Dec 28, 2007
"...tectonic shift in the Hindu mind, a shift that has been going on for 200 years, which is being underestimated. The thousand years of domination and savage oppression by rulers of other religions; domination and oppression which were exercised in the name of and for the glory of and for establishing the sway of those religions, evinced a variety of responses from the Hindus. Armed resistance for centuries... When at last such resistance became totally impossible, the revival of bhakti by the great poets... When public performance even of bhakti became perilous, sullen withdrawal, preserving the tradition by oneself, almost in secrecy: I remember being told in South Goa how families sustained their devotion by painting images of our gods and goddesses inside the tin trunks in which sheets and clothing were kept. The example of individuals: recall how the utter simplicity and manifest aura of Ramakrishna Paramhamsa negated the efforts of the missionaries, how his devotion to the image of the Goddess at Dakshineshwar restored respectability to the idolatry that the missionaries and others were traducing..."
"......It has almost become routine to slight Hindu sentiments — our smart-set do not even notice the slights they administer. Recall the jibe of decades: ‘the Hindu rate of growth’. When, because of those very socialist policies that their kind had swallowed and imposed on the country, our growth was held down to 3-4 per cent, it was dubbed — with much glee — as ‘the Hindu rate of growth’. Today, we are growing at 9 per cent. And, if you are to believe the nonsense in Sachar’s report, the minorities are not growing at all. So, who is responsible for this higher rate of growth? The Hindus! How come no one calls this higher rate of growth ‘the Hindu rate of growth’? Simple: dubbing the low rate as the Hindu one established you to be secular; not acknowledging the higher one as the Hindu rate establishes you to be secular!...."
"...How come no one objects when for years a Muslim politician keeps publishing maps of constituencies in which Muslims as Muslims can determine the outcome, and exhorting them to do so? When, not just an individual politician but entire political parties — from the Congress to the Left parties — stir Muslims up as a vote bank. When Muslims start behaving like a vote bank, you can be certain that someone will get the idea that Hindus too should be welded into a vote bank, and eventually they will get welded into one. Why is stoking Muslims ‘secular’ and stoking Hindus ‘communal’?...."
Read full article by ARUN SHOURIE here...
Dec 15, 2007
Would the media, the secularists and the pseudo-secularists - all currently busy championing the cause of the minority in Gujrat ever spare a few moments to these young souls... All born in Exile, for no fault of theirs, except for that they were born to parents who were Kashmiri Hindus.
NHRC - or the National Hindu Reprimand Committee, doesn't care about the mauled Human Rights of Kashmiri Hindus'... The National Minorities Commission knows nothing about this minority lost... The Home ministry doesn't care what the killers of Kashmiri Hindu's are doing today, freely in the valley...
Dear Children... What Rights are you expecting from this land? Either get your surnames changed to a 'khan' or add a 'Md' as prefix or just pick up some anti-India slogans or a jazzy reason for 'Jihad' to get heard.
Nothing else falls on the deaf ears...
Dec 5, 2007
He stays up for days on end
You take a warm shower to help you wake up
He goes days or weeks without running water
You complain of a "headache", and call in sick
He gets shot at as others are hit, and keeps moving forward
You put on your anti war/don't support the troops shirt, and go meet up with your friends
He still fights for your right to wear that shirt
You talk trash about your "buddies" that aren't with you
He knows he may not see some of his buddies ever again
You walk down the beach, staring at all the pretty girls
He walks the streets, searching for insurgents and terrorists
You complain about how hot it is
He wears his heavy gear, not daring to take off his helmet to wipe his brow
You go out to lunch, and complain because the restaurant got your order wrong
He doesn't get to eat today
Your wife/mother/maid makes your bed and washes your clothes
He wears the same things for weeks, but makes sure his weapons are clean
You go to the mall and get your hair redone
He doesn't have time to brush his teeth today
You're angry because your class ran 5 minutes over
He's told he will be held over an extra 2 months
You call your girlfriend and set a date for tonight
He waits for the mail to see if there is a letter from home
You hug and kiss your girlfriend, like you do everyday
He holds his letter close and smells his love's perfume
You roll your eyes as a baby cries
He gets a letter with pictures of his new child, and wonders if they'll ever meet
You criticize your government, and say that war never solves anything...
He sees the innocent tortured and killed by their own people and remembers why he is fighting
You hear the jokes about the war, and make fun of men like him
He hears the gunfire, bombs and screams of the wounded - and of the innocents who have no one to stand up for them
You see only what the media wants you to see
He sees the broken bodies lying around him
You stay at home and watch TV
He takes whatever time he is given to call, write home, sleep and eat
You crawl into your soft bed, with down pillows, and get comfortable
He crawls under a tank for shade and a 5 minute nap, only to be awakened by gunfire
You sit there and judge him, saying the world is probably a worse place because of men like him
If only there were more men like him !
WHO is HE?
Dec 1, 2007
For complete post - click here...
Oct 23, 2007
Seek help in getting IDP status for the Pandit community
The European Union Delegation which had last month visited Jammu and Kashmir for an on ground assessment of the Kashmir issue today met up with representatives of the Kashmiri Pandits. The European Union delegation had invited representatives of Roots in Kashmir for a dialogue in order to understand the perspective of the Kashmiri Pandits with regard to the Kashmir issue. Roots in Kashmir co-ordinators’ Pawan Durani and Rashneek Kher had an hour long meeting with the EU representatives,The Ambassador of Portugal, Mr.Mendes,Charge’D’Affaires A.I of the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, Mr Miklavz Borstnik and Dr.Alexander SPACHIS,Minister-Counseller,Political Affairs and Co-ordination,European Union.
The Roots in Kashmir delegates appraised the EU delegation about the ground reality and the plight of Pandits.The EU delegation was also made aware of the reasons for forced exodus and lack of social and political dispensation to the Pandits said Pawan Durani. The EU delegation was briefed on the rather apathetic role of State and Central Governments in rehabilitation of the Pandits. The RIK representatives submitted a 7 page memorandum to the EU delegation the theme of which was to recognize the rights of Kashmiri Pandits and declare them as Internally Displaced People(IDP’s).
Roots in Kashmir appealed to the European Union to recognize Kashmiri Pandits as Internally Displaced People as per the charter of the UNHRC. We also requested the EU delegation to impress upon the Indian Government to declare Kashmiri Pandits as Internally Displaced People since we are not migrants as Govt of India calls us said Rashneek Kher.
The EU delegation enquired about the present status of Pandits and their position in the present geo-political environment. They were also surprised to note that though the Peace initiatives were on the anvil yet not even one Kashmiri Pandit was allowed to visit Pakistan held Kashmir.
The EU delegation very patiently heard and understood the Pandit perspective in the Kashmir issue. A plea by the Pandit delegation that no solution of Kashmir issue be carried out without the involvement of Pandits was also well received by the EU delegation.
Oct 22, 2007
Both the religious theories are strongly rooted in 'Our belief is the absolute truth and everyone else is stupid...so they better be converted to our faith' doctrine. Both religions have spread on the back of armed invasions and conversions by force, lure and deceit.
Vatican needs to be reminded of the religious intolerance their campaigners have been following right from the days of invasions and forced conversions in Goa - after the Portuguese invasion way back in 16th century... or their recent spate of religious censure on the Hindu's in Russia. The church has problems with letting a minuscule Hindu groups practice its faith freely...
I suggest the two of them try the following experiment - send a Christian missionary team to evangelize and preach in Afghanistan and Iraq...
"Guns and supplies are readily available, and in winter, when the fighting dies down in Afghanistan, thousands retire to the country's thriving madrassas to study the ..."
"Peshawar is perhaps the most important production and distribution center for Taliban and other Islamist material..."
Read the full report here
Source : Rediff
Sep 18, 2007
While ordering him to be released on bail, the TADA judge had remarked: “The court is aware of the fact that the allegations levelled against the accused are of serious nature and carry a punishment of death sentence or life imprisonment but the fact is that the prosecution has shown total disinterest in arguing the case, which is in complete violation of Article 21 of the Constitution.”
