Table of Contents
   Index
   Secessionist Movements
- Article 370
- Interim Government
- The Plebiscite Front
   Muslim Militancy
- The Gathering Storm
- War of Attrition
   Disinformation Compaign
- Political Alienation
- Muslim Precedence
- Economics of Militancy
   Genocide of Hindus
- The Minorities
- Quit Kashmir
- Darkness at Noon
- The Exodus
- Ethnic Cleansing
   Search for Refuge
- Leave Salary
- Scorched Earth
   Book in pdf format  

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Matrimonial

 
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Chapter 4
Genocide of Hindus

After the Independence of India, the one community in India which suffered for its commitment to patriotism and Indian unity, was the minority community of the Hindus in the Jammu and Kashmir State. The Hindus constantly faced the accusation of the Muslims that they had conspired with the Government of India to secure the accession of the State to India against the will of the Muslims. They suffered the charge that in l947, they had, with the help of the Hindu ruler of the State, Maharaja Hari Singh and in connivance with the leaders of the National Conference, treacherously sabotaged the Muslim endeavour to achieve the integration of the Muslims of Jammu and Kashmir with the Muslim homeland of Pakistan. They were also indicted for having opposed the Muslim resistance against the accession of the State to India. They bore the brunt of the Muslim precedence, the National Conference established in the State and after the National Conference broke up in 1953, they were proclaimed the enemies of the Muslim movement, the Plebiscite Front led in the State. Even after the Plebiscite Front was wound up in 1975, the condemnation to which the Hindus were subjected, did not end. They continued to be charged of being the arch enemies of the Muslim nation of Kashmir, a threat to the Muslim religion and its political solidarity and the motive force behind all secular processes in the State which obstructed the Muslim struggle for Pakistan. In fact, they faced the first crucifixion for their loyalty to their country. The first shots fired by the militants were received by the Hindus. 

Among the accusations piled upon the Hindus in Kashmir, the following were the prominent: 

  • that they misled the leadership of the Muslim Conference in 1939, and ensured the Muslim Conference leaders to accept secularism as the basis of the Muslim struggle against the Dogra rule, 
  • that they supported the accession of the State to India and actively worked to consolidate the Indian hold over the Muslims in the State; 
  • that they subotaged the secessionist movement aimed to disengage the State from India; 
  • that they supported the merger of the State in the constitutional organisation of India; 
  • that they were severely opposed to the Muslim precedence; and 
  • that they did not accept the primacy of Islam and obstructed the Muslimisation of the society and Government of the State. 
The accusations were not unfounded. The Hindus in Kashmir fought for Indian unity and freedom from foreign rule, shoulder to shoulder with the people in the Indian States. The first ever held Conference of the Indian States People, convened in 1927, was presided over by a firebrand Kashmiri Pandit, Shankar Lal Kaul, who had left Kashmir after having been removed from the State services on the advice of the British Resident. Kaul demanded the right of the States People to repudiate the princely order and called for a united struggle of the people in the Indian States and the British Provinces against the British rule. A decade after, the All- India States Peoples Conference, in its session at Ludhiana, reiterated the demand Kaul had made for the repudiation of the Paramountacy and the end of the princely rule in the Indian States. 

Pandit Dwatika Nath Kachroo, a veteran Kashmiri Pandit freedom fighter and a close associate of Jawahar Lal Nehru, served the States Peoples movement, asthe Secretary General of the States Peoples Conference, during the most formative years of its development. He was arrested in Kashmir along with Nehru in the 'Quit Kashmir' movement. Later, Kachru represented the All-India States Peoples Conference in the historic meeting of the Working Committee ofthe National Conference held in October 1947, in which the Conference decided unanimously to support the accession of the State to India. 

The Hindus of Kashmir extended their support to the Indian national movement right from its revolutionary days and demonstrated their fraternal solidarity with the people of India in the Civil Disobedience, which followed the Rawlatt legislation in 1919, the Khilafat Movement in 1921, and the Salt Satyagraha in 1931. Many of them, including Pandit Kashyap Bandhu, joined the revolutionary underground in India which actually shook the roots of the British empire. 

The Muslims of Kashmir inspired by Pan-Islamism, which prevaded the Muslim outlook in India till the British left, adopted an attitude of active opposition to the Indian struggle. The Muslims in the State never lost sight of the identity of their interests with the British and spared no efforts to help them to undo the Dogras and provide them support in their endeavour to smother the liberation movement in India. They strongly opposed the State-Subject movement led by the Kashmiri Hindus, which was mainly aimed to forestall any attempt the British made to acquire land in the State. Infact, the Muslims in their Memorial, submitted to Maharaja Hari Singh in the aftermath of the Muslim agitation of 1931, blamed the State Government of having connived with the Hindus in organising demonstrations in the State in support of the Congress movement, which, they alleged, went against their loyality to the British empire. 

