Tag Archives: stone pelters of kashmir

the changing political situation of then and now…

It is needless to say that Kashmir is witnessing phases of killing and violence during last 21 years. “Killings “ has become such a common word whenever anyone refers Kashmir .All the communities in Kashmir viz Muslims, Pandits and Sikhs have lost their brethren to sanguinary violence. Probably all the communities of Kashmir are looking for those who can empathize and sympathize with their pain, no doubt the heart of a common Kashmiri is bruised and wounded and has inured to pain, sufferings and Humiliation. The holy land of Rishis and Sufis has become the land of Human sufferings and Humanity is lost somewhere in this chaos.

Being a K.P, I too have witnessed death due to violent activities by terrorists who flaunted their A.K 47’s and killed scores of my Brethren in early 1990.They took Guns and killed many innocents with this belief that they are the soldiers of Holy war. Not once, the thought and act of killing unarmed KP , sounded absurd, unholy and irreligious to them. the crowds cheered them for their acts of crime…That was the beginning of downfall of Humanity in Kashmir. But amidst this madness there were many Kashmiri Muslims who cried on the death of their KP’s Brothers.

The viscous cycle of violence continued unabated, except some intermittent and brief periods of peace. The armed forces of India and terrorists backed by Pakistan played the cat and mouse game of killings with each other and many innocent kashmiris lost their lives in this deadly game. The strategies of warfare between Pakistan and India is constantly changing, but a war is a war whether hot or cold, and wars have killed people everywhere. Kashmiri Pandits, Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Sikhs too are the victims of politics and war. KP’s became targets of those who advocated the concept of Islamic state. K.M’s became targets of those who didn’t wanted Islamic state and Sikhs became the targets of both the parties.

The separatist political parties of Kashmir are obviously paid handsomely by the Pakistani agencies to keep the pot of hatred against India boiling. This is the main reason that they are not interested in talks with the Indian central government. So what do the separatists do to ensure that peace never returns to the strife stricken valley? The answer is that they are using the religion to incite the hatred for India without considering the implications of their devious act. But this effort is akin to striking the head against a Mountain and the result will be injuries and precisely that is what is happening in Kashmir. There has been unprecedented increase in the injuries of common Kashmir whether police or civilian. Geelani’s Hurriyat have become the whole sole distributors of Pakistan sponsored concept selling of Islamic Jihad.

Somebody has to remind them that India is one of the most populous Muslim countries of World. This concept selling by the the geelani faction is believed to have made S.A.S.Geelani richer by some 20 million U.S $ in last 5-6 years alone. His prime responsibility of showing rosy pictures to gullible public has yielded results for his masters sitting across the Line of control. The world of dreams created by Geelani in the grab of religion has already killed thousands of kashmiris in the last two decades.

During my last visit to jantar Mantar on 8th Aug 2010, I was a witness to the propaganda by the young Muslims from Kashmir. A gentleman reiterated that both Kasmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Pandits are victims of terror and in the same breath declared that 207 pandits and one lakh muslims have been killed in the 2 decade insurgency. It was such a Hypocritical statement because the figure of 207 has been provided by the state government agency and the same government agency has put the tally of overall deaths at 37,000. Out of 37,000, the number of civilians killed by terrorists and para military forces are 11,135,security forces number at 5223 and terrorists backed by Pakistan killed are 19,273.Of course the statistics provided by government are not right. But 1lakh is an exaggeration by several degrees of magnitude; It means 14 death per day, every day for twenty years.

Now imagine 65 people have died in Kashmir by the direct or indirect involvement of Police and Pakistan backed terrorists during last 3 months. The after effects of these causalities are well known to all of us .Stone pelting, strikes and virtual shut down are the reactions of these deaths. Now imagine if 1288 would have been killed, what would have been the magnitude of reactions. These canards though baseless are being invented, marketed and subsequently spearheaded by Geelani faction.

Kashmir has in the past also witnessed several protests. I am witness to the death procession of late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah a.k.a Sher-i-Kashmir(lion of Kashmir).As a young boy, I was taken by my Grandfather to some place near Chatti Padshah gurudwara, Rainawari to witness that procession. At the point where I was sitting and witnessing the procession, It took almost three hours for that procession to pass. Many people were crying and many were beating their chests in grief and many more fainted. It was as if someone from their own family had expired. That was also a time, and today It is the geelani who is controlling the political sentiments of Kashmiri Muslims. The phase of Late sher-i-Kashmir was temporary and the phase of Geelani is also not permanent. At that time The late Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah was termed as “Lion” and the Present Hurriyat leaders as “Lamb”. The deadly mixture of religion and politics has metamorphosised the lamb into the Lion. Only time will tell who will be remembered in the History of Kashmir and who will emerge as the real winner and the real friend of the general masses.

scapegoats,stone pelters, and Omar Abdullah

Another year in exile for Indigenous inhabitants of Kashmir. For the sake of statstics, This is my 21st year in Exile.There is a mixed response when Kashmir is discussed among Kashmiri Pandits.” I would like to live the rest of my life in Kashmir” says a relative of mine who is a septuagenarian. On the other hand, a teenager son of a friend of mine, who was born and raised in Delhi says, ”I will settle abroad, once I finish my studies”. I guess, this is what is known as generation Gap.

Thanks to Pakistan sponsored terrorism, which they have successfully painted with the color of “Holy Jihad”. They have made sure that for Kashmiri Pundits, there is no return route to Kashmir. Times change, so does man , and so has Kashmir. Stone pelting has become the new “in” thing. The emotionally charged, misguided miscreants and paid agents , who are backed ,groomed and guided by Pakistan are using their time and energy to find the best stones of Kashmir. The puppets of ISI viz “The hurriyat conference” have successfully staged the Drama and have held at Ransom Whole of Kashmir.

