The People They Don't Talk About

Among the many hypocrisies of the public intellectual space in India today is the inability to talk about the forced migration and murder of Kashmiri Pandits without being personally labeled as a  right-wing Hindutva nutjob. Anyone who brings this up in a media discussion is met with a roll of the eyes—-Oooh they bring that up again, again and again.

The tragedy in this case stems from the supreme irony inherent in this “again and again”.

Because the problem for Kashmiri Pandits is not that they are everywhere. It is that they are nowhere.

So while copious amount of newsprint will be spent giving vent-space to “soft Jihadi” Kashmiri activists who inform us how they grew up with anti-India feeling or to “normal” Indians who became stone-throwers for a day, so while movie-reels will expended telling us about the “Indian occupation of Kashmir” (immediate foreign-award-bait and “sensitive” adjective worthy), very little space will be given to the victims of the anti-Hindu pogrom of the late 80s and early 90s. Which is why one has to rely on first-person testimonials and blogs of victims available online to piece together the exact nature of what happened in those years.

And why dont they receive attention, one may ask? Because they are the living counter-argument to the great tag-line of the “Kashmiri azaadi movement”, namely that Kashmiris are fighting for independence from the Indian yoke. Well that tag-line…it’s not totally accurate. They are fighting. That part is true. What they are fighting to establish however is an archetypal “Islamic state” on the model of Pakistan, with a very clear demarcation between who is pure and who is not, which citizen deserves “independence” and which citizen does not. For those of us who try to push this great lie of azaadi down your throat, every Kashmiri Pandit and their experiences of having been made to flee their homes to a crescendo of “Kashmir mei agar rehna hai, Allah-o-Akbar kehna hai” is a spanner in the works, a glaring plot hole in that comforting narrative of a secular Kashmariyat-driven spontaneous movement of the stone-throwing Davids against the Goliath of the Indian state.

Kashmiri independence supporters realize the need to plug this hole of course. So they deal with the Kashmiri Pandit problem in two ways. One is the passive-aggressive route where the Pandits are blamed for having left due to a “fear psychosis” , supposedly an over-reaction to the targeted killing, rape and looting so as if it were. The second is the more conciliatory gambit wherein Pandits are told that “galti se mistake ho gya”, that “both sides made mistakes” , that they are “free to return” to join their brethren in a game of ring-a-ring-a-roses.

Only one problem in this “Aa aab laut chalein” sentiment. As of today, the government there cannot allow even a single Indian flag to be hoisted in a densely populated place, for fear of riots. Think about it. A fluttering piece of cloth. And even that the government cannot secure.Now imagine if Kashmiri Pandits, lacs of them, actually came back. Creatures of flesh and blood who will be searching for their old houses, now captured by their neighbors, and trying to get their jobs and businesses back.

Can you imagine the sheer carnage that will be let loose should that happen? Can you imagine the kind of security that would need to be in place to keep these people safe?

Can you imagine how much hot air would be expended on the channels and by our Resident Dissident on how the Indians are ethnically altering the demographics of the Valley by sending in Hindus, Israeli style?

The Pandits know they cannot go back. And the so-called angels of reconciliation know that too. They just need to make the noise so that their bluff is not called.

As the Pandits observe two decades of their exile, Kasuri today outlined in detail the “solution to the Kashmir problem” our lovely Jihadi General and our Man Dr. Singh almost inked in 2006. In it, India had agreed to “self-rule” in Indian Kashmir as long as Pakistan gave their side “self-rule”. Of course, the “self rule” here means “Islamic rule” since that’s the only kind of rule acceptable to the people of Kashmir. The very fact that this agreement had the full backing of Jihadi General, whose commitment to South Asian peace can be gauged by the fact that he gave Ilyas Kashmiri Rs.1 lac for bringing him back the head of an Indian army officer, and then ISI chief and now grand-Pak-poobah Kayani, known the world over to be even more rabidly anti-Indian than General Mush, shows exactly what an absolute win this was for Pakistan. As it is, they call their side Azaad Kashmir. Now there would be another Hum Bhi Azaad Kashmir right next to it, both Islamic vassals to the state of Pakistan. And our government was willing to give them that, had it not been for Pakistan’s internal problems derailing the General around that time.

What’s relevant in the video interview is that Kasuri says that he had the confidence of the Kashmiri people and that without this endorsement, politicians on both sides would all fall on their faces. Of course when Kasuri says “Kashmiri people”, the Pandits are excluded from the descriptor.

There lies the final blow.

Not only have these hapless people lost their homes and livelihood, they have even had the “Kashmiri” part of their Kashmiri Pandit identity taken away from them.

Politicians in Pakistan and India, aided by the media, have made sure they no longer matter. The amputation from their homeland is now complete.

107 thoughts on “The People They Don't Talk About

  1. first comment 🙂

  2. First. Couldn’t resist.

  3. Kashmiri Pandit identity has been highjacked… and Indian media has been party to it.

  4. Utsav Chakrabarti January 20, 2011 — 8:25 pm

    @ Arnab

    Thank you for this wonderful piece.
    This is one of your best pieces. To see that the Kashmiri Hindus had to leave their homeland of 4000 years, during our lifetime, and we not only stand paralyzed to their plight, but even fail to recognize it while addressing the issue; is the biggest tragedy of all.

    Once again thanks for writing this.

  5. Nice one!

  6. Utsav Chakrabarti January 20, 2011 — 8:38 pm

    @ soulinexile
    Very relevent site.
    Are you in US?

  7. Brilliant post. I have read a lot of articles on this but trying to imagine the return of Kashmiri Hindus back to valley and possible aftermath is truly original.
    I just want to repeat what I read elsewhere: the sad thing is not that it happened, the sad thing is not that blood was spilt, that sad thing is not that Kashmiris were thrown out, the sad thing is not treacherous collusion of media in keeping the voice to little murmurs, the sad thing is not that our own country cheated our own people.
    The sad thing about it is that no one has any hope that it will be set right.

  8. Beautifully written. I had the opportunity to meet one such family who had to leave kashmir. The story will put anyone in tears.

    Wish people realize the same before taking decisions and hope people dont politicize everything

  9. Utsav Chakrabarti January 20, 2011 — 9:04 pm

    List of slogans that the misunderstanders of the religion of peace give in Kashmir.

    Freedom struggle.. eh?

  10. Really incisive piece.Glad some people care about Kashmiri Pandits.Some ppl are afraid of “labels” if they touch such subjects.Such intellectual dishonesty is staggering especially when facts are poking you in the eye..and some refuse to acknowledge it.

    ********Rohit Pradan of INI had this thunderous words to say****
    The core of Kashmir conflict is the idea of a liberal secular democracy clashing with a religious supremacist movement. Rest all extraneous.

    It’s like saying partition of India had nothing to do with religion and it was all about some dream or such BS.(possibly in context of bharkha dutt’s inane Kashimir Islamist separatist apologist tweets)


    a blog post which has some first person account of that time.

  12. While I agree with the spirit of this article and do sympathize with the Kashmiri women and children who’ve been killed or rendered homeless, I must make a very controversial statement – that the Kashmiri Hindus are somewhat responsible for their plight.

    I ask, why is it that its largely a Hindu tendency to run away under threat? Why is it that Hindus always play victim? Why don’t we stand up and fight? Do the palestinians run away when settlers arrive in Gaza?

    My point is not to defend the terrorists or the soft jihadis of any sort (from Arundhatis to the Abdullahs). My intention is purely to point out the fact that Hindus are all good at running away and playing victim and expect the military, politicians, USA or someone else to solve our problems.

    We expect the politicians to help Hindus, yet most Hindus don’t vote en-masse.
    We expect the army to fight the terrorists, yet few Kashmiri Pandits enrolled in the Army to fight them.
    We expect Americans to stop supporting Pak and solve our terrorism problem (point taken), yet India supports palestinian jihadis and hardly voted for the Israelis at UN.

    These are facts, hard facts. Its not that Kashmiris were butchered first time in ’90s … they’ve been slaughtered for centuries. Did they ever learn a thing? Do you see them picking up guns (by either enrolling in army or otherwise)? No !

