The Kashmiri pandit trump card” that India and Indians always use to justify the oppression of Kashmiri Muslims……….
Here are the facts which no Indian or a pandit could ever logically reply to:
True that Kashmiri Pandits left the valley out of fear as the armed revolt began against the Indian rule. But before blaming the Muslims, a majority in the valley, we need to take a holistic view of the circumstances at that time. There was no civil society, government machinery had collapsed and the state was under President’s rule, represented by governor Jagmohan.
Saadut, a Kashmir blogger writes: “While most of these killings happened after January of 1990, there has been no plausible reason given to why most of the Pandits fled on the night of 19 January 1990. The only coincidences close to this date are joining of Jagmohan as governor of J&K one day prior and the repeated massacres by Indian forces right after 19 January. Sadly many facts in India have been twisted to create a demonic image of every Kashmir Muslim, blaming them for every crime of this conflict.
“Sample this ‘(all pandits) will remember the night of January 19 — the night when their Muslim neighbors, friends and colleagues turned against them. The night when they kept awake all night, as frenzied mobs on the streets and inside mosques called for their extermination.’ (The Hindu 20th January 2014, There Are No Goodbyes). This claim aims to make you believe that on the night of 19th January 1990 Pandits houses were surrounded by hostile and ‘blood seeking’ Muslims, resulting in their migration. How would it be possible, under unrelenting curfew from 17th January itself with shoot at sight orders, Muslims managed to assemble and surround Pandit habitations on the night of 19 January, and then within minutes of this Pandits managed to pack their belongings, seek friendly passage from ‘this hostile crowd’, call up state run SRTC and then drive away under armed escort’? Logic and reason surely fail here.
“As protests kept swelling, Muslims believed ‘Azadi’ was just round the corner while Pandits got scared by the sheer quantum of this rebellion. It was this fear in Pandits that many agencies (including some armed men) exploited for own interests. While most Pandits from Srinagar, already under a fear psychosis, were escorted in state buses on 19th January curfewed night, right after Jagmohan had taken over, Pandits from rural areas migrated in later months and years, trailing the exodus trend in fright and scare.
“Most Pandit killings (219 killed in 20 years) happened after later part of 1990 while the repetitive massacres right after 19 January. Gaw Kadal massacre happened one day after 19th January (on 21st Jan 1990, 52 killed and more than 250 critically injured), the Alamgari Bazar massacre on 22nd January 1990 (killing 10 civilians and fatally injuring scores), the Handwara massacre on 25th January 1990 (killing 25 civilians and critically injuring dozens others). The list of such massacres by Indian forces seems unending while the reasons of 19th exodus strangely linking to their occurrence.
“Credence to this also comes from other statements; Jagmohan in an interview to Current, May 1990, “Every Muslim in Kashmir is a militant today. All of them are for secession from India. I am scuttling Srinagar Doordarshan’s programmes because everyone there is a militant… The bullet is the only solution for Kashmir. Unless the militants are fully wiped out, normalcy can’t return to the Valley.” “Wajahat Habibullah recalling how Muslim groups appealed to the Governor (via Habibullah) to stop Pandits from leaving, his suggestion to Governor Jagmohan about a television (and radio) broadcast of requests from hundreds of Muslims to their Pandit neighbors not to leave Kashmir, being rejected by Jagmohan.
“On the contrary Jagmohan announcing that ‘the Government cannot guarantee any safety of Pandits….if Pandits decided to leave, refugee settlement camps had been set up for them and also that departing civil servants among the Pandits would continue to be paid their salaries’. The state was clearly pushing for an exodus.”
Had the people in Kashmir, both Muslims and non-Muslims, not lived in harmony, then the region wouldn’t have been calm when whole of the India was burning in the run up to the partition of the sub-continent. Even when Hindus in Jammu – just 300 km from Srinagar, massacred at least three lakh Muslims in 1947 during the past Partition inter-religious violence, not a single person from the minority Hindu community was harmed in the valley. Historians have called it an act of ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Jammu region.
On August 10, 1948, The Times (London) published a report [‘Elimination of Muslims from Jammu’, Part II, 10th August 1948, p. 5] by “A Special Correspondent”, saying “2,37,000 Muslims were systematically exterminated – unless they escaped to Pakistan along the border – by all the forces of the Dogra State, headed by the Maharaja in person and aided by Hindus and Sikhs.