Thursday, August 21, 2008

No more silent Hindu, timid Hindu

A Hindu teenaged boy on the frontline in Jammu
The bushfire of Hindu rage
For the past five weeks Jammu has been witnessing a veritable uprising against the pro-Muslim, anti-Hindu politics and policies of the establishment in Srinagar and the Government in New Delhi. At the heart of the dispute is the contrived controversy over the allotment of 97 acres of land to Sri Amarnath Shrine Board for creating temporary facilities for Hindu pilgrims who trek to the hill cave shrine every summer. The Muslims of Kashmir Valley — let us not be coy and refer to them as ‘Kashmiris’ so as to suppress the fact that they are Muslims — took to the streets, chanting blood-curdling slogans and waving the Pakistani flag, to scuttle the allotment of land. The National Conference of the Abdullah clan and the People’s Democratic Party of the Mufti clan joined the fanatics in insisting that Muslim Kashmir would not tolerate such Hindu intrusion.
Instead of standing up to the rank communalists who have Hindu blood on their hands, the Congress and its stooge, who now occupies the Governor’s office, meekly surrendered to them, thus delivering a crippling blow against the Indian state, though not for the first time. And how did the media react to this abject surrender? The cancellation of the allotment of land was hailed as a judicious decision, an assertion of secular values, to protect ‘Kashmiriyat’; it was praised as being mindful of ‘Kashmiri sentiments’ and ‘Kashmiri psyche’. Stripped of its sophistry, what all this means is that the Congress has done well to pander to Islamic fanaticism and mollycoddle those who heap abuse on India and curse Hindus. Such is the standard used by the media for judging secularism in this wondrous land of ours.
And how has the media responded to the snow-balling protest against Muslim appeasement, which has engulfed all of Jammu region and brought men, women and children out into the streets to brave bullets and batons? There has been universal condemnation; the agitation has been dubbed as ‘communal’, ‘distressing’, ‘disruptive’, ‘anti-Muslim’ and ‘needlessly provocative’. Kashmir’s Muslims have been described as ‘tolerant’ and Jammu’s Hindus as ‘ingrates’. For 365 days a year Kashmir’s Muslims hold the Indian state to ransom and not an eyebrow is lifted. For 35 days Jammu’s Hindus petition the Indian state to protect their rights and they are ridiculed. Much concern is expressed over the manufactured grievances and imagined victimhood of Kashmir’s Muslims by the lib-left intelligentsia that dominates media. But scorn is poured on the genuine grievances and victimisation of Jammu’s Hindus.
Ever since the first violent protest in downtown Srinagar against the allotment of land to Sri Amarnath Shrine Board, facts have been twisted and the truth has been obfuscated to portray Kashmir’s Muslim fanatics as saints who wouldn’t swat a fly and Jammu’s Hindus as a violent, unruly and communal lot which should be crushed into submission. There is nothing new about this perversity: We have seen in the past how the cleansing of Kashmir Valley of Hindus has been whitewashed; how massacre after massacre of entire Hindu families have been treated by media as ‘minor incidents’ not worthy of notice; how lakhs of Pandits thrown out of their ancestral land have been reduced to refugees in their own country; and, how bogus terms like ‘Kashmiriyat’ have been used as a convenient cover to hide the brutalities inflicted by Kashmir’s Muslims. All that and more is not ‘communal’ but in keeping with the ‘secular’ principles of the Indian state; if Hindus raise their voice in protest, it is not only ‘communal’ but an assault on the ‘secular’ Indian state!
For the benefit of those who have come of age in the last two decades, among them many of the 24x7 news channel anchors who talk utter gibberish while donning an air of supreme confidence to camouflage their limitless ignorance, let me recount the events of January 1990, which mark the beginning of the latest crusade against the Hindus of Jammu & Kashmir. Since ‘secularists’ are allergic to events of the distant past, we need not go into the details of how Hindus were decapitated by the Sword of Islam wielded by the original Islamists. The present will suffice to highlight the duplicity of those whose hearts beat for the hate-India hordes in Kashmir.
Srinagar, January 4, 1990. Aftab, a local Urdu newspaper, publishes a Press release issued by Hizb-ul Mujahideen, set up by the Jamaat-e-Islami in 1989 to wage jihad for Jammu & Kashmir’s secession from India and accession to Pakistan, asking all Hindus to pack up and leave. Another local paper, Al Safa, repeats this expulsion order. In the following days, there is near chaos in the Kashmir Valley with then Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah and his National Conference Government abdicating all responsibilities. Masked men run amok, waving Kalashnikovs, shooting to kill and shouting anti-India slogans. Reports of killing of Hindus, invariably Kashmiri Pandits, begin to trickle in; there are explosions; inflammatory speeches are made from the pulpits of mosques, using public address systems meant for calling the faithful to prayers. A terrifying fear psychosis begins to take grip of Kashmiri Pandits.
Srinagar, January 19, 1990. Mr Jagmohan arrives to take charge as Governor. Mr Farooq Abdullah, whose pathetic, whimpering, snivelling Government has all but ceased to exist, resigns and goes into a sulk. Curfew is imposed as a first measure to restore some semblance of law and order. But it fails to have a deterrent effect. Throughout the day, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Hizb-ul Mujahideen terrorists use public address systems at mosques to exhort people to defy curfew and take to the streets. Masked men, firing from their Kalashnikovs, march up and down, terrorising Pandits. As evening falls, the exhortations become louder and shriller. Three taped slogans are repeatedly played the whole night from mosques: “Kashmir mei agar rehna hai, Allah-hu-Akbar kehna hai” (If you want to stay in Kashmir, you have to say Allah-hu-Akbar); “Yahan kya chalega, Nizam-e-Mustafa” (What do we want here? Rule of shari’ah); “Asi gachchi Pakistan, batao roas te batanev san” (We want Pakistan along with Hindu women but without their men). As the night of January 19, 1990, wears itself out, despondency gives way to desperation. And tens of thousands of Kashmiri Pandits across the Valley take a painful decision: To flee their homeland to save their lives. Thus takes place a 20th century Exodus.
Their wounds, as also the wounds of Hindu India, have been festering for 18 years. The simmering anger of Hindus has now burst into a raging bush fire that threatens to burn to ashes media’s perverse notions of ‘secularism’ and destroy the politics of Muslim appeasement. Consternation and panic in Delhi and Srinagar are understandable.

Coffee Break / Sunday Pioneer / August 10, 2008

(c) CMYK Printech Ltd.

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