    Same situation applies to other Hindus like the Bengalis as well – we ran away from ancestral lands in bangladesh and completely forgot our history. Never learned a thing. The current generation of Bengalis are sitting ducks – waiting for another drive of Jihad to sweep them off from West Bengal … and when that happens, we don’t deserve to be sheltered anywhere else sans the Bay of Bengal.

  13. Hi GB,

    You are a published author now… writing your second book. And you live in the USA. I think these two conditions – and the fact that you care so much – make you an ideal candidate for writing a well researched book on this subject.

  14. @Debadrita

    Three kinds of hindus –

    Hindu[1] – Pandits
    Hindu[2] – Hindu rulers
    Hindu[3] – Total Indian Hindus – Hindu[2] – Hindu[1]

    Here are some unrelated facts –

    1.) For hitting back at jihadis, Hindu[1] need the help from at least Hindu[2] and/or Hindu[3] to fight for or with them

    2.) Hindu[2] are too busy conning the country to bother about the plight of Hindu[1] or for that matter Hindu[3] or to be honest much of rest of the country

    3.) Hindu[3] too busy with their own neighborhood and backyard problems. Plight of Hindu[1] or loot by Hindu[2] are part of the full rainbow of problems.

    4.) Hindu[3] don’t know much about Hindu[1]. They also don’t care to know.

    5.) Hindu[1] are hopelessly outnumbered.

    6.) You cannot blame Hindu[1] for their plight – that is called blaming the victim.

    7.) Hindu[2] are elected by Hindu[3]

  15. Hindus are sadhus(humble being), and what can they do if their own govt is not bothered about them? we(Indians) can only feel sorry and console them, besides that is there any worthy solutions?

  16. Utsav Chakrabarti January 21, 2011 — 1:46 am

    @ Sri
    As Sam Witwiki said in the movie ‘Transformers’ (for lack of a lighter example)

    “No sacrifice, no victory”.

    @ Jack Daniels
    Good thought.

    @ Debadrida
    I have some experience of working with Hindus from Kashmir.
    Historically, they have always been too decent to deal with Islam and that has been their Achilles heel.
    Even during the “glimmer of hope days” when Islam was put on the backfoot in Kashmir, it was the Dogras who had to dig the down the trenches(metaphorically speaking), to contain the Jihadis.

    The path of saving Kashmir does not go through flowerbeds and homilies. If Hindus want to save Kashmir for themselves and for India, they better be prepared to do the hard work for it. The time of reckoning is not far.

  17. Well.. This was a piece worth applauding. Brought a lump to my throat. It is really sad as someone up there said..Kashmiri Pandits have given up on getting back to their motherland. This is the biggest tragedy. I have personally seen this and it is gut wrenching when one knows that the person has totally lost hope in this regard. I do not know what will sensitize other people in the country to their plight. I hear people make statements like give away Kashmir, it does not make economic sense etc etc. Who talks about Kashmiri Pandits motherland? Who knows about them anyway? I am sure if a UP bhaiya or a Marathi manoos or a Kanadiga mannine magga or a asal Tamizhan was suggested the same about UP, Maharashtra, Karnataka or Tamizh Nadu, perhaps they would feel the same. Perhaps, but that will be too late..

  18. How difficult can it possibly be? Throw out the special clause on exclusive property rights, flood the region with people from all other areas like the Han Chinese. If its a zero-sum game either way, why hesitate to play it?

  19. Yeah the best way is to seamlessy integrate kashmir with the rest of india. Buy out property and let people invest in it. Then the pandits can slowly move in. If the population balance is maintained I dont think the separatist stand a chance. And we can always do ourselves a favor if we had the balls and “black op” the likes of gilani.

  20. Very good and relevant piece. thanks GB for being brave enough.
    Really it wonders me why nobody cares for Kashmiri Hindus. There is a lot of sympathy and support for even terrorirst like yasin malik and ilk who burn India’s flag but none for the victims of violence. Our politicians and mainstream media is totally siding with the perpetrators on this matter. If you side with Islamists, you are secular. if you support Hindus, you are fanatic / saffronite etc.etc.
    And another important factor of total denial from Muslims to share blame for this tragedy. I had some talk with some Ms in UP who had kashmir connections and the reasons they gave were :
    – There was no communal tension.
    – The migration was staged by Jagmohan so that he could kill off Ms.
    – After migration, thousands of Ms were killed by Govt.
    – KH were cowards to run away and they can come back any time.

    Means it would read like a fairy tale had it not been so tragic.

    And the so called leaders (or really sepratists)of kashmir also pin all the blame of India whether it be selling of Kashmir MLAs, Corruption in Kashmir by kashmiris, death of separatist stone throwers or killing of their leaders by terrorists. Recently Abdul gani Bhatt finally had the courage to let the cat out of bag that their leaders like mirwaiz and lone were killed by kasmiri terrorists and not by Govt. security forces.
    And the advocates of giving away kashmir – do they realise that giving away of kashmir will not be the end. Then it will be Himachal then Punjab and then the pak / china threat will come till middle India. Where will you run then ?

    Another things, some eye opening articles in Tehelka – Oct. 2010 & recent issue on Punjab. Due to drug smuggling through Punjab, an entire generation has been made drug / alcohol addict as part of Pak’s covert war. They estimate that more than 50% of Punjab youth are addicted to drugs / alcohol – chemist shops in every village selling drugs. In recent military recruitment for 18000 vacancies, not even 2000 could be selected from Punjab- which used to be the biggest recruiting area for Army. See the list of gallantry medals won by Punjab troops in past and what is the ground situation today ?
    So giving away Kashmir will not solve the problem but give further leverage to pak / china.
    Another distortion is the exaggerated importance to valley in all matters like assembly seats, funds allocation, jobs etc. Polulation of Jammu region may now be more than Kashmir region but it gets lower no. of assembly seats and funds. And nobody even talks about ladakh !
    So need of the hour is for govt. and country to take a tough stand but looking at track record / luminaries of this Govt., it will not happen. Sad and frustrating.

  21. @D

    very difficult.

    i remember many years ago my state government announced an anti encroachment drive to make the city roads motor-able.

    and that was

    (1) before the era of 24 hour news and the internet.
    (2) the ruling party had about 2/3rd majority in the assembly.
    (3) the chief minister was without any other power center in his party.

    didn’t work

    what makes you think that anything drastic can be done when all the above 3 conditions don’t apply to the current UPA government and won’t to any in future.

    realistically with out current crop of leaders our hope is – (1.) bleed the problem through inertia till fatigue sets in the ranks of separatists for some time and it becomes the problem of the next government (2.) accept sharia like ‘self-rule’ with implicit agreement with pak (kasuri’s position)

    my favorite would be be divide and rule. find any fissure in the society and wreak havoc. enhance problems through inducement, spying or selective assassinations with plausible deniability.

    it is a scorch earth solution but hey if they call us a colonial power why not actually play like one.

  22. Hi ,
    The article sheds a light on the plight of kashmiri pandits who are suffering from past 60 yrs ..

    Sir if u see there is a strategy behind this .. they are slowly eliminating all the hindus from the valley and now its got special status and slowly they want to be seperated from the indian union

    IF u see geographically jammu is much bigger than kashmir ,yet the constituencies is jammu is less when compared with kashmir.

    can u see the strategy in this . Only one way for this is educate ppl about it which can happen only spiritually . The ppl in the valley are cut out from the rest of the country and are thoroughlly misguided , especially the youth .

    I met a kashmiri youth while discussing with him he told he doesn’t want to go back to the valley as life is boring there .
    secondly he told that i dunno why ppl in valley want to seperate and join pakistan as the kind of freedom we are enjoying will be possible if we join pakistan .

  23. Good piece. I think Kashmir is fundamental to both India’s and Pakistan’s existence. If it goes with India, it legitimises the secular concept of the state that India and Gandhi and Nehru believed in. If it goes with Pakistan, it will legitimise partition and need for a seperate state for Muslim (And hence Islamic State). Sadly, the territory is with India and the mentality of the kashmiris endorses Pakistan, no matter how flawed it is.

