DOST KHAN / ANCHOR
If this day-January 19th-three decades ago remains a brute reminder of holocaust day for lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus, the then generation of which had witnessed macabre night in terms of blaring threats and slogans, asking them to flee from their homeland-Zalimo Ae Kafiro Chhor Do Kashmir Ko-the present generation is observing this as a day of resolution to return back to their homes and hearths with honour, dignity and pride. In 1990 they had left in fear and despair, leaving back trails of blood and memories, now on this day in 2020 they are looking towards a new dawn of hope and promise. See how the younger generations of Kashmiri Hindus are confidently reverberating on the social media. The #HumWapasAayenge is trending on Twitter as more and more Kashmiri Pandits joined the campaign to narrate the “Hum Aayenge Apne Watan” dialogue and a pledge to return to their homes. The resurgence of lost pride is a tribute to the struggle of lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus who suffered silently and died in wilderness far away from their homes. As they were struggling to shape destiny of their younger generations in plains across the country, back home they were being condemned for having been ‘uprooted by Governor Jagmohan’, a narrative set by Pakistan ISI and radical elements dominating Hurriyat Conference. Even the elite and literate-known in common parlance as intellectual terrorists-supplemented and promoted this narrative across the world. They deliberately diverted the attention from initial years of Pak sponsored terrorism which witnessed killing of innocent Kashmiri Hindus and orchestrated campaign against Kafirs unleashed from the mosque microphones. The threat perception reached highest pitch when Hizbul Mujahideen issued an ultimatum through two well circulated vernacular newspapers on January 4, 1990, asking Pandits to leave within twenty four hours. Had the radicals and the leaders relevant at that point of time countered such threats, the scenario would have perhaps been different. They chose to maintain silence; a well thought over silence. And, when the objective of cleansing Kashmir from Pandits was achieved, the smart separatist leaders made the world believe that exodus of KPs was a conspiracy hatched by Jagmohan to execute, what they called, genocide of Muslims. They conveniently overlooked the fact that the minority cleansing had been accomplished almost a fortnight before Jagmohan’s taking over the crucial gubernatorial assignment. They kept trumpeting this propaganda for years and surprisingly started believing it too.
The world, especially the Tukde Tukde Gang, Award Wapsi Gang, sickularists and self styled human rights activists looked to the other side on the timeline of Kashmir terror. They don’t muster guts to acknowledge even after 30 years the horrendous timeline, which started post political killing of BJP leader Tika Lal Taploo in September 1989. What followed after 19th January remains a sordid chapter of Kashmir history with massive crowds assembling in mosques across the Valley, shouting anti-India, anti-Kafir slogans. Thus began the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. In the next few months, hundreds of innocent Pandits were tortured, killed and raped. By the year-end, about 350,000 Pandits had escaped taking shelter in Jammu and elsewhere. Only a handful of them stayed back. This was followed by trail of blood, to quote a few such horrendous incidents when in March 1997, Jihadis dragged out seven Kashmiri Pandits from their houses in Sangrampora village and gunned them down. In January 1998, 23 Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children, were shot in cold blood in Wandhama Village, in March 2003, 24 Kashmiri Pandits, including infants were brutally shot dead in Nadimarg Village.
Since 1990, much water has flown down the Jhelum. A new generation has grown up both among Hindus and Muslims. They know very little about each other. They have apprehension and suspicions, rightly or wrongly injected by the generation that was in command at the outset of terrorism. In such a backdrop, saying that Kashmir is incomplete without Kashmiri Pandits or Kashmiri Pandits are integral part of Kashmiri society sans the ground reality. The fact is that Kashmiri Pandits are a forgotten lot back home. They have sold their properties in distress while many houses and land holdings, apart from the temple properties, have either been encroached upon or usurped by vested interests. These properties are under the wrongful possession of violators, ironically in connivance with the official machinery which was supposed to be the custodian of the same under the provisos of the Jammu and Kashmir Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection and Restraint on Distress Sale) Act, 1997. The successive and so-called popular governments have miserably failed in their responsibility of protecting the property of Pandit and the mischievous elements have brazenly grabbed it without condemnation of those who keep talking about the great tenets of Islam.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper