The famed ‘Kashmiriyat’ that we have all heard about for the past several decades essentially is touted to be a ‘sentiment’ that stems from the intrinsically inclusive society of Kashmir. The trope was created to essentially whitewash the Kashmiri Hindu genocide of the 1990s when thousands of Hindus were brutally murdered and millions had to leave Kashmir because the majority Muslim population of Kashmir could not tolerate the presence of Hindus. An example of this famed Kashmiriyat was seen recently when a Muslim RJ (RJ Rafia) was targeted on Twitter for getting a picture clicked with a film-maker (Vivek Agnihotri) who is currently working on a movie showing the plight of Kashmiri Hindus who were murdered, raped and driven away from the valley.
On January 13th, Vivek Agnihotri, a film-maker who is shooting in Srinagar for a movie that is reportedly about the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus, posted a picture having dinner with his crew and several other local artists at the Lalit Hotel.
Seen in the picture was also a Muslim RJ called RJ Rafia. Rafia Rahim is from Charar e Sharif township, a 2016 pass out of Media Education and Research Centre, University of Kashmir. She had risen to fame and earned quite a lot of praise from several quarters, including The Quint, for being the first woman RJ from Budgam.
As soon as the picture was posted, several Islamists from Kashmir and even elsewhere started calling her a traitor and hurling nasty abuses at her for being pictured with someone who they consider an ‘outsider’.
Isn't that RJ Rafia in the picture with them? 🤦🏻♂️ Rot always starts from the inside!— mashriqi (@KoshurWaav) January 14, 2021
Yellow yellow dirty fellow. RJ Rafia— Saqlain Wani (@m_Saqlain_w) January 14, 2021
Aside from being branded a traitor, Muslims from Kashmir also alleged that the movie that was being filmed was against Muslims of Kashmir and talking about Kashmiri Hindus was branded as the ‘Hindutva Genocidal Agenda”.
They are shooting film which is against kashmir n the Muslims of kashmir but @Mirchi_Rafia interviewed the Same Hindutva Filmmakers. Call out Such Collaborators, Hypocrites Who are Promoting Their Genocidal Agenda's. Kashmiri RJ's are eager to Sell Hindutva Toffee's in kashmir. https://t.co/OxtiZ7u7C0— Resistance Kashmir (@ResistanceKash) January 14, 2021
Only in Kashmir will you find local Radio jockeys meeting and having a happy meal with someone who is vilifying, demonising and making a propaganda film against their own community and holding them responsible for crimes they never committed.— Daniyal❦ (@daniyalbr) January 14, 2021
Hilariously, branding fellow Islamists as ‘sane’ one Muslim urged every other “sane Muslim” to unfollow RJ Rafia.
It is a sincere appeal to all sane K-Twitter voices to unfollow @Mirchi_Rafia who seems to be no more than an IGNORANT station Radio Jockey— F Ali Qadri كشميري (@ToathKoshur) January 14, 2021
We don’t want these collaborators to be our representatives. Dear young K-teenager brothers, find girls to follow who inspire you, not this https://t.co/OUBCqxY3zd
And, of course, the famed Kashmiriyat made an appearance.
These artists and these RJs who are selling their conscience for few pennies and fake fame are more or less complicit in the tyranny which is being showered on us. They are helping them in erecting the structure of Kashmiriyat from our crushed bones. These people aren't (+)— Musa موسیٰ🍁 (@Abdulhamid_1122) January 14, 2021
We also realised that not jus Khalistanis ‘born and raised in Canada’ but Islamists too had an opinion on what Indians can do and say in India.
I just can’t even fathom how people like this exist in Kashmir. As someone born and raised in Canada I could never sit with a man who has insulted our religion, our culture and our people time and time again. You lack honor, shame, and self-respect. https://t.co/VfiKXYtVUv— Afsheen Mujahid Chak (@SheenHatun) January 14, 2021
After the relentless trolling, RJ Rafia tweeted a clarification that she was not a traitor and in fact, rather committed to the cause of Kashmir. She said she had absolutely no idea who the Director was and what movie he was planning on making. Presumably, she meant that if she did know that a film-maker had shown the temerity to actually talk about how Kashmiri Muslims raped, murdered and drove away Kashmiri Hindus, she would not have got clicked with him.
Its very sad that we being Kashmiris have to prove ourselves.I was there to interview the Actor "Darshan Kumar" and it was a fun chat for my show.He talked about his life struggles,his acting skills & his future goals.I've no idea what the film is about and what the director is.— Rj Rafia (@Mirchi_Rafia) January 14, 2021
Meanwhile, the film-maker who had sparked the row by talking about ‘vegetarian Wazwan’, deleted the tweet and said that he did not want to endanger any of his local friends since, after his post, several of them were getting threatened and abused.
I don’t want anyone’s life threatened or made miserable just because of one tweet. I hope you understand.— Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri (@vivekagnihotri) January 15, 2021
Reportedly, Vivek Agnihotri’s movie could only be shot under strict security and thus, we realise what the nature of true ‘Kashmiriyat’ really is.
For decades, Indians have been told that Kashmiri Muslims are falsely vilified and conspiracy theories are floated about why Kashmiri Hindus actually “left” the valley. They blame the then governor and journalists like Barkha Dutt even give the Muslims a free pass by claiming that the Kashmiri Muslims harboured animosity against the Hindus because of purely economic reasons and not because they wanted to wage Jihad and murder Kafirs. The slogans of La illaha Illalla, Allahu Akbar and ‘Kashmir main rehna hai to Allahu Akbar kehna hoga’ slogans are whitewashed. The fact that there were announcements made from mosques to kill kaafirs were completely ignored. That Hindu women were raped, men were murdered and Hindus were asked to either convert, leave or die is pushed under the rug.
While genocide of Hindus took place on our own land, the famed sham of ‘Kashmiriyat’ was foisted upon the rest of India, to make us believe that Kashmiri Muslims were ‘inclusive’ and Hindus simply up and left on their own, for no fault of the Islamists.
This recent incident is just another indication as to how that facade of Kashmiriyat drops every single day, with Islamists wanting to exclude even Muslims who they view as ‘traitors’. Even sharing a meal with those who don’t agree with the current generation of Islamists, who purport that they are only trying to uphold secularism, is something that can make a Muslim RJ go from being an ally to being a ‘Mukhbir’.
While politicians and those with a vested interest in keeping Kashmir a festering wound repeatedly tell us that Kashmiriyat is the sentiment of being a Kashmiri, which is essentially about preserving their own culture and welcoming everyone else with an open arm, it is rather evident that Kashmiriyat is insular, intolerant and has violent Islamism at the core of it.
While it is rather tragic that even after a genocide of Hindus one needs such examples to talk about the truth of ‘Kashmiriyat’, perhaps every such incident gets us closer to the truth. It is said that without truly understanding and accepting the roots of the problem, the problem itself is impossible to solve. The root of the conflict in Kashmir is the underlying Islamism that is embedded in a large section of the Kashmiri Muslim population and perhaps unless we acknowledge that stark reality, a solution to the problem would be impossible to find.