    On the Kashmiris Pandits,I think it’s very very sad. Though it may be easy to say than do, and it may even sound fascist, I think that Kashmiris Pandits should have fought back a bit, than just fleeing- it’s always easy for regimes to persecute a soft people. As Khushwant Singh wrote in his (And only)excellent book ‘The History of the Sikhs’- No people can become a nation without learning to shed blood.

    In any case, I think all our hearts bleed for the Kashmiri Pandits. And I really can’t fathom that with all the moral support, why the Indian government is not able to do anything for them to put them back. Maybe because no government in the world is powerful enough to force anything against a defiant people, be it a Vietnam, or an Iraq, or an Afghanistan………. Or Kashmir.

    P.S.- I saw your reply on the illegal vs legal migrants. I’m still not convinced but I hope you didn’t take those comments personally. I really enjoy reading your posts and have been doin so for more than 4-5 years. And especially, the photo selction.

  24. @GB
    didn’t you get the memo? No one is supposed to talk about (leave alone fix) the pain suffered by Hindus. The Hindu holocaust since the eighth century is completely denied in history. The Jewish holocaust under the Nazi Germany is nothing compared to it. And yet, our leftist driven history books have completely denied it. All you have to do to know about this holocaust is open books written by authors accompanying the Ghanzni types. Or read European accounts from visitors to India during the mughal ages. A plate outside Qutub complex boldly states it was built after razing 27 Hindu/Jain temples. What have we done about it? An attempt to reclaim just one temple (extremely important one) in Ayodhya is still unsuccessful. And it has already triggered a destruction of 100s of temples in Pakistan/Bangladesh/Kashmir.
    But i somewhat agree with Debadrita above. Hindus have themselves to blame. The world always tramples the weak.

  25. Hello,

    In my younger days I wondered how India fell to the Brits. After all, they were fighting on ‘away’ ground with fewer soldiers. Indian rulers were rich enough to procure weapons and had well trained soldiers. One only logical reason was apathy…instead of outrage at seeing a fellow state being ravaged by Arab muslims or Europeans, an Indian ruler (and even people) thought “come one…that cant happen to me!”. Just about as Indians re-grouped under the Peshwa banner, we faced a huge defeat at Panipat, where again other hindu kings did not come to the aid of Peshwas due to petty jealousy despite knowing that the fight was between Indians and Afghans/ Arabs.

    Having said that I respectfully disagree with the comment that hindus (I use this term as the country was mostly hindu then) were punching bags for the region. Why do I think this…after all all our commie textbooks would have us believe we were a bunch of cowards. The reason is so simple that I am perhaps being naive. See every country that was invaded and ruled for some length by Arabs or Europeans, nothing remains of their native culture (or very little if at all). No Zoroastrians left in Iran or any other religion or panth left in the entire middle east. Native populace crushed in North America, Australia, SE Asian countries such as Philippines…the list is very long indeed. That isnt true in India. We have largely retained the same religion, languages, culture, art forms that we had 1000 years ago. This is not possible if we had not fought back. It is a folly to believe hindus were weak. it is in the interest of powers that be, that we retain that impression as any semblance of pride in our past may just re-kindle emotions that are inconvenient to certain people.

    The Kashmiri pundits may have faced tremendous adversities due to the sheer number of the “misguided youth who misinterpret the only book they know backwards” trying to throw them out, the apathy of the rest of the nation that I discussed earlier (the mentality that, “that cant happen to me!”) and a complete cold shoulder by the minority conscious central government. I am sure they stayed and fought till they could, but their martyrs are now forgotten or at best reduced to a statistic in some dusty NHRC file. Especially we, as a generation which did not do anything to help their cause, its unfair and just plain impolite to say their problem is their fault. Actually it reminds me of a rabidly republican acquaintance from the U.S. who once said “The poor are poor because God wanted them to be poor”. (no comment on republicans here, just drawing parallel to two similar statements).

    All in all an excellent article and one of the few left to call this spade a spade. Very true point that when Rahul baba’s friend who runs the state is too scared to unfurl the national flag, it is cruel joke for him to invite Pandits back to where they will probably be used for target practice.


  26. Hey,
    I think now is the best time for BYM to go and hoist the national flag. Its winter, too cold, all the beloved Hurriyant people are busy saving energy for stone throwing to do in summer and drinking Kava.

    Winter is the most peaceful time in kashmir. no Kashmiri wants freedom in winter. they want freedom only in summers.

    I think I had said this in your blog many moons ago.

  27. I think a couple of people have raised an interesting point about Hindus being historically weak and divided – and hence unable to fight back. I dont know if this applies to Pundits very well, but I think it applies well to why and how we have suffered in history.

    Call it tolerance, call it focus on other matters or call it cowardice, we have simply not had a coherent strategy to keep invaders out in the long term and have a self-rule. Even today, a lot of our problems with Pakistan and the borders can be explained by the last 50 years of pussy footing and unclear policy.

    The second point raised is equally valid – about the need for individuals in the community to make personal sacrifices for the sake of the community. Jews made incredible sacrifices for the birth of Israel. No larger community good can be achieved without sacrifice of the blood of these brave men and women. Our country simply hasnt seen enough of them

  28. @AL
    I agree it’s an achievement we have managed to survive. And yes, except for Spain and India, no other country managed to save its culture once the marauders of religion-of-peace took over. All that said, I wish it hadn’t come at the cost of half the land and resources. Instances of hindu weakness are many. In East Bengal, the hindus had the numbers, money and power. Yet, they failed to save themselves. Wait, why am I talking about East Bengal? We are losing the leftover part of Bengal even now. If this is not weakness, what is?

  29. @Sabalil

    Of course it is weakness. I am not arguing that today we have become weak or not, we have. But today’s weakness is not a product of historical weakness is what I am saying. I am not aware of the history of Spain, but Christianity was not born there, it came from the middle east and today the country is fully christian. So perhaps India is possibly the only country that has remained ideologically and spiritually independent for over a 1000 years of continuous assault. By that metric all I am saying is that the undeniably low level of courage we see today amongst hindus should not be stretched to the past. In fact the current weakness is a result of wrong history being taught to us. IMHO, it does not take more than a generation to corrupt and we as a country have been poisoned with doctored history for atleast 200 years. Clearly the impact is deep, but (and again, I am perhaps being naive) not irreversible.

    To call ones self hindu today is met with shock in many circles, in what is many-a-times a simple statement of fact. What I say next will be met with extreme negativism, but it is the truth: Hypothetically, if I were to say that the RSS is not a terrorist or a fanatic organisation, I will have many comments which will doubt everything about me. Which is fine, one is free to have any opinion one wishes. But a correct opinion is one based on independent thought. I am not sure how many people who brush aside the RSS have visited its central office in Nagpur, or gone to the tribal regions where they do some great work or even the fact that despite how much the media hates and vilify’s them the government does not have a shred of evidence that RSS has does anything illegal. In a country like ours, where evidence is planted & destroyed and witnesses and complainants are bought, kidnapped and killed, one must give credit to RSS, that an organisation that has been hated by the central and state government (in Maharashtra) ever since independence, has not had anything against it that will cause banning. Even those who make the argument that the RSS may be indulging ‘evidence destruction’ to keep itself from being banned know that it cannot do so at the same scale the government can, but I am sure that argument will be put forth nonetheless.

    Does RSS counter missionaries and naxals, yes it does, does it do so violently, perhaps at times (though who ‘cast the first stone’ is the question). However, is it an organisation that relies on violence as a primary method of operation (anywhere close to the scale of SIMI, JeM LeT, Naxals etc)? Clearly not! But most hindu’s feel guilty if they do not criticize RSS in the same breath when talking about terrorists! This guilt of being a hindu is sickening, why should we feel guilty about it?!

    Again, the above was a hypothetical question, I do not belong to the RSS or support it in anyway. My disappointment is against the social premise that if I were to say the above, it will not be countered by facts or by independent research or even consideration, I will be taken to the stake for burning immediately. This inability to discuss things which media has flagged as taboo is what is most shocking.

