By Vijay Darda | 21-03-2022
The pain of Kashmiri Pandits today needs systemic ointment rather than mass provocation
The much- talked about movie The Kashmir Files has become the talking point not only in the country but in the whole world these days. The film has not only grossed crores at the box office but also caused upheaval within the country. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged people to watch this film which is based on the genocide and exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. This movie not only moves you but also boils your blood. Everybody is only talking about The Kashmir Files. Everyone asks why did the terrorists rape Girija Tikku and cut her into two pieces with a saw machine? Why did the neighbour in whom he had immense faith disclose the location of a Kashmiri Pandit who was hiding in a grain drum to save his life? How horrifying must have been the sight of the rice soaked in the blood was then forcefully fed to that Pandit’s wife! I am feeling rage within and fearful about the future..!
History will never forgive the nefarious act committed by the barbarians who seek inspiration from Pakistan and who reddened waters of the river Zelam and Chenab with the blood of Kashmiri Pandits. There was the murder of friendship and brotherhood. Trust and belongingness became a victim of savagery. Rakhi (the sacred thread of love) became bloody and destroyed the purity of the word ‘Mother’. Barbarity crossed all limits to tarnish humanity, trust and love. Humanity, brotherhood and relationships were torn apart. Sacred relationships were tainted with blood. People are still suffering the brunt of whatever the barbarians did. It has to end. Trust is the mainstay of life. Therefore, the crop of faith should be re-grown in Kashmir.
I returned from Kashmir Valley only last month and in this column on February 21, I had also narrated about the pain of Kashmir. Things seemed to be improving due to the zero-tolerance policy against terrorism and I realised that Kashmir needs a message of love. There was no discussion of The Kashmir Files film then. Then this film was released and the pain of Kashmiri Pandits came out in the open and it became a burning issue for the whole country. It rightfully became an issue because in the 1990s, about 1.5 lakh people were forced to flee their homes. I kept raising my voice on every forum as to what can be a bigger misfortune than someone should become a refugee in his/her own country? I have always raised my voice for the return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland. Manmohan Singh’s government built 5,242 houses in Jammu and 200 flats in Sheikhpura of Budgam district for the return of Kashmiri Pandits. I had said that this is not enough. First of all, such favourable conditions should be created that no one dares to attack any Kashmiri Pandit. They should return to where they hailed from. The whole country was hoping that the situation might return to normal again but then this film was released. I remember a song right now.
Bahut der kar di hujoor aate-aate…!
There is a saying in our Indian culture that the wound should not be scraped off, otherwise the wounds turn raw. Yes, the wound must be treated. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had refused to make public the Srikrishna Commission report on the Mumbai riots so that the atmosphere would not be vitiated. Today people are asking this question as to why Farooq Ahmed Dar alias Bitta Karate, who killed Hindus in cold blood, was not punished even though he had admitted to the killings in his interview! The question is valid. They must get an answer. It doesn’t matter whose government was there at the time of the heinous massacre. Hindus were being killed even when Farooq Abdullah was the chief minister and the killings did not stop even when Jagmohan took over as governor. Hindus continued to flee the Valley irrespective of who was in power!
Research think tank the Centre for Integrated and Holistic Studies has prepared a long list of attacks on Hindus in Kashmir from 1989 to 2003. The sheer barbarity of the attacks gives goosebumps and the question pops up in the mind as to what were the state and central governments doing at that time? I have asked this question to many leaders of that period but they don’t have the courage to admit their failure. Everyone is also silent on the question of whether the government was hesitant to act against terrorists so that it does not become an issue of atrocities on Muslims? If anyone would have thought so, then they made a critical mistake. India is as dear to every Muslim as it is to a Hindu. Terrorists may take the name of any religion but they have no religion. When terrorism was taking birth in Kashmir, it should have been nipped in the bud. A strong message should have been sent out to Pakistan that if needed, we will punish you in the same way as Indira Gandhi did..!
As of now, I would like to say that the anxiety that has arisen after the release of the film The Kashmir Files has to be converted into positive energy which should be sublimated into good cause for the aggrieved Pandits. The anxiety has to be turned into a flame, not fire. Kashmiri Pandits should get justice, but it should also be kept in mind that in this process, the common Muslims of Kashmir should not be hurt and hatred should not be generated against them. Portraying Kashmiri Muslims as villains will not benefit Kashmiri Pandits as hatred only divides and kills people. There is a need to listen to everyone’s side and help them. Certainly, Kashmiri Muslims will also have to come forward and create a conducive environment for the Pandits to resettle in the Valley. And yes, we have to be on guards against the game that one political party is trying to play at this time.
Before I Conclude
Last week I visited the Maldives. Among the people I met were two natives of Dubai and two people of Pakistani origin born and settled in Dubai whose parents had come to work in Dubai and settled there. One of them said that despite the high fees, his father sent him to an Indian school in Dubai. He used to say that if you study in a Pakistani school, you will learn hatred. He showed pictures of books like Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Pandit Nehru, and Freedom at Midnight on his mobile phone. The Arab gentleman sitting with us interrupted and said, is Pakistan a country? People have been kept locked in the gas chamber. Both the people of Pakistani origin were agreeing with gestures. I was left just looking at them!
Will situation in Kashmir remain like this?
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Understanding motives of terrorists crucial
This is manslaughter! Will anyone be sued?
Fear may affect our own identity!
A democratic coup in Sri Lanka
It’s high time life gets back on track