On the ‘Kashmiri Hindus Exile Day’

The plight of Hindus who suffered  atrocities perpetrated by jihadi terrorists in Kashmir and lived as refugees

The natives of India, which was once called Vishwaguru, are now insecure in India itself. In many places, the number of Hindus is steadily declining and Hindus are on the verge of becoming a minority there. Today, Hindus are migrating to many places in India to escape jihadi terrorism.

Kashmiri Hindus were the first in India to face jihadi terrorism. In the Year 1990, four and a half lakh Hindus were displaced from Kashmir to escape the atrocities of jihadi terrorists. Today, all these Hindus are trying to rehabilitate themselves in Kashmir through the organisation ‘Panun Kashmir’.

The Maharashtra Chief of Youth for Panun Kashmir, Mr. Rahul Kaul and Pune-based Coordinator of ‘Panun Kashmir’ Mr. Rohit Bhat have described the plight of Hindus in Kashmir and the plight of the refugees in an interview to ‘Sanatan Prabhat’.

1. In Kashmir, Hindus had to leave their homes due to indiscriminate atrocities and various threats

Mr. Rohit Bhat : When atrocities were being perpetrated on Kashmiri Hindus, no one in the whole of India knew about it. Even today, many Indians are unaware of the atrocities perpetrated on Kashmiri Hindus. Due to these atrocities, Hindus had to leave their homes. We were subjected to all kinds of atrocities. Our mothers and sisters were disgraced. Many of the leaders leading our organisation were murdered on the streets. Our houses were set on fire. Local mosques were also used for issuing threats at night, saying, “We want only women of Kashmiri Hindus, not men”. Even local newspapers were used for issuing threats. They said, “Our target is the Hindus in Kashmir who are between 12 and 35 years old. We want to make Kashmir ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’. The infidels have no place here”.

Speeches were heard on the speakers of local transport vehicles here, “Kill these infidels”. An environment of fear was created in Kashmir. We were forced to leave our homes because we were representing Hindustan, Hindu Dharma and Indian culture. We were against this ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’.

1A. In the absence of TV or social media, no one was aware of the atrocities against Hindus, and religious fanatics gave Hindus three options – ‘Convert, run away or be ready to die’.

If they wanted to establish ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’, then Hindus must be thrown out of here first. They chopped our mothers and sisters like they cut wood. This is the story of Shopian District. One mother had two sons, one 18-year-old and the other 21-year-old. The fanatics sliced open the stomachs of both the boys, stuffed bran in their stomach and made them move around the area. This is the kind of atrocity we suffered. There were no television channels or social media at that time. So no one knew about the atrocities wrought upon us.

Why did the four and a half lakh people who got out of there abandon their houses ? Because, there were such atrocities in every village and town. The religious fanatics, while appealing from mosques, gave us three options – ‘Convert, run away or be ready to die’.

2. The flight of Hindus from Kashmir has gone on for 700 years and the fact is that the terrorists in Kashmir did not come from outside but jihad was started by the majority community only

Mr. Rahul Kaul : From 1389 to 1990, Kashmiri Hindus had to flee six times. At the time of the 1990 exodus, 4.5 lakh people had been displaced and this was their 7th exodus across the country. In the Year 1990, our neighbour started saying that they do not want the existence of Kashmiris here because they had historically understood that Kashmiri Hindus had fled 6 times and returned as they had strong roots here. They also had strong spiritual roots. The places of worship of Kashmiris are very old and historical. So these people will not go away so easily.

Jihad in Kashmir was started by the majority community there because none of them were uneducated. Among them were professors and doctors. Their rallies would go on all night or all day. All these professors and doctors who proclaimed their relationship with Pakistan or their places of worship since Independence, were locals of Kashmir.

My point is that from the Year 1389 to 1990, there were already 6 incidents of exodus from Kashmir, but why was there so much talk of exodus in 1990 only ? Because Panun Kashmir was born in the Year 1990. The Kashmiri Hindus decided that if they went back to Kashmir, they would live up to their aspirations, and that aspiration had a form and an account. We submitted some of our demands to the Government of India, in which we said that if you are going to send us back there (to Kashmir), there must be some form (plan) for it, because exodus’ have been taking place for the past 700 years.

3. Hindus displaced from Kashmir moving to places of employment, and some Hindus dying of heatstroke, some by snake and scorpion bites

Mr. Rohit Bhat : Kashmiri Hindus have fled 7 times but the biggest escape is considered to be the one in 1990. Goddess Sharada was very kind to us during the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus. Because we were all educated. So we were able to go to every corner of India. First, let me tell you the story of my family. We went to Jammu first. Since Jammu & Kashmir was only one State, we went to Jammu, while some people went to Delhi. One half or 1% of them came to Pune. Wherever employment was available, we went there. Most Kashmiri Hindus went to Jammu.

The maximum temperature in Kashmir is 27 to 28 degree Celsius, while in Jammu it is 45 to 48 degree Celsius. We had a 22-room house in Kashmir. After coming to Jammu, I had to stay in a camp meant for refugees. This place had temperatures going up to 40 degrees. Snakes and scorpions emerge from under the ground. We were all living as refugees in our own State of Jammu. Some suffered heatstrokes, while others were bitten by scorpions and snakes. Many suffered from diabetes due to mental stress. Because of this, many people left us.

Some Kashmiri Hindus went from Jammu to Delhi, while others went beyond that. I sold my mother’s Mangalsutra and got admission in Pune for engineering education. Almost everyone had a similar story.

3A. Many thanks to Jagmohan and Shiv Sena Chief Balasaheb Thackeray – Only because of them we were able to survive.

I think the Shiv Sena Chief in Maharashtra did us a great favour. There are two great contributors for me to be alive today. One is the then Governor of Jammu & Kashmir Jagmohan and the other is Hinduhradaysamrat Shiv Sena Chief Balasaheb Thackeray.

Even though we had to stay in camps after we left Kashmir, my father was in Government service before. He was asked by Jagmohan to serve in Jammu. A school was opened there for the residents of the camps. My father was teaching the displaced Hindus there and he was also being paid salary. We were able to make a living because of his salary and this was possible because of Jagmohan.

Maharashtra was ruled by Shiv Sena-BJP alliance in 1995. This Government reserved one more place in engineering colleges in Maharashtra for the children of Kashmiri refugees. So we could get educated and gradually started resettle our families.

4. Kashmir-displaced Hindus were left to fend for themselves despite being Hindus in a Hindu country; Sanatan Sanstha and HJS assisted us freely

Mr. Rohit Bhat : Delhi is our capital. We thought we would be treated fairly like the Afghan refugees there, because even the Tibetan refugees are treated well there. Hindus will also be treated well; however, this did not happen. We had to live in very bad conditions.

Many teachers in the Government schools have not been made permanent in their service. Their health facilities are also neglected. Even though we were Hindus, we were left to fend for ourselves. Why did we come to this capital ? Because this is a country of Hindus. Our brethren and Hindu rulers live here; however, only Sanatan Sanstha and Hindu Janajagruti Samiti have helped us freely so far. Others have not kept their minds open.

(Ref.: Daily ‘Sanatan Prabhat’)

Kashmir-displaced Hindus were left to fend for themselves despite being Hindus in a Hindu country !