    So yes, Sabalil I agree a lot of us have lost spine today. I only respectfully disagree and deny what I think your contention is, that we never had one.

  30. To clarify “I do not support the RSS”..I do not support it materially. I do however appreciate the good work it does (the amount of work it does, its almost unbelievable that it is a volunteer organisation) and understand the pressures it works under.

  31. @AL
    While a lot of what you say resonates well, but we can’t turn a blind eye to the fact that for centuries, we got mauled by whoever decided to ride down the Khyber pass. It’s a historic fact. We were weak. And one major reason for that is casteism. This created different layers in the society. Not everyone had a cause to defend the homeland. Ahoms who were unfettered by the evil of casteism gave a fitting reply to mughal invaders. Read about battle of saraighat.
    We were weak despite our achievements. And the reason for that was (and continues to be) internal divisions – whether between Jayachand and Prithwiraj Chowhan or between different sects/castes.
    I for one, never any qualms about supporting RSS. I detest the random violence some of the right wing nutties do. But can’t say it is in the same league as the global jihadis of the religion-of-peace.

  32. @ Sabalil

    A quick point: Being divisive and weak are two entirely different attributes. We were not cohesive (a point I mentioned in my first post) even during Panipat, a landmark battle, and that is a big factor where the political power slipped. But weakness stems from unwillingness to fight not getting martyred in a fight. Historically we never shied away from battle hence we cant be called weak, the establishment of Swarajya by Shivaji is proof in itself (this was extended to over half the country by Peshwas). It is a different matter that lack of unity took that away from us. If we were so easily mauled by everyone that came through the Khyber like you believe, we would right now be living in a country where having the conversation we are having would have led to public stoning! 🙂

    Ergo, like I said earlier, with respect, it does not make sense to believe we were historically weak and the present demographic does not support that argument, however assertively made. It is your opinion, you have the right to have it. I respect that right.

  33. Utsav Chakrabarti January 21, 2011 — 3:19 pm

    Learn from the past, and change the future.

    While we may love to look at Rana Pratap and Prithviraj or Kota Rani (specific to Kashmir)… they struggled valiantly against impossible odds and were defeated.

    We need to pay more attention to people like Bappa Rawal, Hakka-Bukka and Lacchit Baraphukan….all unsung victors.

    Here is a thought.

    -Can all non Indian and Indian Hindus sign a petition to the UN, asking for access of Hindus to all the places of pilgrimages in Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir, for Hindus from all over the world and the right to restore those places of heritage.

    -Can we demand from the GOI that all people of Kashmiri heritage, going back 2000 years be allowed to buy land and property in Kashmir and contribute to the development of this beautiful state of India.

  34. Utsav Chakrabarti January 21, 2011 — 3:49 pm

    @ gaurav singh

    How exactly is Kashmir comparable to Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam?

    The former two I can understand “Jihadis butchering thousands”.
    But Vietnam??

  35. @GB,
    I am surprised with this sudden burst of extraordinary courage. I thought you would stick to IPL for the time period around January 19th. 🙂

    @Jack Daniels,
    Hindu[2] is secular. Hindu[3] had a long habit of foreign rule, inferirority complex mixed with self loathing and “fear psychosis” is ultimate consequence of long time foreign occupation. Until that complex goes, Hindu[2] would not do anything for themselves or any other Hindus. Hindus in other countries like Nepal or Indonesia know how to stand up for themselves. It is just us who do not care.

    Pandits were always their biggest trouble. Nehru’s great grand father Raj Kaul was a Pandit living in Kashmir. Nehru could have solved the trouble but we know what he did. Then comes PN Haskar, a communist driving Indira’s government. This Pandit was in a position to solve the trouble and he did not. But then their long legacy started from the day when King of Kashmir gave land to the fugitive prince of Sindh and his muslim friend who used the generosity to get his own piece of Jannat through conversion. But enough of history!! What about the present?
    A handsome middle-aged Kashmiri Pandit was a former boss of mine. It is he who told me the shocking story of migration for the first time. His family ran from the valley in eighties in anticipation of the problem. Today he is perfectly alright with their forced migration, Do you want to know his explanation? He said that Kashmiri pandits should have figured out the problem in late seventies when riots started in various parts of the province. They should have arranged the selling of the house/property and move to Delhi. What is the point of crying now?
    GB should have commented about another Kashmir brewing. What Pandits saw in late seventies, we are seeing in south Bengal today. The news of riots are blocked same way, the same way other parts of the state remain unsympathetic when pogroms like Deganga happen. And now those Hindus who have money is moving out of Barasat-Deganga area, the same way my ex-boss’s family moved out. But, Hindus in WB are not 300K in number, they are in millions. What would be their fate a decade later?

  36. @ Al
    ” But most hindu’s feel guilty if they do not criticize RSS in the same breath when talking about terrorists!’

    I support RSS not because I got to see their good work as any other citizen of India but because I got to see their good work as generations of my family have been sanghis. RSS doesn’t have the grand PR machine that its opponents have. It is an idealist organization which doesn’t do anything to work for its image. Its only people like me whose family tradition is to be a part of the sangh know the truth about it. Others form their opinion based on the propaganda of the congress party and the media.

  37. …And to think that Nehru was a true-blue Kashmiri Pandit himself, who , possibly owing to a great deal of attachment with his motherland, took on handling the affairs of Kashmir himself while Sardar Patel dealt with all other princely states! The wheel has indeed come around full circle & how!

  38. @Debadrita Go thru this link for all ur answers..

    Esp the following
    “Notices are pasted on doors of Pandit houses, peremptorily asking the occupants to leave Kashmir within 24 hours or face death and worse. Some are more lucid: “Be one with us, run, or die!”

  39. Why anyone need to bother about kashmiri pandit when they can make lakhs and crores to support Gujrati Muslim(ala Teesta sheetalwad) and take thier matter to United nation human right council.

  40. An excellent post which very succinctly describes the mind-set of all parties involved!

    Also as Siddhartha has very rightly pointed out, a similar situation can also be seen in West Bengal, especially in the border areas. The demographics of these places have changed completely, given that the border is kept at best porous (courtesy vote-bank politics). An estimated 2000 to 4000 Bangladeshi’s enter into India thru West Bengal almost every single day, and less than a handful of them are Hindu’s – and this has been happening for the last 3 to 4 decades.

    In many of these villages, Hindu’s have been forcibly thrown out of their homes or have been forced to migrate given the circumstances. In a particular case (which best describes what we Hindus have become), certain non-Hindu’s desecrated an idol of a Goddess during a Puja (by severing the hands of the idol). The few remaining Hindu members of the village who protested were put behind bars by the local political leader (a left-leaning Hindu) for “creating communal tension”. This is just one such instance (something similar also happened in Basanti, 3 hours from Kolkata). They are happening all the time. The “liberal” media conveniently ignores these incidents as it does not give them an opportunity for Hindu-bashing.

    The way I see it, WB is on its way to becoming another Kashmir, and Bengali Hindu’s the next KP.

    A very sad state of affairs in India, which seems more like an identity malaise of Indian Hindu’s – especially among the left-leaning “intellectuals”. And any Hindu who talks about it gets labeled an “extremist”.
    Sad. Very sad.

  41. @ Shana

    I hear you mate, and as you may have gleaned from my posts, agree with you. My point was most ‘secular’ view points are such slaves to media propaganda that they will approach even a simple discussion on RSS with an equation of a Af-Pak Jihadi and a RSS karyakarta in their minds. Which is not only unfair, its just wrong and ignorant.

  42. Utsav Chakrabarti January 21, 2011 — 8:16 pm

    @ Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay
    Very valid points. How do I get in touch with you?

  43. @Puttu

    The war-cry against the Kashmiri Hindus was: “Raliv, Galiv Ya Chaliv” (Convert, Die or escape)

    More here:

  44. a rare,surprising and incisive take from @gb.right parallels drawn by others on deganga etc.but still people in WB will still vote either mamata(who carried out deganga)or cpm/congis,who have been inviting the marauders from the east bringing misery not only for themselves but for the whole country.

