I will let Anupam Speak....
On my own post, on my own blog. I, for once, take my hat off and stand down. I will let Anupam Speak... for he left me speechless...
For readers who are not conversant yet with Hindi, below is a Translation of what he says
I am a Kashmiri Pandit. With a firm belief in my own Indian identity, I am a peaceful, nonviolent, secular, educated, law abiding patriotic citizen of my country. On this very day 26 years ago, I was kicked out of my own home. This is my story:
By the time Autumn arrived in the year 1999, the terrorists ran amok in Kashmir. The state government had abdicated all its responsibility to the State, and administration had totally collapsed. The terrorists had taken a stranglehold of the Kashmir Valley. It was as if the word "Indian" had become a cuss word. The Terrorists were busy issuing "hit lists". Every individual who was pro-India was labelled as "informant". Killing him was not only Jihad but was also a holy act. Prominent Kashmiri Pandits were already being targeted and eliminated. Social Worker Tikalal Taplu was brazenly killed in broad daylight on the streets of Sri Nagar. Neelkanth Ganju was killed in Karannagar and his dead body was left laying in the Street for hours. Attorney Premnath Bhatt was butchered in the Anantnag area in the South of Kashmir. Countless Pandits whose names will never be knows were mercilessly murdered. The message was clear. On January 4, 1990 Hizb-ul-Mujahideen published a notice in the Newspaper Aftab ordering all Hindus to leave the Kashmir valley. In another newspaper, The same notice was also printed in another Newspaper, the Al Safa. And it wasn't very long before these notices were pasted on the doors of the houses of the Pandits. On the fateful night of January19, 1990 such darkness descended upon Kashmir that it seemed that all the lights had been snuffed out.
A uproar built up from every corner, every crossroad, every street, every bazaar, every village of Kashmir which was to be death knell for the Pandits. Crowds numbering in hundreds of thousands gathered in the streets and chanted poisonous slogans. Such a scene had never before been seen nor such chants heard.
All mosques were issuing statements that Kashmir would become a part of Pakistan. Mujahideen were being praised and guns were being brandished openly.
"Wake up, Wake up, its is morning!
Russia has lost.
India is damned
and finally it is Kashmir's turn."
This slogan was repeated over and over again over the P.A. systems from mosques.
"If you want to live in Kashmir, you will have to chant Allah-o-Akbar
"O wretched evil infidels, leave our Kashmir"
Slogans like these went on endlessly. When one stopped, another took its place. Among these slogans was one that said,
"Kashmir will become Pakistan without the Pandit men, but with the Pandit women" This slogan was repeated over and over and with increasing fervence. By now, our fear had changed to desperation. Families locked the women in their store rooms (Pantries) with the tacit understanding that, when the crowd attacked, they would douse themselves with gasoline and burn themselves to death. There will never be a parallel to the terror of that night. Depression and desperation consumed us. The message was loud and clear. "Convert, Die or get the hell out!"
There was no village, neighborhood or streets where these slogans were not being chanted. Faced with these contrary circumstances, most of the Kashmiri Pandits gathered whatever they could manage to salvage among their possessions and got out of Kashmir hidden under tarps on trucks, taxis and buses. An exodus began.
The Government, the intellecutuals, the seularists the patriots - everyone's conscience was asleep. Nobody was willing to speak up about it. In the days following January 19th, 1990, the massacre of Kashmiri pandits began. Atrocities on them peaked. A female teacher Giriraj Tikku from Bandipura was gang raped and murdered. News like this came pouring in. A whole book can be written about it how people were being tortured by the terrorists and how the Administration stood by and turned a blind eye to the plight of the Pandits. By 1991, most of the Pandits had fled the Kashmir Valley and were given refuge in dusty torny regions of Jammu in Tent cities. More than 60,000 families who fled were kept in refugee camps where there were no basic facilities. Each family was given one tent each and in some of them as many as 10 individuals had to cram in. Sanitation was non existent. A large number of people perished to disease at these campsites. Snakebites and heat, however, killed more people than disease did. They had been left to perish. Thousands of houses and temples belonging to the Pandits were burnt or razed. All this was happening is a culturally diverse and secular India. The few that had remained in the Kashmir Valley were massacred. The terrorists did not spare even 2 month old children. The existence of entire villages belonging to Pandits were erased. Till date not even one person has been found guilty for this. Leave aside taking action on the massacre and murder of thousands of Pandits, no one even expressed any concern about the massacre and forced displacement of the poor souls. Our houses lie barren. Our temples defiled. Everything is about to disappear into oblivion. 26 years later even today Kashmiri Pandits are refugees in their own country - living in tent cities on the outskirts of Jammu. They are not getting much assistance. In the social media conscious modern society where things can be ordered and managed by keystrokes and screen swipes, these citizens are faring poorly in their own country. They have been left to their own fate. Despite all this, I still bear hope in my heart that we are given justice. Jai Hind.
Wake up! Learn to protect yourself. Ahinsa in the face of hinsa is foolish. Ensure survival - your own and that of your ideology.