbed. Tears rolled down from the corner of his eyes. “How can they do this. They are not Humans.” There was a pin drop silence in the Room.

His emotional -narration was so much believable. In our Hearts, we empathized and sympathized with the victims.

Then he veered towards Jagmohan, “He told you to go out of Kashmir, so that he could kill one lack Muslims.” He said with a certainty. We all protested that this is not true. But, he was not in a mood to listen. Manish got irritated. He threw the quilt to his right, and stood up to confront our old Host. “The loudspeakers of the Masjids were ordering the Pandits to leave the valley. Our men were being selectively killed. The masses had risen against India. And for them, we KP’s were India.” He was fuming.

Our Host looked unconcerned. Suddenly, he stood up. Pulled his shirt up and said, “see this long scar on my chest; I had had an open heart Surgery. I have Diabetes also.” The tension was diffused by his Statement as we felt pity on his condition. It was evident that nor our Host, nor we wanted any sort of acrimony. But in spite of everything; the political discussion continued. It seemed as if our Host had deep interest in the political affairs of the Valley.

Mr Mir’s sincerity became dubious, when he touched the subject of KP’s and the reason , why KP’s are not returning back into the valley. While narrating an incident about a KP girl; whom our Host claimed to have loved as his own Daughter, He told us that the KP girl is working in a foreign embassy in Delhi, and that she is drawing a salary of 1.75lakh/month. He also claimed that she is getting a relief( RS 5K/month) from the GOI in lieu of being a KP migrant. He claimed that She is not returning back to the valley, because, she told him that she might loose the Relief amount if she opt to come back to the valley.

During our discussion, The topic of our current Prime Minister also popped up. Our Host, Mr. Mir, while speaking with dismay about Mr. Modi told us that He (Mr. Modi) is communal. To substantiate his statement, he said with a whiff of anger, “When our Babri-Masjid was broken, It was Mr. Modi who was responsible for the demolition of the Mosque.” I asked him surprisingly, “How is it sir?”. He answered with confidence, “ Because, he was the Home-Minister of India at that time.”

We all grinned. We told him that he was not our Home-Minister or for that matter any “Minister” at that time, But it seemed that he had already made up an image of Mr. Modi. May be to defend his argument, he started narrating about the environment that prevailed in the early Nineties. The love for the militants. The making of the revolution.

When our Host had entered into our room, and narrated his first anecdote, we had believed him. Then when he presented his views on the reason , as to why KP’s are not returning back to the valley, His sincerity posed a big question mark for us! And then when he claimed with absolute confidence that Mr. Modi was the Home Minister of India, when Babri Masjid was demolished; it became evident that He had a biased-typical-Muslim- outlook. And that he was cooking up the stories.

We had started to reason with him, by giving him the exact details. When it became clear to him, that he no longer can win against us, in the discussions, he retracted. As he was about to leave, He came closer to my Bed, looked straight in my eyes and said with a whiff pride and frustration, “My elder son is settled in England, My younger Son too is settled. But if Both of my sons would have got killed in the early Nineties for being Militants, I wouldn’t have been saddened. In fact, I would have felt proud.” And he left.

I looked at my friends. They were smiling and nodding their Head in Disbelief. Soon, we too followed him and had our Dinner Downstairs.

Mr. Mir , His family and Manager served us very well. Their Hospitality was superb. They made us feel very comfortable. We did not discuss politics after that episode. It was sort of an tacit agreement between us and them.

Mr. Mir represents the section of the Muslim society of Kashmir. His views about KP’s are the view of the Majority of Muslims of Kashmir. However, It is amusingly- intriguing to see how, to induce a feel-good factor to the collective conscience of the KM’s; the ethnic cleansing of the KP’s is being justified.

And that too, Without remorse…….

Gangabal Yatra-2015 in pictures….

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The Mystic Chakra of Sharika Mata (Tripuasundari) at Hari Parbhat

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“Hari Parbhat” also known as “Sharika peeth” is one of the most holiest sacred Place for the Hindus of Kashmir. Legend says that at this Place, Goddess Sharika killed the demon “Jalodbhava”. The Goddess in the form of “Haer”(Myna) at the behest of her devotees dropped a Pebble from above on Jalodbhava. The pebble became larger and larger. When it Hit the Demon, the pebble had grown to the size of a Hill.The Demon was crushed under the Hill. The Hill that dropped on the Demon came to be known as “Hari Parbaht”. The Mother Goddess resides there by the name of “Sharika” or “Tripursundari”. The eighteen-armed Goddess is considered as the presiding deity of the Srinagar city. She resides here in the form of syambu “Sri-Chakra”, also known as “Maha yantra”.This mystic Chakra is self-engraved on the Holy Shila( a vertical rock smeared in sindoor).Since the Divine Mother resides in the form of a “Chakra”, hence, she is also locally known as “Chakeshwari” and the place/temple as “Chakrieshwar”.

