Of Terrorists and Tormentors

Of Terrorists and Tormentors

Nearly three years after the Kashmiri Pandit Community was subjected to brutal killings, wholesale devastation and the unparalleled mass paralyzing terror and booted out of the Valley, the grievously wounded and broken people are still waiting for a word or a sign of sympathy and concern.

It sounds unbelievable and unimaginable to the enlightened sections of the western mind, for example, that a whole community of 300,000 so struck by an engineered calamity should have been so ignored and forgotten in utter irresponsibility and heartlessness in a democratic set up. Yet, indeed, it is one of the ugly faces of our style of democracy itself that has compounded this catastrophe for a tiny little community. It is the foul game of numbers that has felled us to the ground and held us tight there.

These three years have seen several governments come and go at the Center and each more dismaying than the other. The first manifestations of a long simmering insurgency by anti-India terrorist outfits operating in our own midst and yet allowed to go unchecked-sometimes even promoted-were available from 1980.

When the then Congress Government fell, the country walked into another mortifying experiment under Shri V.P. Singh. Our community's misfortunes were multiplying while Shri Singh got lost in a glass tower, planning only to maximize his vote without regard fur its ramifications for the country in the short and long run. His style of functioning and overwhelming greed for power, of placing his self interests above those of the country and its integrity, made him at once a laughing stock of the people and a curse on the nation. He refused even to meet a small delegation from us. And then it was all over for him, perhaps for ever.

Shri Chandrashekhar followed in the cavalcade essentially as a protem P.M. He briefly put forth a janus face, but like his other colleagues in politics, could not change his spots or his heart. He put us off on one thin pretext or another and then went his way.

The wheel had come full circle. The Congress returned to power, first somewhat shaky but soon enough a more contriving and confident minority government. The Prime Minister Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao appeared to try and discern reason from tyranny. His nearest colleagues, however, succeeded to screen his sight again with the electoral blinkers.

What do the Kashmiri Pandits, with less than two lakh widely dispersed votes count for? They appeared to argue.

The net result is that the miserable little minority, trapped in tents and hovels in Jammu, Delhi and elsewhere and living a subhuman existence, have remained frozen in that same abject destitution in which they had arrived after escaping from death and dishonor in their flourishing homes in the Valley. For three years now they haven't moved an inch forward to some measure of solace, leave alone salvation and return home. On the contrary, they are steadily slipping backwards into wretchedness and oblivion and certain doom. The measly doles have diminished to half the value of 1990. The tents have rotted into stinking, germs-breeding mounds of dirt. The people in tents or rat-holes are degenerating mentally and debilitating physically and are falling prey to a number of ominous and unheard of diseases. Elsewhere in this issues are published objective, well-researched papers, hair-raising in their conclusions.

For the Kashmiri Pandits, thus, the government has refused or failed to defend and ensure, and in effect thus violated, their rights not only enshrined in the Universal Declaration, but more importantly in the country's constitution and above all in the human consciousness. In other words, their trauma has only changed character from death and terror to an all-consuming torment.

In the "modern, advanced'' world of the old as well as the neo colonialists, much touching concern is shown day in and day out for the so-called "human rights" of the gun-totting marauders, who know but only one way of realizing their dreams, that is the barrel of the gun. The Activists there, and their well-taken-care of agents and pseudo-activists all over are motivated and have mastered the art to orchestrate the "violations" to the exclusion of any argument or fact.

We are here referring exclusively to the ground conditions existing in the Valley. Which brings us to another inexplicable and repulsive aspect to which the laudable edicts of the Universal Declaration have been reduced. The Amnesty International's latest report on India-Torture, Rape and Death in custody-contains many pages full of references to the "violations" against what are called fighters for separation in Kashmir. There is no mention of the tragedy and travails inflicted on the helpless, meek, innocent minority of Kashmiri Pandits. Ironically, the Report claims to detail Torture, Rape and Deaths in custody (hostages in our case) to which precisely the Kashmiri Pandits have been subjected openly and defiantly in the last three years and during the silent subversion, and infiltration for destruction from within, decades before that. It is not the security forces which have indulged in this barbarism, but those very inhuman terrorists whom the Human Rights activists go out all the way to defend and protect.

It is sometimes argued that the clauses and Articles of the Human Rights Declaration are concerned with governmental aberrations against the people at large. That may be the letter of the Declaration. But can the spirit of that Declaration, intended to be noble and impartial, be contrary or opposite to its letter?

In simple words and in the name of honesty and fairplay, the Human Rights Organization, the Amnesty International and others who claim to stand for human rights must organize an objective, impartial and high-level survey and investigation of the violation of Kashmiri Pandit's rights, unfettered by meaningless interpretations, or pressures by vested and influential powerful elements. That may take away some of the odium now besmirching ''human rights" as another means of economic and political pressure tactics. If that is not done soon enough, then the Declaration may lose all its meaning and purpose and appeal. That indeed will be a dark day in human history, as dark as the last three years in the Valley of Kashmir.

Source: Koshur Samachar

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