Ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits: culpable silence by human rights organizations

via Dipin Damodharan published on May 3, 2010

This is the story of an ethnic group, Kashmiri Pandits, who are becoming refuges in their own land. We heard about human rights violation confronted the Jews from Adolf Hitler, human rights violation in Palestine, human rights violation by the Lord Resistance Army of Uganda, violations in many countries like Sri Lanka, Iran, Brazil, China… When a communal riot was broke out in Gujarat (India) in 2002, as an upshot of the killing of 59 Hindu Saints in Sabarmati Express (Godhra train carnage), many Muslims had also lost their life. All human rights organization across the globe made use of this incident to affront India in front of the world. But they never speak on the Genocide, the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits from the Kashmir valley; they have a culpable silence on the human rights violations executing by the Islamic terrorists trained by Pakistan.

Over four lakh Kashmiri Pandits, constituting 99% of the total population of Hindus, living in Muslim best part area of the Kashmir Valley. Since the end of 1989 they were grudgingly pushed out of the Valley by Islamic terrorists, trained in Pakistan, they have been forced to live the life of exiles in their own country, outside their homeland, by unleashing an organized campaign of terror, murder, burgle and arson. Genocide of Kashmiri Pandits has reached its zenith with Muslim terrorism succeeding in cleansing the valley of this ancient ethno-religious Kashmiri Pandits community.

With the completion of 21st year of their forced exile, this peace loving, culturally affluent community with a history of more than 5000 years is fighting a harsh battle to save itself from becoming extinct as a distinct race and culture. The exodus took place on January 19th of I989. On that day the loudspeakers of mosques in Kashmir blasted out a message as a threat: Pandits leave the valley, leaving behind your women. We want Pakistan, without Kashmiri Pandits. Despite of some organizations, the entire country then was like silent spectators of this event.

The massacres of Pandits were brutal, barbaric and inhuman. Killing of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists evidently portrays fanatical sadism. All victims have been subjected to extreme torture and terror. Torture deaths have been brought about by such inhuman practices as strangulation by using steel wires, hanging, branding with hot irons, burning alive, lynching, bleeding to death. Besides these, terrorists have frequently indulged in barbaric acts like performing death dances after killing their target. Many a time, dead bodies were not even allowed to be properly cremated. Is this acts cannot be considered as violation of human rights? The so-called cultural celebrity Arundati Roy had spend several days with Maoist terrorists recently, why she is even not ready to think a while for this Kashmiri Pandits ?

 Every one forgets the fact that terrorism in Kashmir is an ideological struggle with specified political commitments which are fundamentalist and communal in character. Terrorist violence is aimed at achieving the disentanglement of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from India and its annexation to Pakistan. It is the continuation of the Islamic fundamentalist struggle for the homeland of Pakistan which claims Jammu and Kashmir State on account of its Muslim majority character.  To achieve this aim, the terrorists are continuously destroying the educational, cultural and religious institutions of Kashmiri Pandits.

Killing of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir by terrorists clearly depicts extreme sadism. But the great tragedy is that the Government of India and the Jammu Kashmir State Government have utterly failed to protect the Kashmiri Pandits against Islamic terrorism. Ethnic cleansing of Pandits from Kashmir valley is the crucial failure of Indian state to uphold its commitments to people of India as enshrined in Indian constitution which provides right to live with dignity and honour to every citizen irrespective of caste, creed, religion or colour.

International Human Rights Organizations like Amnesty International, Asia Watch and others have yet to take proper cognizance of the genocide perpetrated on Kashmiri Pandits. Even the representatives of the United nations or other organizations have so far failed to visit the camps in Jammu, Delhi and other parts of India, where thousands of families are putting up for several years.

 The international community views the violence in Kashmir as a Freedom struggle. But remember, terrorist violence in the valley is not a Freedom Struggle at all. Terrorist violence cannot be justified on the ground of its political and ideological motivations or value basis. Cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir is a clear testimony of this fact. There is no freedom which impinges upon freedom. There can be no equality which leads to inequality.

Sania-Shoaib marriage extravaganza is a breaking news for the Indian media; Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been crucified by the media accusing him as the perpetrator of Gujarat riots, but this ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus never being news for Indian media…

Gradual extinction of a civilized community with an ancient culture is yet to shake the conscience of the world. I request my fellow human beings to take up this issue and bring it to the fore of international arena.

(Article first published in groundreport, an international newsportal.)

Dipin Damodharan is a working Journalist based in Kerala (Sub editor with Jeevan TV). Author of several articles related to national cause in different media like Organiser, merinews. Regular columnist for online news portals,,, and can be contacted at [email protected].

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