Kashmiri Hindus seek separate homeland in Kashmir Valley

 

News and Events
Kashmiri Hindus seek separate homeland in Kashmir Valley
Washington, DC (USA) February 4, 2011

Deepak Ganju
n a teleconference wherein nearly 436 Kashmiri Hindus representing USA, Canada, UK, Australia, France, New Zealand, India, Germany and Austria were connected and bonded for 90 minutes with Dilip Padgaonkar, one of the three interlocutors appointed by the Government of India on Jammu and Kashmir, the Global Kashmiri Pandit Diaspora made a strong presentation on all the aspects of Kashmiri Hindu struggle in exile.

Besides touching various facets on the plight of Kashmiri Hindu refugees, the main focus of the program was introduction to why Homeland? The demand for homeland was introduced and connected with the past history of Kashmiri Pandits. It was stressed and argued by many speakers that this was the only option to protect this unique and distinct community from becoming extinct.

Forced to live in exile for more than two decades, the global Kashmiri Hindu Diaspora demanded carving out a homeland for in Kashmir valley with Union Territory status.

Mr. Jeevan Zutshi, from California while welcoming Mr. Dileep Padgaonkar described that this conference would project the main concern of the Kashmiri Hindu community about an imminent threat to their extinction.

Mr. Dileep Padgaonkar in his opening statement said that he has continuously drawn attention to the plight of Kashmiri Pandits for a long time. "The key to bringing a durable peace in Jammu & Kashmir is the fate of KP community and their ability to lead a life of peace, of harmony. of dignity of honor of safety in their own homeland."

Mr. Bansi Tikku from California, while speaking on historical perspective of Kashmir said that one cannot erase history, however it is necessary that one learns lessons from history. "It is indeed a shame that India cannot take care of a regional Hindu minority and undo their forced exodus. If the superpower India cannot ensure KP's life and safety everywhere in the valley, let her make it possible at least in some part of the valley, our motherland-our homeland."

Mr. Deepak Ganju from Florida questioned as to why should Kashmiri Hindus be forced to be subservient to the wishes of the majority community who were responsible for their forced exodus in the first place? "Notions of justice require that the Kashmiri Pandits be given back their homes and surroundings. And this can only happen if a separate territory is earmarked for them out of the valley which could be governed by self-government. Panun Kashmir must be a vital part of any steps recommended by the interlocutors. Let the words translate into action."

Dr. Jagan N Kaul
from Oregon described as to how the Muslim animosity, hatred, discrimination, economic squeeze, communal violence and calculated administrative indifference and neglect led to ethnic cleansing, genocide and finally exile. "The act of creating a Union Territory for them will simultaneously fulfill the two important national goals of India such as a) saving these communities with unique cultures and rich past; and, b) enhancing the national security of the country by empowering India's loyal citizens in a strategic region. We ask you Dr. Padgaonkar, to ask the Prime Minister to do it as it is the right thing to do."

Mr. Rakesh Kaul from New Jersey, spoke about how KP international Diaspora can help in finding solution in Jammu and Kashmir? Mr Kaul suggested creation of Global Jammu and Kashmir Chamber of Commerce, Education and Health Services, Jammu and Kashmiri offshore coordinator office and Global Kashmiri Aesthetic council.

Miss. Rashmi Koul a child speaker spoke about the effects of exodus on children and what it means being away from homeland.

Ms Meenakshi Raina from Paris asked Mr. Padgaonkar as to what dispensation does he envisage for the effective return of the displaced Kashmiri Pundit Diaspora to their ancestral homeland under three dominant political streams flowing in Kashmir. One seeking Kashmir's merger with Pakistan, second one aspiring for Independent Kashmir and the third one articulated by mainstream political party's call for greater autonomy with a very limited role for India in its affairs?

In yet another question from Mr. Veer Khar from New Zealand- "It has been historically established that Kashmiri Pandits have been subjected to a forcible and inhuman exodus once every hundred years during last seven centuries. The community has always gone back to its roots and wants to do so again. The question is: "Have the Hon'ble Interlocutors thought of a dispensation for the displaced community that will provide them the constitutional guarantees for their safety and prevent further displacements?"

