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Dear Shashi Tharoor, what about justice?

In the secular framework in post-Independence Nehruvian India, justice for Hindus never quite figured, because 'Hindu' was a 'dirty word' which only bigots would identify themselves with.

Dear Shashi Tharoor,

I read your statement on the comments you have been receiving over the tweet where you talked about Vivek Agnihotri’s film The Kashmir Files being banned from screening in Singapore. The film which chronicles the sufferings of Kashmiri Hindus and began healing process for thousands of those who were displaced overnight 32 years back. The film which depicts the horrors of genocide of Kashmiri Hindus we had only heard about but when seen on big screen shook our collective conscience.

The film you reduced to one ‘being promoted by India’s ruling party’.

While you now claim that your tweet mentioned only ‘factual’ news, you skipped the actual facts about the film. That it showed how BK Ganjoo, Girija Tickoo were killed by Islamic terrorists backed by Pakistan. How Judge Nilkanth Tickoo was shot dead in broad daylight for giving death sentence to JKLF terrorist Maqbool Bhat. You skipped the part where The Kashmir Files depicted threats received by the Hindu community – to leave, die or convert (to Islam). Weren’t these facts more important than your imagined fact of ‘film being promoted by ruling party’? Perhaps if you would have seen the film before putting out ‘facts’, it would have been of immense help.

It is indeed unfortunate that your late wife Sunanda Pushkar, a Kashmiri Hindu herself, was dragged into the conversation. You say how you accompanied her to the ruins of her ancestral home in Bomai near Sopore. You then decide for her, especially when we know she can’t speak for herself, that she would have ‘believed in reconciliation, not hate’.

Sunanda Pushkar’s tweets a month before her mysterious death

About a month before Pushkar was found dead under mysterious circumstances at Hotel Leela in New Delhi, she tweeted how she felt Kashmiri Hindus have been suffering since 1989. She had also revealed how her husband (you) was asked (likely by your party leaders) to make sure she doesn’t speak much. She said how as wife of Senior Congress leader and a minister in UPA government at that time, she had to choose between being a Kashmiri and a wife.

So for Kashmiri Hindu wife of a Congress leader, she had to ‘compromise’ (not reconcile or hate) and forget justice.

Did it ever occur to you that for lakhs of Kashmiri Hindus, it is more of a fight for justice? Something they have been denied for over 32 years? How did you come to conclusion that for displaced, persecuted Hindus especially from Kashmir, reconciliation and hate are the only two options?

Please see the screenshot again, which went viral, and which presumably caused you grief that your wife was dragged. Forget the haters who dragged her, just look at her words from 2013. Do they read like the words of someone who would stop at anything short of justice being delivered to the victims of genocide?

She wanted to talk about 1989 and the subsequent genocide and exodus of 1990. And she was asked to shut up. She had to make that decision of being a wife and shutting up so that your political ambitions are not hampered. But she wanted to talk. That’s exactly what the movie does. It talks about the dark history in post-independence India that no one has bothered to talk about. That’s what Sundanda wanted to do.

Hindus must shut up or they’d be called ‘haters’

Hindus in secular India must shut up or they’d be called haters by the likes of you, Mr Tharoor. The moment someone talks about how Hindus are made to feel unsafe or are mocked at, ridiculed and just called ‘bigoted’ for merely wanting to celebrate the festivals, we are all labelled communal.

When a film is made 32 years after genocide, it is labelled ‘propaganda film’ and accused of ‘widening communal divide’. What is it about Islamic terrorism in Kashmir that even speaking about it is blasphemy? In the secular framework in post-Independence Nehruvian India, justice for Hindus never quite figured, because ‘Hindu’ was a ‘dirty word’ which only bigots would identify themselves with.

Which is why when a Muslim political leader justifies beheading of a man over alleged blasphemy no one bats an eye but Hindus coming together and even celebrating birth of Shri Ram they are ‘provoking’ Muslims by ‘taking out processions in Muslim areas’. When another Muslim political leader is accused of instigating riots and communal violence against Hindus, despite evidence to prove his involvement, people cry political vendetta. When another Muslim politician gets on a stage and threatens that if police is removed for 15 minutes, Hindus will be eliminated, it does not fall under ‘hate speech’ and the secular courts acquit him. Apparently, recorded video tape is not evidence enough.

By pointing these things here I will be called a ‘hateful bigot’ by your party workers who will send choicest abuses my way on social media. But one is hopeful. That you may rethink your stand. And maybe introspect that perhaps your spunky wife would have, too, wanted justice.

And closure. Even about her death under mysterious circumstances.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Nirwa Mehta
Nirwa Mehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

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