  45. Can anyone please give links to understand the parallels drawn with Bengal today ? I have not lived in WB for a while but I would like to understand the problem better.

    My two cents on the whole Hindus are weak thing : Religion is a strong force. Nationlism is a strong force too. You need at least one to defend yourself. Are they independent of each other? I am not so sure. Our adversary equates religion with nationalism, and that seems to be very potent. And its not just contemporary events, history seems to confirm a strong link between the two too.

    RSS – like organizations have a religious background. And they are nationalistic too. On the other hand urban India, which typically has a voice in the media, predominantly is not religious. Its even considered “non-progressive” to be religious. So to have a spine, what’s left is nationalism. I am not sure we are that Nationalistic either. I have often wondered why ? We had a freedom struggle as recently as other fiercely nationalistic countries have had. I think the difference is what we tout proudly as an achievement and a differentiating factor today – the whole peaceful approach of Gandhiji. I think if we had a bloody revolution on the lines of S.C.Bose, nationalism would have been stronger.

    For now, a revamp of the school curriculum to be more nationalistic should be a priority with the next BJP govt. It will take a couple of generations to get the message across, but we shouldn’t delay anymore. There is no chance of religion entering the curriculum with today’s politics and probably its not a good thing either. But this way we will hand down our future generations at least one tool to fight increasingly rabid neighbors.

    And finally as regards Kashmiri Pandits, I think we need a present day compatriot of Sardar Patel in the PM position for them to have a chance back 😉

  46. I don’t post comments often, so I think I missed a few points for my argument to be cogent :-

    1) I say violent struggle necessary for nationalism because the peaceful talks/diplomatic way intrinsically creates a chosen few for dialogues and leaves out the masses thus never really letting them feel part of the victory.

    2) I say BJP govt. because after this decade of Congress rule, I have only disgust for them and certainly no hopes for doing anything useful for India. I mean I seriously don’t understand how a Govt. can be so myopic, toothless and useless despite India’s history of self-serving rulers.

  47. gandhi thought his shrewd tactics of supporting the khilafat will bring the muslims into the mainstream of the national struggle. he thought too highly of himself and his methods.

    since then, our leaders’ aspiration to get cheap popularity knows no bounds. nehru did the same thing by going to the un.

  48. Is it not possible to just give Kashmir away, even after acknowledging the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus? Why not think of it as delayed partition, wherein the muslim-majority region voted to be neutral/Pakistani while the ruler did not ( the opposite of Junagadh and Hyderabad)? We keep control of Ladakh and Jammu while let Kashmiris do whatever they want. I dont think there is any other non-violent, non-“humanitarian” solution possible thats going to be remotely acceptable to Indians.

  49. @Shamik,

    I think if we had a bloody revolution on the lines of S.C.Bose, nationalism would have been stronger.

    In a way I agree. You value something only when you struggle to obtain it. Indians, specially, most of the middle class did nothing to gain it. They gave lectures on Marxism/Socialism etc and believed that British rule was best thing in the world since the invention of wheel. A very minuscule group of people who are inspired by Gandhism were the ones who turned Hume’s club into the mammoth organization we call Indian National Organization. After freedom they were sidelined by a lefty clique headed by Nehru. Ever since then we made a long journey to become a satellite state of the Soviets.
    For your request of links about Bengal’s parallel, read Chandan Mitra’s report on the situation in Deganga just after the existential threat. I hope that you can read Bengali. I am supplying a detailed report at this link (page 7). This comes from the Bharat Sevashram’s patrika. There are other sources but my liberal friends here would look for a Indian blasphemy law if I provide certain “communal right wing pro-Hindu” source.
    Let us know if you want to know more.

  50. @D,
    I would agree to the solution if the Kashmir valley can be divided so that Padits can get a land to settle and a complete people exchange occurs. But Sanity was never a valued attribute of Indian politics or governance.

  51. @Siddhartha,
    like the Serbian administered territories in Bosnia? Thats a new thought.

  52. err. not Serbian, read “Serb”

  53. utsav chakrabarti January 22, 2011 — 5:03 am

    @ D
    Well, most Hindus dont have the mindset capability of the Serbs.
    Bajrang Dal is not Ankanovi Tigrovi.

    Jihadis from the entire Islamic Ummah went to fight the Serbs, flush with petro-dollars and still got a bloody nose at the hands of a few thousand Serbs.

    It took the entire US airforce to bomb Serbia into stone age before the Muslims even got a chance to breathe.

    Hindus have to make a stand. Kashmiris who are not happy with India are free to leave for Azad Kashmir. We should allow that.

  54. @D While there are enough jingoistic arguments about how our soldiers won Kashmir and there is no question of giving it back and letting their sacrifice come to naught, one can take a pragmatic route.

    Where does one stop then? Is it not the stated policy of the jihadists to not stop till India is part of the Muslim Ummah? If I am not mistaken Musharraf had once remarked that Pakistan could not stop at Kashmir (someone needs to confirm this please).

    You have to have heard the saying “give a camel an inch, he takes an ell (45 inches)”. I wondered why they used a ‘camel’ in the proverb only to realise that its because it is an Arab (hence the camel association) attribute to take more once a concession is made. Clearly, I say this in half jest but you know what I mean.


  55. @D

    Also making a state muslim majority but killing all hindus there (and driving some away) systematically through the centuries…does not count! 🙂

  56. One for the master,
    One for the dame,
    One for the (little boy)….

  57. Rural Bengal is in dangerous situation..there are strikes and off days almost a 7-10 days each month in smaller towns..affected by maoists

    maoist have become new challenge and they estb terror by killing or maiming errant people who dare to go out during their bandh calls…

    mamta needs power at any cost ..she is using maoist to come to power and will go to any lengths to appease the bangladeshis to stay in power.

  58. “…?????? ?????? ?? ??? ?? ????? ???? ????? ???? ??? ???? ???”

  59. the text is : abhishek sanghi ne kaha hain ki hamara zandha hamare hriday me rahta hain.

  60. Nice post. What would be an effective counter strategy I wonder…

  61. I have no problem in accepting that Hindus were driven out of Kashmir, a lot of Kashmiris (at least the vocal stone-throwing majority) want an Islamic Kashmir, Pandits cannot go back etc.

    Accepting all that is no biggie, even for a pseudo secular like me. The question that really should be asked is, is there anything that can be done?

    GB does not seem to want to answer it, leaving it to the commenters.. why?

    I ask because I see a pattern I last saw in offstumped. The writer would ask a lot of questions, and leave it to the masses to rant and fume and abuse, but take no responsibility for the commenters who would often be calling everyone who don’t fit their definition of Hindus as anti-national.

    GB is not doing it yet. But I suspect that is where he is going. The commenters too have not gotten there – yet. I will be happy if I am wrong about this, though.

  62. The question that really should be asked is, is there anything that can be done?
    You tell us. Indian “secularists” are always ready with the answer to Hindu communalism (bring Modi/Advani to justice etc), so surely you guys should have some idea of what the answer for this problem is. If you don’t, “Kashmiriyat” has anyway shown us what the Final Solution for the KPs is.
    It’s good that you’re ready to “accept” the travails of the Pandits, but most secularists do that only in a reactive manner – Indian “secularists” almost never proactively bring up KPs the way they do the Gujarat riot victims. That’s one reason why the word pseudo-secular is used.
    You’re right about right-wingers who use anti-national as a label to brand anyone who doesn’t agree with them. But that sort of intellectual bludgeoning occurs both ways. Lefties, secularists and other similar folk routinely use the word “communal” for anyone who thinks differently from them. Again, I haven’t seen any secular condemning that, so they ought to be able to take what they dish out.

  63. All the nationalistic blustering of BJP amounts to nothing. They were in power in the centre till 2004. What did they do for the displaced hindus from J&K?