Meanwhile, Satish Tikku’s father died remembering his son.
To read the full story - click here
Sep 12, 2007
Kashmiriyat - the face behind the veil
Author: Sanjay Kaul
Date: January 2003
Every time there is a spate of killings in Kashmir, almost everybody
with any investment in the Kashmir situation rushes in to protest the
incongruity of the event in the context of the fabled liberal traditions
of Kashmir, or what is now fashionably also known as Kashmiriyat.
It has been a while since Kashmiriyat began doing the rounds, to the
extent I can't really say who or what actually coined it - it could've
been a coinage of the Maharaja era; or even the JKLF's accidental
discovery in arguing the cultural isolation of the Kashmiris, although
why they would ignore Jammu-yat or Ladhaki-yat I don't know. It could
also have been a National Conference plant, in arguing its case for
greater autonomy for a very special people; it is a pliant enough word
to be used by the rag-tag Hurriyat, in their hurry at becoming amenable
to any international platform that seems available; and it is often used
by the Indian political establishment across the floor when they want to
rub in the distinction between this Kashmir and the one that is not
The truth, in this case, is not somewhere in between but somewhere
completely else. Kashmiriyat as an attempt to brand the socio-cultural
ethos of the Kashmiris, as distinct from the Jammuites and the Ladhakis
serves to not only undermine the other two cultural identities, but it
accents dangerously the distinction of being a Kashmiri. That this is
also patently incorrect is another matter, for how different is
essential Kashmiriyat from Punjabiyat? What is it that makes the
Kashmiri unique which does not the Jammuite or the Ladhakhi? Or even the
Bihari or the Bengali? Is it the salubrious climate? Or is it some
stunning example of secular behaviour that, some would hope, puts the
Gujaratis to shame? No Sir. Kashmiriyat is only as unique or as average
as any other socio-cultural component of the region. And in that too, it
does not possess as flattering a lineage as say, Bengal, if only for a
people's intellectual and other achievements.
Kashmiriyat as tokenism, is yet another variation on the theme. When we
want to propound the fictitious secularism of Kashmir, we use this
variation wholeheartedly. But when it takes on meanings as a distinctive
community of a people who have other politico-religious ambitions, we
duck. This is precisely what Prime Minister Vajpayee had to skirt when
he famously proposed 'insaaniyat' as a more encompassing paradigm to
bringing peace in the Valley. And when it is used to speak of a distinct
culture, its users usually fail to provide its context; if the
Kashmiriyat of the Kashmir we still have with us is the liberal and
benign variety, what of the Kashmir on the other side? Is that
Kashmiriyat too or is it POKashmiriyat?
For the world community this word is fast achieving a flexible quality
of application depending on what the pressure points are. The West is
beginning to like this word because it gives them the handle to rub in
the distinctiveness of the Kashmir region, and therefore its problem,
with no reference to the state, and without upsetting the Indian
viewpoint. This dubious quality of the word, quite in keeping with the
political character of the region, is the perfect way to talk in a
variety of tongues about the same thing without anybody discovering the
Then there is the quintessential spin-doctored version of Kashmiriyat,
as a wonderfully benign, Sufistic version of Islam that is so unique
that you find it nowhere else in the world. Quite right, that you find
it nowhere else on earth - for where else do you find a land that has
over the last 400 years, systematically expelled wave after wave of
Kashmiri Pandits from its confines with no weapon other than religion.
Here is a people who stand testimony to startling reduction in their
count repeatedly - from over twenty-nine per cent of just Srinagar City
in 1873, (Fredrick Drew; Census of 1873) to less than one per cent in
the entire valley today...is this is the tradition of Kashmiryat?
That a minuscule minority, representative of the last remnants of any
figment of pluralism in the valley, could become the focus of such an
organised onslaught over such a long time! - and we are still all keyed
in to watching The Pianist win an Oscar for its Director, a Jew who
purportedly survived the Holocaust. Hey! we have our very own holocaust
here, and its called Kashmiriyat, but is anybody looking?
The only constant, it seems, is that nobody seems to want to put the
reality in its correct perspective - after all, if this sort of violence
does not belong to Kashmir by culture or religion, why does it happen
with such regular frequency?
I can just about visualise the champions of India's secular traditions
rising in an echo against what is implicit in this statement. But would
they care to ask if this kind of a campaign can survive century after
century without bearing in its soil a small seed of what makes all this
possible? No it can't, for without the seed there can be no tree;
without a nurturing climate there can't be fruition.
There are commentators who want to wish away any finger-pointing at
Kashmiris by pointing fingers at the north western borders - and the
tradition continues even till today. But is the pusillanimous nature of
the Kashmiri the only weak link that allows one morbid regime after
another to find just the right environment in this place, all through
its history, to practice such a long drawn cleansing? Be that as it may.
To absolve Kashmiris, for what has happened in the valley, is to excuse
a people their complicity in what has always happened in Kashmir.
Let us not allow the word to veil the truth: If Kashmiriyat represents
liberalism, Aushwitz was Disneyland..
Aug 31, 2007
To read full article by an ex-terrorist Javaid Hussain Shah - click here or here.
Aug 6, 2007
Since my comments/rebuttals to Sanjay Kak’s post about Jash-e-Azadi couldn’t pass the filters of moderation, I am posting my note/open letter and five questions to Sanjay Kak here. Hope Sanjay would oblige with some words of wisdom?
This post of yours gives an impression that it’s the Kashmiri Pandit’s who are the tormentors here. Applaud-able play of words...Indeed you do have some creative flame...I can gather that much from this post, even without seeing your movie.
Your play of words in dissociating from Yasin Malik - the terrorist turned political torchbearer, was impressive.
Mr Kak, would you kindly oblige and set straight your opinion on Yasin Malik. Do you consider him a hero or a villain...? Do you deny his role in numerous cold blooded killings and terror acts? Do you condone or condemn those acts? Given the prowess with words and truck-loads of judicious opinions you are loaded with - NO comments or avoidance isnt an option for you.
Your movie gives a colour to the protestors- that of vindictive, rampaging hooligans. Did you even care to figure out and approach these guys and girls... who otherwise have no political or criminal background? You find those who have led shootouts and bombings as inspirational leaders and guides, and a bunch of young teachers, professionals, students as hooligans just because they dared ask you questions about your motive of making a purely one-sided document.
Your words that "Issue of Kashmiri Pandits is a separate topic" don't go well with any rationale...
- How can you talk of violence in
Kashmir, without talking in as much detail about half-a-million populace impacted by the violence perpetrated by the Jehadi machinery?
- How can you talk of the death and destruction without talking of the thousands who were kicked out of their homes?
- How can you talk of Human Rights - totally ignoring the human rights of the minority totally trampled upon just because they belonged to a different religion?
- How can you talk of self-determination totally ignoring the plight of the thousands who got uprooted purely because their self-determination was to stick to their Indian identity?
- How can you talk of Jashn-e-Azadi and ignore the dard of being be-ghar (homeless) of the Pandits?
Sanjay ji, I am yet to fathom your motive behind painting a purely one-sided picture...Each coin has two faces. A one-faced coin is just a counterfeit and ought to be rejected.
-A Soul in Exile
A victim of the Jehadi' terrorists you think are hero's...
Jul 25, 2007
Jul 11, 2007
Well, if you thought you had seen and heard it all, wait!!!
While thousands of Kashmiri Pandit’s still suffer silently in the refugee camps in
If the current ruling party in the state (PDP) has it’s way, as Mufti Sayed’s daughter and PDP Chief, Mehbooba Mufti demands – the government would soon be running a “terrorist rozgar yojna”. She wants the government (and the tax payer – that’s YOU!!!) to pay for the sustenance and future of the families of terrorists. (yeah, calling them militants doesn’t make them saints!!!). She demands that the tax payers foot the bills of those killed bombing them in Mumbai trains, or attacking the Parliament in
Ironic that the families of soldiers who died protecting the Parliament are still struggling to get some paltry compensation – whereas the terrorists involved in those acts might get it better and sooner.
So –if petro-dollars and Dinar’s aren’t enough to support the Jihad, our leaders in
Pay for your own massacre!!!
