Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits
The Muslim and Hindu peoples of Kashmir have lived in relative harmony and friendliness since the 13th century when Islam first became the majority religion in Kashmir. The Sufi-Islamic way of life that ordinary Muslims followed in Kashmir complemented the rishi tradition of Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus), leading to a syncretic culture where Hindus and Muslims revered the same local saints and prayed at the same shrines.Â
Periodically however, there have been rulers and leaders who have had a narrow view of Islam, and have subjected Hindu minorities to great cruelties and discrimination. The current armed secessionist movement in Kashmir mostly derives its inspiration from these people.Â
A canard is now being spread past few years by the secessionist-terrorists and their sympathizers that in 1990 Kashmiri Pandits left Kashmir willingly, having been "tricked" by then Jammu and Kashmir Governor Jagmohan. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The fact is that Kashmiri Pandits were driven from their homeland after a campaign of intimidation and harassment was launched against them by the military-wing of the secessionists. Kashmiri Pandits were forced from their hearths and homes at the point of gun. The objective of this ethnic cleansing was to create a minority-free Kashmir valley where the goal of Islamization could be easily forced on the ordinary people. The books and articles below will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the genesis of the current political situation in Jammu and Kashmir.
This website aims to tell the story of Kashmir as it was and what has become of it now. Contrary to the misinformation currently being propagated, India did not "annex" Kashmir. At the time of independence in 1947 from British rule and the subsequent partition of the country into theocratic Pakistan and secular India, the Hindu Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir had the option to join India, Pakistan, or remain independent. He contemplated the latter option, but after Pakistan invaded Kashmir hoping to preempt such a decision, he decided to accede to India. This accession was ratified by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah, head of the largest political party (the National Conference) representing the Muslim majority of the state. The Sheikh did so because he felt that the interests of Kashmiri Muslims, who practice the secular Sufi-Islamic way of life, would be best served under the protection of the Indian constitution.
The present secessionist drive in Kashmir has its antecedents in the dissatisfaction of a small and insignificant section of Kashmiris (mostly political opponents of the Sheikh). However, since about 1985, this drive has been hijacked by Islamic fundamentalists who have resorted to terrorist tactics, targeting Hindus, Sikhs, and secular Muslims. Since 1990, with training and support from Pakistan, the terrorists are engaged in a low- intensity war against India for establishment of a theocratic nation in Jammu and Kashmir.
To further their cause the secessionists have completed a program of ethnic cleansing, expelling about 350,000 Kashmiri (Pandits) Hindus - something that has unfortunately gone largely unreported in the Western press. These Pandits are at present living as refugees in their own country.
The refugee camps at Jammu.
The following pages will show you a glimpse of the history, culture, and the current plight of Kashmiri Pandits. You will understand the goals of the bigoted religious terrorists in Kashmir whose vision of Azadi (independence) is to use religious dogma to exclude women, religious minorities, and secular-minded people from every kind of freedom in social and political life.
The Jammu and Kashmir State is a union of different ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. There are groups in the Muslim-dominated Kashmir who have sought independence or a union with Pakistan.
Kashmir, the most picturesque area in this part of the world, known for its beauty, gardens and gentle people has been reduced to a region of ghosts because of the devious means adopted by Pakistan to incite the people by giving them arms and instigating them into terrorism.
Since 1990, planned and organized secessionist-terrorism has brutalized Kashmir, the valley of peace and exquisite beauty.
Desecration, damage and destruction of temples is not new and unusual phenomena. The process has been continuously going on ever since Kashmir passed into political domination of Muslim rulers in the first quarter of fourteenth century.
Mr. McCOLLUM. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to bring to the attention of the House a very important matter.
Hostage politics is not restricted to men or captive school children. Shrines have also become a part of the politics of hostages, especially in the Kashmir valley.
We begin our story of oppression and the destruction of our community, Kashmir Hindus, at the hands of Muslim fundamentalists and fanatics, sultans and kings, Amman Ullahs and other terrorists, with Sultan Sikander (1389- 1413).
Kashmir is, and always has been, an integral part of India. Kashmir was never divided by the British. It acceded to India by an Instrument of Accession in 1947 which is recognized valid under international law.
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