Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India


Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

  Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India

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January-March 2002 issue

Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

  Godhra mayhem is clearly Pak's creation
... J.N. Raina

{ This article is reproduced from the Free Press Journal dated -  5 April, 2002. }

The authorities in Godhra must have been suffering from delirium when they made an unsavoury statement that those who roasted alive 58 kar sevaks in the Sabarmati Express were "uneducated, without jobs and poor. Many of them are devoid of any sense of scruples. Most of them (Ghanchi Muslims) live in poverty and have no economic activity."

 Surely the officials, including the Panchmahals district collector, must have been feeling rickety, because even well known caricaturist R. K. Laxman has not remained unperturbed by these grotesque remarks.
 Laxman has depicted the officials' effrontery thus: "He says arson, looting and murder are due to poverty, communal tension etc. Otherwise this state is peaceful."

 Such statements are coming 30 days after the Godhra mayhem, to soothe the ruffled feelings of pseudo-secularists who are running after the blood of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, for his "failure" to arrest the backlash. There are others, who intune with the Pakistan's ISI, have blamed the kar sevaks for the mindless act.

 Strangely enough, former prime minister V.P.Singh and many of his ilk have strong exception to Modi's statement (terming it dangerous) that Gujarat riots were a "reaction" to the Godhra incident. The chief minister's opponents and critics are jittery about his reported "earth-shaking" remarks that he had quoted Newton's third law of motion (To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction) to justify the Hindu Muslim riots in Gujarat.

 Modi has in the first place denied having made any such statement. However, one would like to question, is it not a statement of fact that when something terrible happens repercussions follow inevitably. Does Singh want to nullify the Newton's law of motion? Is he oblivious of the on-again off-again daily skirmishes and shoot-out between Israeli forces and the Palestinian gunmen in West Asia? If according to Israeli spokesman "it is action and reaction, there", can Newton's law of motion fail to evoke any "response" in India and get neutralized, because we are staunch secularists?

 The Godhra officials are presumably under pressure to making confusing statements so that the actual truth dies down. It is not a fact that Pakistan, having failed to internationalize the Kashmir issue, is now trying to foment communal trouble in India? After 72 hours of rioting in Ahmedabad, there were reports that communal frenzy will continue, because of ISI's designs to provoke the minority community against the majority for revenge. Believably it is now coming true.

 Pakistan is doing to justify its two-nation theory on the basis of which the Indian subcontinent was divided. Pakistan is increasing its level of infiltration into India. The killing of ten people by a suicide squad at Ragunath temple in Jammu is an instance. More such incidents are likely to follow.

 Again coming to action-reaction, when there were large-scale anti-Sikh riots in Delhi and elsewhere, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, what was the instant reaction from Rajiv Gandhi? "When a huge tree falls it creates a big noise." In fact, he assassination was itself a reaction to the desecration of Akaltakhat in Amritsar, in the wake of Blue Star operation, to flush out militants. But who had engineered these riots we need not rake up the issue to pour salt on the healing wounds. Let bygones be bygones.

 When locks of the disputed shrine at Ayodhya were opened during the regime of Rajiv Gandhi in 1986, did not the third law of motion operate in Kashmir valley. Scores of houses of the Hindu minority community were set ablaze. A number of temples were destroyed and vandalized by the Muslim fundamentalist originations in protest against the opening of the locks. That was the first communal riot in the living memory. And who behind these riots? Again a leading Congress personality.

 It was unbelievable that a top congress leader, hailing from South Kashmir, had allegedly engineered the riots, which remained confined mainly to Anantnag district. The riot later led to silent exodus of Kashmiri Hindu Pandit community.

 In the initial stages of militancy, several hundred Hindus were brutally murdered in the valley. The killings were mostly committed by the JKLF militants. The victims were dubbed as Indian agents. Subsequently, 3.5 lakh people of the hapless community were forced to leave their ancestral land at gun point. The community has been shackled and totally paralyzed. They continue to remain huddled in shabby camps like animals for 12 years. Thousands of other KPs are scattered all over the country, fending for themselves. They have been deprived of their right to vote. They have lost their cultural moorings. Hardly ten thousand of the community must be living in beleaguered valley at the mercy of the terrorists. If what has happened in Gujarat is regarded as genocide, what is it in Kashmir then? Film star Shabana Azmi owes an explanation. One feels really sad to see the empty houses being burnt in unabated communal violence in Gujarat, because the same had happened to KP's whose houses were plundered repeatedly and then set on fire so they do not return to the valley again. If Ms Shabana Azmi says there has been ethnic cleansing in Gujarat, then what is it happening in Kashmir, the heaven of this earth?

 Was it not the responsibility of the then prime minister V.P.Singh to prevent the exodus of the KP's? Instead, he released from jail five hard-core JKLF militants, in exchange for Doctor Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of then Union Home Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

 Much before militancy started, Farooq Abdullah, either as chief minister or President of the National Conference, had been exhorting the Kashmiri Pandits that neither the Indian Army nor crores of Hindus elsewhere would save them in difficult times. "You have to depend on the goodwill of the majority. Muslim community, for safety." He would make these assertions like parrot, as if he knew that was in the offing.

 That was without any provocation, as the minuscule community (it was reduced to two percent before militancy from about 15 percent in 1947) had almost cordial relations with the majority Muslim Community, although the latter had either taken control of several temples and adjacent holy springs or had raised a dispute regarding these shrines in a court of law.

If RSS chief K.S.Sudarshan says that the minorities in India needed "Hindu goodwill" to be safe in India, what crime he has committed? The pseudo secularists should hang their heads in shame after seeing the destruction in the valley at the hands of the JKLF militants and various subversive organizations, which are nor forming constituents of the Hurriyat Conference. The activists of the Peoples Union for Democratic Rights should be put to shame for condemning the arrest of the JKLF leader Yaseen Malik under POTA. Was he not responsible for committing heinous crimes when militancy started?

Kashmiri Hindus have been exiled in their own country for 12 years, which is not a small period. Does the Indian constitution serve any purpose for them? Has secularism no meaning for them? Do the guarantors of secularism utter a word of sympathy for them? No, because it is an old issue now. No because they are patriotic people.

 Enough blood has flowed down the Ganges for the past two decades. Now the thrust of militancy is in the Hindu-dominated Jammu region, which is bigger than Kashmir province. Amarnath pilgrims have been repeatedly attacked almost every year. Should these unending instances not create a ripple? All this has been piling up on the Hindu psyche over the years. Godhra mayhem seems to be the last in the series of such events which is clearly Pakistan's creation. In such a situation people in other countries remain united, but in India it is the reverse.

 However, Sudarshan needs to correct himself for his wrong information that Kashmiri Pandits do not call themselves as Hindus and they prefer to be known as Kashmiri Pandits. They are hundred percent Hindus. The meaning of the word "Pandit" is "intelligent" Pandit is also prefixed before one's name, like Pandit (Pt) Jawahar Lal Nehru. KP's were spiritually much advanced before Muslim rulers devastated them economically, culturally and spiritually. Both Hindus and Muslims in the valley share a common heritage.

 The Muslim leaders in India should strongly protest against Pakistan's machination in Kashmir and call upon the youth to refrain from anti-India activities by having fallen trap to ISI. There is a lot which the Muslim Community can do, to force Pakistan to desist from cross-border activities.

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