In truth, it was the Hindu community in Kashmir which by its exhibition of tolerance and forebearance and a long campaign of education in secular values, laid the foundations of a secular, non-partisan and non- communal movement in the State. The declaration of the National Demand, which was issued by Hmdus and Muslim leaders of Kashmir in 1938, and which in the later days, formed the basic groundwork of the movement for self-government in the State, uas drafted by the Kashmiri, Hindu leaders. The Decleration of National Demand became the basis of the emergence of the National Conference in 1939. 

The Muslim Conference, which spearheaded the Muslim agitation against the Dogra rule in the State, was converted into a secular organisation,the National Conference in l939,with active collaboration and support of the Hindus in Kashmir. The Hindus joined the ranks of the National Conference on the terms which the Muslim leaders laid down. The Muslim leaders who did not join the National Conference broke away to continue their struggle for the Muslims and aligned themselves with the Muslim League movement for Pakistan. They accused the Hindus of Kashmir, particularly the Kashmiri Pandits, of having divided the Muslims of the State on the instigation of the Congress and other Hindu leaders of India. This accusation was never washed away. The ideologues of the Muslim terrorism repeated the indictment. 

The Hindus allowed the escheat of their landed estates, the confiscation of their properly, and their exclusion from the administration of the State and accepted political change which sought its legitimacy in the primacy of Islam, to provide the Government of India support in the United Nations, where the Indian representatives were seeking hard to prove more Muslim than the Muslim nation of Pakistan to justify the accession of the State to India. The Kashmiri Pandits went as far as to applaud the long harrangues delivered by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in the Security Council, which in substance, embodied the Muslim claims to the nationhood of Kashmir on the basis of the Muslim religious injunction. 

The Hindus bore the first impact of the upheaval which followed the dismissal of Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1953, and in fact, they took to the streets in support of the second Interim Government, demonstrating their solidarity with the Government of India. For twenty-two years, they fought with dogged resolution, the movement for plebiscite, which Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah and the Plebiscite Front led. After the Accord in 1975, they found themselves arraigned against the Pan-Islamic fundamentalism which assumed the leadership of the secessionist movement in the State after the Plebiscite Front was dissolved. 

The secessionist forces charged them of obstructing the liberation of the Muslims in the State and the State Government charged them of acting on the behest of the Indian Government, to spread Hindu communalism in the State. The National Conference leaders charged the Kashmiri Hindus of acting as the agents of India. The Muslim wrath fell upon them, when widespread anti-Hindu riots broke out all over the south of Kashmir in 1986. 

The Kashmiri Hindus earned the heaviest Muslim censure for their avowed opposition to the exclusion of the State from the constitutional organisation of India. They were openly branded the enemies of the Muslim identity of the State. Indeed, the Hindus all over the State, including the Sikhs and the Buddhists, did not approve of the exclusion of the State from the constitutional organisation of India. They implored with Nehru and the other Indian leaders not to allow the isolation of the State from the mainstream of the Indian political life. While a widespread agitation against the exclusion of the State from the constitutional organisation of India was launched by the Hindus in Jammu, the Hindus in Kashmir sent several communications to the Government of India, pointing out the dangers in excluding the State from the Indian political organisation and the damage that would be done to the evolution of integrated and secular political institutions in the State. The National Conference, the Plebiscite Front and the other Muslim organisations denounced the Hindus as the fifth column of Hindu communalists of India, who sought to end the Muslim identity of the State. 

In the province of Jammu, the Muslim leaders of the National Conference cracked under the pressure of the dominant Hindu majority and frightened by the Hindu backlash offered to separate the Hindu majority districts of the province from the rest of the State. The Hindus of Jammu rejected the dismemberment of the State on communal lines and re-emphasised their demand for the integration of the State in the secular political organisation of India. In Kashmir, however, they reduced the Hindus, particularly the Kashmiri Pandits, to a subject population, outcaste and branded them enemies of the cause of the Muslims and their religious identity. 

Impoverished by their exclusion from the economic organisation of the State and their elimination from all the political processes, the Hindus lost their initiative and became the hostages to what was later called "the Muslim identity of Jammu and Kashmir". They were subject to religious persecution, their temples were desecrated; many of their temples disappeared completely, among them the famous temple of Vishnu located in the flank of Jama Masjid in Srinagar. As the secessionist forces gained the upper hand, pressure was mounted upon them and thousands of them abandoned their homes. No wonder that during the last four decades about two lakh of Kashmiri Hindus quietly migrated to the other pans of the country. The blitzkrieg assault, the terrorists delivered upon the Hindus in the Valley in JanuaIy 1990, was the last blow, dealt out to them to uproot them completely and put an end to the last measure of resistance they still offered to Muslim communalism.        

White Paper on Kashmir

 

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