The significance of Sri-Chakra , is written on a Board in the premises of the temple. I am merely reproducing it verbatim.

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The sacred “Sri Chakra”, commonly known by the Hindus as “Sri Yantra” is composed of circles and the lotus petals, contains nine independent trikonas(Triangles), mystically drawn within the other. The four Triangles that point upwards represent “Shiva” and the other five pointing downwards represent “Shakti”.The Shiva Triangles are called “Sri Kanthas” or Shiva element, and the Shakti triangles are known as “Shiva-yuvatis” or Shakti element. All these are quite independent of the central Bindu and are formed by the Mulaprakrati of Shiva Bindu.
The intersecting triangles represent the play of creation, protection and absorption of the whole universe by the pure divine force known as “Sudha Shakti”.The central point in the Chakra is Bindu which symbolizes the union of “Shiva with Shakti” or “Kameshwar with Kameshwari”.
“Sri Yantra” is, in fact, the most magnificent composition of nine independent trikonas, charged with the supreme occult significance. The Trikonas in their upward and downward positions intersect one another and form themselves into forty three big and small triangles. All these triangles are enclosed in the first inner circle on which is drawn one Lotus with eight petals called “Ashta Dal”, which represents the mystical lotus of creation. The another circle following this with sixteen petalled lotus, drawn on it is called “Shada-shadal”. This Lotus is significant of sixteen kalas or phases of the moon. The whole set of triangles and the Lotus petals are further enclosed in triple concentric circles or three-fold girdles called “Trimekhla”, The whole diagram, forming the mystical chakra, fixed in a square, with triple parallel lines, having four openings or gates on its four cardinal points make up the Devi’s mansion. In the center of the whole composition lies the Bindu(point) which, in fact is the mysterious matrix of the Maha-Yantra. The description of this “Yantra” is given in sloka 11 of “Sundaryalahri”, reproduced just below the Yantra itself.
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The “Yantra” is adopted for the worship of the mighty “Shakti-Lalita Devi” and is considered to be the most popular symbol that the Icon or image of “Srividhya” i.e “Tripursundari” herself.
The mystery of “Sri Yantra” is quite remarkable. Its secret doctrine is largely acknowledged even by the renowned foreign authors and scholars. While acknowledging the mystical performance of these mysterious Yantras and Mandals, a foreign Scholar “Shree Guiseppe Tuccti” has stated In his book, “The theory and practice of Mandals” that the best example of Hinduist Mandal is the one called “Sri Chakra” or the wheel of “Sri” i.e the mystic wheel of “Shakti” or divine power, which is the motive force of the universe and by virtue of which God manifests and displays himself in things which are all of necessity the effect of Shakti itself. Since without “Shakti”, God can do nothing. One can well imagine and understand the might of this “Shakti”, which the God himself has acknowledged as stated in “Sundarya-Lahiri” that only conjoined with thee Oh! “Shakti” have I the power to be the absolute lord otherwise I would not be able to move. Such is the mighty “Shakti-Lalita-Devi”, the ruling Deity of this celebrated “Maha Yantra”.
The “Yantra” can be described in two ways.It may be started from any of the four gates of outer Chakra and worked inwards towards the central Bindu or in the reverse order, It may be started from the Bindu and worked outwards towards the gates. The former process is called “Layakrama”(involution) and the latter “Srashtikrama”(Evolution). Here it is described in the latter way.
Starting from the central point (Bindhu) and ending with the for gates the whole complex is divided into nine Chakras or wheels called Yantras which according to “Tantraja Tantra” are:-
1.Central Red Bindu, described as ……………………………………………………………………………………………Sarvanandmaya.
2. Central White Triangle, described as…………………………………………………………………………………….Sarvasidhipradha.
3.Eight red Triangles, described as ……………………………………………………………………………………………Sarvaroghara.
4.Ten Blue Triangles, described as…………………………………………………………………………………………….Sarvarakshakar.
5.Ten Red Triangles, described as……………………………………………………………………………………………..Sarvarthasadhak.
6.Fourteen blue triangles, described as ……………………………………………………………………………………Sarvasaubnagyadayak.
7.Eight Red Lotus petals, described as……………………………………………………………………………………….Sarvasamksobhan.
8.Sixteen blue lotus petals, described as …………………………………………………………………………………..Sarvaparipuraka.
9.Surrounding Yellow ground between the outer most circle and four gates……………………………Trilokyamohan.

