Public memory is short and fleeting. Events register momentarily like a blip on a radar and are then consigned to some dark corner of our cerebral galaxy. The brain needs to be bombarded with repetitive stimuli or jolted by a single moral turpitude of seismic proportions to evoke a strong and sustained response. In the absence of such reinforcement, a thought fades away from ones mind and that is the unfortunate tragedy of the Kashmiri Pandit's genocide. To ascertain the etiology of this amnesia or selective attention deficit we need to delve deeper into the details of this gory chapter of the so called 'Paradise of India'.
After the end of 1989, over four lakh Kashmiri Pandits, constituting 99% of the total population of Hindus, living in Muslim majority area of the Kashmir Valley, were grudgingly pushed out of the valley by Islamic terrorists, trained in Pakistan. They have been forced to live the life of exiles in their own country, outside their homeland, by unleashing an organized campaign of terror, murder, burgle and arson. Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits reached its zenith with Muslim terrorism succeeding in cleansing the valley of this ancient ethno-religious Kashmiri Pandits community. The exodus took place on January 19th of I989. On that day, the loudspeakers of mosques in Kashmir blasted out a message as a threat: Ae Kashmir ke Musalmaanon..Bharat ko sabak sikhaane ka ek her tareeka..Kashmir ko paane ka ek hee dhang..Al-jihaad, al-jihaad, al-jihaad!
Despite some organizations, the entire country then was like silent spectators of this event. The massacres of Pandits were brutal, barbaric and inhuman. Killing of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists evidently portrays fanatical sadism. All victims have been subjected to extreme torture and terror. Torture deaths have been brought about by such inhuman practices as strangulation by using steel wires, hanging, branding with hot irons, burning alive, lynching, bleeding to death. Besides these, terrorists have frequently indulged in barbaric acts like performing death dances after killing their target. Many a time, dead bodies were not even allowed to be properly cremated.
Terrorism in Kashmir is an ideological struggle with specified political commitments which are fundamentalist and communal in character. Terrorist violence is aimed at achieving the disengagement of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from India and its annexation to Pakistan. It is 23 years today since Jammu & Kashmir saw the beginning of the ethnic-cleansing of the Kashmiri Pandits, from their homeland at the instigation of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) by a group of Kashmiri jihadi elements trained, armed and motivated by the ISI. It is the continuation of Islamic fundamentalist struggle for the homeland of Pakistan which claims Jammu & Kashmir state on account of its Muslim majority character. The lead in this act of ethnic-cleansing was initially taken by the Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and the Hizbul Mujahideen (HM). Other jihadi organisations, which subsequently came into existence after having been trained and armed by the ISI, kept the ethnic-cleansing going till practically all the Kashmiri Pandits were driven out after having been subjected to numerous indignities.
The major dimension of the terrorist violence in kashmir is the terrorists' commitment to the extermination and subjugation of the Hindus in the state because Hindus do not subscribe to the idea of separation from India, nor do they expect to be governed by the authority of the state which derives its sanction from the law and precedent of islam. Kashmiri Pandits have always been in the forefront of the struggle against secessionism, communalism and fundamentalism. Thus, these victims of violence were targets of the following terrorist strategies:
•The extermination of Hindus
•Subjecting Hindus to brutal torture...