Table of Contents
  Index
  About the Author
  About the Book
  Preface
  Foreword
PART I
  Laying the Scene
  Sayyid Sharafu'D-Din
  Mir Ali Hamadani's role ...
  P.N. Bazaz and P.N.Bamzai ...
  Laleshwari - A Shining...
  Trika Paved the Way for Islam
  Kashmir - Not A Tabula Rasa
  Willing and Peaceful ...
  Extra-ideological Methods
  Compromise as Tactics
  Shihab-ud-Din's anti-Hindu ..
  'Sufi-face of Islam' thesis ...
  Sultan Sikandar -  a Cruel ..
  Mir Ali Hamdani's Advice ...
  Return of Sanity
  Na Bhatto Aham -  A Cry ...
  Crusade Re-launched
  Nirmal Kanth - A Pillar ...
  Inter-face Between Hinduism..
  Regeneration of Kashmir ...
  Mughal Annexation at ...
  Learning Not Enough, ...
  Muslims Invite Afghans
  Birbal Dhar and Sikhs
  Loot of 1931
  Loot of Landed Properties
  Loot of a Kashmiri Pandit ...
  Loot and Plunder of 1986
PART II 
  Nehru's Advice to ...
  Pan-Islamic Design
  Sponsored Terrorism
  Kashmiri Pandits -  soft ...
  JKLF - An Outfit of Killers
  Jammaat-i-lslami - ...
  Afghans Again Invited ...
  Massacre of Kashmiri Pandits
- Part 1 of 3
- Part 2 of 3
- Part 3 of 3
  Loot, Grab and Arson ...
  Destruction and Desecration ...
  Loot and Burning of Books
  Kashmiri Pandits As Migrants
  Conversions as Muslim ...
  Kashmiri Pandits and ...
  Homeland Demand Raised
  Sangrampora Massacre
  References and Notes
  List of Illustrations
  Appendix
  Book in pdf format

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir

Milchar

Symbol of Unity

 
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Foreword

by Dr. K. L. Chowdhary

(Professor of Medicine, Government Medical College, Srinagar and Political Director of the Apex Committee of the Kashmiri Pandit Organisations)

There is a plethora of newspaper and pamphlet print about the travails Dr. K. L. Chowdhary faced by Kashmiri Pandits during the acme of the ongoing militancy in Kashmir and subsequent to their mass exodus in 1989-90 but only a couple of organised attempts to put it down in a book format. A lot of disinformation and canard spinning on the genesis of the exodus has been whipped up by the very people who engineered it, reinforced in no small measure by the militant and secessionist-friendly press and the prevarication and pusillanimity of the state administration and the central government. Many distortions and misrepresentations are still rife as to the causes of the uprising in Kashmir which led to the taking up of sophisticated and lethal weapons of destruction by what were perceived to be docile and peace loving Muslims of the Kashmir about whom it was believed that their worst indulgence in violence was to hurl the Kangris (fire-pot) on the adversary or use one's head to band that of the opponent m the manner of fighting rams locking horns. Even more flagrant defacement of truth is to paint the Kashmiri Pandit as the schemer, the snatcher and the tyrant even while this community with an ample fund of historical and cultural contribution with 5000-year habitation in the valley has been forced repeatedly to abandon its homeland in the face of brutal Violence and religious persecution for the past six hundred years.

It is a historical truth that only eleven families of Pandits survived in the valley after the first major exodus but that was during the despotic rule of Sultan Sikander, the iconoclast, who was driven by extreme religious frenzy to convert, kill or drive away the Hindus. The fact that nearly ninety-nine per cent of the Pandits have now been again driven into exile and remaining remnants are living a life of mental and physical siege is a colossal tragedy and a living shame on humanity because we are talking of the last decade of the 20th century, of secular, democratic Republic of India, of Naya Kashmir conceived on the principles and ideals of equality and liberty and fed on the principles of religious harmony. The present exodus assumes gargantuan proportions because the largest democracy in the world could not rescue a small Hindu minority of Kashmir from ethnic cleansing, genocide and exodus. The greater tragedy of the nation is that we don't find many academicians, historians, votaries of freedom and champions of human rights losing sleep either trying to analyst the causes or grasping the portents of the tragic developments in Kashmir. That Kashmir has turned into alchemist's laboratory for transmuting peace-loving youth into gun-wielding militants cannot be denied. That it can be-come a role-model for fundamentalist and religious bigots for ethnic cleansing of minorities in other regions of the sub-continent is a warning which we can ill-afford to ignore. That the demon of terrorism and secession if not crushed and defeated will threaten the very survival of India as a multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic republic is a bitter truth that Indians will have to grapple with in all seriousness.

A studio of tragic history of the Kashmiri Pandits could be one approach in trying to understand some facts of the Kashmir problem. Towards this Mohan Lal Kaul's book "Kashmir - Wail of the Valley" is a bold and sincere attempt which traces the turbulence right from the times Islam opened its history in Kashmir. The author is well rooted in history and like all of us has gone through the harrowing experiences of being at the receiving end of a craftily conceived and carefully orchestrated creed of Muslim hegemony thriving on the elimination, deprivation and subjugation of Hindus in the valley of Kashmir leading not only to the invisible exodus from the year 1947 onwards but also to spurts of violence, loot and plunder (like Wanpuh and Luka Bawan in 1986) culminating in ethnic cleansing and mass exodus of 1989-90. A single-minded pursuit in unravelling the contours of a Pan-Islamic crusade with its epi-centre in Pakistan and its clinical laboratory in Kashmir. In the process he exposes the fabrication of lies and canards let loose by Islamic zealots and pulls the veil off secularism from the visages of some terrorist organizations and their apologists, many of whom masquerade as Human Rights champions. He ridicules the fast growing clan of pseudo-secularists in India and compulsive Hindu baiters who denigrate their own religion and distort their own glorious history with all impunity. He does not spare the state administration for conniving with the insurgents nor does he spare the central government for concealing and deriding the forced exodus and down-playing the atrocities perpetrated on the Pandits.