If you are thinking that this will never get implemented, beware – much of this is actually already happening. Mehbooba just wants it expanded. The state government has been doling out interest free cash grants to surrendered terrorists for years now – whereas there are ton’s of educated Hindu youth in the state suffering tortures of unemployement. The government paid for medical treatment of terrorists like Yasin Malik and sessionist leaders Geelani. The tax payers have been shelling out money for the sustenence in luxury of all the top secessaionist leaders of the valley. They come, they rape you and then you reward them...!!!
The government paid for medical treatment of terrorists like Yasin Malik and sessionist leaders Geelani. The tax payers have been shelling out money for the sustenence in luxury of all the top secessaionist leaders of the valley. They come, they rape you and then you reward them...!!!
This is the “Indian Secularism” for you…Would a politician in England dare recommend compensation from government for the London bombers, or a senator in US dare to suggest that Al Qaeda be given a US grant...? But anything is possible in India...
A terrorist is the son-in-law of the state...!!!
Its over a year since Afzal was sentenced to death - yet, nothing has happened to him.
Jun 25, 2007
There was a time when Janak Rani decided all matters of her household. She decided the day’s schedule for the children, the menu for all and the hours the television would run. She even determined her husband’s regime, but outside of his Government job. She ran the house with such authority and efficiency-tending to husband, children, parents in law, hearth and kitchen that no one disputed her decision. Today she sits in the one 10x14 feet room which is home to her, her son, daughter-in-law and her one year old grand daughter, her eyes staring vacantly into space. Perhaps she is looking for the mountains that used to greet her each time she looked out of her once-upon-a-time home in the verdant Kashmir valley, in the midst of which she had grown up? Or perhaps she searches for the rows of cedars and deodars that had surrounded her house there? Perhaps. We will never know, for in the flat plains of Jammu, Janak Rani does not speak anymore.
‘It happened gradually, she lost her concentration, her power to think, to speak,’ explains her daughter-in-law Promilla apologetically. Perhaps she had willed it, I think to myself. Better the bliss of a blank mind than the yoke of memory. ‘She never felt well here,’ continued her son, Maharaj. ‘She missed the cool climate of Kashmir, her home, her husband. She lost all her privacy.’ Janaki Rani was all of 48 years when the family had to flee Kashmir, from their home in Delina in Baramullah district. It was in the year 1990, militancy had begun in the valley. ‘There was a sudden surge of Islamisation. Men I grew up with suddenly started wearing a beard, keeping aloof, frequenting the mosques,’ he recalls. Then when the assassination of prominent Kashmiri Hindus started, panic surged inside their home. ‘We stopped venturing out of our homes, except on work.’ The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front took out a full-page ad in the daily newspaper Al-Safa, calling for Hindus to leave the valley within 48 hours. Ultimately, the family’s resilience broke. ‘We had to flee, there were warnings over the loud-speakers in the mosques, asking us to convert or leave. But worst, they asked us, the men to leave without our womenfolk, who were to stay behind. We could not take that.’ The family of seven—Janak Rani, her husband, two sons and three daughters—made their way to safe Jammu. Along the way, Janak Rani’s husband died of a heart attack. The immediate place they came to was the Geeta Bhavan. From there they were directed here to Purkhu, where tents had been put up for the fleeing. And so Janak Rani, who had spent her entire life in the confines of first her father’s house and then her husband’s, suddenly found herself widowed, in unfamiliar surroundings, rubbing shoulders with dozens of strange men and their families. ‘The heat and the lack of privacy were the most agonizing things for her,’ continued Maharaj. ‘At her age it was difficult for her to adjust. And then the poverty she was suddenly hurled into.’ ‘It was the indignity of camp life that slowly killed her spirit,’ says Promilla. She speaks coaxingly to Janak Rani in Kashmiri, but a sudden giggle is the only response.
In that 10x15 feet confinement, caring and sharing surprisingly flourishes. There is no rancour in Promilla for the time and care she has to bestow on her mother in law. Yet she is in no less discomfort herself. Promilla grew up in the camp, she was just seven when her family moved here. She became used to walking more than 500 metres every time she needed to use the toilet. But things began changing once adolescence began. Her body began to change, ‘It became difficult to walk the distance everytime I wanted to use the toilet. Its demeaning to have to carry water with you, with people around. When menstruation begins, its such a discomfort, hide your pads and take them so that no one notices them.’ But worst was when she got married. There was no privacy, ‘We all live in a single room. You can imagine…,’ she breaks off. And when she fell pregnant, it was yet another ordeal. It was painful walking to the toilet every time. A communal toilet also brought infection to the stitches she had had after her caesarian delivery, just a little over a year ago. She still suffers from excruciating pain in her stomach and from the skin over it and bouts of itching in the long dry Jammu summers. She shudders when she thinks of her pregnancy days. She has one daughter, and when I ask her if she is planning another child, the answer is a vehement ‘No.’ ‘At least not till we are here.’ Which means Promilla might not have another child ever again. The tenement that is home is bigger than the usual 10x10 feet ones, which form the majority of houses in Purkhu and in other camps. The bigger ones were built after the 1998 massacre of Hindus in Wandhama. The earlier ones were smaller because the logic then was that the displaced would soon return home. These bigger hutments, though a wee bit more comfortable, testify to the dying hopes of returning home. Purkhu is one of the largest camps in Jammu today, housing about six thousand odd Kashmiri Hindus, displaced from the valley. Janak Rani’s home in Baramullah, meanwhile, has been occupied by others. Maharaj discovered this when he returned to his village once in 1997, to look up the house and gauge the situation. He lodged a complaint with the Baramullah District Commissioner but no action was taken, no response forthcoming.
Promilla’s neighbour Jyoti Dhar too grew up in the camp and got married a few months ago. It is obvious that she is in the first flush of marriage, but she and her husband have to share their room with her husband’s uncle, Kashinath. Kashinath was a bachelor and when his brother died, he had adopted his six children. They had lived in Lolabh, near Kupwara, close to the Line of Control (LOC). In 1990, their world turned upside down. The LOC was just seven kilometers from their home and their village one of the first to bear the brunt of the militancy that emanated from across the border. Three male Pundits from the village were killed. Even a Muslim panchayat member was killed. Kashinath’s Muslim neighbours told him flatly that they could not guarantee his family’s safety. The die was cast and Kashinath made his way here with his six adopted children, one of whom became Jyoti’s husband. Only one double bed fits in the room and Kashinath had insisted that the couple sleep there, he would use the mattress on the floor. But deference to old age and cultural propriety prevented the couple from using the bed. Instead they opted to sleep on the floor. Outside the room, a tiny area is shielded from view by a long piece of cloth held up by bamboo sticks – Jyoti’s private bath. But she has to walk almost a kilometer to use the toilet. ‘In the mornings there are often people already waiting, I have to come back and then go back again. In the afternoons its too hot, the place stinks..’
Dr. Shakti Bhan, a leading gynaecologist based in Delhi, visits the camps regularly holding free consultations and check-ups with the women. A Kashmiri Pundit herself she was a resident of Srinagar, but had to flee t o Delhi with her five years old daughter, in the cover of night when she was informed that her name had been included in the hit list pasted on one of the local mosque. After settling down in Delhi, she became actively involved in community work in these camps. ‘Life in the camps has led to falling fertility amongst women, reduced births, and also life-longevity. Women are afraid to give birth, because of the physical difficulties involved in the camps. There is great lack of privacy and after one baby, women simply say enough,’ she says.
There is also the financial angle. In Purkhu, as well as in the other camps I later visit, the refrain is ‘give us employment.’ Most couples shudder at the thought of having a second child. Poor nutrition, grueling heat, unhygienic sanitary conditions, environmental pollution, lack of privacy and economic uncertainty have caused high levels of trauma and stress amongst the camp inmates, as well as chronic ailments like high blood pressure and diabetes. Lack of jobs and employment also discourage men from marrying early and many marriages take place when both partners are well into their reproductive years. The number of working women are almost negligible, even though many like Promilla are educated, with B.A. degrees. Education, after all, has been the corner stone of the Kashmiri Pundit identity, and it is visible in the camps – in spite of the daily struggle for survival, all the children in the camps go to school. Nevertheless, there are no self-employment schemes, no self-help groups for the women.
