Days which left a scar on Humanism

By Aditya Rangroo

It was winter season. My cousin and I were playing close to the window. Suddenly I heard people murmuring. I came close to the window and found a score of people gathered together frantically screaming “humko chahye aazadi, aazadi ka matlab la ilaah-illah”. I was too young to understand what it meant. All our neighbours and we shut and locked the doors. Many people started crying out of fear then I realized there was something serious and wrong. But most of the people didn’t come out of their homes. The next morning I heard a very loud noise. I ran downstairs and saw a man held by four unknown persons. Within a few minutes they shot him dead. It was what my eyes saw. My mind got blurred and I fled towards my home. That was the most horrible day of my life. After that incident I saw an old lady weeping and I realized her son was killed in front of her eyes. A loud speaker announcing “Pandits leave Kashmir and leave your wives and sisters here”. I lived for a full month under stress. I was a child just 6 years old who saw human blood splashed on floor, dead bodies and the tears of many people. I am a victim of Kashmir terrorism and still I am not able to come out of that horrible dilemma. People left their property unprotected and migrated to Jammu and then shattered in different parts of world empty hands.

Mothers lost their sons, children lost their parents, and brothers lost their lovable sisters. There was no humanism but brute violence. As I grew into youth I realized Kashmiri Pandits had been thrown out of their homeland and government played the role of spectator. I was born in Kashmir and my heart, mind and soul belong to Kashmir. Whenever I recall those horrible days I feel very depressed and anguished because the government did not take any urgent and strong initiative to save the Kashmiri Pandits. J&K administration and government did not take any effective steps to bring peace and harmony to Kashmir. They are faithless. It is reported that the government is least concerned about the welfare of the minority community. For the last, 15 years, all Kashmiri Pandits have been living in an exile. The saga of 1989-1990, which involves plight and blood soaked history of Kashmiri Pandits, their expulsion, their apathy is an unforgettable for each and every individual who belongs to the valley. Even, till date skies echoed the cries of innocent people.

Government is not doing its best to put an end to terrorism. Now, the first time Hurriyat had a dialogue with Pandits, they have showed sympathetic and peaceful attitude towards minority community. They have projected themselves “secular” but strangely this thought struck them only after brute violence, terrorism and killings of Pandits failed to bring “aazadi”. The peace process between Indo-Pak is on its way and in this regard many initiatives has been taken so far likely bus service from Muzaffarabd – Srinagar, introduction Pakistani actress in bollywood but softening borders and softening hearts are fine but we should not go soft by mind.

Pakistani President, General Pervez Musharraf claimed that Kashmir issue can be resolved in two weeks just after few days a bomb triggered by the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, killing six jawans near the world famous Nishat garden in Srinagar has shown their attempt in solving the Kashmir issue in two weeks and bringing peace to the valley. However, under these circumstances, Mehbooba Mufti, the chief of PDP and the daughter of Jammu and Kashmir, chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Syed was ready to welcome Sheikh Rashid (who trained the militant camps in his farm house) with bouquets and red carpet. After such sinister act, another incident took place few days back in rajouri (Kashmir) where 6 innocent boys became the victim of terrorism but state government is only expressing sympathy towards beleaguerers but not ready to tarnish the root cause of gruesome violence.

As far as government is concerned, why do they talk only of safety for the Pandits? Why not their participation in decision making process? Why not their participation in State and society building activity? Why not reservation in Assembly, Parliament and in services? Why not protection of their rights as a religious minority in the terms of the Charter of Human Rights? By talking of their protection, they are repeating the words of Sheikh Abdullah who always said that Pandits are “amaanat” (custody) in our hands. He never said of their participation in decision making in nation building in sharing rights and in policy planning. The Jammu and Kashmir will remain with India is ostrich-like thinking and a myth Indians are toying with. (The writer is the student of Mass Media & Journalism from the University of Mumbai).

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