In essence the book of Mr. M.L. Koul is a litany of human rights violations against Pandits and the running theme is that of loot, plunder and persecution. He prepares the ground from the days of Bulbul Shah and Mir Ali Hamadani, the ace proselytizer, to the tyrannical rule of Sultan Sikander, Chaks, Mughals, Afghans et al right into the reign of Dogras when the Muslims after a brief interlude in history reorganised themselves against Hindus dur-ing the hey-day of freedom movement in the Indian Sub-continent and organised their wrath against them in the loot of 1931. He moves on in the laying process, as he calls it, to the loot of landed properties by the popular government of Sheikh Abdullah (1947) to the loot of a Pandit girl (1967) and the dress rehearsal of ethnic cleansing in the loot and plunder of 1986. The narrative enters the phase of armed terrorism with intimate details of the massacre of Pandits, their exodus, the loot, the arson and the forcible occupation and annexation of their left-over properties and the desecration and destruction of their religious and cultural signs and symbols.

There is a brief  mention of two twilight periods during the rule of Zaina-ul-Abidin and the Dogras in the otherwise dark history of Pandits since the advent of Islam in Kashmir. Mr. Koul debunks the myth of voluntary conver-sions perpetrated by some historians of his own community. He also has a dig at those who extol the Sufi tradition and claims that it was mainly patterned for proselytization. While we are not aware of forcible conversions in post-independence era in the valley, we cannot discount the subtle moral, psychological and socio-economic pressures on the Pandits generated by the ruthless campaign of hatred and discrimination in all State-owned and private institutions and loudly proclaimed and propagated from the psychology of siege under which a Pandit took birth and grew up but also for some of what looked like voluntary conversions. While I believe all Sufis were not proselytizers, we have the striking example of the sage of Charar-i-Sharief, Nund Rishi. We cannot but agree that the forces of fanaticism and fundamentalism did have a great sway in Kashmir all through the last five decades and always found easy victims in Pandits. We all have faced genie of Muslim bigotry let loose from the corked bottle at one time or the other and I still remember with horror the hail of stones on my car from a rampaging mob of the fateful evening when Zia-ul-Haq met his nemesis in an air-crash back home in Pakistan, as if I was responsible for the accident. All sanity, was thrown to the winds during real or imagined provocation to the Muslim sentiments and the non-Muslims found themselves the butt of their ire in vio-lent demonstration against alleged blasphemy in a book titled, "The Book of Knowledge". A foreign tourist once found himself inadvertently in the eye of the storm of shouting hooligans who forced him to join their slogan "Ban Book of Knowledge". In absolute frustration he shouted, "Ban All Knowledge".

Mr. Mohan Lal Koul deftly unwinds the conspiracy re-plete with details and backed up by references to push the Pandits to the wall and throttle his efforts for an honourable survival wherein the ruling elite, the political, the bureaucracy, the judiciary and the religious institutions made a concerted effort where "all the norms were violated and normlessness was stuck to as a norm". This happened right since the popular government induced and implemented the so-called land reforms followed up with the weaning away of Pandits from important positions in administrative governance, denying them educational op-portunities and discriminating them in recruitment and promotions. The loot continues even today through a perfidious scheme to buy off the left-over properties of the harried, harassed and left-over Pandits.

The theory of proxy war by Pakistan as the primary event is again being questioned and it is argued that the seeds of violence and hatred were sown right from 1931 and nursed in madrasas, maktahas and mosques from where it mushroomed into other religious and secular institutions of the land. Pakistan was also waiting in the wings for its chance to throw in support, material, moral and physical. It is a different matter, an aberration to which all violent uprisings are condemned, that like the Frankenstein monster they consume the very architects of violence. That is how the "The tidal wave of Jehad and religious bigotry unleashed by the JKLF flowed at the cesspool of rape, murder, loot and plunder," and after finishing the task of banishing Pandits into exile it barged into moderate Muslim sections of the valley for whom yesterday's "Mujahids and heroes" became today's tormentors. This phenomenon has received scant attention from Mr. M. L. Koul, as also the phenomenon of militants turned informers, turned pro-India and anti-militant militants or 'renegade militants'. The process of recruiting these 'reformed' militants into the security forces and getting them elected to the State Legislature is a unique experiment the usefulness of which are hard to fathom as yet.

I bow to you my country
that a militant who took up arms against you
and gunned down innocent citizens
looted, arsoned, raped
is today taking the salute
for the Republic Day parade
while his victims
shiver in refugee camps.
Apart from putting the facts in their proper perspective which yet might seem as an eye-opener to a common man as well as the conscientious intellectual in India. This book is bound to kindle the "race memory" of persecution of the Kashmiri Pandits which may to a large extent shape the strategy to re-claim their ancestral "Home Land" which they have lost.
 

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