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Jan 1, 2007

Kashmiriyat - the True story...!!!

Kashmiriyat - is probably the biggest hoax of all times that exists in context of the Kashmir issue. I feel nauseated when the political class or the majority community now days sings paeans of the good old days and the blissful aura of Kashmiriyat that used to prevail in the valley pre-1990…

Good old days… maybe, blissful aura – yes for the majority community for sure… and for the minority – it was still a good time to live in the valley – though not with total freedom.

Time and again I hear the leaders from the valley and the politicians repeat the Kashmiriyat buzz word…

What was this Kashmiriyat afterall…?

It was a brokered bliss, if any – paid for by the silence and subjugation of the minority – swallowing a bitter cup of insults repeatedly over decades. If at all anything like Kashmiriyat existed - it was just the silent agony of submission of the Hindu's over centuries in an attempt to survive in the valley.

Since my childhood, as far as I can recall, I have seen Hindu’s being a diffident lot in the valley – ever cautious not to get their majority brethren on the wrong side…And be silent when an insult was hurled at him for his religion or being an Indian at heart.

Was it Kashmiriyat – when our homes in downtown Srinagar were stoned – each time India and Pakistan met in a sport arena… be it a celebration of Pakistan winning or anger over India winning… I still remember this happening to our home on the mainroad in downtown - even after Indian hockey team lost miserably to Hassan Sardar's onslaught in Asian games as long back as in 1982. A stone hurled or a taunt cast “Dal’e Batta” was almost an accepted thing… No Kashmiri Pandit complained for decades – lest Kashmiriyat is tainted. Javed Miadad’s last ball six in Sharjah many years later was no different a hell for the Pandits…

It may sound over-exaggeration to people who have not lived through it – but this was nothing alien to us. Getting stoned and rebuked when Bhutto was got killed by General Zia… and even when same Gen Zia died in accident many years later. Ask them what was the fault of Kashmiri Pandit’s in either of those events in Pakistan? Alas, one couldn’t ask – lest Kashmiriyat got tainted.

Pandits continued to live through as silent victims for decades – being silent approvers of each insult levied on them by the majority community and the state. In total disregard for the centuries old history of the Kashmir, Hindu sounding names of places were changed. Anantnag renamed Islamabad, Shankaracharya hill became Takht-Sulemaan, Hari Parbat was renamed “Kohi Maraan” totally marauding the sentiments of Pandit’s were ignored. That’s Kashmiriyat for you… A Talibanisation was on in Kashmir long before the world even heard about the Taliban…

For decades Pandit’s lived with an annual insult – when each year the state govt. and majority community celebrated July 13th as the “Matyr’s Day”. History is witness to what actually happened on July 13th 1931 was nothing but communal violence against the minority community in Srinagar. On that day, Muslims mobs supposedly out agitating for self-rule went into a communal frenzy. In Srinagar alone, 290 Pandits were assaulted – leaving 21 dead, 52 Hindu shops looted and rampaged, 11 Pandit homes razed to ground. But what should have been a “Black Day” is even today observed by the majority community as “Matyr’s day”… Calling arsonists, looters and criminals who killed hapless Hindu minority people on that day as Matyr’s is Kashmiriyat for you…

So Kashmiriyat formula is – Kill a KP and become a hero; be it those looters of 1931 or a Bitta Karate or Yasin Malik of 1990’s

Pandit’s over decades suffered the same indignation – time and again. Hindu’s were the easy scapegoat to throw a few punches at – in all seasons. Be it when the relic (Strand of Hair of Prophet Mohammad) was lost from Hazratbal shrine in Dec 1963…or when in Feb 1986, events of Jammu were used as an excuse to kill loot and destroy Hindu temples all over Kashmir. The present ruler of Kashmir – Mufti Sayyed was the prime leader of that macabre dance of communal violence against Pandits, led by the then chief minister GM Shah – party differences not withstanding when it came to being one against Pandits.

Why were hundreds of old and sacred shrines across Anantnag, Pulwana, Kupwara, Baramulla and Srinagar destroyed, desecrated and razed to ground – in 1986. No one needs to answer since its all part of Kashmiriyat.

A common accusation Muslims have levied at Pandits has been that Pandits oppressed them – and yes, the lamb killed the lion too. Such a accusation against mere 5% minority population is laughable at best. Pandits otherwise shared an equally miserable life of economic hardships as did the other classes… If anything differentiated them, it was the extreme importance Pandits always gave to education – probably a direct vestige of the Brahamnical decent. Pandits proportionally ran more schools and imparted more education in the valley – than the missionaries or the madarasas together – imparting modern science based education to all. Disruption of education system in the valley was even the primary reason for many like my family to leave the valley in 1990.

Ask any Muslim today in the valley today – anyone who has been to school prior to 1990 – to name his teachers; and if he/she has ever been a sincere student and has even a single blood cell of truth left in their veins – Kashmiri Pandit teachers would be on top of the list. And this is very well evidenced in the total collapse of the education system in the valley post-1990; though they won’t admit it. So the only government jobs in the state where Pandits had a proportion in excess of the demographic ratio were of ‘teachers’. So no doubt Pandits were the oppressors…

Ask them how many Pandits ever got to being bureaucrats, ministers, MLA’s or MP’s or other top ranks in the government – the answer is close to none. Sheikh Abdullah – ironically descendent of a Pandit-convert, used shrewd political acumen to continue the agenda – through subjugation of meritorious Pandits and as well through his “land to tiller” wave.