These stories do not belong to Purkhu alone. When I visit the Battal Balian camp in Udhampur, some 75 kms away from Jammu, I hear the same story repeated by women like Sweetie Pandita, Veena Kaul, Meenakshi Pandita, all of whom have given birth in the camps, and live in 9x14 hutments.
But Battal Ballian’s tragedy is more multi-faceted. The area surrounding this camp was suddenly declared in 2000 to be an industrial zone by the government. And suddenly, in spite of the camp’s existence there since 1991, factories producing cement, bricks, plastic, sprang up all around, encircling it. With them came a deluge of respiratory, olfactory and skin diseases that engulfed the camp. Kunal, a 14 year old, explains what it is like living next to a cement factory. ‘The noise starts from early morning. We wake up to that, then when we go to fetch water (water is collected at specific outlets inside the camp) it is all white, full of sediments, from the effluents that the factory discharges. Within a couple of hours a white haze envelops the camp. The noise continues while we are at school, when we return home, when we take the afternoon siesta and in the evening when we sit down to do our homework’. Some of the dwelling quarters are a mere 33 feet away from the factories. It is 10 in the morning and the temperature here is already 41 degrees centigrade. There is no electricity – the camps face almost 10-12 hours of power cuts each day - and residents have little option but to keep windows open, which means little respite from the dust and the noise.
At a medical camp organised for the inmates last month, Dr. R.K. Khosa, a leading dermatologist of Jammu found ‘high incidence of skin psoriasis in these camp inmates in all age groups’ ‘mostly due to toxic environment spread by industries.’ Dr. Khosa also blamed the construction material used for the one room tenements for the skin affliction. The situation deteriorates during the hot, dry and dusty summers.
The camp administrators are fond of citing the words of Justice Ranganath, who had led a delegation of the National Human Rights Commission to Purkhu once. The delegation found life there to be ‘akin to animal existence.’ Yet Purkhu has a far safer environment than Battal Ballian. In spite of repeated requests by the camp residents and other Kashmiri Pundit organizations to move the camp to safer environmental surroundings, the Government maintains a defeaning silence.
‘We are the nowhere people,’ says Sanjay Moza, a young Kashmiri activist. ‘We represent Kashmir’s most authentic traditions, we are not a constructed identity, yet we have been forgotten by the nation.’ Indeed, the displaced Kashmiri Pundits are India’s forgotten minority – they have been relegated to the side-lines of the larger Kashmir issue. When insurgency began in Kashmir, amply aided by ISI funds and radical Islamic preaching, the Pundits were accused of treachery. Almost all of them were comfortable being with India. The valley, flush with funds, saw new mosques springing up overnight, men turning religious and hit lists of Kashmiri Hindus, pasted on the walls of the mosques. Microphones blared out threats to the Pundits to leave the valley. The slogans are etched into the minds of almost all the inmates I meet. ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’ (Islamic rule) ‘Azadi ka matlab kya, La illahi ilallah’ (What is the meaning of Azadi, there is no god but Allah), ‘Pandits, leave the valley; with the men, but without your women.’ In camp after camp I hear praise for Mr. Jagmohan, the former Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, charged by many in Kashmir, of having artificially engineering the mass exodus of the Pundits from Kashmir.
‘He is our saviour, if we are alive today, even in these inhuman conditions, it is because of him,’ I hear the inmates repeat. ‘How can our migration be engineered? Are we such fools, that we could not understand a hoax? What about those killings?’ Indeed, the spate of assassinations of prominent Pundits – lawyers, intellectuals, politicians, was what the insurgency can be said to have been kick-started; and that turned the tide in favour of migration. Many families sold off property at throw away prices overnight and fled. Others were ‘advised’ by their neighbours to ‘leave for your own safety’ but only after selling off homes and assets at rock-bottom prices. Many simply fled, without selling property, hoping to come back, some even without papers, for many among Kashmir’s displaced were simple, semi-literate villagers, others simply did not have the time for such formalities. The state government of Farooque Abdullah collapsed, the Union Government waited and watched and by the time troops were sent in, the exodus was irreversible. Any talk of Pundit repatriation to Kashmir has been followed by massacres of Hindus in the state, as recent as the one in Udhampur and Doda in April-May last year, in which 35 Hindus were killed.
The Pundits lack the numerical clout. They form no formidable vote bank. No government will be shaken, removed or formed by their votes. At the same time they belong to a community which is the majority in the country – and so, not to be paid attention to by civil society, lest the latter be termed ‘right wing’. Even organizations like the RSS and political parties like the BJP—that apparently exist to ‘protect Hindus’ have done precious little for them except to pay occasional lip-service. They are a minority only in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, yet all schemes and packages for minorities here are meant only for non-Hindu minorities, as per the national definition. And so these Kashmiri are left in a no-man’s land, neither a minority nor a majority. Dissatisfied with Government doles and handouts—11 kgs of rice per person per month, a kg of sugar per family per month, a meager allowance of Rs. 3000/- per family per month, and none if a member has a government job—they are simultaneously unable to refuse it.
An entire generation has grown up in the camps, and requirements increase. In Mishriwallah camp, most of the men I meet want nothing but jobs. Their dreams of returning to Kashmir, of living in privacy with basic human dignity have receded into the shadow of history. All they want is employment. The camp is the second largest of all the five camps in Jammu that house these displaced Kashmiris. About 2000 adult men below 60 years of age live here, but only 25 per cent of them are employed. Even the old women here have only one dream – that their sons get a job, Kashmir can wait. Yet, the state has no employment package for them, rehabilitation remains a distant dream.
In Mishriwallah, which ironically translates into ‘sweetness,’ I meet 72 years old Durga Devi, the mother of the camp administrator. She is the anti-thesis of Janak Rani. Full of memories, she has an outburst when I ask her if she remembers Kashmir. ‘I have seen two partitions. Oh you should have seen what I looked like before, well dressed, well fed, living in a normal house. I saw India being divided, my father was a police man in Lahore, and we fled back to Kashmir. And then again in my old age, destiny heaped this calamity on me.’ The tears keep pouring down her cheeks, she wipes them away impatiently. ‘What can I tell you, tell me what should I tell you? That I went on a pilgrimage to Haridwar and never returned to Kashmir again? That I left my home thinking I would be back in a few days’ time only never to see it again? Tell me what should I tell you? That I slept for days on a rice sack, in front of scores of strange men? That there was no food, no shelter, we had to beg people, officials to just stay alive? Tell me what should I tell you? That I am ashamed that you should see me like this?’ Emotions spent, she quietly continues, ‘I don’t know why you have come, but I, we all feel betrayed, betrayed by India. We thought of ourselves as Indians, that is why we were wanted out of our land. The same neighbours we had lived together with for years, turned their backs on us. No one came ahead to help us, I had gone for pilgrimage, with only a small suitcase for a few days. But the news coming from the valley was not good. Hindus were being killed by Muslim terrorists and I was asked to continue to stay in Hardwar where I had relatives, till things became better. But they never did, and instead, my husband and children also came away, leaving behind our house in 1991. And then we made our way here, where we heard the Government was helping us. We had to sleep on sacks the first few days. Then the tents were hoisted here and we were sent, many families in each tent, no space, no privacy. We put up with everything, thinking all this was temporary and soon things will be normal in Kashmir and we will return home.’ But days turned into months and months into years. The tents became concrete rooms and now Durga Devi is sure that she will die here. She stares at me uncomprehendingly when I tell her I had been in Srinagar just the day before.
