25 years back, on a cold gloomy 19th January night, crowds gathered in mosques across the valley, threatened Kashmiri Hindus of rape, murder and torture, and disgracefully forced them to become refugee in their own country.
Events followed by that night had nothing to bring respite or respect:
In next few days, lakhs for Kashmiri Pandits were forced to leave their home
In next few months, hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits were brutally killed
In next few years, the count of exodus raised to 350,000.
In next few years, thousands of refugees strugging in camps died in silence
In next two decades, Kashmir witnessed ‘CLEANSING’ of this ancient ethno-religious community
Duality intrigues – whether it a social duality, a philosophical duality, a mathematical duality, a scientific duality, or any other kind of duality. It tosses some very complex questions to the observers, forces them to swing around conflicting answers, and shrewdly traps the observer as an object of new observations.
Like many other social dualities, events related to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandit have also placed many ideologies, especially of the left-liberalism, on intricate positions of ideological seesaws. Unlike right-wing supporters, left-liberals have always advocated and boasted that they consider welfare of people above welfare of state, that they see nationalism, religion and racism as an instrument used by the ruling class to rule the working class, that they want victims in Kashmir to get their rights. Irony is – their definition of human above state, equality above religion and liberty above nation slides from one side of the seesaw to other when condition of Kashmiri Muslims are replaced by conditions of Kashmiri Pandits.
For years, left-liberals have empathized with the demands of Kashmiris, who want a separate nation for them, for them to cherish the concept of homeland; they have stood for demilitarization of Kashmir on the grounds of liberty and freedom; they have emphasized plight of human life due to social inequalities. Sadly, every time their spectrums of human values change whenever Kashmiri Pandits are discussed. Suddenly the political instrument – Instrument of Accession – becomes more important than the misery of human life.
Political parties have left no stone unturned to exploit opportunities in the valley. Nationalists, humanists, rhetorics, demagogue, sympathizers, activists, etc. have created controversies to remain in the limelight. Religious fanatics of both sides have put arguments and propaganda to prove that how the other side is responsible for it. Apologists have created multiple theories and arguments to moderate the real impact of the tragedy, primarily because they find highlighting Hindu Extremists in Godhara is fine, but highlighting Muslims in Kashmiri Pandit exodus is communalism.
Why should Kashmir belong to only some people who were born there, but it mustn’t belong to others? Why is the killing of Kashmiri Pandits less painful than killings of other Kashmiris? Why should the thrown-out Kashmiri Pandits not even claim their homes, but the remaining others should get a separate land? There are many questions, discussions and concerns, but sadly, between light is a wave or light is a particle, light is losing itself in the darkness of society.