Home Islam Convert, leave or perish: the exile of the Hindus of Kashmir was of Islamic design

Convert, leave or perish: the exile of the Hindus of Kashmir was of Islamic design


The bloody exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, or Kashmir Hindus, one of India’s oldest indigenous communities, in 1990 was not the first such incident. Not being evasive of facts and historical data, perhaps not pissed off and befuddled by the ramifications of calling a spade a spade against secular Nehruvian dogma, this was clearly the seventh and “last”, say- they. It is still unclear how long the relentless, cruel, gruesome, repulsive and horrible “attack” on the minorities – the Hindus of Kashmir – will last in the valley. In terms of chronology, the first exodus occurred around 1389-1413 with the arrival of Islam, followed by the second around 1506-1584, the third between 1585-1752, and the fourth in 1753. The fifth migration s occurred between 1931 and 1965, and the sixth was in 1986, but the most infamous, horrific and horrible was the final exodus of Hindus from Kashmir on January 19, 1990, at midnight.

The Kashmir Valley experienced a blackout in the middle of the night from January 18 to 19, with electricity cut off everywhere except mosques, which were broadcasting divisive and incendiary slogans calling for the purge of Kashmiri Hindus. As night fell, the valley began to echo with the battle cries of the Islamists, who had staged the whole event with great care, choosing the timing and the slogans to intimidate the Hindus. Muslims were instigated and insinuated to take to the streets and break the bonds of “slavery” with a host of offensive, communal and threatening chants mixed with martial tunes. These mosque sermons exhorted “believers” to give Kafir a final push to inaugurate the true Islamic system.

These slogans were accompanied by clear and unequivocal threats against Hindus. Three options were offered: Ralive, Tsalive or Galive (Convert to Islam, Let the place where Perish). Hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri Muslims took to the streets of the valley, chanting “death to India” and “death to the Kafirs”. These words, broadcast over the loudspeakers of each of the 1,100 mosques, urged the delirious crowds to join the Jihad. All Muslim men, including their children and the elderly, wanted to be seen as participating in Jihad. The sole motive behind this heinous display of muscle flexing: to instill fear of death in already terrified pundits. The veneer of the secular, tolerant, cultured, peaceful and educated worldview of Kashmiri Muslims, which the Indian intelligentsia and liberal media had forced them to wear for their own reasons, was gone in this moment of communal frenzy.

Hundreds of Kashmiri pundits have contacted officials in Jammu, Srinagar and Delhi, pleading with them to save them from impending doom. Delhi was already too far. The central government was caught off guard and its state agencies, especially the army and other paramilitary forces, were unable to act in time in the absence of orders or directives. The state government had been so completely overthrown that the skeletal administration staff in Srinagar (the state’s winter capital having been moved to Jammu in November 1989) decided not to confront the massive crowds.

The apathy of Nehruvian-secularists and so-called ’eminences’ is visible when it comes to acknowledging the injustice done to Kashmiri Hindus, as it does not match the narrative of anti-Indian groups in India. Instead, their acts of murder are condoned and the culprits are protected as “a teacher’s son”. Jihad is an endless war. Western media continue to allow Hinduphobic columnists to promote false notions as if India is about to perpetrate an anti-Muslim genocide. This “routine” news is suppressed by the same unequivocally selective media in places like Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal. The police shooting of a Muslim man in Assam, though terrible and bloody, becomes the impetus for the entire cabal to predict “genocide”. There are also one-sided guesses. Almost all of them are absurd at best and ridiculous at worst.

Militancy and secession never concerned Kashmiriyat, insaniyat or jamhooriyat, as the secular commentary argued. It was always about establishing Islamic authority and separating from India’s Hindu-majority plural roots, following their own slogans. Some of the slogans used were:

“Zalimo, O Kafiro, Kashmir harmara chod do.”

(O! Ruthless, O! Kafirs, leave our Kashmir)

“Kashmir mein agar rehna hai, Allah-ho-Akbar kahna hoga.”

(Anyone wishing to live in Kashmir will have to convert to Islam)

“The Sharqia the gharbia, Islamia! Islam!”

(From East to West, there will be only Islam)

“Cashmere banega Pakistan.”

(Kashmir will become Pakistan)

“Pakistan se kya Rishta? La Ilah-e-Illalah.

(Islam defines our relationship with Pakistan)

“Pakistan banawon cashmere, Bataw varaie, Batneiw saan.”

(We will turn Kashmir into Pakistan, with Kashmiri Pandit women, but not their men)

It is time to free ourselves from the errors and illusions of secularism and nehruvian secularism and reflect on the real hard questions that haunt us as a civilizational state and a modern Hindu state concerned with national security, if not politics:

1. Why should a secular country like India treat religion differently?

2. Why did fewer people attend the funeral of Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam when huge crowds gathered for terrorists like Burhan Wani?

3. What if India’s penal code was abolished because Sharia requires a “Muslim personal law” for civil laws? If Muslim personal law is based on Islam, why not require Sharia instead of the ICC?

4. Isn’t it offensive to other religions that Azaan is played five times a day and the words “La Ilaha Illallah” are spoken? If it’s not negotiable, why must others be secular?

5. Islamist invaders have desecrated temples, massacred inhabitants and destroyed civilizational achievements, all in the name of their holy book. The book has not changed. Why should current followers of the same book be different?

6. Is it Islamophobia to raise such issues, or is it Islamophobia to ignore them?

Finally, “Ralive, Tsalive or Galive” is not a unique slogan used in Kashmir. There is no solution to the Kashmir Jihad unless these questions are answered. Kashmir is just one example of what will happen if these issues go unaddressed across India. It is neither a taboo subject of the 90s, nor an extrapolation of a clique labeled as Islamophobic. The global community has also witnessed the threat of “jihadist terror” and the “humanitarian disaster” it can wreak, most recently in Afghanistan. The future of humanity depends on the success and speed with which this problem is solved. It took only days to wipe out trillions of dollars and a decade of humanitarian work in Afghanistan. Jihad will be democratized as a tool to return humanity to the Stone Age in Kashmir and beyond unless we are mature enough to understand the dangers of doing nothing.

Yuvraj Pokharna is a Surat-based educator, columnist and social activist. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the position of this publication.

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