Mrs. Krishna Bhan from UK said that "it is the prime responsibility of the State and the Central Governments to ensure the survival of this distinct minority's race and culture. Both Governments should prepare a comprehensive blueprint for Kashmiri Pandits' resettlement and rehabilitation in Kashmir. The displaced community with a distinct culture needs to be saved from the threat of extinction."

Mrs. Koshni Kampassi from UK said that "National Human Rights Commission of India is on record having stated the circumstances that forced out the entire minority of Kashmiri Pandits from their homeland are akin to genocide. This can be a seen as a serious indictment of the executive responsibility of that time. This has also contributed to the neglect and apathy shown towards the displaced community for last twenty years. The question, therefore, is, 'Will the Hon'ble Interlocutors take a note of this serious miscarriage of justice and include redresser measures in their recommendations to Government of India?"

Mrs. Swapna Raina from Maryland talked about,how it feels to loose your own by terrorists. She narrated the trauma and pain caused from the migration and murder of her grandfather Shri Neel Kanth Ganjoo, Former Sessions Judge by terrorists in broad day light on Nov 4th, 1989. She narrated a touching poem on Kashmir written by her daughter Shivani when she was 10 years old.

Mr. Lalit Koul from Massachusetts demanded that the Kashmiri Pandit community be declared as Internally Displaced People (IDP), delink PM's employment package from their return and rehabilitation in the Valley and hand over the management of Kashmiri Hindu religious shrines and cultural centers to Kashmiri Hindus.

Mr. Surinder Kaul
from Texas reiterated "The Global Kashmiri Pundit Diaspora has converged to convey that since the Muslim majority of Kashmir has rejected religious coexistence, in all these 20 years of our forced exile, we are compelled to endorse carving of homeland in the north east of river Jhelum with Union Territory status and with free flow of Indian constitution as the only option to protect this unique and distinct community from becoming extinct,"

Mr. Padgoankar after giving patient hearing to the speakers agreed that Kashmiri Hindus need to be granted a representative political stake in the governance of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. He also asserted that return of the Kashmiri Pandits to their native homes in Kashmir with honor and dignity is one of the top priorities of the interlocutors.
Audio recording of KP Diaspora Conference call
Part1


Part2


Part3
Participant Presentations
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s we see it the events in Kashmir need to be analyzed in a realistic manner. The locally invented political system by a domineering majority and the phenomena of political correctness, have brought about this shortcoming. Yet these events have had profound and lasting impact on the non-Muslim minorities of J&K.

In fact most of these events were conspicuously unidirectional enriching the ruling community while depriving the weak minorities. The obvious result of this one way flow was that the power in totality became concentrated in the hands of a single community. The Pandits being a minuscule Hindu minority, scattered all over the valley were on the receiving end of the authoritarian regime born out of this power grab.

They were battered, terrorized, driven out and treated as the Indian fifth column by the Muslim majoritarianism in 1931, 1967, and 1986, 1989-90. In modern times these are a few of the significant assaults perpetrated by the agents of the Islamic civilizational conquest.

In view of the oft-repeated assurance by the national leadership, the faith, trust and confidence of the Pandit community in the Indian political class was full, complete and unfettered. They had believed in the promise of building a multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic plural society with equality and protection for all.

However, under the cover of nationalism and secularism while Srinagar proceeded to enforce an Islamic agenda, Delhi started drifting from its original commitment to the KPs living in India’s only Muslim majority state. The working of the Muslim majoritarianism led to their complete political marginalization and economic deprivation. It also denied minority or majority status to them.

