The cold dark night of 19th January 1990 was probably the worst nightmare ever witnessed by Indian secularism. “Raliv, Galiv ya Chaliv – Join us, Die or Flee, Yha Kya Chalega Nizam-e-Mustafa, Azadi ka Matlab Kya, La Illah IL laalh “ were some slogans which were taking round in Kashmir valley. We want “Kashmir to become Pakistan without Pandit men but with their women” was the slogan which terrified Kashmiri Pandits more than the fear of death. There was a large scale violence against Hindu minority sponsored by Pakistan and Islamic Fundamentalist. January 19 marks 28th anniversary of the exodus of Kashmiri pandit from valley.
The bloody day tainted Indian democracy with the bloods of thousand of Kashmiri pandits. Hindus homes were set ablaze, women were raped, Hindu leaders were identified and killed. The Hindu activists, leaders , leading business men were attacked, looted and brutally killed. It was done to fill terror in the heart and mind of common Hindus. This was followed by death threats through local newspapers. Local Newspapers such as Aftab, Al Safa etc published article and press release asking pandits to Raliv, Galiv ya Chaliv – Join us, Die or Flee.
Violence, Insecurity, Massacre, Bloodshed, Death threats forced Pandits to flee to other parts of the country. According to Indian government, more than 60,000 families are registered as Kashmir refugees. The Jammu and Kashmir government claims that 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed. However, the number of deaths and refugees are much higher. While traveling in Kashmir one may find many burnt houses in Kashmir.. These houses belong to Kashmiri Pandits. This burnt building reveals a sad and bizarre story and bloodshed that was witnessed by Pandits. Even after 28 years of the unfortunate day, Government has failed to resettle Kashmir Pandits in Kashmir.
Kashmiri Pandits have history of over 5000 years. Kashmir belongs to Kashmiri Pandits and Pandits belongs to Kashmir. Without Kashmiri Pandits- kashmiriyat and Kashmir both are incomplete. It is often heard that Kashmiri Pandits doesn’t want to resettle in Kashmir as they feel insecure. This indicates that Kashmiri Pandits have lost their faith from secularism, government and democracy. Thus it becomes the prime duty of government, political parties, leading Indian scholars to take up the cause of Kashmiri Pandit and help them restore their faith in secularism and democracy.
Unfortunately, so called seculars are busy in celebrating death anniversary of Afzul Guru. They are tirelessly labouring to link Rohingya crisis in Myanmar and Bangladesh with Indian secularism. However, they have no pain and time to uplift the cause of Kashmiri Pandits. The ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandit is the most unfortunate event in the history of India. Justice is still undone and Delay in justice is injustice. Every corner of India should mourn this day and shall be celebrated as black day. Hope, Peace will soon restore in Kashmir and a cordial atmosphere for the resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits will be maintained.