25 Years of Exile – 19th January — Kashmiri Hindu Holocast Day

jammu-and-kashmirEvery year Kashmiri Hindus all over the country observe 19th of January as ‘Holocaust Day’. It was on this day in 1990 terrorist entrepreneurs under the aegis of JKLF and other allied outfits declared war against the minority Kashmiri Hindu community through hate campaigns, threats, selective killings, bomb attacks etc. This paved way for religious-cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus, the aborigines of Kashmir.

No Kashmiri Hindu who has lived those days in Kashmir and retains some sensitivity can over-come these nightmarish experiences. That is why on this day Kashmiri Hindus hold protests, take out rallies and make resolve to keep reminding the world that this community will never accept its cleansing as fait accompli. Kashmiri Hindus have been great survivors and retain the will to survive in future also.

Exile leads to spiritual impoverishment—not only in cultural terms but also in retaining memory of the cleansing act itself. Fear, insecurity, powerful adversary, insensitivity all around etc. tend to induce de politicization and feelings of defeatism.

As the exile gets prolonged the mass of the exiled community comes to regard its own self as the worst enemy. The resultant social distortion of its personality makes it behave in bizarre ways. It seeks to invent virtues in those who imposed genocide on it. Secondly, it begins to advocate its redemption by undermining its own community—its ethos, culture, struggle, leadership and comes to regard assimilation in alien culture and erosion of its identity as its ultimate salvation. This has been true of all exiled groups in history.

If living in exile is not accompanied by consciousness of exile, the exiled community would not be able to preserve its identity consciousness for retrieving its homeland. Observance of the ‘Holocaust Day’ addresses this dimension as well, besides keeping political visibility on genocide. A new generation of Kashmiri Hindus born after 1990 have no memories—of being pushed out or the nostalgia of living Kashmiri way of life in the ambience of Kashmir. How do they relate themselves to the moment for retrieval of homeland? Participation in community agendas on ‘Holocaust Day’ and other days affords an opportunity.

In 1990 when Kashmiri Hindus were thrown out from Kashmir by Jihadist fascist forces, the displaced community faced total isolation. Regional mainstream parties in Kashmir were hostile because Kashmiri Hindus refused to endorse the parochial religious sub-nationalism espoused by them. Left\Liberal lobby was averse to take up their cause because it carried the burden of an ideology of secularism which was couched in anti-Hindu terms. Kashmiri Hindus took all this in their stride.

Through a sustained campaign and displaying vision, grit and determination, Kashmiri Hindus under the leadership of Panun Kashmir are slowly succeeding in breaking this vicious circle of isolation. The forces of history are also playing their role. Travelling of jihadist terrorism to the mainland is making the nation aware that Kashmiri Hindus were only the first victims in the jihadist war. Its larger target was the idea of India itself. Kashmiri Hindus are thus finding new allies. 

It is time the ruling dispensations in Delhi realize that genocide of Kashmiri Hindus needs to be reversed lock, stock and barrel. Political structures in which Kashmiri Hindus lived prior to 1990 only facilitated their complete cleansing from their homeland. They cannot return to the same structure.

Kashmiri Hindus look to Narendra Modi with great hope and optimism. It is our strong belief based on ground realities that the separatist campaign in Kashmir is not an issue of local alienation or a legacy of partition. The separatist campaign is part of a war being waged to dismantle India’s northern frontiers and pave a way for the balkanization of the country. The religious cleansing of their community was a consequence of this campaign.

They challenged the very concept of Kashmiriyat. Apart from underlining the need to accelerate the process of nation-building and protecting and securing the Himalayan frontiers and eliminating the forces inimical to India and the minorities in the state.

The structural reorganization of Jammu & Kashmir in the larger framework of the reorganization of the state is a political necessity. It is GOI’s responsibility to create a new dispensation as demanded by Panun Kashmir in Kashmir, in which there would be no future refoulment. It is to this dispensation the entire displaced community would return to live there on permanent basis. Till then Kashmiri Hindus need to keep up their struggle.

Source: WHN Media Network