“In the time of Universal deceit, telling truth is a revolutionary act.”– George Orwell
Kashmiri Hindus around the globe observe 19th January as ‘Holocaust Day’. It was on this day when Jihadis, fully armed and abetted by terror state Pakistan, along with their local outfits, pounced upon the miniscule Hindu minority of Kashmir with an aim of cleansing them from their land of birth. The Kashmiri Hindus, who are aborigines of Kashmir and have a glorious written history of 5000 years, were forcibly driven out from their homes and hearths under a sustained plan which resulted in their ethnic cleansing. This ethnic cleansing was very well calibrated, controlled and conceived by terror state Pakistan, who used the JKLF and other terror organisations to further their Jihadi agenda.
Denial of Genocide
The genocide of Kashmiri Hindus is one of the darkest chapters in the history of independent India where a peace-loving, progressive, democratic and secular community was annihilated from their own Homeland. A campaign was launched by secessionist forces within Kashmir which projected minority Hindus as their sworn enemies. Secessionists believed that Kashmiri Hindus are impediments for realisation of Caliphate on the soil of Kashmir and thus they unleashed a reign of terror in all its forms to make them leave valley. This Jihadi campaign was undertaken in the form of hate speeches, selective killings, threats, bomb attacks, etc. These barbaric killings and atrocities are similar in nature to what Jews faced under Nazi regime. This all happened in secular and democratic India. It would not be out of place to say that Kashmiri Hindus were killed mercilessly, and the World remained Silent.
Every Kashmiri Hindu who had witnessed the orgy of communal events unfold before them cannot forget those days in Kashmir where their neighbours, colleagues, and others collaborated with the jihadis to indulge in their genocide. It is for this reason that 19th January remains in the collective memory of every Kashmiri Hindu who have their roots in the valley and who were forced to leave at the point of gun of Jihadis.
Unfortunately, Govt. of India and National Human Rights Commission have not taken any cognisance of this grim tragedy. NHRC, while evaluating the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus, toed the line of its masters and avoided declaring this human tragedy as genocide. One may ask a question to NHRC, “What does the killings of hundreds of people, burning of thousands of houses and vandalization of temples and cleansing of half a million people from their native land mean? Is it not a crime against the Humanity? Even Amnesty International and Asia Watch have chosen to ignore this genocide, which speaks much about the kind of bias they hold against the Kashmiri Hindus.
It is in this context that Kashmiri Hindus remind the nation and the successive dispensations, both at the centre and the state, every year, that ignoring this genocide would be a travesty of all that our country stands for.
Violation of Human Rights
The Jihadi-terrorist violence has severely infringed upon the human rights of Kashmiri Hindus. Terrorists made every attempt to eliminate the Hindus of Kashmir by mass killings, as happened in Wandhama and Nadimarg, or by selective killing of individual members of community. The terrorists followed a systematic plan to destroy Hindu history of Kashmir by vandalising the temples, encroaching upon their properties, destroying the business establishments of minority Hindus and ensuring that their resolve to return to their home is completely shattered.
Brutalities against minority Kashmiri Hindus, disregarding international covenants, such as Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nation Covenants on Human Rights, adopted in UN General Assembly in 1966 have totally been swept under the carpet.. The grievous injuries on victims of Jihad are testimony to the tortures the Hindus were put through. What is surprising is that there was silent connivance of the established political institutions and governmental organizations. The hapless Pandit’s were left to fend for themselves and various dispensations remained mute spectators to this human tragedy.
Minority Kashmiri Hindus were denied the basic rights which include Article 21 of the Constitution, which ensures right to life and liberty, as it failed in its duty to protect the community from Jihadi onslaught.
Insensitivity of the State
Both the state govt. and the central govt. have made no serious attempts for refoulment of Kashmiri Hindus. Many ad hoc measures are taken to address the bare minimum needs of the victims of Jihad. Political parties use the tragedy of displacement only to garner political mileage but beyond that nothing tangible has come out from them to mitigate the community’s sufferings.
The exodus of Kashmiri Hindus is a test of the Indian State to uphold the Secular character of the Indian Constitution as India cannot afford to allow an Islamic State within the secular Indian state and any such attempts to allow this shall only be detrimental to the secular, democratic and pluralistic values of Indian Constitution. It is to remind the powers that be, that Kashmiri Hindu had to leave the valley due to torture which has no parallels in annals of history. Therefore, any attempt to call this exodus as migration reflects insensitivity of the governments who want to brush this human tragedy under the carpet.
Terrorists must face trials:
No procedure has been initiated to bring the perpetrators of this human tragedy before the justice system. Killers are roaming free, thus brazenly mocking at the judicial system of Indian state, which has an obligation under UDHR and other relevant covenants, to bring the terrorists to justice and ensure that victims get due justice; they have been waiting for the last 29 years.
An enquiry commission should be initiated, similar to what was done post-Jewish Holocaust. Tribunals, in line with war crimes for Nuremberg and war crimes for Tokyo, be constituted so that path is cleared for delivery of the justice. Both these tribunals accepted the rights of man and gave clear directions on how the regimes should treat similar situations.
Challenges before Community
Past 29 years of exile have been a terrible experience for the community. This displacement has created a huge gulf between Kashmiri Hindus and their native place, their true home. One cannot fathom the deep sadness that Kashmiri Hindus feel in their lives due to their displacement from Kashmir. This estrangement has made them rootless. No one would have imagined that this exile shall continue till three decades.
The community has kept alive its rich cultural traditions and heritage. But these traditions can best be practiced and enriched in their own native place and it looks that return to their land of origin is still far away.
This issue of NAAD is an attempt to bring out Untold Stories of Kashmiri Pandit Genocide in Public Domain. The analysis of this genocide, along with cover stories in this, issue are testimonials from the members who were eye witnesses to the excesses perpetrated by the jihadis on the hapless community.
Sunil Raina Rajanaka