  64. “they have always been too decent to deal with Islam”

    this argument is pure rubbish. I don’t want to insult your intelligence by pointing out the many instances this has been violated in history.

    yes the pandits deserve thought. but what is this need to “own” Kashmir?

  65. also by taking on this “us versus them” attitude that you so often do, you play right into extremist hands, hindu or muslim.

  66. @k
    Sorry, if you are here to question the integrity of India, you are ‘them’.
    By law. Its called sedition.

  67. @k,

    yes the pandits deserve thought.

    Now that you have paid the lip service and allocated a sentence for Pandits (no doubt inspired by those who refuse to “play right into extremist hands”), would you mind elaborating on this? –

    this argument is pure rubbish. I don’t want to insult your intelligence by pointing out the many instances this has been violated in history.

    Before you can begin with Gujrat 2002, it is necessary to remember that in the post-Godhra riot, not a single Muslim was burnt alive inside a train compartment along with their children. The violence that started as a response to train burning was deplorable but it was nothing compared to the inhumanity displayed in Godhra train burning. We, Hindus could never go to the levels of decency shown by Muslims in Godhra or seculars (I would not call them pseudo-secular, secularism has always taken the same form in every country with more than three percent Muslim population) who tried to present the train burning as a RSS conspiracy in the line of Reichstag fire.
    I am convinced that I, as a non-secular Hindu, can not show your level of decency of throwing a single line of thought for the Pandits and then hijacking the discussion to show your overflowing secularism.

  68. “The violence that started as a response to train burning was deplorable but it was nothing compared to the inhumanity displayed in Godhra train burning”

    So let’s see. The murder of Jaffri and the gangrapes were “nothing” compared to Godhra. Oh wait. The pseudo-sec media made it all up. No one was raped, the in-camera testimonials of Muslim women were all special effects, and Jaffri is alive today somewhere in Dubai. All that happened was that some Hindu men stole some wallets and pinched some women on the bottom…yes yes.

  69. ” No one was raped, the in-camera testimonials of Muslim women were all special effects”

    Considering that your religion commands you to do taqiyya against kaffirs, it wouldn’t be surprising to find that they were indeed special effects.

    yes yes.

  70. @Anonymous,

    So let’s see. The murder of Jaffri and the gangrapes were “nothing” compared to Godhra. Oh wait. The pseudo-sec media made it all up. No one was raped, the in-camera testimonials of Muslim women were all special effects, and Jaffri is alive today somewhere in Dubai.

    Yeah, how about that? So many bad and evil Hindus, heh? Jaffri was murdered, but the gang-rapes? Which world do you live in? Let us have few recent reports, shall we? Here are they –
    1. Article separating fact and fiction, do look at the chart at the third page
    2. the ‘objectivity’ of the witnesses,
    3. What the court said,
    4. Report by Nanavati Commission

    The problem with people like you with Anonymous identities is that you can not read anything that hurts your belief. I am sure these reports would be called conspiracies. What better people like you can do?

    All that happened was that some Hindu men stole some wallets and pinched some women on the bottom…yes yes.

    I am not sure who has stolen wallets or whose bottoms were pinched but the very community you are so protective about did much more than stealing wallets and pinching bottoms for multiple centuries. But that is very difficult to accept if you are part of that heritatge, is not it?

  71. My heart weeps for the Kashmiri Hindus but maybe it’s time to ask a more serious question. How united are we Hindus as a community? Do we vote in our interests? Why do we allow parties like SP,CPIM, RJD, TMC and recently(?) Congress to play the worst kind of vote bank politics by pandering to the most hideous kind of Muslim paranoia and borderline anti Hindu hatred? NO political party would think of doing that in the USA. Lets assume in the US some party tries to pander to minority fears and garner votes by instigating against America’s majority. White Americans would come out and vote en masse to ensure that such a party secures not a single victory. But does India’s silent majority behave that way? Hahaha We threw out BJP even though they gave the best governance since Independance. Of course they had numerous flaws but compared to Congress they win hands down.

    Kashmir is the only state where Muslims are a majority and whats happening is there for all to see. And if the demographic changes in Bengal and the Deganga Incident are anything to go by, today it’s Kashmir tomorrow it’ll be Bengal. And I don’t think Madam, MMS and Baba would bother to build relief camps for us in Delhi.

  72. @ Suhas,

    The only answer I can see is to wear out the separatist Kashmiri. It probbaly just requires accepting that Kashmir has become a would that will not heal for a very long while – and sitting it out.

    Sadly that’s no solution for Pandits. The only way they can get back what belongs to them is through massive bloodshed – and probably provoking a war with Pak. All these symbolic steps – like the flag – just lengthens the time it takes to wear them out. Just my feeling, and any better ideas are always great to hear.

  73. For much long have we dealt with the Kashmir issue. It has cost us 65000 lives comprising the deaths due to terrorism, the genocide of Kashmiri Hindus, the wars with Pakistan which claimed the lives of some of our most valiant soldiers. So our patriots die so that our wonderful liberal Govt can accomodate the sentiments of traitors and jihadis.

    May be we need to learn from Israel. The only way to solve the issue is to scrap 370, flood the place with people from all parts of India, change the demographics, turn the jihadis into a minority, organise Black Ops against separatist leaders to ensure that the backbone of their “movement” is broken.

  74. @Mohit,

    And I don’t think Madam, MMS and Baba would bother to build relief camps for us in Delhi.

    They did not build any relief camp for those KP Hindus. What often does not get mentioned is that it was VP Singh government who air-lifted remaining KPs out of the valley and Chandrasekhar government arranged for a relief camp in Udhampur and Delhi.
    Things have changed a lot since then. Twenty years later, the situation has gone south and it has deteriorated to such an extent, that the Hindu residents of next Kashmir (i.e. Bengal) may be told to build relief camps on the sea if at all they are recognized as Indian citizens. Most people in Deganga do not know if they are to leave Deganga where would they go?
    My best bet is that Rahul Baba would follow the foot steps of his ancestor Nehru who, in early fifties, advised Pakistani Hindus to be better Pakistanis and stop complaining about their Muslim brethren.
    As for the KPs, you may want to look at this news item to see how a US senator urged Singh to do something about KPs and our humanist media never bothered to report it.

  75. A correction: not a senator, a house representative.

  76. I will hereby relate the experiences that I had with respect to my own daughter. She is an avid Greatbong fan. In fact, honestly I had no idea about who the hell Greatbong was. But RTDM was her homepage. She was not only an avid reader of GB posts, but of GB comments as well. Again, I am not a big comment reader. Sometimes, just to amuse myself, I read some Rediff comments.

    Being an extremely attractive girl, there was no dearth of guys to hit upon her. But in the first year of college, she started acting liberal. When I mean liberal, I mean what GB refers to as “Garden Variety Indian Liberal” in one of his posts. It was a fashion statement. Her behavior also changed. She started going out with guys on sports bikes, spent the majority of her days in Cafe Coffee day and deliberately tore up her jeans and brought Prada handbags. She also started making sounds on the dinner table like “Azad Kashmir. Kasmir is for Kashmiris etc.” Once I got real angry and asked her to leave the table. The next day, after coming back from office, I found that she had removed the SRK posters on her wall and replaced it with clippings of Sagarika Ghose articles, a huge life-size poster of Arundhari Roy and comment printouts of a person called Shan. She had also put up posters on the freshly-painted walls of me and my wife’s bedroom of Limbaugh, Palin and RTDM comment printouts of Rishi, HHBB, Hujur etc. Upon questioning, she replied that right wingers in India share a common bonding and feeling of kinsmanship with right wingers in US. My rejoiner was that liberals were wuzzy, schitzophrenic, confused, pseudo-secular and did not know how to come to a decision. In fact their only policy was inaction. She said, “Ewww”, and stormed out of the house.

    Soon I came to know that she was dating a Kashmiri guy. He had indoctrinated her. She was completely under his spell. Once I went to Coffee Day myself and saw them sitting near me. I could overhear the conversation which went like this:

    Kashmiri Guy: “Do you know I can bomb this shopping mall into pieces and no liberal will say anything. Do you know that the very same people will support any of my demands, like making Kasmir independent, simply because I am a Muslim. But if a Hindu majority state Gujrat ethnically cleansed its population, and then asked for independence, it will not go well with them.”