The bubble of superficial and phony secularism in Kashmir burst in 1989-90, and the Pandit community became the main target of the Islamic jihad. The unidirectional political system, oppressive social relationships and communal administration wedded to the Islamist policies, uprooted almost the entire KP community from the valley. This turbulence led to:
  • Public execution of the Pandit personalities
  • Oft repeated massacres of Pandits and Sikhs
  • Loot and arson of their properties
  • Kidnapping, rape & murders
  • Forcible occupation of properties
  • Falsification of revenue & Govt. records
  • Decimation and looting of Hindu temples
  • Islamizing the names of cities, rivers, hills, places of pilgrimage, chowks, roads etc.
  • Imposition of Sharia as the state law
  • Denial of judicial probes of crimes
  • Denial of issuance of White Paper
  • Denial to exercise the right of hoisting the national flag
  • Imposition of conditions on Amarnath pilgrimage

(Five lack Muslims in Srinagar showing Pak-flags shouting “We are Pakistanis”)
Imposition of tax on Hindu pilgrims in the state
Slogans
Yehan Kiya Chal-e Ga – Nizam-e-Mustafa
Asi Gachi Pakistan – Batav Ross te Batnev Saan
Ralive, Chalive ya Galive

The trauma of uprootment, violence, communal hostility, dehumanization and economic decimation among other things caused deep and lasting emotional scars, distress, sense of loss and hurt in the community. The sufferance of Kashmiri Pandits after Indian independence is so colossal that it has no parallel in modern history in any democratic country.

It was caused by Muslim animosity & hatred, discrimination, economic squeeze, communal violence and calculated administrative indifference and neglect. All these criminal behaviors led to ethnic cleansing, genocide and finally exile.

Now the Pandits are struggling to survive as a distinct ethnic community in exile. They want to preserve their rich cultural heritage. To reclaim their homeland they are also engaged in a broad based political struggle attracting national and international recognition. The Margdharshan Proclamation for a Homeland adopted by Panun Kashmir marked the first call of the community to liberate itself from the Muslim subjugation and tyranny. It rejected the idea of being ruled by a political clique that distinctly declared its loyalty and allegiance to India’s mortal enemy – Pakistan.

What has been done to the Pandits is naturally the outcome of a deep design to liquidate the indigenous people of Kashmir, grab their territory and Islamize the region. It is a tragic tale of the extermination of indigenous people on the grounds of their religious affiliation in a country which prides itself as an opponent of the infamous two nation theory.

The forced displacement of KPs from their ancestral homes reflects the colossal failure of the Govt. and its betrayal of the word and spirit of the Indian Constitution. GOI cannot underestimate the disastrous consequences of the application of the two nation theory in Kashmir. Its adverse implications have potential to engulf the entire nation. Eminent political analysts have already identified three goals of the Islamic conquest in Kashmir. They are:

  • a) To cleanse the region of Kaffirs;
  • b) To use Kashmir as a staging post for de-stabilizing the rest of India, and;
  • c) To merge Kashmir with the greater Islamic world by attaching it to Pakistan.

More often than not such demographic subversions are motivated by the lure of physical occupation of land and properties owned by “infidels”. The regimes following such philosophies have shown a remarkable inability to co-exist with other religious formations and function democratically under a constitution guaranteeing freedom and equality for all. It has happened in India’s immediate neighborhood –Pakistan and Bangladesh. And now J&K has fallen prey to this imperialist system.

To prevent things from getting out of hand there is an urgent need for developing a well thought out plan for India’s national security. The establishiment of a Homeland for the Pandits, Sikhs and other refugees right in the valley falls in the center of such a plan.

All of the 28 Indian States and 7 Union territories were created through the process of reorganization. 5 of the 7 UT have nearly as much or less population as that of the Pandits, Sikhs and others in exile. These communities being at the verge of extinction endangered and threatened by the expansionist Islam, can be saved only by carving out a Union Territory for them. Such an act will simultaneously fulfill the twin goal of a) saving these communities with unique cultures and rich past; and, b) enhancing the national security by empowering India’s loyal citizens in a strategic region. We ask you Mr. Padgaonkar, to ask the Prime Minister to do it as it is the right thing to do.

