January-February 2004 issue
Vivekananda at Kshir Bhawani, Kashmir
From Kolkata |
... Dr. B.K.Moza
Sabha, Calcutta, is a social organisation of Kashmiri Pandits in Kolkata, affiliated to All India Kashmiri
Samaj, Delhi (A.I.K.S.). Kashmiri Pandits are observing 20th January as the Holocaust Day in remembrance and reverence of those precious lives lost due to fundamentalist terrorism in Kashmir, in 1989-90 and thereafter, resulting in their internal displacement and diaspora outside their homeland. On this day in 1990, Kashmiri Pandits had to leave, under desperate circumstances, their hearths and homes in Kashmir, en masse, as the soft targets of a planned genocide let loose by the Islamist terrorists against this Hindu minority in Kashmir valley.
Though fourteen long years have passed, this hapless community stands up-rooted from their hearths and homes in their homeland of recorded history of more than five thousand years. They represent an infinitesimally small community and have been ignored both by the State and Central Governments as they do not represent a vote bank. They are the original inhabitants of Kashmir; the current year being the 5079 year of their original Saptrishi
Calender. They are a peaceful and non-violent community, well known for their literary, intellectual and creative excellence. Historic invasions on Kashmir, mass murders, conversions and consequent migrations reduced them to a minority in Kashmir. Their fault, as considered by the terrorists, is, that they are the stooges of
Bharat; their merit and no nuisance values and small numbers, as a minority, have made them victims of discrimination under prevailing conditions. All this has resulted in the ethnic cleansing, upheaval and diaspora of this small minority of Kashmir. About a thousand murders, including those of some veteran stalwarts of the community, arson of their houses, massacre of temples, rape, coercion and threats, under the glare of loud speakers in mosques and road side demonstrations, about their survival, safety and honour to their womenfolk led to the sudden mass exodus and displacement of this minority community of Kashmir. More than three lakh displaced persons are still passing their days in dilapidated shelters and inhuman conditions in camps in Jammu, Udhampur and Delhi. Their cultural identity and rich heritage is severely threatened. Already disease, depression and environmental hazards have inflicted a heavy toll on these displaced people whose numbers have further shrunk on account of their living conditions.
While paying homage, to those who sacrificed their lives, and providing solidarity to the cause of this suffering minority in exile, Kashmir
Sabha, Calcutta, appeals to the great institutions of “free press” and media of this country, on this holocaust observance day, to inquire into the sufferings of this distressed minority and to do the needful in providing them the required healing touch. This has remained of no concern to the authorities in power for this minority group does not represent a vote bank. It is a healthy development that dialogues on Kashmir are taking place between Governments of India and Pakistan and internally with the various Kashmiri political outfits of militant and otherwise origins. But it is unfortunate and unbecoming that Kashmiri Hindu minority is totally ignored and taken for granted in this process. Kashmir
Sabha, Calcutta raises its voice, in conjunction with other affiliates of
AIKS, and seeks justice in respect of the following:
1). Provision of Internally Displaced People status to Kashmiri Pandits in exile, as per the guidelines of United Nations.
2). To rehabilitate the up-rooted Kashmiri Pandits with security, safety and honour in Kashmir and safeguard their return by ensuring them their rights as “ Reverse Minority ” as per statutes of Human Rights Institutions. Kashmir has been provided a special status, under Section 370, in Indian constitution because in Kashmir valley the inhabitants are largely Muslim, which is a minority community in total Indian context. In fitness to this constitutional guarantee, Kashmiri Pandits should also be provided a reverse minority status in that state by the State constitution.
3). Kashmiri Pandits should find their rightful place in the negotiations to settle Kashmir issue in general and in special as a Kashmiri minority group for achieving their permanent and honourable return to their homeland, Kashmir. In this respect their apex body,
AIKS, should be invited as the representative of this internally displaced minority group of Kashmiris in all negotiations for accomplishing settlement of Kashmir issue and for their rehabilitation in Kashmir.
In conclusion, Hindus and Muslims have lived, with harmony and peace and with reputable tolerance and respect for each other’s religious faiths in Kashmir. Kashmiri Pandits have been the glorious icons in the history of Kashmir, very essential nuts and bolts of freedom movement in Kashmir and India and as great pillars of Indian civilisation all through. The cross border terrorism and influence of fundamentalist trends have thrust a severe blow to peaceful inheritance of Kashmiri brotherhood and its glory. This has caused the discrimination, genocide and bloodshed. The result has been the displacement and mass exodus of
Kashmiri minorities from this state and their breach of trust with the majority community. On this Holocaust Day,
Kashmiri Pandits ensure their commitment to restoration of this trust and to the processes of their honourable return to their homeland, reconstructing its future and restoring its glory in the fast developing Indian scenario.
With this in view the vibrant cooperation, of the electronic Media and Press, is solicited for reaching and highlighting this appeal to the corridors of power , wherever these are.