It is not only the militants and the silence of her neighbours that have hurt her. ‘In almost seventeen years I have not seen a single leader or activist come to the camp, to see us, to enquire after us. Some local leaders come here during election time but last time they did we chased them away,’ she says with a look of satisfaction. She lets loose a shower of invectives on them, but reserves the choicest ones for the Nehru-Gandhi family and the present Congress leadership. ‘Sonia Gandhi is married into a Kashmiri family, but she has no time for us!’ No one has come here before, certainly no woman. No representative from the Planning Commission, no one from the National Women’s Commission and certainly none from the Child and Women Ministry. ‘Why have people forgotten us?’ she asks with a piercing simplicity. I don’t reply that most don’t even know about you. I don’t tell her that at the many conferences and seminars on human rights and communal harmony that I attend in the country, no mention is ever made of the Kashmir Pundits. They have simply disappeared from mainstream rights-based discourses. The nation has come to internalize that Kashmir means Muslims and Muslims only. There is hardly any feminist writing in India on the woes of the Kashmiri Hindu woman, languishing in the camps for more than a decade. Almost all the writing there is has come from within the community itself. Hounded out of their homeland, a few educated articulate voices have spoken out, but they were soon relegated to the shelves of unwanted, and so forgotten, history.
The state likes to call them ‘migrants’ – for obvious reasons. But these people are not migrants, they did not come here of their own free will, they did not come here for jobs, they came here out of fear. The classic United Nations definition of a refugee is someone who flees his/her country: ‘owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.’ Since these wretches of Kashmir have not crossed an international border, they amply qualify as ‘Internally Displaced Persons’ (IDPs), a term the state has resisted till now. And the Kashmiri Pundits form the largest IDP community in India – all of 3,000,000 people, as per official statistics, though the actual numbers may be higher. Of them, at least 5000 families, with an average of 4-5 persons in each, live in these camps in Jammu. In contrast, only four thousand Pundits are now left in the Kashmir valley. In this seventeenth year of their exile, even as the world marks International Refugee Day on 20 June, they can at least be officially recognized as ‘IDPs’. But the state remains silent.
Yet, in the face of such apathy, from both government and civil society, these forgotten Kashmiris have managed to keep their dignity of spirit intact, something that both amazes and humbles. Not a family allows me to pass by without inviting me in for a meal. In the few that I step into, I am not allowed to leave without having a cup of tea, thickly laced with cream, and snacks. Each house is adorned with scores of different Hindu deities, this identity was after all the cause of their tragedy, and they are not willing to let go of it. Woman-man ratio is better in this displaced community than it is in much of India. Girls are given education at par with boys. There are no stories of eve teasing, of sexual harassment; a spirit of compassion, of gentleness, of suffering together bonds all the inmates.
Most surprising of all, however, is the fact that there is not a word of revenge, of retribution. Terrorism will never emanate from these camps, these are not people who will turn tragedy into militancy, who will seek solace in arms. They bury themselves in studies, not with lessons in making explosives. This perhaps is what causes the state to smugly ignore them, and civil society to forget them. And the Pundits are aware of it. But as one activist puts it: ‘We are Pundits, the word means ‘teachers’. Our legacy is in the knowledge we seek to gain and to disseminate. We abhor violence, and that is why we are here. Since ancient times we have been engaged in learning. The world may forget us for a season, but someday we will prove that the pen is mightier than the sword.’
Jun 22, 2007
A Kashmiri Muslim leader finally wakes up from a 17 year long slumber. Did his masters in the valley and their masters in Islamabad approve of this admission?
On 20th June 2007, at an event to mark the “World Refugee Day” organised by Roots In Kashmir – A Kashmiri Pandit Youth initiative, a senior representative of the Mirwaiz Umer Farooq faction of Hurriyat conference conceded that the Kashmiri Pandits had to leave the valley – hounded out by excesses committed on them. He also added that his Hurriyat was ready to apologize to the Kashmiri Pandit community for these excesses.
While I am somewhat glad that one soul amongst Kashmiri Muslims has finally found the nerve, guts and honesty to admit the facts, I am still somewhat confused about it.
Didn’t these very people go about tom-toming for last 17 years that it was Jagmohan (Governor of J&K, 1990) who asked Pandits to leave so that he would cleanse Kashmir of terrorism. This Jagmohan phobia has been so widely repeated and reiterated in the valley – that if today you ask a 10-15 year old kid in the valley a question as simple as “Who are Kashmiri Pandits (or Bhatta’s as we are known in Kashmiri”)?” – the answer you are definitely going to get is “Bhatta’ is a traitor and spy – and Jagmohan asked them to leave Kashmir so that he would kill Muslims”.
ISI and the terror outfits had no choice but to make this make believe story work in the minds on the masses – to lend credence to their story that they movement in Kashmir is for self-determination and not a religious fanatic Jihad. The mature elders in the valley all along knew the truth – but stayed quiet. Who dares challenge a story written by those carrying an AK-47?
Today – suddenly Kashmiri Muslims are ready to apologize to the Pandits – whom their valiant terrorists hounded out of the valley. But why this change of heart?
Has some kind of ‘truth serum’ polluted the waters of Vitasta (Jhelum) or has finally the realization dawned on them – that they can never make the world believe that their agenda isn’t communal – till they get Pandits back into the valley.
If it’s a truth serum at work finally – or the inside voice shaking them vigourously now –will they also apologize to Jagmohan for vilifying him so badly for last 17 years.
If not – I would let this drama pass for now…
Jun 21, 2007
Native is foreign to them- Hindustan Times
Jun 19, 2007
Yasin Malik and his men are your leaders today. He has the audacity to shed Crocodile tears for victims of violence today. This man - who killed dozens in cold blood. Show me some condemnation of his acts in Kashmiri Media...
Double Standards again...!!!
Maybe you can help him answer some of these Questions I had addressed to your leader "Terrorist Yasin Malik".
Like you - A Kashmiri
A Soul in Exile...
In order to mark this day,Roots inKashmir(An Initiative of Kashmiri Youth) is screeningthe critically acclaimed documentary titled "And theWorld Remained Silent"
The screening shall be followed by a panel discussionon the topic ”Why the Nation Remains Silent”. Thepanelists shall include
Swapan Das Gupta(EminentJournalist)
Vivek Tankha(Noted Criminal Lawyer)
ZafarMeraj(Freelance Journalist and KashmirExpert)
andSandhya Jain(Intellectual and Columnist).
We request your presence at the screening.
Cards/Passes shall be available at the venue itself.
Venue: Main Auditorium, Sri Satya Sai InternationalCentre,Pragati Vihar,Lodhi Road, New Delhi
Date:20th June,07Time:6.30 PM
For more details please visit our blog http://kashmiris-in-exile.blogspot.com
And if you aren't in Delhi and can't attend for some reason, request you to read this earlier post.
By Lalit Koul
Aaatankvaadiyon ne mujhe 'kaafir' kaha,
Bharat sarkar nay mujhe 'migrant' kaha,
Mere bandhuon ne mujhe 'sharnarthi' kaha. Aakhir, kaun hoon main?
Swatantar Bharat ka ek swatantar nagrik?
Ya is ke shatranj ki bisaat pe ek mohra?
Every year, June 20 is observed as World Refugee Day all over the world. As is the practice, this year too, this day will be observed in India as well. Various political leaders will make symbolic speeches. Various NGO activists will organise sit-ins, memorial services and make passionate appeals. The next day, mainstream newspapers may print brief news items about these events on page 21 below the fold. And then we will wait for June 20, 2008.
And the cycle will continue.
While politicians and NGO activists go through this ritual, the actual sufferers -- the refugees for whom this day is actually observed continue to fight for their survival. Right here in India, for the last 17 years, we have more than 400,000 Kashmiri Hindus languishing as refugees in their own country.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Islamic terrorists ethnically cleansed the whole Kashmiri Hindu community from the Kashmir valley by engaging in selective and targeted killings and the world remained silent.
Seventeen World Refugee Days have been observed since this forsaken community was forced to go through the seventh mass exodus in its history but the community is still without a home.
Seventeen World Refugee Days have been observed since the brutal and cruel killings of Kashmiri Hindus prompted the ugly displacement of this community, but the refugee families still live in sub-standard inhumane conditions in single 10x10 refugee camp rooms in the scorching heat of Jammu plains. What a shame!
