The Victims - The
by Pt. Dwarkanath
over two years have passed since the Kashmiri Hindus were tortured out of their
homes in the Kashmir Valley, without a fault. They-- women, men, and
children--were butchered, raped, looted, and devastated in the most inhuman
ways. And they have since been living their days and nights far away from home,
in unfamiliar surroundings, out in the open or in hovels with several families
huddled together without having even a modicum of sanitation, hygiene or
privacy. All their worldly possessions are left behind or lost. So also their
spiritual heritage and their places of worship, in this darkest day of their
President, All India Kashmiri Samaj, New Delhi
Numbering nearly 300,000, they have
been variously called "migrants", "displaced persons",
"refugees" in their own country. They are none of these, but only
cruelly abandoned, forgotten children of the motherland.
Caught in the crossfire of Islamic
fundamentalist and Pakistani guns trained on India, they have not received even
the minimum of the consideration which any civilized and responsible government
would provide to its citizens in such straits. The scourge has been ceaseless
and of the proportion of a holocaust for the helpless victims. The picture of
their tragedy and trauma has, however, remained clouded and greatly blurred
1. The blinding disinformation and
propaganda blasts of Pakistan, aided and funded by the inexhaustible resources
of international Islamic fundamentalist forces.
2. The local Muslim-majority
Kashmir State government's open discrimination against them, and later its own
total collapse before the onslaught of the terrorist fundamentalists set on
creating chaos which has further degenerated into a modern-day Inquisition and
3. The successive Indian
Government's political and electoral calculations and compulsions, often more
imagined than real, which made them look the other way till the situation went
out of control, and now engage only in dilatory, diversionary and misconceived
4. The "freedom-loving",
"democratic societies" exclusive emphasis on "human rights"
vis-a-vis governmental "violations", measured obsessively by the
letter of the Universal Declaration. The horrifying violations persistently
committed by a tyrannical and fanatical religious majority against a weak and
vulnerable minority, so obvious in the case of Kashmir's Hindus, has no place in
such a reckoning. Some of the activists' campaigns are bizarre, implying their
pleading for the "rights" of the terrorists and marauders to carry on
their business un-hindered.
The Kashmiri Pandit (Hindu)
Community are traditionally highly educated, cultured, peace loving, thriving on
their sincere, efficient hard work. They are fiercely patriotic.
Pakistan and the Islamic
fundamentalists terrorists are bent on seizing the flourishing and beautiful
Kashmir Valley to serve as yet another outpost of fundamentalism. For them the
Hindu minority symbolized India's presence in the Valley which had to be
eliminated from the path to their objective. Thus, the all-out assault
culminating in their becoming homeless and destitute.
The present tribulations of the
Kashmir Pandits bear awful implications far into the future Today--as this
twentieth Century of human advancement at lightening speed is on the bend to
yield to a more promising 21st -- a whole new generation of the children and
youth of this highly civilized and talented community is surrounded by many evil
and regressive influences. Unless protected and helped now, they run the risk of
growing into fractured, savage people losing their roots of a spectacular
ancestry, identity, ethos and the widely tested and recognized splendid
capabilities and achievements.
No solution of Kashmir catastrophe
is complete or acceptable unless Kashmiri Pandits are able to return to the
valley to lead a full fledged life of loyal citizens of Bharat enjoying the full
guarantees of its secular and democratic constitution.
Source: Miltsar, May 1992,
Kashmiri Overseas Association