Time and again, amid these protests one thing has been made clear to one and all that, “this is a Islamic war”, whether one likes it or not. Another thing which has come up time and again from Pakistan backed separatists is that there is no room for “secularism” in Kashmir. Long time back, I used to hear that Kashmir is a land of Rishis and Sufis and the life force of Kashmir is “Kashmiriyat”. Unfortunately, “Kashmiriyat” died long ago ,with the genocide and mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. May be, It is still left with some people in Kashmir who adhere their daily life and routine to Universal spirituality and not only to religion. Personally, I don’t think that religions must have been designed to kill fellow Human beings.

With the arrest of Shabir Ahmed Wani, It has become crystal clear now that the protests and agitations, were staged by the Pakistan Backed separatists and terrorists, in order to create unrest in civil society .These idiosyncratic misanthropists earnestly yearned and prayed to Almighty for the deaths of civilians. For them somehow the pot should keep boiling, Their bread and butter is directly linked to unrest and deaths of civilians .After all this is their profession and they are handsomely paid by their Masters in Islamabad.

Stone pelting is a barbaric act and I was told that even Islam considers this to be unholy, but who cares!!! After all, isn’t Religion also a commodity to be exploited for selfish reasons? And who knows this fact better than “Kashmiri Pandits” who have seen the practical face of Islam. Islamic Scholars may argue endlessly in order to prove that Islam means “Peace”. With due regards to them,they should have taught the actual meaning to those who killed my friends and relatives. Somebody has to remind them “actions speaks louder than words”.

Sufism, which I believe, is an integral part of Islam, has in the recent times lost its sheen and is held hostage by the more stringent Wahabis. Sufism cannot help and motivate anyone to take up gun and kill fellow human beings ,as Sufism has a different way of looking to nature and life.One of the beliefs of the sufi’s is that Allah has made man almost perfect, and other living and non living beings try to emulate Humans, so that they can also become or transform into Humans. I have read a particular sufi arguing that a rock or stone at the river bed of a River or Stream earnestly years to become Human, he also insists to look more closely to a pebble in a stream, and just look at how even a pebble struggles hard to get into the shape and try to resemble that of a Human Face. However, This school of thought will never appeal to stone pelters of Kashmir, who according to sources are paid Rs 50 to Rs 150 per day for engaging the JK Police and CRPF. Isn’t it Irony that stone wants to become Human being, and in Kashmir, some humans have become as cold as a stone….

Separatists who have distorted their religion for the sake of their Selfish cause can twist anything at anytime according to time and Situation. Some of these so called Pseudo-Scholars have targeted the Chief Minister of J&K for a reason which is purely natural.I am talking about ageing. We all know ageing is a natural process, but not with ISI backed separatists. They are arguing that the Chief Minister’s hair has suddenly turned grey because of his unholy acts. Had It been pre-1990’s, When there was euphoria about National conference and when the masses idolized Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah , the similar situation would have been interpreted differently. They would have argued differently and may be compared Chief Minister Omar Abdullah with The great “Moses”, who had also turned grey within a short span of some 40 days when ten commandments were revealed to him at Mount sinai. They would have further sealed this argument as ultimate truth, by comparing the respective ages of Moses and Omar Abdullah. At the age of 40 , Moses was revealed ten commandments, and the present age of Omar Abdullah is also 40 Years…

Approximately 200 million muslims live in my country out of which 5 million muslims live in Kashmir. The only difference between 200 million and 5 million is that the former constitutes minority of India(except J&k)and the latter constitutes majority of J&k. The minorities of India viz Muslims and Christians are mostly at peace with India ,except at some occasions when political parties try to divide the masses of India either on the basis of caste, creed or Religion. But never in the History of India, the situation of any ethnic group has been so deplorable as that of Kashmiri Pandits. In other parts of India, after political turmoil or riots, Occasionally minorities or weaker sections/groups move out of their native places and come back again to their Homes , once Riots subside.However in case of K.P’s, things are different as Kashmir Pandits do not form any vote bank and hence politically unwanted and can only be used as Scapegoats. It is easy for the politicians to blame Kashmiri Hindus for anything and everything. Government is not able to generate enough jobs or livelihood, because either they are inefficient or corrupt, but they are answerable to public,particularly their vote bank.To cover their shortcomings, somebody has to be made a scapegoat,In case of J&k, It his your’s truly” kashmiri pandit”.For the sake of votes, politicians furnish arbitrary evidence and twist the statistics in such a way which somehow makes it evident that Kashmiri pandit is a real culprit.Can’t blame them as there are serious loopholes in Indian vote bank politics and Indian way of Democracy. Kashmiri Hindu is also a culprit because he is well educated, he is non-violent, he is law-abiding, he is hard working, he is still a survivor and above all his heart beats for India. You must have heard of “Kumbah ka Mela” and “ Lord Rama”. Kumbh Mela comes after 12 years, and the Vanvas(exile) of Lord Rama who had to move out of Ayodhya lasted for 14 years. But Hello!!! we are not talking about mythology,we are talking about K.P’s-the hindu minorities of J&K,who don’t have a legal and constitutional voice.Excuse me for reminding you once again that I am a Kashmiri Pandit, uprooted from Kashmir,at the brink of cultural extinction,Victim of politics,still in exile,longing to go back to Kashmir and this is my 21st year in Exile…..

Mr Geelani, were you served biriyani for the day?

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