It is shocking that while Kashmiri Hindu refugees are living, rather dying under appalling conditions, Jammu and Kashmir [Images] Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad is getting royal treatment. He is soon going to live in a 66-room palace, which has 15 presidential suites overlooking the famous Dal Lake.
This new official residence is going to be renovated by the state government at a cost of a whopping Rs 11 crore (Rs 100 million).
This is the sixth chief minister's official residence in the state of Jammu & Kashmir that is being renovated using taxpayer's money since an elected government returned to power in J&K in 1996. What a shame!
It is a shame that in a country that is based on the principles of secularism, democracy and equal rights for all, there are more than 400,000 Indians-by-birth languishing as refugees in their own country. What a shame!
It has become fashionable for political parties and NGOs to organise such observance days like World Refugee Day. For them, these are photo-ops to promote themselves but they do not realise that such events reopen the wounds that these refugees have been trying hard to fill. These wounds are deep-rooted and will take generations to heal but try these refugees do. But every year, these camera-hugging politicians and NGOs make a point of reopening those wounds. What a shame!
In the absence of any appreciable support from any governmental agency, mainstream media outlets, political parties, NGOs, and Human Rights organisations, Kashmiri Hindu youth have taken it upon themselves to make the world aware of their status -- the status in which they have absolutely no fundamental rights, no rights to live freely in their own homeland, no rights to practice the religion of their choice, no economic and political rights.
These youth have initiated a movement to connect back to their roots -- roots that are waiting for them in the vale of Kashmir.
These young and progressive minds are organising an event on World Refugee Day, not to promote World Refugee Day, but to create awareness about the denial of fundamental rights to this refugee community of Kashmiri Hindus. This shall be the one event in Delhi that will go where those facades' from NGOs and political parties will not go.
This event will showcase a documentary And the World Remained Silent, produced and directed by filmmaker Ashoke Pandit. This documentary depicts the conditions that were created in Kashmir in 1989-1990 to bring the Kashmiri Hindu community to the verge of extinction. It shows the harsh and dark realities about how one community got annihilated while the world remained silent.
And guess what? Yasin Malik is these days free and as a senior member of the Hurriyat Conference working towards Jammu and Kashmir's secession from India. Bitta Karate is also free and practicing politics in Kashmir after he was released by the Government of India because the prosecution could not build a case against him.
Only in India can you have someone admitting, on camera, his role and the prosecution not able to build a case against him. What a shame!
If you believe in securing the nation -- the nation of Bharata, then spend some time visiting the blog to understand what Kashmiri Hindus have suffered and then be part of this event on June 20 (event details below).
It is time for all of us to stand up for Kashmiri Hindu refugees and send a strong, loud and clear signal to the government that we will not allow our nation to become a banana republic where terrorists roam free with Z-level official security while Indian Kashmiri Hindus, who believe in India and the Indian flag, live like refugees with no home that they can call their own.
Do we stand up for those whose human rights get violated?
Do we fight for fair and timely justice?
Do we make our voices heard?
Do we become the change that we want to bring about?
Do we want to be part of a movement that will secure the pillars of our nation?
Do we stand as mute spectators in our society?
The answer lies within us and the choice is ours.
Date: June 20, 2007Venue: Main Auditorium, Sri Satya Sai International Centre, Pragati Vihar, Lodhi Road, New Delhi.
Time: 6.30 PM
May 10, 2007
Ø News Headlines / Flash News used to says - 20 people of a ‘particular community’ shot dead in Doda Kashmir- how many of you know that they were all Hindus?.
When the recent unrest took place in Vadodara, the headline flashed as - 'Muslim boy shot to death in vadodara, unrest deepens'. Please compare the deliberate psychological game and mind manipulation in these two reports..
Ø Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus will be reported as "death of minority". But if it is the death of a Kashmiri Muslim, Media headlines goes like this - "Militants begin targeting Kashmiri Muslims"!.
Ø More than two lakhs Kashmiri Hindus have been exterminated, yet no media or politicians are aware about it nor finds time to shed a single tear for them. When 2000 Gujarati Muslims were died in riots, Media and Politicians wake up from their self imposed denial and make huge hue and cry. For them, 2000 Muslim lives are more valuable than 200,000 Hindus!.
Ø When Muslim riots took place in Gujarat, every Media wanted to chop off the head of Sangh Parivar leaders, but when Jihadi Terrorists attacked Akshardam Temple, Varanasi, New Delhi, Bangalore, Coimbatore, Marad, & Mumbai, Media and pseudo secularists appealed for peace and communal harmony!
Ø Television channel, especially Communist control NDTV showcase the plight of Muslims in Gujarat every now and then. But why no single media in India is concerned about the plight of Kashmiri Hindus?
Ø Photograph of a Muslim crying in front of the police with his hands folded is widely circulated after Gujarat riots. But how many of us saw the photographs of the burnt bodies of 20 Hindu children in the Godhra attack?. Media were never interested in showing any reports or photographs of the Parents / Widows / Children of the innocent Hindus being killed by the Islamic terrorists in Godhra, Kashmir, New Delhi, Bangalore, Kerala, Hyderabad and Coimbatore etc..
Ø 30,000 temples were destroyed during the Mughal regimes and it is not an issue for biased Indian media, but when Hindus wanted to reconstruct temples in Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura, the media twists it is an attempt to communalize Indian society!
Ø About the recent Vadodara unrest. 14 temples blocking the road were demolished, no objection from any Hindus. One similar Dargah was demolished became a national problem!. All the prominent medias called for Narendra Modi to resign following this incident and became the headlines in all the national Medias.
Ø Finally, the recent Mumbai blasts. Communist sponsored English
newspaper THE HINDU was busy in highlighting the rescue operations carried out by the Muslims and the number of Muslims attended in blood donation camps after terrorist attack. But THE HINDU journalist who reported this news deliberately ignored selfless services of Hindu Organizations in Mumbai.
It must be that the media take pleasure in spreading persistent, pervasive lies about Hindus. What else could explain the credulous acceptance of lies, half-truths and distortion of news about Hindus and selfless services of nationalist Hindu organizations?.
The inconsistencies, deceptions, and outright falsehoods about the reports are obvious. It is profoundly disturbing to note that the picture that continues to emerge from the media about Hindus, in which passive, peace loving, tolerant, nationalist Hindus come out as aggressive, militant, fundamentalists, and the violent, non compromising Muslim and Christian gangs come out as victims.
The hysteria emanating from the journalists is so persistent that the innocent readers may get a negative image of Hindus. This psycho-linguistic programming of the media and deliberate false reporting is not only patently false but also encourage Muslim, Christian and Communist terrorists to continue their deadly, terrorist, and irrational anti national activities.
Hindus must wake up from complacency, and denial, take affairs into their own hands and shape their own destinies. Hindus must unite, reassess themselves, address the media bias and voice their feelings forcefully and assertively with the hostile media.
Hindus must tell the media in strong words and actions that they should not be trifled with.
Mar 30, 2007
PDP leader and ex-CM of J&K, Mufti Syed and his daughter/PDP Chief Mehbooba Mufti - have been clamouring and shouting from roof tops for a while now – demanding troop withdrawals from the disturbed state of J&K, threatening to rock the government in the state (which they are partners to – by way of coalition with Congress-I). Ghulam Nabi Azad (current CM of state) and Manmohan Singh are facing a tough time keeping the wailing babies soothed for now.
Why has PDP suddenly realised that withdrawal of troops is needed from the valley? The same Mufti Syed was the CM of the state just a while ago – and never bothered to withdraw troops at that time when he had direct power in his hands. It’s a well known fact in the valley that Mufti and his family are hardcore pro-Pakistani’s and act on directions from across the LOC. Pakistan is increasingly facing pressure in its own home – whether with trouble around the failing institutions or lack of democracy – or pressure from US/NATO with their failure to curb terrorist activities. They want to push some of the pressure and attention towards
Unfortunately the weak kneed governments
So Mr. Mufti Syed – here 10 reasons why troops can not be withdrawn from the state…
- Mufti Saab – you seem to be one of those leaders who believes that your job is only to create news – not read it. If you had been reading news – you would have read about the massacre’s your dear terrorists are committing even now in the state. How can troops return?
- The terrorists you helped in getting released by staging the drama of your daughter’s (Rubiayya Syed) kidnapping in 1989 are still at large. The troops have to first capture and cull those terrorists you shielded and helped escape – then troops will return.
- By your own admission there are just few thousand terrorists left in the state and you claim that presence of few hundred thousand troops is not justified. Please give us the exact address and location of these 2000-3000 terrorists so that they can be eliminated – since you know who and where they are! The troops can’t return as long as there is even one such terrorist in the state.
- The temples and shrines of Kashmiri Hindu’s you and your stooges razed to ground and plundered in the riots in mid-1980’s and then again 1990’s are still not restored. Troops are needed there to protect the remaining ones from falling prey to the wave of Talibanization of the valley.
- Over half a million Kashmiri Hindu’s who were ethnically cleansed from the valley are still refugees in
– waiting for a safe and honourable return their homeland. How can troops return without ensuring the safe climate for their return? India
- Killers of Kashmiri Pandits – Yasin Malik, Bitta Karate and many others are still roaming freely in the valley. How can troops be withdrawn when the killers are still at large.
- The drama of facilitating return of Kashmiri Pandit’s to the valley – and the safe zones you created for them while you were CM – is yet to see its last act. The safe tenements you had government of
pay for – are still unoccupied by those they were intended for. How can troops return without those being populated first – without fulfilling you so-called dream? India
- You as the Home Minister in the cabinet of Mr. V.P.Singh – promulgated the AFSPA (Armed forces special Powers Act) in the state. If this act was illegal and barbarian – then you should be the first person to be hung by the noose. How can troops return – and disobey your orders?
- Ask your friends in
to shut down the terror coaching camps on the other side. Troops will have no job on this side once that happens. Pakistan
- You say violence is down in the state – so troops should be withdrawn. Is this proof of violence being down in the state? Look at the statistics of terror incidents in last 14 months here. When this level of terror activity is still on – how can the troops return?
Mar 4, 2007
The author/source is not known - got it forwarded by someone, who thought I might be interested in reading this... If you know the author/source - please let me know for due credits to be accorded.
Article reproduced verbatim below - (with just some minor spelling corrections)
Kashmir" - it has been a bone of contention between
Indiaand over the last sixty years. Accusing fingers have been raised at individuals and leaders since 1947. The non- resolution character of the issue springs from the fact that it was an emotional affinity for the inherited property of 'two estranged brothers'. And its HISTORY has played a very vital role which none of the parties involved wants to understand. Pakistan
Kashmiris also called the land of 'Neela Nag'--Son of 'KASHYAP'--a wandering sage and his wife 'KUDRU'-a supposedly serpent girl, who produced 'half-human' and a 'half-Snake' children. Incidentally, ' Kashmir' is the name derived from Kashyap i.e. 'Kashyap Mar'(KASHYAP's STRIKE). Legend has it that SAGE KASHYAP worshipped and made prayers to LORD VISHNU for 1000 years to let the valley be rid of a monster called JALDEVA-who was a son of SANGHRASUR- an ASURA. The beautiful valleyof River Vitasta( Jhelum) of Vedic name has no one to blame but its own history for its current miseries. If it is now in the centre stage of current Indo-Pak face off, it is the handiwork of its history.
Frankly speaking, since 1820,
Kashmirhas been under the spell of the curse of its own history. And the cure will also come from its history only! I bet you will dismiss this as a joke. But recorded facts are otherwise. This logic (or truth!) of history of Kashmir was revealed to me, some eight years back, by an illiterate 'Kashmiri Guzzar' of North Kashmir, when I had gone there to study the Kargil-99 Episode. My friend, K****din, was convinced about it and I was stunned by it. And more I read about its history, more I am enamoured by the sheer veracity of this logic. Here are some of the key points of my friend, K****din's theory of 'Grand-Cycles-of-Kashmir-History': -
Ø Every 780-800 years of
Kashmir's recorded history, it has been under the domination of a particular religion. This period of 780-800 years is called 'Grand Cycle of History'.
Ø Every Grand Cycle is further subdivided into three sub-cycles of 265-275 years each.
Ø First Sub- cycle of each Grand Cycle relates to emergence, development and progress of a particular religion.
Ø Second Sub- Cycle pertains to consolidation and prosperity of the religion.
Ø The first two sub cycles of 530-550 years, as above, make the 'Golden Period of Domination of a Religion in
Ø The Third Sub Cycle leads to decay and degeneration of the predominant religion and ushers the era of emergence of a new religious philosophy, which shall dominate for other 530-550 years.
Ø The term ' Religious Domination' is to be read as 'State
Ø Patronization' of the philosophy of 'Worship and rituals' by human beings in a particular manner.
Keeping the above in mind, let us have a brief glance at the recorded history of
Kashmir. The best sources are RAJTARANGNI by Kalhan and 'Nilamat Puran' of 2nd century AD. I MUST HERE GIVE YOU A BACKGROUNDER ON THE RECORDED HISTORY OF KASHMIR. Succeeding paragraphs will endeavour to condense a long winding story- beginning with KALHANA'S book 'RAJTARINGANI'.
'Rajtarangini' begins with the year 1184 BC when Gonanda-I, a 'Shaivite'(Followers of Lord SHIVA!) king was ruling
Kashmir. It roughly relates to 'Mahabharta Period'-the great 'HINDU Epic'. The grand son of Gonanda-I was Gonanda-II who was deposed by one -Haran Deva, a brother of 'Janamejya' and Grandson of Arjun (Great Arjuna of Mahabharata War). Most Western and Indian Historians agree that Mahabharta War took place around 1000-1100 BC, although some Indian scholars put the date around 3000 BC. We will go by the majority opinion.
It will be interesting to note, prior to the coming of Aryans, the VAISHNAVITES (Worshippers of Lord Vishnu-the Vegetarians), major portion of Northern South Asian sub continent (Present day
India, , Bangla Desh etc) was inhabited by "SHAIVITES" (Worshippers of Lord Shiva - the Non Vegetarians). Look at the old ancient 'Shiva Temples' spread along the length and breadth of the sub continent. Pakistan
'Shaivism' and 'Vaishnavism' were different temporal philosophies-one stressed on Non-Vegetarian food the other on pure vegetarian food. Shaivism insisted on 'ENJOYING THE PRESENT'; whereas Vaishanavism preached on 'IMPROVING YOUR TOMORROW'. These were the practising faiths of the people of this region. There was nothing known as 'HINDUISM' till 530 AD. The 'two' were altogether different cults or what you call religions today. We will call them 'separate religions' to understand the issue properly.
Let us, now, look at the five GRAND CYCLES of different dominating religions in the recorded history of
Kashmir. They are: -
Ø The FIRST CYCLE belongs to 'SHAIVISM'. This GRAND CYCLE PERIOD in
Kashmirended with the deposition of Gonanda-II by Harandeva, a VAISHNAVITE. This was the end of 1st Grand Cycle of its history. It was around 1050 BC. We do not have any recorded version of history prior to this. There are only mythological tales. RAJTARANGINI says there were some 108 kings before GONANDA-1, who were the descendants of one DAYA KARAN. But all legends tell us it was the abode of Lord Shiva and his followers were of 'Naga Race'. Remember, Prince Takshak, who killed Parikshat- Arjun's son. He was a Naga. It is a different matter Aryan literature dubbed him as a 'Nag'- a 'Serpent'-a 'Cobra'.
Ø The Second Grand Cycle of Kashmir began around 1030-1050 BC. 'Vaishnavism' dominated it and it ended around 250 BC when great 'Ashoka' came to Kashmir and founded SRI NAGAR in honour of goddess LAXMI (Approximately 800 years). Note, he was a Buddhist king and he established a city in the name of VAISHNAV goddess. It explains that cults (or so called religions of today) had no separate identity. They were intermixing and inter-mingling. They made a composite culture of the region.
