Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with KHF delegation members at the event
|Kashmir Hindu Foundation, KHF presented a memorandum on this occasion wich is reproduced below:
For the Kashmiri Pandits, that are here representing Kashmir Hindu Foundation, it is an honor to be in your presence. We are in admiration of your track record as a social change leader, Chief Minister of Gujarat as well as Prime Minister of India. And welcome your steps to meet with people of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. We had an honor to meet you in Ahmadabad when KHF delegation met you in 2013.
There is so much to tell you and so much we need of you. Yet, we know that a person of your stature and knowledge already comes with a considerable understanding of the ground realities. Given so, we will only briefly convey some facts and those needs of ours that need immediate address.
FIA -Federation of Indian Associations Vice Chair Yash Pal Soi, Executive Vice President Surjal Parikh ,
Sewa Internationa Achalesh Amar with Deepak Ganju of Kashmir Hindu Foundaion - KHF at the event
Kashmiri Hindus have had a glorious past in Kashmir but have been considerably worse off in later history. We have faced 7 exoduses from Kashmir but have returned every-time, albeit to a diminished strength from earlier. The exodus of 1990 has almost completely decimated our existeExecutive Vice Presidentnce in the valley and in the current climate; we see no immediate hope of our return. 400,000 of our people were forced out of the Kashmir valley through a genocidal campaign unleashed by an Islamist movement. In the events of those days, we could not separate friend from foe or neighbor from a murderer. It was a mesh, created to trap the life out of Kashmiri Hindus in the valley.
- Nilmatpurana and Pandit Kalhan’s Rajatarangini are the oldest books on Kashmir’s history.
- Original inhabitants of Kashmir; Kashmir name derived from Kashyap Mir
- Great and brave Hindu kings like Lalitaditya (697-733 A.D), Jayapira (764-795 A.D), Avanti Varman (855-883 A.D).
- Temples like Martand, Amarnath, Shankarachrya, Khir Bhawani, Hari Parbat, Mattan etc,
- Saints and Sages like Abhinavgupta, Lal Ded, Parmanand, Rupa Bhawani, Bhagwan Gopinathji, Nund Reshi, Swami Lakshman Joo
- Kashmir Shaivism philosophy Shiv-Shakti: Mahadeva, Bhuteshwar, Harmukh (Shiva) Shaarika, Sharda, KhirBhavani (Shakti)
- Arts and Literature: Swami Gobind Kaul, Dina Nath Nadim, Subash Kak, Bhajan Sopori, Veer Munshi, Ashok Pandit, Bansi Lal Nirdosh
KHF, Kashmir Hindu Foundation is the organization of overseas Kashmiri Hindus. It is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious organization registered in the state of California with offices in all major centers across USA and is making efforts for the preservation of our social mores, cultural heritage and language, even as we remain in exile.
- Muslims assumed direct power only around 1339 A.D with Shahmir. Kashmiri Hindus have survived through the years because of our culture, knowledge and qualities of diligence and adaptability. Yet, disenfranchisement, even more after 1947, caused continuing decline in our numbers inside the valley. Eventually, a burst of unimaginable and hard violence led to the mass exodus of 1990. Now, a whole population remains scattered waiting to go home.
What is to be done?
- 400,000 KPs forced to leave valley en-masse. About 1200 killed; most after maiming and torture. And it goes on with just a few thousand remaining in the valley. Sangrampora - 7 killed, Wandhama – 23 killed, Telwani - 3 killed, Nadimarg – 24 killed
- 1,000 died due to sunstroke and snakebites. 8000 due to other unnatural causes while in makeshift camps
- 2,000 residences, businesses gutted. 80% of shops in Srinagar city alone occupied illegally (Panun Kashmir)
Shalabh "Shalli" Kumar, Founding Chairman of Republican Hiindu Coalition , with Surjal Parikh ,
Sewa Internationa Achalesh Amar and Deepak Ganju of Kashmir Hindu Foundaion - KHF at the event
- Kashmiri Hindus should be recognized as internally displaced people and a declaration should be made to this effect
- Implement a plan to ensure that property left behind by the refugees is preserved and protected and illegal occupants removed. If Kashmiri Hindus lose their temples, houses and property, their ethnic cleansing will become permanent. This plan should also cover those Kashmiri Hindus who have been forced to sign documents of sale under any kind of duress.
- Immediate creation of a ministerial body, council or authority under the control of the governor of J&K state, to be mainly managed by Kashmiri Pandits. This body will look after our interests in the J&K state and will have its own budget, management and reporting structures even as it co-ordinates with other arms of the state and national governments.
