OF PAKISTAN IN KASHMIRI TERROR is clear: terrorism in Kashmir is an
ideological struggle with specific fundamentalist and communal
Agenda. Terrorist violence aims at the disengagement of the state of
Jammu and Kashmir from India and its annexation to Pakistan. It is a
continuation of the Islamic fundamentalist struggle.
The major dimension
of 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 will they allow governance by the tenets of Islam.
Kashmiri Pandits have always been in the forefront of the struggle
against secessionism, communalism and fundamentalism. Hence this
peace loving minority with a progressive outlook became the main
victim of terrorist violence.
involved in the terrorists´ operation against the Hindus in Kashmir
are simple: the extermination of Hindus, that is 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 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 Kashmiri Society.
molestations, kidnappings, gang rapes of the women folk of the Hindu
Pandits to instil fear and humiliation. Destruction and burning of
residential houses of the Hindus who have been compelled to abandon
their homes. Looting of their properties and appropriation of their
business establishments are undertaken to ensure that they do not
return. Attachment of the ancestral and landed property of Pandits
Destruction of the social and religious institutions of the Hindus
by the desecration and destruction of their places of worship.
Appropriation of the property of the Hindu shrines.
LOOTING OF CULTURE is also a very important part of the plan.
Kashmir was the crucible of Knowledge, Spirituality, a hallowed
centre of learning and the cradle of Shivaism. Kashmiri Pandits
excelled in philosophy, aesthetics, poetics, sculpture,
architecture, mathematics, astronomy and astrology. Sanskrit was
studied, propagated and spoken by women and men. Scholars and saints
such as Kalhan, Jonraj, Srivar, Abhinavgupta, Somanand, Utpaldev,
Somdev and Kshemendra created here an intellectual centre of
terrorism have been ruthless in their assault on "Sharda Peeth",
zealous in ravaging its heritage, and consistent only in
bloodthirsty intolerance. The destruction of Hindu places of
worship, forced conversions of Pandits and death and ignominy to
those who resisted, were accompanied by a savage assault on literary
activity. This process has been going on since centuries.
the assault on learning began afresh. How else to erase 5000 years
of civilization? The Jammaat-i-Islami, a fundamentalist organisation,
launched a campaign to ransack libraries in the educational
institutions and flared ban on books which did not correspond to
their ideas about man, world and God. The Kashmir university funded
by the University Grants Commission and headed by the Governor of
the state was denuded of two thousand books including the works of
Milton, G.B. Shaw, Shakespeare, H.G. Wells and tomes on Hindu
Philosophy. Book-shops were looted in broad daylight at Batamaloo,
The library of the
Information Centre run by Government of India was looted and set on
fire. As a correspondent covering India for more than 20 years, I
have witnessed the terrible damage that terrorism in Kashmir has
inflicted upon people’s lives, their family, their culture, the
very fabric of society, not only of the Kashmiri Pandits, but also
of the Muslims of the Valley, who after all, are the victims too of
Pakistan’s bloody designs.
Hence, with two
journalist friends, we started a Foundation: FACT – Foundation
Against Continuing Terrorism. The first task of FACT has been to
mount an exhibition on terrorism, focussing on the plight of the
Kashmiri Pandits, so that the people of Indian who do not suffer
directly from terrorism understand what it does to others.
will happen in Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, from 18th to
23rd July, 10AM to 8PM. We need your support and we invite all of
you, whatever your class, caste, religion, or ethnic origin, to come
and witness it. Come and see the FACTS. Later, we would like this
exhibition to travel not only to all major India cities, but also to
the United States, England, France and Switzerland, so that the
world understands what India has been going through in the last