The appellation ‘Kashmiri Pandit’ was coined by Emperor Mohammad Shah, on a representation sometimes in the first quarter of the eighteenth century by one Pandit Jia Ram Bhan to distinguish the Kashmiri Brahmins from their counterparts in other parts of the country. Prior to that Kashmiri Pandits were known in the country as Kashmiri Brahmins and in the Valley were popularly known as ‘bhattas’- an appellation still being used for them by the Muslims there.
The present-day Kashmiri Pandits are the descendants of their eleven families of their ancestors, which held on to the Valley as also to their religion, despite the tyranny of the Muslim rulers. Anand Kaul Bamzie writes in his book, ‘The Kashmir Pandit’ “in the time of Sultan Shahab-ul-Din (1359-78 AD), Mir Syed Ali came here from Hamdan (Persia) and engaged himself in proselytizing. The Brahmins were firm in strictly keeping their caste. Death’s dark veil had absolutely no terror for them. They remained only eleven families, all others either having been converted or fled the country”.
- 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits, constituting 99% of the total population of Hindus living in Muslim majority area of the Kashmir Valley, were forcibly pushed out of the Valley by Muslim terrorists, trained in Pakistan, since the end of 1989. They have been forced to live the life of exiles in their own country, outside their homeland, by unleashing a systematic campaign of terror, murder, loot and arson.
- Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits has reached its climax with Muslim terrorism succeeding in ‘CLEANSING’ the valley of this ancient ethno-religious community.
terrorist Violence against Kashmiri Pandits in Kashmir – Role of Pakistan
- 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 the continuation of the Islamic fundamentalist struggle for the homeland of Pakistan which claims Jammu and Kashmir state on account of its Muslim majority character.
The extermination of Hindus
- Subjecting Hindus to brutal torture to instil fear among them in order to achieve their submission.
- To engineer a forced mass exodus of Hindus from the land of their ancestors and birth by way of issuing threatening letters, kidnappings and torture deaths on non-compliance of the terrorists’ dictates and ensure the destruction of the secular and pluralistic character of the socio-political fabric of the Kashmiri Society.
- Attacks, molestations, kidnappings, gang rapes of the women folk of the Hindus in order to instil fear and humiliation in them.
- Destruction and burning of the residential houses of the Hindus who leave their homes in look out for safety. Looting of their properties and appropriation of their business establishments to ensure that they do not return.
- Attachment of their landed property.
- Destruction of the social base of the Hindus by the desecration and destruction of their places of worship.
- Appropriation of the property of the Hindu shrines and its attachment to Muslim religious endowments.
Failure of Government of India:
- The Jammu and Kashmir Government and Government of India have failed squarely to protect the Kashmiri Pandits against Islamic terrorism.
- Jammu and Kashmir is the only Muslim majority state in the whole of India, the protection of minorities and their living peacefully, in their homeland, is crucial for India to remain as a Secular Democratic State.
- Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) from Kashmir valley is the crucial failure of the Indian state to uphold its commitments to people of India as enshrined in Indian constitution which provides right to live with dignity and honour to every citizen irrespective of caste, creed, religion or colour.
Failure of Human Rights Organisations:
- Leading International Human Rights Organisations like Amnesty International, Asia Watch and others have yet to take proper cognizance of the genocide perpetrated on Kashmiri Pandits.
- Their representatives have so far failed to visit the camps in Jammu, Delhi and other parts of India where thousands of families are putting up for the last five years.
- Gradual extinction of a civilised community with an ancient culture is yet to shake the conscience of the world.
Kashmiri Pandit: A Rare Pocket Of Tolerance
- In spite of the repeated rejection of co-existence and pluralism by Muslim society for the last six hundred years, Kashmiri Pandit has not given up his faith in these values.
- He has not reciprocated fanaticism with fanaticism and violence with violence.
- In a world threatened with ethnic and religious strifes where various parties have invariably resorted to violence and force, to further their claims, Kashmiri Pandit is the only example who has totally rejected the violence as a means to fulfil socio-political aspirations.