    My Daughter: “Yes you are right. As it should be.”

    I saw my daughter thru the corner of my eye and left the scene as I could not take it anymore. A few days later, I heard that a scene had taken place in her college canteen, where she expressed her desire to convert to Islam. This was cheered by tons of liberal students. One guy questioned her as to why she did to ask her bf to change his religion,and the liberals were all upon him in a flash. She started donating money for Pakistani flood victims, which was surprising, as she never donated a cent to any charity in India.

    Despite all this, we could not hate our daughter as she was, well, our daughter. Her mind-control was complete. She could not see the 2-faced Janus like hypocricy of the garden variety Indian liberal. I began to hate Greatbong with a vengence. Upon close examination, I found that GB himself had mixed reactions. Some said he was a pseudo, some said he was a fundamentalist. He had also written an excellent treatise on pseudo-secularism called the “Algebra of Infinite Fundamentalism”.

    However, she started showing signs of change after reading a recent GB post refuting the claim of a Kashmiri girl towards the independence of Kashmir. She did not convert and dumped her bf. Now that’s a start! I sincerely hope that this current post will also go a long way towards her cure.

    – A Sad Dad

  77. Sadly that’s no solution for Pandits. The only way they can get back what belongs to them is through massive bloodshed
    And obviously, they shouldn’t do that. So I wonder why all our liberals support a state ruled by an organisation called Hamas. We don’t hear the same funda about Gandhian opposition to Israel, and about refraining from violence. So it’s OK if the Palestinians do that. But no, not for the Pandits. They’re supposed to just grin and bear it, and obviously nobody in the media, nor “secularists”, nor Arundhati Roy will raise even a fraction of the stink they do when the religion of the victims is something other than Hinduism.
    Because for liberals, the rules are different for people of different religions. If liberals were really for freedom of religion, human rights and all that jazz, they wouldn’t be apologists for the worst kinds of religious intolerance.
    But then, it’s their choice if they want to play it that way. I just wish they brushed up on their English vocab and found at that secular isn’t the right word to describe what they do. The right word is… “communal”

  78. “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views. but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”
    – william f. buckley. jr

  79. @Suhas-

    “Because for liberals, the rules are different for people of different religions. If liberals were really for freedom of religion, human rights and all that jazz, they wouldn’t be apologists for the worst kinds of religious intolerance.
    But then, it’s their choice if they want to play it that way. I just wish they brushed up on their English vocab and found at that secular isn’t the right word to describe what they do. The right word is… “communal”

    Indian Liberal = Communal.


    Brilliant blogpost GB.

  80. @D
    It’s a shame that you had to pick one of the most partisan quotes by one of the greatest center-right thinkers in American history. Readers unfamiliar with William Buckley Jr. would be misguided to extrapolate this views based on that introductory quote, which were significantly more nuanced than it seems. And linking to the cesspool of stupidity known as World Nut Daily? Not sure if serious.

    (end threadjack)

  81. Guys,
    There are no liberal and no conservatives in India. Classical liberals are those who were inspired by Locke’s or Mill’s ideas and I would be damned if more than 0.00001% of Indians understand them. How many of you can remember any liberals in India before nineties? The word began to appear only after nineties. Why?
    Because USSR crashed. With it the hope of committed communists in India crashed too. China, after experiencing “leap forward” movements have moved on to Deng’s crony capitalism. Cuba is too small and too far away. So, those who were committed to violent commie uprising in seventies and became committed to fabian socialism in eighties were suddenly out of cause. More importantly, communism was no longer a proud certificate. What were they supposed to do? Some like Kancha Iliya tried to ride social justice wave. Others took over liberalism. Who cares if it is relevant in India or not? They were in the position to dictate the direction of political discourse, so Indian liberals came into being. That is why everyone starting with Pankaj Misra to Arundhati Roy and Teesta Bibi to Mira Nanda are liberals today.
    Now since liberals arrived, everybody else is conservative. In the past, everybody else would have been called reactionary. Times changed, now our label is hateful conservative right wing. Now you may not like the label, but liberals can not live without labeling you. You can deny the label but you have to remember that you can not say so. Indian liberals still believe that freedom of expression is only applicable to progressive expressions only.
    Now that I have explained Indian liberalism, please refrain from expressing surprise about the behavior of secular liberals. This is old commie habits rehashed. In between there are few Indians like GB who were taught in foreign universities and perceive liberalism as understood in their respective campuses. So they would continue to express shock and outrage at the liberal behavior. But they have internalized liberal labeling so much that they can not imagine being accused of being conservative right wing.

  82. There is a famous saying in that part of the world (and possibly exists and applies elsewhere) that a Kashmiri Pandit is like an aubergine. i.e.something that goes with every vegetable. No one quite ever predicted that it would one day in future also become that vegetable 🙂
    Not only have they lost their identity, they have been at this point forced to assume another. And this didn’t start 20 or 30 years ago unfortunately.

    Well done!


  83. So very True!

  84. haha.. that was a good one 😉
    I would say a liberal is one who shows the same empathy towards Khairlanji as towards KPs..
    Or wouldnt be a Sad Dad if the daughter starts dating a Chamaar.
    But eh.. thats another universe.
    Do ‘We hindus’ as in most comments, really include those dehatis who vote for illiterate non-twitter-users like Mayawati or Chautala?
    -A curious hindu

  85. @Sad Dad,

    Do ‘We hindus’ as in most comments, really include those dehatis who vote for illiterate non-twitter-users like Mayawati or Chautala?

    Yes, everyone. Including those who are ashamed to call themselves Hindus. Or confused Hindus like GB.

    Or wouldnt be a Sad Dad if the daughter starts dating a Chamaar.

    It is casteist. What is the point?

  86. the last time people were lathicharged for trying to hoist Indian national flag was during the British rule. Lets see how close the current govt comes to.
    as such quite a few people had their train turned back even after paying full ticket price.

  87. I have a soft corner for people who you folks claim to be “politically correct” or pussy footed. Of course with intellectual chargin living in a country far away from India does give one the freedom to discuss such sensitive topics.

    But I feel if someone could look at it from a cause effect scenario it might generate some empathy. The thing is i cannot vent out my secural, liberal and a more common sense based approach without getting brickbats for it.

    For one I will be labelled as anti-muslim.Second I will be misquoted and hence i shall become a racist. This will lead to disharmony in my society(That is if i go public) and trust me a blog, a whacky tweet here and there while sipping cappucino is not going to bring justice to those pandits.

    Suppose I enter politics to be in a position to do something about it the only folks who are going to support me are the BJP a few of them who are serious whacko’s. And I have to abide by their rules if i want to bring relief and so on and so forth.

    The path to mitigating the problem is diverted to Revenge and we all know how that tarantino story ends.

    Its not the thought that counts, its the action that does.
    So the question is do I have it in me to give up my comfort, peace of mind to come to support of those murdered hindu pandits?. May be not.

    Every religion has whackos but whacko’s who happen to be muslims have a funnier version of protesting.

  88. @Dhanesh

    Aint it better that GB is at least blogging about it even though he is doing from an other country? To think of it what makes you think he is not right just because he is not in India?

    The reason no one talks about it is because you believe nothing will change. To talk and keep peoples memory fresh that something wrong has happened is a VERY GOOD THING TO DO.

    Want a proof? 26 years ago someone did something Gravely wrong. This shows that karma will catch up with them. Ask kamal nath.

    You do not need to join any political party to make a difference. It takes some individual will power to do something against people who have committed a sin.

    Talk to people who were affected. Will make your heart churn. Just one life that you get and you spend half of it running around trying to settle down.

    Good life huh or your coffee may get cold now.