Notes on discussion by Dr. Jagan Kaul with Dileep Padgaonkar, GOI Interlocutor, on Friday 4th Feb. 2011.

*Dr. Jagan N Kaul has served in faculties and administrations of numerous universities in the American Mid-West.

He has advised US Congressional stalwarts and public organizations on Foreign Policy and International Affairs.

Until recently he also served as a Consultant with UNIP a division of the UN. A decade ago he was instrumental in getting a proclamation of support adopted by the South Dakota State Legislature (USA) for the struggle by KPs and other non-Muslim minorities of Kashmir against the Islamic tyranny.

It was Dr. Kaul's efforts that motivated US Senator Tim Johnson to ask Prime Minister Vajpayee of India to explore the possibility of establishing an autonomous homeland for KPs. The US Senator was the first international leader to suggest such a course of action.

Similarly Dr. Kaul successfully used his power of persuasion in bringing the local government of Roseburg on board in supporting the struggle for a homeland by non-Muslim minorities of Kashmir and recognizing September 14 as Martyrs Day to pay homage to the people who lost their lives in this struggle.

Now the State Legislature of Oregon (USA) has on its agenda a Joint Resolution of support for the creation of an autonomous Homeland to rehabilitate the Non-Muslim minorities of Kashmir region. The Resolution has been adopted by the Judiciary Committee and its chairman Sen. Floyd Prozanski is scheduled to move it for passage by the Joint Session of the Legislature. As a public citizen Dr. Kaul is behind this significant move as well.

At Dr. Kaul's initiative the entire Democratic Legislative Party of the state of South Dakota represented by Sen. Jim Hutmacher and Rep. Pat Haley, the Senate & House Minority Leaders respectively, in an important missive to President Bill Clinton asked that like Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia and Kosovo the people who committed "hate crimes" in Kashmir should be punished. They strongly recommended the creation of a self governing union territory for Pandits as that was the most pragmatic and a viable solution to their current dispersal throughout India. They requested the President for taking up this issue with the Indian Prime Minister during his visit to India.

In mid-eighty's, Dr. Kaul is one of the oldest active members of the KP community in the US. Currently he serves as the Chairman, Diversity-USA, A National Democratic Think Tank on Minority Affairs.
Copyrights © 2007 Shehjar online and KashmirGroup.com. Any content, including but not limited to text, software, music, sound, photographs, video, graphics or other material contained may not be modified, copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, or distributed in any form or context without written permission. Terms & Conditions.
The views expressed are solely the author's and not necessarily the views of Shehjar or its owners. Content and posts from such authors are provided "AS IS", with no warranties, and confer no rights. The material and information provided iare for general information only and should not, in any respect, be relied on as professional advice. Neither Shehjar.kashmirgroup.com nor kashmirgroup.com represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other information displayed, uploaded, or distributed through the Service by any user, information provider or any other person or entity. You acknowledge that any reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement, memorandum, or information shall be at your sole risk.

 

 

 

he Kashmiri Pandit exodus in 1989-1990 has been widely discussed and elaborated with official statistical evidence. Being one of the victims myself, the stories of massacres and brutal rape and inhuman torture of women and children purely on religious grounds have often been retold to the world by those of us fortunate to be alive. It is Pakistan that blatantly sponsored the terrorism in the Valley. The then governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Jagmohan, wrote a detailed letter to the then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, on the alarming signals, but to no avail. The barbarous murder of thousands of Hindus in Kashmir marked their seventh agonizing mass exodus from the Valley. It also marked the final knock down of ethnic ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri Hindus reducing their population from 10% in 1947 to fewer than 5% in 1989 and to less than 1% today.