A mere 20,000 KPs were in government jobs in late 1980s in the state…in 1990, about 15000 and now a mere 3000. All of them, close to retiring age now… In another few years, the state government won’t have even a handful of Pandit employees – yet Pandits have supposedly been the have it alls…

So how a Pandit – who was neither the land owner nor part of the ruling class – became an oppressor is still a mystery to me. But denying it or speaking the truth is not what Kashmiriyat is meant to be…

Kashmiri Pandits' lost their patience just once - when a Kashmiri hindu girl was abducted by majority people and forced into conversion. Yet, again the Parameshwari agitation was crushed ruthlessly by the majority centric state government, using all means.

Pandits were once again the random and easy target for the trigger-happy terrorists – just back from the terror training camps at POK. 1989-90 saw a spate of killings of Kashmiri Pandits… for no reason and for no mistake of theirs. There was no mass presence of Indian army in 1989 in the valley; there were no searches and friskings happening in valley when hundreds of Pandits were killed just to make a point. Yet a Muslim leader of so-called repute Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a spiritual and political leader of Kashmiri Muslims, has just a casual comment to make on this.

“Those who picked up the guns were not all mature. They were often immature. They also used the gun for the wrong purposes,”

Pandit killings were “negligible” when compared to the deaths of Muslims during the time, allegedly carried out by counter-insurgents — former militants who later fought alongside the security forces.

Killing of Pandits is a negligible incident for him – and he totally distorts the fact that this happened in 1989 and early 1990 – when the counter insurgency operations didn’t even exist. What in reality he means

“Big deal – a few hundred Pandits were killed at the start. Afterall over ‘immature’ youth had to do some target practice before they could indulge with the army.”

The insult continues – with the local muslim majority still ignoring the macabre dance of death played against the hapless minority – and instead hailing their killers (Yasin Malik, Bitta Karate, et all) as leaders. Yasin Malik says Pandits were conspirators against the majority community – and apparently genuine targets for killings. Aah, first the oppressor and now the conspirator. Pray, let tell me how the Pandits, scared for their own survival were conspiring…

And I have not even made a mention of the centuries of oppression which preceded all this – all through the reigns of Sultan Sikandar, Sayyids, Chak’s and Afghan zealots...for centuries.

Speech worthy claims that Kashmiriyat lived in the hearts, hearths and shrines of Kashmiris – is a big joke. While I have seen my parents and grand parents visit shrine’s and mazaars of Muslims in and outside Srinagar – one can not say the same of Muslims. The desecration of hundreds of temples in Kashmir is a living proof of their utter contempt and hatred for the cultural and religious ethos of Pandits.

Thus my dear… the Kashmiriyat you hear about is nothing but the silent struggle for survival of Kashmiri Pandits through centuries… Kashmiriyat meant keeping quiet to all injustice and pain inflicted… Not complaining of the abuse of power by the majority…trying to keep the majority in good humour to ensure better and longer survival… Survival for the sake of the love of their motherland - possibly leading us into subjugation at all levels resulting in a psyche of slavehood. But a struggle that saw them through several holocausts - and repeated exiles...

17 comments:

Vinayak said...

Brilliant Post.

How do we know said...

i agree with Vinayak.. as usual, a brilliant post, full of the acid in your own heart.

Anonymous said...

i can perhaps never understand the true suffering that the pandits had coz national secular media will never report it

A Soul In Exile said...

Dear Anonymous...

"Secular Media" - thats one of the problems India has. We don't have a secular media. Media in India is, like the Politics, full of vested interests too. If there were a secular media - then you would have heard of all atrocities all violations - not just Gujrat or the breast beating in Kashmir by the local majority.

Read through my media label to understand more on this...

Arindam said...

Nice article. A media & govt both sometimes fells they are Muslim praiser.unfortunate.. in a democracy, all should deals with equality.

Anonymous said...

Equality!! Sorry dear. Pick up the history books, it never existed and wil never.. You wrote well, bt my dear like u there are many who from either side who hav bone chillin story to say.. We can not be unbiasd and we can never be.. Its easy to write n tok bout rational thinkin on d subject but no1 is! T.c n nice piece

Anonymous said...

BIASED...What about the Majority og Kashmir getting their humans rights abused by the Indian army,their mothers and sisters getting raped? The indian media does not report that too...
but well crafted article...noone should be made to suffer no religion teaches that including hinduism...

M.B.B.S IN RUSSIA said...

The world appears the way it is, on how you have been through it.Post here is written well,but their is another side to majority community as well.Nothing comes without a reason,when we say kashmir it means part of India,when we say kashmiriyat it means an image separate of being an Indian.This will never happen unless people see the uselessness of such strife.

Anonymous said...

Nice post...A true kashmiri pandit can only know about it and describe what has actually happened ...Those who suffer only know the pain of it.

opsudrania said...

