Congress has often displayed its unmitigated disdain for the Kashmiri Pandit (KP) community living in exile in their own country for almost 3 decades now. Congress has, in the past, outrightly denied the KP exodus and held pusillanimity of the community responsible for their own eviction from the state of Jammu of Kashmir.
Today, amidst the chaos gripping the valley, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad stirred a hornet’s nest by making a controversial remark demeaning the sacrifices made by the exiled KP community. Azad stated that the then Prime Minister of the country, VP Singh was coerced by the BJP to send Jagmohan as the Governor of the state to facilitate their exodus.
Ghulam Nabi Azad says BJP put pressure on VP Singh to sendJagmohan as the governor to J&K…Then and trucks and buses were provided for KPs to leave.
No end to the Jagmohan conspiracy theory!
— Smriti Kak (@smritikak) August 3, 2019
Azad appears to give a free pass to the jihadis who intimidated and killed scores of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley. These jihadis were primarily responsible for the migration of the KP community.
Kashmiri Pandits who lived tell the tale say that provocative slogans such as “We want Kashmir, without the men but with KP women” and others were raised by the instigators against the KPs to instill fear among them. This consequently forced them to flee the ancestral land where they had been living for centuries. Kashmiri Pandits were accosted by these jihadis, their homes ransacked and their women raped and men murdered.
The militant cadres of Pakistani based terror groups, JKLF, Hizbul and members of local militia actively participated in hunting down the Kashmiri Pandit residents in the Valley as large sections of local population extended their support to the Jihadis targeting the KPs. A systematic attempt to effect demographic change in the valley was in progress as Kashmiri Pandits were ruthlessly eliminated from the very land they belonged.
There are countless first-hand accounts of the organised genocide being meted out on Pandits available on the Internet. In one such account, genocide survivor Vikas Raina lays bare his horrendous gut-wrenching tale of how masked Jihadis pumped 12 bullets into his father’s chest just because they were Kashmiri Pandits.
Amidst such an agonising turmoil, it was the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Jagmohan Malhotra’s timely intervention that saved lives of lakhs of Kashmiri Pandits by rescuing them from the Valley besieged by zealots baying for their blood to the safer places in other parts of India. Jagmohan is hailed by many Kashmiri Pandits for evacuating them and their remaining family members from the Valley that was gradually descending into the clutches of Islamic militancy.
However, Ghulam Nabi Azad proceeded to undermine the tragedy befell upon the Kashmiri Pandits by holding their saviour in the dock. By saying that Jagmohan was responsible for the Kashmiri Pandit exodus, Azad not only exonerates the Jihadis of their horrifying crimes but also insults the tribulations endured and sacrifices made by the Kashmiri Pandits.
This is not the first time that Azad has expressed his contempt for the hardships suffered by Kashmiri Pandits. According to journalist Aditya Raj Kaul, in 2014 GN Azad prodded him to ask him about Jagmohan, just to slam the BJP.
Ghulam Nabi Azad once in Varanasi in 2014 during an interview requested me to ask a question on Jagmohan as he wanted to hit out at BJP. The conspiracy theories have been backed by such politicians. Kashmir is with India thanks to Jagmohan. And thanks to him for saving Pandits! https://t.co/uMY7TzzNSR
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) August 3, 2019
The incident demonstrates the blithe insensitivity Azad attaches to the matter of Kashmiri Pandits’ exodus. A profoundly traumatising experience of a community that was deliberately targeted and evicted was reduced to a petty political issue by Azad. For Azad, the significance of the entire KP exodus incident lies in slamming the BJP for insisting Jagmohan’s appointment as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir while turning a blind eye to the atrocities committed by Jihadis in connivance with a substantial section of the local population.
By holding Jagmohan accountable for the Kashmiri Pandit exodus, Azad attempts to cast the hero of the incident as a villain while exculpating the real culprits who perpetrated unimaginable enormities on Kashmiri Pandits and dragooned them to fled their dwellings. Azad considers the sanguinary genocide a myth as he continues to deny its occurrence. Azad had previously uttered that Kashmir is a paragon of communal harmony, effectively whitewashing the Kashmiri Pandit genocide and encouraging the Islamic militancy in the Valley that endeavours to see Jammu and Kashmir as Islamic entity seceded from India.