Twenty four years to the day when they were forced to flee from the Valley, a delegation of Kashmiri Pandits submitted a memorandum to BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the Capital on Sunday seeking his intervention for their return to their homeland.
Interacting with the delegation, Mr. Modi said it was on January 19, 1990 that Kashmiri Pandits were made to leave their homeland. It was an attack on not only a community but their centuries old tradition, he said. What the displaced Pandits are facing today is not just a fight against injustice meted out to them, but are also fighting for the reinstatement of their lost tradition back in the Valley, he added.
Mr. Modi told the delegation that injustice to Kashmiri Pandits is not only an attack on their rights but an attack on our national ideal of ‘Sarva Pantha Sambhav’.
“No words will ever explain the extent of suffering Kashmiri Pandits experienced. Justice towards the community remains our firm commitment,” he told the delegation.
In the memorandum submitted to Mr. Modi, the community said: “Challenge to the idea of Indian Nation state continues in Kashmir in one or the other form. Extirpation of entire Kashmiri Hindu religious minority is one of its worst manifestations. This religious identity has suffered ignobility and tragedy of exodus in the past as well, but the mass exodus of 1990 is one of the worst scars as it happened in ‘Secular, Democratic and Free India’.”
The delegation said the targeted killing of members of the Hindu Minority community that led to mass exodus has resulted in the change of the demographic profile of the State, yet “no commission was constituted nor was any enquiry ordered into the causes of extirpation and rise of fundamentalist-anti-India insurgency in Kashmir.”