Who will protect the rights of the Kashmiri Pandits

Lalit Shastri

EDI building at Pampore during an encounter with Terrorists
EDI building at Pampore in Kashmir during an encounter with Terrorists

Who will protect the rights of the Kashmiri pundits who are victims of terror and were driven out of their homeland?

It is high time we stop eulogising those who have spread terror in Kashmir by calling them militants instead of terrorists. These people are threatening the integrity and sovereignty of our country. INDIA was divided in 1947 and we have seen the partition and formation of Pakistan on religious grounds. India chose to remain secular and will remain secular come what may.

Kashmiri pandits
Protesting Kashmiri Pandits who have become refugees in their own country

The barbaric act of those who terrorised and drove away the minority with the purpose of demolishing the pluralistic character of society in Kashmir valley should have been opposed tooth and nail by every citizen. While the authorities failed to protect the religious minority in Kashmir, even a timid section of our so-called intelligentsia chose to remain silent over the tragic dispersal of a huge population from Kashmir. How can anyone support the perpetrators of this crime. Either they are terrorists or their supporters who ganged up as representatives of the Kashmiri majority with the sole purpose of breaking the country again on communal lines. Backing them continuously are the hawks in Pakistan who have waged a low intensity war in Kashmir and are behind so many terrorist attacks in India.

The secessionist forces, who keep raising slogans to destroy India and call for Azadi in Kashmir are also striking at the secular fabric of this country. The rally organised by some students on the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)  campus in New Delhi earlier this month (9 February, 2016) to support the separatists in Kashmir and commemorate Afzal Guru, who was convicted and hanged for the terrorist attack on Parliament, has shaken the whole country. This event was used to shout slogans to destroy India. Consequently not only a section among the majority Hindus but the whole country is seething with rage. Increasing support to the  concept of Hindu Rashtra among vast sections of the population that constitute the Bharatiya Janata party vote bank, it appears, is a direct reaction to what is happening in Kashmir.

One shudders by the possibility- what would happen if the demand for Azadi in Kashmir (Liberation of Kashmir) leads to majority reaction in rest of India.  If there is any attempt by a section of the population in Kashmir to divide India once again on religious lines, the religious majority in the country may also start asserting its right to decide whether or not India should remain secular. The so-called Kashmiri militants will then be responsible for the resultant mayhem. They should not forget the horrors of the biggest displacement of people on religious lines in human history when India was partitioned the first time 70 years ago.

Violence and terror has played havoc with the lives of the common citizens in Kashmir. I pray sense prevails and the terrorists and their supporters in Kashmir leave the path of violence once for all. There is no force on this earth that can either challenge India’s sovereignty or destroy its secular fabric.

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