It is not only unfortunate but deliberate and reckless on the part of several governments and the media to neglect the plight of our brethren who continue to spend their lives in extreme deprivation in refugee camps. What is worse, the “Kashmiri cause” has been associated with the plight of the Kashmiri Muslim youth. Unfortunately our own Government has fallen into the trap of Pakistan’s claim that for lasting peace and stability in the region, Kashmir issue should be resolved according to aspirations of Kashmiri people. And when they talk about Kashmiri people they only talk about Kashmiri Muslims living in the valley from district Anantnag in South to Districts Kupwara and Baramula in the North. Our own government is perhaps deliberately ignoring the aspirations of Kashmiri Hindus in Jammu & Kashmir State. Let us not forget the fact that there is a religious element involved in the equation. Why should Kashmiri Hindus be forced to be subservient to the wishes of the majority community who were responsible for their forced exodus in the first place?

The Supreme Court of India has been compelled to as the J&K government as to what it has done for the alienated Kashmiri Pandit. No one will deny that the Kashmiri Pandits are living in deplorable conditions in the refugee camps. The most wretched feeling of indignation due to joblessness could get diluted if one at least enjoyed the surroundings of one’s home. But thousands of properties that lawfully belonged to the law-abiding Kashmiri Hindus have been illegally occupied, or sold. In this situation, it is only fair that interlocutors must highlight to the government and media channels that the “Kashmiri Pandit cause” is an equally critical portion of the “Kashmiri cause”.

In view of the long-standing neglect by the J&K government and inertia by the Central Governments, it is our recommendation that Kashmir valley must be geographically bifurcated where the territories demanded by Panun Kashmir must be carved out for Kashmiri Hindus. Notions of justice require that the Kashmiri Hindus be given back their homes and surroundings. And this can only happen if a separate territory is earmarked for them out of the valley which could be governed by self-government. Panun Kashmir must be a vital part of any steps recommended by the interlocutors. Let the words translate into action.
*Engineer by training and an entrepreneur by profession, Deepak Ganju is the Managing Editor of the Monthly on-line Shehjar magazine, a leading publication reaching over ten thousand members. This now-very-popular magazine covers the entire spectrum of Kashmir--its politics, history, religion and culture. One of the past Presidents of KOA, Deepak is the founding member of Kashmir Hindu Foundation, Inc and International Kashmir Federation. Being forced to leave his home and hearth in the wake of terrorist onslaught from across the border, Deepak has undergone the traumatic experience of being a refugee from Kashmir. His focus has always been to highlight the plight of Kashmiri Hindu refugees through the medium of documentary movies, rallies, interviews and magazines.
Lost Paradise” “India;s 59-hour Infamy” and ”Our Lost Home” are some of the videos produced by him to acquaint the world at large with what the Hindus of Kashmir have gone through.
Copyrights © 2007 Shehjar online and KashmirGroup.com. Any content, including but not limited to text, software, music, sound, photographs, video, graphics or other material contained may not be modified, copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, or distributed in any form or context without written permission. Terms & Conditions.
The views expressed are solely the author's and not necessarily the views of Shehjar or its owners. Content and posts from such authors are provided "AS IS", with no warranties, and confer no rights. The material and information provided iare for general information only and should not, in any respect, be relied on as professional advice. Neither Shehjar.kashmirgroup.com nor kashmirgroup.com represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other information displayed, uploaded, or distributed through the Service by any user, information provider or any other person or entity. You acknowledge that any reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement, memorandum, or information shall be at your sole risk.

 

 

 

Shehjar Newsmagazine Shehjar e-magazine
ashmiri Pandits are the original inhabitants of Kashmir. They created the civilization in the beautiful vale of Kashmir around 3000 B.C ; contributed to the glory of Hinduism and Buddhism.

In 1990 over 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their homeland through a genocidal campaign unleashed by an Islamic movement. Nearly 3000 innocent Kashmiri Pandits were slaughtered and the entire community was uprooted from its ancestral land and this community today is struggling for its identity and existence. Once prosperous and proud of their heritage, Kashmiri Pandits became refugees in their own country and live the life of exiles . They are fighting a grim battle to save themselves from becoming extinct as a race and culture.

