known world over as "a garden of eternal beauty" is now a veritable hell-hole
of violence, intimidation and terrorism. The cult of the gun introduced
by the Muslim fundamentalists of indigenous vintage churned out from the
madrasas and Quarnic schools has devastated the total fabric of Kashmir
that had tolerance, cathelocity of outlook and humanism as its dominant
True to their
cult, the fanatic Islamists fed on the fare of destruction, and bigotry
wrought havoc not only on temples of learning and widely disseminated infrastructural
base for human resource development but also targetted the talented and
peace-loving Kashmiri Pandits as a specific ethno-religious group for their
externment and subsequent Diaspora. Through their noxious and vile propaganda
the Islamists rallied the Muslim majority for a religious war on the minority
religious group which was charged with betrayal and called upon to justify
murders on this religious minority the Muslim murderers have forged alibis
and set themselves up as tin-pot judges. A farrago of canards, half-truths,
accusations and distortions was concocted and set afloat against the miniscule
minority with the sheer objective of effacing out the acts of foul murder.
Crimes of barbarism and vandalism as the instrumentalities of genocide were
committed on the members of the target group with a reckless abandon. The
crimes were meticulously devised, programmed and executed in cold blood
with the objective of scuttling their defences and finishing them off after
bludgeoning and wounding them. The number of those who were mercilessly
butchered loses significance but what assumes vital importance is the prior
act of selection. The members of the religious group harbouring a non-Islamic
faith were singled out from those who are to be preserved, thus eliminating
a dissent, a difference with the sole motive of ensuring and preserving
a homogenous unity. The annihilation of the Kashmiri Pandit community has
been a camouflaged operation conducted by the Islamists convinced of the
murderous crimes as the final condition for the emergence of a holy theocratic
state for the ghettoised Muslims.
Pandits are the Tutsis of Rwanda and Jews of Germany. They are in absolute
ruins and ashes. Wherever they be, they are a horrendous prospect of pathetic
people who are destructed not by plagues but by bigotry and intolerance.
The storms of (manipulative have been ignored as non-events which did not
happen because they do not suit) history. When massacred in groups, they
have been cremated and in some cases buried in all dishonour and ignominy.
Their habitations that they had assiduously built up are all in charred
remnants. The places of their worship and cultural symbols specifying their
faith and spiritual yearnings are in shambles. As victims to cruel forces
of pan-Islamism, they are bereft of their territory, their material possessions,
their roots and their identity as a distinct historical and cultural group
with a background setting of a gargantuan culture and civilisation. A well-defined
and co-ordinated aggression was launched against every characteristic of
the indigenous group to destroy it and impose on the last outpost of the
community in the natural abode the pattern of the oppressor.
As people externed
from their natural abode, and milieu, the Kashmiri Pandits have been dumped
as refuse in camps and one-room tenements with the pre-thought intent of
breaking their resistance and facilitating their wholesale destruction
investing it with the veneer of natural death. De-recognising their identities
as purposeful and creative individuals, they have been lumped together
under a doomed and dubious label of "migrants" which rubs salt into their
bleeding wounds. The callous rulers and their buddies without a goulp of
shame are at pains to dish out theories to legitimise their expulsion and
diaspora with a view to managing the effect of genocide.
And now a word
of indebtedness. I feel highly indebted to my colleagues and friends inside
academe who have appreciated my efforts to delineate and highlight the
genocide of my small community which has been forced to live an ugly life
in squalid camps and rented slums.
I am extremely
thankful to P.N. Kachru, Onkar Kachru, D.N.Dhar, B.L.Handoo, Prof. M.L.Raina,
S.K.Koul, Shyam Koul, Pitambar Singh Bali and C.L. Chrangoo for their assitance
and precious suggestions to put the genocide of a distinct ethno-religious
community in proper perspective and focus.
I must express
my sincere thanks to the bunch of dedicated workers of the Vir Bhawan,
Raghunath Pora, Jammu who provided me photographs and biographical sketches
of the Kashmiri Pandits who have been tortured and mercilessly killed and
butchered. I have to offer special thanks to H.N. Revoo, my school friend
and play mate, who has culled lots of material relevant to the devastation
that the minority community of Kashmiri Pandits has suffered for its patriotism
and positive thought.
My thanks are
also due for Ramesh Haku who not only went through the whole mansuscript
but also prepared a computerised version of it.
I also thank
my wife Mrs Mohini Koul who has been prodding me to write about the community
that is in ruins and while fleeing from the terror created by the Muslim
terrorists she did not care two hoots for the materials stuffed in our
home but brought all my notes and jottings that I had made about the developing
situation. Those notes and jottings were profusely used in my first book,
Past and Present - Unravelling the Mystique, which was published
in 1996, by Sehyog Prakashan, a Delhi based coperative venture in
Last but not
the least I must convey my sincere thanks to the Managing Director, the
Sagar Publications, Dariya Ganj, New Delhi for publishing the book.