- Under Article 370 of Indian constitution, residents of the J&K State get special privileges within the state. These special privileges such as the ability to own land and houses are granted to those with a “State Subject Certificate.” Children of the Hindu refugees do not have this certificate; therefore, special offices should be set-up in Jammu and Delhi where Kashmiri Hindus can get state subject certificates for their children.
- Kashmiri Hindus by virtue of being original inhabitants of the Kashmir valley literally have a birthright to their homeland. Yet, have so far been ignored deliberately during any talks on Kashmir. Our participation in any negotiated settlement of Kashmir is of vital importance for any just and equitable settlement. Therefore we should be included in each and every step of a negotiation process.
- We re-iterate that Kashmiri Hindus are the original, indigenous people of the Kashmir valley. As such, they have an inalienable right on Kashmir. We wish to exercise the right to live in Kashmir not on the basis of the goodwill of the Muslims of Kashmir, but as our fundamental right. In any kind of settlement, Kashmiri Hindus are looking for a territory in the Kashmir valley where we have ownership of our political and economic destiny within the framework of the Indian constitution.
- There has been a complete lack of prosecution of terrorists and militants, including those who have openly admitted to wanton killing of Kashmiri Hindus. Such terrorists should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
- These days, the killing of policemen has become regular as well as armed attacks on security personnel. It is going back to the situation of the armed insurgency of 1990. Unless justice is served, terrorists and their supporters will continue to run the state.
- ï 145 Hindu shrines and temples burnt down (Panun Kashmir)
- ï Efforts of unsettled artists, writers, singers have been seriously limited in the absence of resources
- ï An unsettled community is in cultural decline
- Our places of worship have been burnt, vandalized and damaged. We strongly urge the Government of India and the State government that our temples and cultural institutions in the valley be secured, preserved and protected
- Financial and state support for our socio-cultural-religious organizations, that we have managed to run even in our exile, is required urgently.
- State recognition should be given to Kashmiri Pandit writers, artists and social activists and grants should be provided for them to further their work.
Background (Stats from 2004 and now the situation has worsened manifold)
- Centers need to be built for the preservation of thousands of years of our history, culture, tradition and works of art.Economy-Health-Education-Welfare-Security
- ï Birth Rate of 3% - Death Rate of 13%
- ï Displaced KP State Government Employees = 13,000; Adjusted employees = 1500 (Hindustan Times)
- ï Retired KP employees in the past 14 years = 5,000; New Recruits = 300 (Hindustan Times)
- ï Extremely Sharp Increase in instances of Diabetes, Asthma, Hyper Tension, Mental Disorder, Cardiac Problems, Anemia, Lungs and Throat Illnesses (Young’s India – UNICEF aided NGO)
- ï Epidemics like Drug Resistant Typhoid (9% of refugees in 91-92), Dengue (7,000 refugees in 1994), Hepatitis-E (1,500 refuges in 97-98) (Kavita Suri, Statesman)
- ï 120,000 jobs to Muslim youth but not a single scheme for Kashmiri Pandit youth
- The government of India is funding the state of J&K to the tune of thousands of crores. Yet, we do not see corresponding political and economic return and just increasing expenses and demands. Create a separate budget provision for the Kashmiri Pandits that have remained true to India even in highly adverse conditions. We guarantee that the economic and political returns for India will be far greater.
- Provide state support in setting up minority educational institutions by Kashmiri Pandits in the state of Jammu & Kashmir. We can work miracles given the pool of engineering, medical, technical, management and educational professionals we have.
- Provide state support in the building and running of a hospital and other premises that will be focused on treating the kinds of physical and mental health problems faced by the Kashmiri Pandits in exile.
- Hundreds of crores in loans to businesses in Kashmir are delinquent. Mostly, because these businesses were not meant to be. Encourage and support through bank loans and grants valid business proposals from Kashmiri Pandits. Help create the security and political climate to enable Kashmiri Pandit technocrats and specialists to build enterprises in J&K.
- A special quota in all government educational institutions should be reserved for the Kashmiri Hindu children because of the unfavorable conditions under which they are studying and growing up. Kashmiri Hindus There are unfavorable conditions in the Jammu & Kashmir State for Kashmiri Hindus and lack of opportunities elsewhere, therefore a special job quota in all central and state government agencies should be reserved for Kashmiri Hindus.
We thank you for your time and attention and hope that we will get your support in making the J&K state a better part of India.
- Kashmiri Pandits have suffered enough and lived enough in an insecure environment. Let it be known that no one can escape punishment for an act of violence against the community.