    Sorry for getting preachy but if everyone in the country raises his hand in surrender then we should not be living in a democracy

  89. Your last sentence “The amputation from their homeland is now complete” is a telling summary of the situation of Kashmiri Pandits. The Pandits have always been numerically insignificant, but being geographically distributed across India and the world, they also have no collective muscle like Gujjars or Telangana supporters. And lack of both muscle and mass ensures zero priority in the political order of the country. Moreover, media and ‘intelligentsia’, both in the west and in India have always been more interested in stories of suppression by the state and ignore those who have been affected by imported terror. Western media, particularly, gets appalled at the slightest signs of state brutality and is unable to look beyond the obvious. Let us also not forget that western media has as many Pakistanis lobbying for their agenda as Indians. It is clear that they are doing a better PR job.
    Kashmir as it stands today has been over simplified into a very effective poster of ‘state versus people’ and has started spawning movies and books that feed of this simplified version. There will be an occasional voice in support of Pandits, but few and far in between, and mostly for the sake of a ‘balanced viewpoint’ instead of an attempt to junk the obvious

  90. Utsav Chakrabarti January 24, 2011 — 2:56 pm

    @ Dhanesh

    “Of course with intellectual chargin living in a country far away from India does give one the freedom to discuss such sensitive topics.”

    Dont project your weakness onto others. India has all the means to discuss with freedom such a “sensitive” issue, and more importantly act up it.

    “Its not the thought that counts, its the action that does.
    So the question is do I have it in me to give up my comfort, peace of mind to come to support of those murdered hindu pandits?.”

    Do you?
    If you do, get in touch. All you will lose is a little peace of mind…at the least.

  91. Why, o why, don’t we Indians understand? This is your secular vote in action. Keep voting for the Congress and this is what you will get.

    Under Congress rule:

    1) It is perfectly secular for a certain community to hoist the Pakistani flag atop the Clock Tower at Srinagar’s prominent Lal Chowk on the auspicious occasion of Eid in 2010.

    2) But it is darkly communal for Hindus (including Kashmiri Pandits) to hoist the Indian tricolor flag atop the same Clock Tower at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk on the inauspicious occasion of Republic Day.

    Read up your history, O smug and self-absorbed Indians:

    1) Why do you think the Lion of Bengal, Dr.Syama Prasad Mookerjee , gave up his flourishing career (as the youngest Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calcutta) and successfully prevented West Bengal from becoming part of East Pakistan?

    2) Why did Dr.Syama Prasad Mookerjee sacrifice his life in 1953 to keep Jammu & Kashmir an integral part of India? Dr.Mookerjee was declared dead in a Kashmiri prison after being arrested and tortured by the secular Sheikh Abdullah’s police.

    The then-Congress regime, under Nehru, may have been an accomplice in his murder and refused to set up an enquiry commission into his murder, inspite of earnest requests from his mother, Jogmaya Devi and other citizens. What has indeed changed about the Congress since then?

    If any of you Indians (living in India or abroad) sincerely wish to do your bit to prevent the second partition of your motherland, feel free to contact me or Utsav. Without small sacrifices on your part, there will be no India (secular or otherwise) left for your children.

    If you don’t have any cojones, you can continue your lip-service and crocodile tears …and go back to your lame TV shows, trite cricket scores and insipid lives.

  92. If you are trying to talk about The People They Don’t Talk About, I guess then your article should talk more about the The People and less about They/Pak. The latter, as you have noted, get ample media coverage already. But how are The People doing? Their living conditions? Do they get gov/non-gov benefits? Have their aspirations changed? How have The People evolved/adapted/dispersed? Do/Can they have political or intellectual representation? Etc.

  93. A timely post, written brilliantly.

    Just saw a cartoon which depicts a man with green flag happily entering J&K. The hypocrisy of the state cannot get worse.

    The only solution is to allow people to move and settle there.

    Real liberal view is something that is hard to maintain for a long time. The mind naturally swings to a steady state. And to confront the liberals then, the other liberals resort to fundamentalism. If GB is displaying fundamentalism here, it is right and very much needed. Just hope that when time comes, the balance is restored.

  94. @Utsav: I would love to get in touch and I do beleive that action speaks louder than words so forgive me for that.

    When the 26/11 happened i took it upon me to spread the word went to the rally, ligthed candles. Of course my colleagues, office mates came along with me. You know there were celbrities, chicks in white t shirt yes(I heard it from the horse’s mouth).

    Then we decided to collect some funds and give it to the bereaving every one was like well you know, i got a call. uhmm…etc…

    The thing is blogging, writing, wearing a pink ribbon etc… is a symbol. A symbol for one’s opinion, conviction for a cause etc…But unless this transcends to any action it will remain just words.

    I don’t want every one to show their certificate of action but many a times we are under the assumption that symbolism is enough. That wearing a pink ribbon cures breast cancer. Forwarding an email will bring respite to a burnt child or forwarding a message(well that one worked).

    I was being ridiculuously sarcastic and was taking a dig at my own inaction and frustration at my peers. I guess it backfired. I am all for change.

  95. And my being an agnostic I really feel it is high time people understand that this is a religious feud at the roots. But time and again whenever any one brings religion into the debate it becomes an argument.

    And it bloody baffles me, why should religion be given impunity when it is the VERY cause over which the fight is. I don’t have a problem if the seperationists want to follow a dystopian society that is implosive in nature (Like communism in russia).

    However their belief and law it brings along (Sharia) which lends unrest in neighbouring states too. Wink wink pakistan. Hence as much as i want the bloodshed to stop I want these ball-less pseudo pacifists to stop preaching.

    I am not anon and if you want to get in touch i would be glad to.

  96. @ Maddy: This is a cliche which has been beaten to death but I guess i have misquoted my self and I don’t blame you!

    I too am not a resident of India currently and I take back that couch bag arguments. My bad . I regret typing those words.

    The thing about getting people’s heart getting churned its about gettting things done. And you don’t have to churn, burn, cook, apply masala to our “humble hindustani’s”.

    My point is that we must act up on conscience and not wait for some messiah. Do your bit and then you have earned a chance to voice your opinion. If not well it doesn’t deserve the recognition however pompous might be your literature.

  97. I really miss Ram Chatterjee…….

  98. Utsav Chakrabarti January 25, 2011 — 10:19 pm

    @ Dhanesh
    “The thing is blogging, writing, wearing a pink ribbon etc… is a symbol. A symbol for one’s opinion, conviction for a cause etc…But unless this transcends to any action it will remain just words.”

    Completely agree with you. Apreciate this comment.

    “I am not anon and if you want to get in touch i would be glad to.”

    Sure I would like to get in touch. There have been many other people in this forum who we have gotten in touch with, for grassroots work. Some have joined the efforts, some have not.

    Look forward to communcating with you.

  99. Around 25% of the pop. is muslim within india. Propogating the line of thought that Kashmir is fighting for independence or a plebscite was promised is foolhardy. 90% of the pop. within India is hindu. Propogating the kashmiri pundit is again foolhardy. An alternative line of thought the govt. can adopt is that of realpolitik. Any thinktank will tell you that an independent kashmir is taliban at our doorsteps. Another outcome would be kashmir aligning with the chinks or pakis. With nepal dilly dallying this would be a dangerous outcome considering the string of pearls theory. The realpolitik option would be to remove the special status of kashmir. . Systematic placement of indians into kadhmir, open the economy, allow others to buy land. Something similar to tibet. It is cruel but for the wellbeing of 1billion plus indians you cannot afford to have some 15 to 20 million with special status draining the exchequer.

  100. Have you given thought as to how the great ” apostle ” of ” peace ” …Mr Gandhi would have wanted these hindus to react …maybe by turning over their mothers , daughters and sisters to these communal fanatics to be raped and killed …..

    Barkha Dutt , Manmohan Singh , Dilip Padgoekar and I forget the others are carrying on the legacy of the ‘ Mahatma ‘ ..haramzada ooops hey ram ..

  101. Further human beings being tortured and killed. Unwept, unhonoured and unsung.

  102. I AM a bollywood movie releasing in India on 29th April is based on Kashmiri Pandit to know more …. It is Your Story!!!!
    Megha Kashmiri Pandit returns home on a business trip after 20 yrs to Kashmir to find her childhood

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