Monday, June 27, 2022
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The Pandits must prepare for a long battle

K N Pandita

Contrary to the claims of the authorities, the ground situation in Kashmir is very grim. The infiltration has not come down nor is any relent visible in the targeted killings, particularly in terror-infested areas in South Kashmir.

The gun-wielding goons have changed their strategy; they have shifted from attacking police stations and security posts to selective killing of Hindus as well as the Muslims in Kashmir. Their criterion for selecting a target is not known. In the case of Hindu minority targets it is the continuation of ethnic cleansing programme of the Jihadists and the Muslim majority targets are mostly caused by vendetta. However, an unknown source feeds them with day to day briefs which they meticulously implement. Recently, AS Dulat, the former RAW chief said that there is a secret source with joint connectivity in Kashmir and Pakistan that calls the shots.

The handlers of valley-based terrorists know that targeted killing of minority community members will lead to widespread criticism of the Union government, particularly the Home Ministry, which, in tandem with the Lt Governor of J&K, dole out white lies about the law and order situation in the valley. If remedial measures are listed, immediate removal of the Lt Governor should be of foremost priority so that the people are relieved of a well-calculated litany of lies.

Pakistan will not allow Kashmiris to accept the return of the Pandits. Indian authorities are sealing the transit camps of Pandits so that they are denied the freedom of saving their lives by departing from the land of death. Why do the Indian seal their camps? If Pandits summon the courage and leave the valley, India will have to hang its head in shame before the world community whom she has misled into the myth of communal harmony in Kashmir. The Pandits are sandwiched between the so-called national interests of two rival states, one of which claims to be the world's largest democracy.

From day one, the US has regarded J&K as a disputed region. The Pandits have sufficiently briefed the US authorities that in Kashmir there is an Islamic jihad fuelled by Pakistan and not a so-called freedom struggle. The first desk-book action of the jihadis, indigenous or imported, was to ethnically cleanse the Kashmir valley of Hindu presence. They accomplished it way back in 1990. The world's largest democracy acted as a disinterested onlooker to the destruction of the threatened community.

The Pandits have circumstantial right to stage weekly dharnas in front of the embassies/missions of democratic western countries, particularly the United States, and demand asylum in respective countries based on their threatened community. We are a small but hundred per cent educated community and have already lost nearly two thousand of our innocent people, professionals and adepts in their skills. Our culture has been effaced and social cohesion severely disintegrated. Our only crime is that we profess a different faith from the majority community in Kashmir valley and we are so small in numbers that we are no political parties vote bank. The Union government does not hate or despise us but neglects us and our security because are not their vote bank.

The Pandits will compile a well-worded memorandum stating their case to be submitted to the public relations office of all embassies of democratic countries in New Delhi. A separate memorandum will be submitted to the Secretary-General of the UN and the Chairperson of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

The Pandit Diaspora in the US and the UK and France and Germany have the responsibility of getting into touch with the media and emphasising upon it the need of awakening the world opinion of how a five-thousand-year-old community with remarkable background has been pushed to the brink of disaster in a secular democratic country. We need to emphasize the urgency of giving us asylum and providing us with a peaceful atmosphere in which our latent talent can flourish. We must bring the fact to their notice that our community has had a record of zero crime (murder, burglary or rape etc.) during the past millennium. We don't think there is any other community in the world with such an enviable record.

We have also to explain to these sources how we have been abandoned by all regimes ever since the dawn of independence of India in 1947 just because we are the religious other and no vote bank.

We should stop bringing out protest rallies or delivering critical speeches against the rulers of this country. It is not only futile but also to exacerbate their wrath against us. If the Delhi police remove us by force from dharna before the foreign embassies and missions, we will approach influential media channels to screen the police's use of force to disperse us and splash the pictures across the world press. After all, at the fag end of the 33rd year of our exile, we are on the roadside as on 19 January 1990.

(The author is the former Director of the Centre of Central Asian Studies of University of Kashmir.Feedback [email protected])

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