India is a deep rooted secular democratic country which is amply exhibited by the continued growth and welfare of my Muslim brothers in India and Kashmir.We are proud of Vedic heritage of 'Vasudew Kutumbakam'.

There are some such bitter historical facts about Kashmir and Pakistan that may sound, truly speaking, communal. My intention is not to arouse passion
in any form - religious or political but whereas I wish to welcome all other minority groups,
I also expect the minority in India to fully realise the sacrifice made by majority and also ensure that the same majority also survives. It is important for the interest of the minority themselves, so that people do not loose faith in charity and weaker sects or sections. Today, the majority seem to feel threatened in their homeland and the model of Kashmir amply proves this fact. I must admit that the so called Hindu fundamentalism is nothing but an expression of self defence.
The world community must be kind to appreciate it.

Compare Pakistan. What happened to all the minority groups over there; starting from 1947 till date? It is a bitter story but true and hardly talked about.

We all know the history, Mr Anonymous but you will yourself find it bitter to swallow.Because
your vision is clouded. Why hide identity to speak? You are a sinner if you tolerate the sin.

Nobody can ever subjugate the people for long against their wishes. Otherwise we would still have been a European Colony. The recent news in Telegraph shows that the state of Kashmir has the highest per capita income (The Telegraph, Siliguri, Monday 21 September 2009}.

Unfortunately, human being is the most unfaithful animal the Lord God, Allah or Bhagwan has created. You can domesticate every other being except 'humans'. His faculty of 'Intelligence' makes him crooked and greedy; which in turn makes him wicked.

Nontheless, we can not abandon our good intentions of taming him. Live and let live.

Khudaa Haajiz, Namaste, Goodbye so long.

Dr. O. P. Sudrania

shehjar said...

The real situation has been put very well. Yes, the Kashmiri Muslims were also killed. But, they picked up the gun, hence started a War. And when you start a War, you do get killed!!! You can't expect to wage a War and demand the other side to shower flowers at you!!! Before 1990, which Kashmiri Muslim was killed? Where was Indian Army in Kashmir in more proportion than Indian Army would be in any Indian territory? Why were KPs always insulted even before 1990? Why did 1986 riots happen? Why should Kashmiri Muslims change the names of places that have been in existence much before Islam even set its first foot on earth??? Why have temples been destroyed in kashmir? Kashmiri Muslims cannot hide behind pseudo-secularists for long. They have committed crime against humanity .. and they will be punished severely.

B P K said...

Brilliant post..

There is this forward mail which have seen several times.. Dont know its authenticity, but the story seems true..

An ingenious example of speech and politics occurred recently in the United Nations Assembly that made the world community smile.

A representative from India began: 'Before beginning my talk I want to tell you something about Rishi Kashyap of Kashmir, after whom Kashmir is named.

When he struck a rock and it brought forth water, he thought, 'What a good opportunity to have a bath.' He removed his clothes, put them aside on the rock and entered the water. When he got out and wanted to dress, his clothes had vanished. A Pakistani had stolen them.'

The Pakistani representative jumped up furiously and shouted, 'What are you talking about? The Pakistanis weren't there then.'

The Indian representative smiled and said, 'And now that we have made that clear, I will begin my speech. 'And they say Kashmir belongs to them"

Anonymous said...

It was june 1987, i along with my friends had gone for a 15 day trek in zanskar himalaya, covering kargil, dras,rungdum, leh and ladakh. We landed in srinagar late evening. as we were hungry we went to a hotel and occupied a table. Believe me we sat at our table for about 15 minutes and not a person came to take orders. after many calling, whistling and clapping a person came and took our order reluctantly. we ordered for kashmiri palau and dham alu kashmiri. in the meanwhile 3 foreigners just walked in. the hotel staff immediatly came arranged their table and chair took their orders and served them before they could serve us. we got frustrated and wanted to leave but one of us suggested that we stay and see what happens. we had an impression that we were not wanted.
at last after nearly 45 minutes only two plates of palou out of 3 plates ordered came. when we asked him about the third plate he said he cannot take another order and disappeared. we had this kind of experience with people through out kashmir valley. even in shops we visited, we felt that we were not wanted. this is way back in 1987. there were another 3 incidents, one even physical which i do not want to go in detail.

Mayur Kaul said...

Seriously ... everything in this post is true to its roots .. i was also there when this happened .. although mere 6 yrs of age.... but that thing is still fresh in mind as if it happened yesterday .... i can still remember the cries of the ladies whenever they heard that a loved one was taken away from them ... I know that the government will not do anything about it ... it is only up-to us to take a step against it.

opsudrania said...

Kashmir has been converted into hell by these Islamist fundamentalists and GOI is a pupet govt playing a vote politics. They need an iron hand as Pak's Interior Minister said in Karachi to use iron hand to quell the riots there. But they can not do it here. As they do not have the guts to face the reality. I am sorry. I am aware of your pangs. I pray for you as well as the Pakis. Bear with the time. All good as well as bad has its time. My heartfull sympathy goes with you.
God bless
Dr. O. P. Sudrania

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