The NEWS channels are abuzz with the letters asking Sikhs in Kashmir to either join “aazidi” movement and embrace Islam or leave Kashmir. No one in India can resonate with the chilling fear these Sikhs would have felt but for Kashmiri Hindus who went through this trauma in 1989-90. I was around eight years old when the shrill voice of loudspeakers of every mosque in Kashmir asked Kashmiri Hindus to embrace Islam or leave valley. I had already left Kashmir when a letter had arrived at my maternal home announcing that every young member in the family would be butchered if they do not leave Kashmir.
Unfortunately for us (Kashmiri Hindus), there was no media to take up the issue of what was happening to Hindus in Kashmir. Doordarshan was busy in propagating “secular” politics of the Congress(Indira) kind. While minorities where being butchered, slaughtered, disgraced and forced to leave Kashmir from every corner, the conscience of India was fast asleep in secular slumber. Unfortunately for us, Kashmiriyat died a tragic death that year.
In the years to come I would hear a lot of hair raising and spine chilling tales of absolute brutishness committed by the majority on the largest minority in Kashmir. Like, when one Kashmiri Hindu youth was shot in the knees and elbows and left to bleed in the middle of road while the “majority” entertained themselves at the death of an unarmed man. The terrorists left the man bleeding and went to drink milk in the nearby dairy shop. The man wailed and criedfor help but no one bothered. He kept bleeding until the “aazidi” seeking Kashmiri youths finished their milk came back and pumped bullets into his body to finish of the work. Needless to say, there were no protests and no agitations. Nothing mattered, because only a “Pandit” had died.
The attempt of a Kashmiri Hindu man to conceal himself in a traditional rice drum failed when these mujaheddin pumped the bullets from their AK-47 right into the rice drum. When his wailing widow asked why were they leaving her alive, the chilling answer was – “So that you can mourn his death for life”.
How much will you understand the fear of a young mother who was ready to jump off the second floor of her home with her two little daughters just to save her family from being disgraced by a mob of mad aazidi seeking hooligans who were about to break into her home…
No one heard Kashmiri Hindus then… no one will ever hear us, because “unfortunately” we do not make a vote bank. Today, Kashmiri Hindus are branded as traitors by Muslims in Kashmir because we did not support the aazidi movement. Indians will do everything and will fight to seek justice for the victims of Gujarat and Kandhamal riots, but no one will ever bother about Kashmiri Hindus, because fighting for the justice of Hindus in India is outright communal. Fighting for Kashmiri Hindus means going against the “secular” Muslims in Kashmir. Those “seculars” whose cry always has been “jeeve jeeve Paskistan, nanga bhookha Hindustan”.
Today (21th August 2010), Times NOW called a popular Kashmiri Hindu activist Aditya Raj Kaul as a panelist debating threats to Kashmiri Sikhs. But from the word go gagged him. WHY? Just because no one wants to shatter the sweet dream of “Secular” Kashmir. A dream that has already died decades ago. If people want to live in dreams, they can… But the real hard fact is – The fight for Kashmir is deeply deeply communal. The communities in Kashmir are divided… Today’s Kashmir is Kashmir where the “majority” is brandishing unashamedly its brute power and the minority is lip locked in fear, while “secular” Indians are sleeping over their conscience.
Leave alone Kashmiriyat, even Insaaniyat has died a dog’s death in Kashmir.