By Uphaar Kotru
Do they know the sentiment of people who rightfully represent the real Kashmiriyat – the indigenous people of Jammu & Kashmir – be it Kashmiri Hindus, Buddhists, Sufi Muslims or Dogras.
I am a proud Kashmiri Hindu, and Kashmir has been the land of my ancestors for 1000s of years. Over the last 700 years, we have been the biggest victims of ethnic cleaning by radical Islamist. We were oppressed, forcefully converted, murdered, raped and forced to leave our homeland not once, but multiple times. In fact, we would have been extinct during the time of Aurangzeb itself had it not been for Guru Teg Bahadur, 9th Sikh guru who sacrificed his life to save Kashmiri Hindus.
The last exodus in 1990 was the seventh one in history. I was around 10-year-old when we left our home, leaving behind everything and never to go back again. All I have is the cherished memories of my early childhood and a hope to go back home someday.
I am appalled that a genocide of this scale happens and there are no suspects, no court proceedings, no convicts for any of these killings! And after all this, people who killed us and forced us out, have no remorse, in fact they have the audacity to tell me that we didn’t force you out. It was the state governor who asked you to leave. So Indian government is to be blamed for your situation. This is a total lie.
Today, I am not only feeling the pain of what happened to me, my family and my fellow community members in last 30 years but also the pain of my ancestors who suffered over the last 700 years. I would just conclude with a poem attempting to express the emotion in me and my community in large.