Explaining the complex of these yantras the sacred, “Tripuramahimstrotam” says that the same “Mulavaidyaksars” as having contributed towards the unfolding of this “Sri Yantra” are responsible for the evolution of this universe as well, when it says that:-
(a) From the “Lakar”, which, according to “Laya-Krama” represents the first outer chakra i.e the yellow surrounded ground, This “Pararupa” earth on which we live has been born and on which there are Mountains, Forests, Grooves, fifty peetas(Seats), all places of pilgrimages, all Ganges, all “Khetrasthanas”, this chakra is known as “Trilokyamohan”, that is the Enchanter of the Universe.
(b) From “Sakar”, representing the second chakra of sixteen blue petalled lotus, it took the form of the Moon, Stars, Planets, Zodiac(Rashi Chakra).This Yantra is described as “Sarvasanksobhan”.
(c) In “Ikar”, which is represented by the fourteen blue triangles, It is “Turyamaya” or the creator of the universe. This yantra being fourth in the order is described as “Sarvasaulhagvadayak” i.e all auspicious.
(d) In “Ekar”, which obtains the fifth place in the order and it is represented by Ten Red Triangles the “Vishavi Shakti” manifests herself as one engaged in “Vaishvaplan” (preservation of the universe). This Yantra is described as “Sarvarthasadak” or fulfiller of all desires.
(e) In “Rakar”, which is represented by ten blue triangles and is the sixth yantra in the order, the all luminous and the most flaming aspect of the deity is revealed.This Yantra is described as “Sarvarakshakar”-That is all protecting deity.
(f) In “Kakar”, the shakti is radiated as “Kamda” or granter of all desires, “Kamrupni” or changer of form at will and “Avaya” or eternal. This Yantra, represented by eight red Triangles and occupying the seventh position in the order, is described as “Sarvaroghara” or curer of all diseases.
(g) The eighth Yantra which is represented by the crescent shaped central white triangles is known as “Vishvayoni” or the Womb of the Universe signifying the Karnam or the cause.Here Shakti is identified in “Shunyarpa” (Zero or void form) of the Bindhu Rupa Shiva. This Yantra is described as “ Sarvasidhiprada” or giver of all Siddhis.
(h) The ninth and the last Yantra, represented by the central Bindu, is described as “Sarvanandmaya” i.e all pervading and all blissful flaming Shiva or “Shivajyotimaya”.

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The wheel of the universe( Sansar Chakra) is thus equated with the “Mulavidya” and identified with the “Sri Chakra”.The letter established in Lakar,Sakar, Hakar, Ikar, Ekar, Rakar, and Kakar and associated with various Yantras described above, are its “Beejaksharas”(seeds) and the protecting deities, which are symbolic tattwas, are the Shivas themselves.
The central Bindu has three fold aspects. It is called “Bindu Triya”.The upper part of this focal point, represents the face of Devi and the two below it, her breasts. This is the symbolism of worship in which such anthropomorphic forms are employed by the worshippers who clearly see such images as they are carved or conceived in their minds during their worship. More abstractedly the three Bindus are compared to the Sun, Moon and the fire representing the names given to the aspects of “Para Bindu”.
While commenting upon the Yantra worship, Sir John Woodroff, (Arthur Avalon) another learned Scholar and noted Author says, “that the more experienced and correct view is that the mind is shakti, which is a particular manifestation of it. By continual and repeated practice in that Chakra after Chakra everything becomes divinized” and again hesitates that “Practice of the ritual transforms the mind itself and what is at first seen merely as an external Yantra with lines, curves and petals, becomes a pure mental state in the Sadhka himself. He too is a “Sri Yantra” and realizes himself as such.. The body of the Sadhaka is thus identified with “Sri Yantra” and its nine apertures (Naudwar) correspond to the nine chakras in the Yantra. The Human body, is as such considered like an Island of nine gems which are described to be:- Ajas, Sukra, Majja, Meda, Asti, Mamsa, Roma, Tvak and Rudhir. “The object of the worship of these chakras, as such is the realization of the one Abedabhavana of the Knower who is the one’s own self-(Swatma) or the worshipper, the knowledge and the object of the Knowledge i.e the “Sri Chakra” itself. In fact worship of sri yantra is the unification of these three-The knower of the Knowledge and the object of the knowledge.”
“This celebrated yantra”, says Sir John woodruff further, represents the human body, the whole universe and the man for what is in the former is in the latter and vice-versa as also the Shiva Shakti Swarupa or Atma. It is thus the symbol of Devi as she is in her own form (Swarupa) and as she is in the form of the universe (Vishwatma).

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According to the TANTRAJA TANTRA, there are 960 yantras which are assigned to ADYA, NITYA AND LALITA, the three Goddesses, who are known as “Tripurasundari”. Conjoined in one.
Different fruits are gained by worshipping different Yantras. Of the 960 Yantras the principal one’s are:- Sri yantra, Puja Kamal Chakra, Amritghat, Siddhavajra, Kesthavajra, Wajralinga, Merulinga, Yoni, Vajravajrak, Maha Vajra and Vajra.
Yantras are purely linear diagrams. They are drawn provisionally or permanently. When it is desired to be drawn permanently, It is inscribed on a stone or on copper or Bronze Plates that are often seen in Hindu temples, Shrines and other places of worship. Righteously, the Yantra deserves a place in every Hindu Home if one desires to be happy, prosperous and free from ailments.

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