Ø The Third Grand Cycle heralded BUDHISM in
Kashmirand ruled the roost from 250 BC to 530 AD. 'Kushan' kings patronized it. 'Kushans' came to Kashmir from around 260 BC. They were followed by Shakas and Huns. This grand cycle ended with the emergence of Huns (a Chinese tribe), whose first king of China Kashmirwas MIHIRKULA ? a known tyrant in history (Approximately 780 years).
Ø The Fourth Grand Cycle, which established ' Hinduism', began around 530 AD, when Gopal Ditya, Mihirkula's son, came to throne. It is he, who gave religious recognition to the term 'HINDUISM' as we know it today. Here-to-fore, the term 'Hindu' was used only as a geographical identity for the land East of 'River Indus'. It is pertinent to note the word 'Hindu' has a Persian origin and derived from 'Sindhu'- a 'Sanskrit' word. 'Sindhu' was the name given to River Indus (From Sindhu it became 'Hindu' in Persian and from Hindu it became '
Indus', Indic or Indi in Greek). As ancient Persians pronounced 'S' - as an aspirate 'h', so 'Sindhu' became 'Hindu'. No Vedic literature or religious scriptures mention the word 'Hindu', whether it is 'Vedas', 'Upanishads' or the great epics. In the written form, first time the word 'Hindu' appears on a tablet dated back to 518 BC when king Darius- I was ruling Persia. He used it to describe the geographical extent of his kingdom upto and beyond River Hindu (or Sindhu or Indus). Anyway, to cut the story short, till Gopalditya became king in Kashmirin 530 AD, the term 'Hindu' had only a geographical identity for the people living East of River Indus. To Gopalditya, these people were a Curious mix of conflicting beliefs and ideologies but with traits of liberal tolerance and peaceful co-existence. He, therefore, saw 'Shaivites', 'Vaishnavites' and 'Buddhists' as a composite mix of a larger philosophy. He termed it as 'Hinduism' and converted himself to it. Thus, it was a Chinese Hun, who gave 'Hinduism' its religious identity as a composite 'Culture of the Way of Living' of people. This Grand cycle of 'Hinduism' flourished between 530 AD to 1325 AD. (Approximately 795 years). It ended when Rinchen Shah, a Tibetan prince, came to power after marrying Rani KOTA DEVI, whose husband had run away when the Turks invaded Kashmirin 1324 AD.
Ø The Fifth Grand Cycle, which brought in ISLAM, began around 1325 AD when Rinchen Shah, the King, converted to Islam as he was snubbed by a Brahmin Mr. Dev swami, who stopped him from converting to Hinduism. An outsider, Gopalditya-a Hun, had initiated the reign of HINDUISM in
KASHMIR, but another outsider was prevented and he brought in Islam. Even before this, all famous Buddhist kings of Kashmirhad been outsiders- Kushans from china ? such as Jalushka, Haluska and Kanishka. Do not forget Harandeva (A Great Grandson of Arjuna of Mahabharta) - an Aryan, was an also outsider.
Ø The golden period of 500 years of Islam in
Kashmirwas up to 1820 AD - when it was annexed by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The third sub-cycle of this grand cycle began around 1820 AD. This sub cycle is of decay and degeneration. If you add other 265- -275 years to the 1820 AD, this grand cycle will close around 2085 to2095 AD.
Ø In other words, by the end of 21st century, the SIXTH GRAND CYCLE will take over. What will be its characteristics? It could be more liberalized 'Secularism' or 'Globalism'. I RECKON, BY THEN, THE MANKIND WOULD HAVE GOT RID OF THE GRIP OF RELIGIONS OVER IT AND THE MAN WOULD HAVE ENTERED THE 'COSMIC AGE'. We would have left THREE WAVES of Agriculture, Industrial and Information / Knowledge waves far behind. The last wave of KNOWLEDGE will drive away religion to the privacy of our homes only. I suppose it will take another90- 100 years for COSMIC MAN to emerge on the scene. COSMIC MAN will live in the GLOBAL VILLAGE and work in the SPACE interacting with EXTRA TERRESTIAL(ET) INTELLIGENCE. This is there on the cards. Read the writing on the wall.
KASHMIR, then, like any other region or place, will be an interconnected and interfaced as a micro- dot on the GLOBAL CHIP. When the concept of NATION-STATE becomes redundant---many large nations will meet the fate of 'lost civilisations'. But till it happens, the Kashmirpot will keep boiling? History itself will seek answer for the problem which has roots in its annals. Rests, all of them are mere actors in this drama of history.
Having said this much, let me also make two points on the current day problem of
Kashmir. First of all, it is a misnomer to equate Kashmirwith the erstwhile territories of the state of J&K of Maharaja Hari Singh. The J&K territories of Maharaja Hari Singh comprised six different regions, which historically, ethnically, geographically and linguistically had nothing in common except a lose central control of 100 years by the descendants of Raja Gulab Singh. These regions were Jammu, Laddakh, Kashmir, Baltistan, Dardistan, and 'Naushehra-Poonch-URI-Mirpur' extension of Western Punjab. While Jammu, Laddakh and Kashmir Valleyare with India; Baltistan, Dardistan (both making Northern areas of Pakistan) and 'Naushehra-Mirpur' extension of Western Punjab (NOW POK) are with . It is misunderstood and lost identity of other five regions and confused synonym of Kashmir with J&K which is the cause of problem between Pakistan Indiaand . J&K is not Kashmir but Pakistan Kashmiris part of it. To find a solution to this problem, Kashmirmust be de-linked from other regions.
My second point emerges from this. If
Indiacommitted blunders in 1947-1950, so has . If only Pakistan had not forced the hands of Maharaja Hari Singh by sending tribal raiders in Sept 1947, the history would have been entirely different. This was the biggest blunder of MA Jinnah who acted on the ill - timed advice of his military advisor, Major General Akbar Khan (The infamous General Tariq of Tribal Raiders in Kashmir in 1947). Mountbatten, a so-called friend of Pakistan , had ensured that Indian leadership of the time, remained drowned in its self-created sea of moralities. But Jinnah lacked patience or time (he was dying of cancer!). India
However, Jinnah and Nehru could do nothing about it as 'History of Kashmir' had scripted their roles as much. Ordained by History, events in
Kashmirmoved, as it desired. All these Gilainis, Bhatts, Salahuddins, Yasin Maliks, Javed Mirs, Omar Farouks, Dhars, Sheikh Abdullahs, are pawns in the hands of the history of Kashmir. Kashmirhad known tyrants (terrorists!) in its history: from 'Jaldevs' in the ancient times to 'Mihirkulas' in the medieval times. All were outsiders. Today's Salahuddins, Azhar Masouds, and their elk are the replicas of yesteryears 'Jaldevs' and 'Mihirculas'. History of Kashmiris using these terror groups to move on its pre-ordained path. Right Sir, history will find a cure at the right time. Wait till the end of the century.
One passing remark I will make. Looking for a solution to
Kashmirproblem? Are you? Then, Indiaand must get out of the vicious grip of history. In simple terms, 1947 is not 2007 as 2007 will not be 2099. And today's solution is that LOC must be accepted as 'INTERIM IB'. Leave the rest to future generations. Do they have the courage to do so? If not, then, keep playing into the hands of history. Pakistan
Simla agreement of 1972; Lahore Declaration of 1999, saw the vision of such a possibility but it got scuttled because Nawaz Sharief & CO, realizing this possibility at a future date, pre-maturely ventured into 'LOC-Nibbling- Act' in Kargil in 1999. His Kargil misadventure was aimed at occupying important heights in Kargil before LOC became accepted as IB. Basically, it was to safeguard his 'Northern Areas'-where a problem of independence is brewing up.
But history outsmarted him through his generals, who enlarged the scope of 'Nibbling-Act' to a total "Misadventure". And it derailed the whole process. History of
Kashmiris too strong to allow anyone to tinker with its well-charted course. You need men of steel nerves on both sides of the fence to override her wishes. Lawlessness (read TERRORISM) in Kashmir, sir, is a creation of history and it will die when it would have served her purpose. Till then live with it or make its mother infertile. It needs men of vision on both sides to understand this alternative option.