Internally Displaced Kashmir Pandits have been living as refugees in camps in squalid conditions in Jammu and in Delhi since 1990.The camps lack the basic amenities , proper medical care, educational provision and family support. More than 5000 persons have died in camps after their forced exodus from the Valley. They died of sunstrokes, gastroenteritis, typhoid and snake bites. Many of them suffer from heart attacks and stress induced diabetes and hypertension which have been mainly attributed to extreme psychological trauma and stress. The statistics reflect high death rate and low birth rate among the Kashmiri Pandit refugees.

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandit youths are getting scattered in various parts of the country in search of their livelihood and the cohesiveness of the families is fast disappearing. It is feared at the present rate of dispersal and losing its natural habitat the community is disintegrating beyond redemption and facing total extinction.

The Kashmiri Pandits living in the West are greatly concerned about the issues of Kashmiri Pandits’ extinction in Jammu and Kashmir and in the other parts of India due the conditions created by their forced exodus from the Valley. It is the prime responsibility of the State and the Central Governments to ensure the survival of this distinct minority’s race and culture .Both Governments should prepare a comprehensive blueprint for Kashmiri Pandits’ resettlement and rehabilitation in Kashmir. The displaced community with a distinct culture needs to be saved from the threat of extinction.

The world too has a stake in protecting this culturally rich, educated and peace loving community from becoming extinct.
Krishna Bhan is currently President of the Indo-European Kashmir Forum IEKF (based in the UK)
Copyrights © 2007 Shehjar online and KashmirGroup.com . Any content, including but not limited to text, software, music, sound, photographs, video, graphics or other material contained may not be modified, copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, or distributed in any form or context without written permission. Terms & Conditions.
The views expressed are solely the author's and not necessarily the views of Shehjar or its owners. Content and posts from such authors are provided "AS IS", with no warranties, and confer no rights. The material and information provided iare for general information only and should not, in any respect, be relied on as professional advice. Neither Shehjar.kashmirgroup.com nor kashmirgroup.com represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any advice, opinion, statement, or other information displayed, uploaded, or distributed through the Service by any user, information provider or any other person or entity. You acknowledge that any reliance upon any such opinion, advice, statement, memorandum, or information shall be at your sole risk.

 

 

 

 

Youth Sections
"The Braves Arise "
I am from the cold temperatures of Kashmir

To the beautiful mountains surrounding it

From colorful saris worn by all

To the tinkling bangles

And the deep red henna



I am from the bright sparklers on diwali

To the brotherly love on rakhi

And even the small holidays

Are treated like huge occasions



I am from the old brick house

At the bottom of the hill

To the fire-colored tulips in the spring

And the never never-ending flow of the stream in the back



I am from an endless amount of

Stuffed photo albums

To an infinite number of DVDs

From when I was little



I am from my roots in Kashmir

I am from Stories of Kashmir


– our ancestral land, narrated by my parents

I am from Maej Kasheer I wish to visit

I don’t know when …. But hope soon.



I am from all these memories stored in my heart.

This poem has been written by Swapna Raina's daughter (Shivani Wali Raina) when she was 10 years old. This was narrated by Swapna at the KP Diaspora Conference call with the Kashmir Interlocutors on February 4, 2011.

She also narrated the trauma and pain caused from the migration and murder of her grandfather Shri Neel Kanth Ganjoo, Former Sessions Judge in broad day light on Nov 4th, 1989.

Copyrights © 2007 Shehjar online and KashmirGroup.com. Any content, including but not limited to text, software, music, sound, photographs, video, graphics or other material contained may not be modified, copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, or distributed in any form or context without written permission. Terms & Conditions.

 

 

 

News and Events
Global Kashmiri Pundit Diaspora demand Homeland in Valley
Washington, DC (USA) February 4, 2011
Dr. Surinder Kaul, MD is a community activist. He is Medical Director, Hospitalist Division, Department of Medicine, Ben Taub General Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, USA.
Copyrights © 2007 Shehjar online and KashmirGroup.com. Any content, including but not limited to text, software, music, sound, photographs, video, graphics or other material contained may not be modified, copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, or distributed in any form or context without written permission. Terms & Conditions.