Homage to Pandit Tika Lal Taploo’s on the 23rd year of Martyrdom

published on September 19, 2012

“Where do we go if we get a SMS asking us to return to our native place like it happened to our friends from Assam?!!”

People of all walks of life paid homage to Pandit Tika Lal Taploo of Kashmir on the 23rd Martyrdom in Bengaluru at the Kashmir Bhavan. The killers are still roaming large and have not been brought to book and therefore a unanimous resolution was passed and sent to the President to seek his intervention and do justice to this great soul.

Pandit Tika Lal Taploo was the 1st Hindu victim in the valley and he became a target for his staunch commitment to the cause of Hindus and also being an ardent swayamsevak. A man dedicated to a cause from childhood end unmoved by the threats and intimidation allurements was born in 1930. Tika Lal passed his Matriculation in 1945 from Punjab University and did his M.A.L.L.B from Aligarh Muslim University in 1958. He was not given admission along with other Kashmir Pundit’s but he started an agitation and staged a protest `Dharna’ in front of the University campus along with other students untill they acceded to his demands and gave him a seat; He completed his law in 1957.

Pandit Tika Lal Taploo joined Kashmir Bar in the same year; he was enrolled as an Advocate of high Court on April 1971. He was a social worker and was arrested six times as RSS activist. Shri Taploo was an ardent champion of civil liberty and upholder of fundamental rights of the citizens. Hence he protested against the Emergency in 1975. He courted arrest at the historic Lal Chowk in Srinagar along with his other colleagues. Those who remember these dark days are fully aware about the trauma and third degree treatment to those who were taken to custody. Therefore, Pandit Tika Lal too was no exception.

Tika Lal along with his companion Madan Lal Khashu and Shibanji Pandita were treated as criminals. They were handcuffed and dragged through the busy market of Maharaja Bazaar, Sarai-Bala, Amiri-Kadal, Harozi Bagh On their entry into the court premises all advocates cutting across political affiliation and faiths thronged into the bar and protested against the hand-cuffing of Pandit Taploo and foiled the attempt of the police who were trying to seek further remand for inflicting more torture. After remaining in judicial lock up for months he was honorably released along with his companions.

He was an epitome of virtues and a very kind hearted simple person. He worked sincerely for the downtrodden that too without consideration of caste, sex or religion. Hence he had lot of good friends from the Muslims too. He was bold, fearless and courageous which earned him the sobriquet “Sher” (Lion).

Tears of a woman or an oppressed, irrespective of their caste, would move him. As a lawyer he used to plead the cases not for his pleasure but to help the oppressed, the down trodden, the needy. Tika Lal was very popular among the economically backward. Material gains had very scant influence on his temperament. People especially students facing any problems having legal implications would without any formal obligation first rush to seek counsel from Tika Lal. In Aligarh University while graduating in Law and post graduating in Humanities, and at Bar the ideals of simple living and high thinking, dedication in the services of the nation and fearlessness imbibed by him in the RS.S. Shakha remained through out his life.

Hw was married to Smt Sarla a Government school teacher and she used to run the family with her petty salary as Pandit Tika Lal Taploo never collected fees from those who couldn’t afford and itseems that from the meager fees he charged from others, he used to buy rations for those who couldn’t afford. Thus the contribution to his household was just not possible. But true to our Hindu tradition of selfless sacrifice, and dedication his wife had no grouse and supported him through out.

They called him Lala (elder brother) Kak (in Kashimiri) and by several other such names that depicted his character to stand up against injustice.

Knowing the fact that his life is in threat, he left his family at Delhi and returned to Kashmir on 8th Sept’1989. On 12th September’1989 he was attacked at his residence in Chinkral Mohalla, but escaped the attempt. But he has not lucky on 14th September’1989 when the cowardly assassins shot him from behind right infront of his house. Kashmir was plunged in grief and darkness such as it had not experienced before in living memory. The Islamic fundamentalists that are roaming free in Jammu & Kashmir rendered a blow to the confidence of the Hindus that too by deceit. It is stated that the funeral procession witnessed crowds that surpassed the earlier funeral of Sheikh Abdullah. This spoke volumes for the tall stature and good work of this great personality.

Tributes by various persons who had worked with Pandit Tika Lal Taploo and their own experience were shared by every one at the condolence meeting in Bengaluru. A portrait of Pandit Tika Lal Taploo was unveiled and would be displayed in the Kashmir Bhavan along with other distinguished persons who were killed by terrorists.

In a unique gesture, Smt Sarla the widow was contacted directly and she conveyed her message to all the members assembled.

All the members wore black band as a mark of protest against the killers who are yet to be nabbed and tried by law.

Sri R K Mattoo-Chairman of the Kashmir Hindu Cultural Welfare Trust a veteran journalist and also associated now with the BBC, spoke with moist eyes and his remarked stunned the audience into silence. He shared his thoughts and while doing so, he became emotional and stated that in the recent time in Karnataka; there was an exodus of people to Assam based on an SMS that they should return to their homeland. Though it turned out to be a prank or a hoax, they rushed back to help their parents and also protect their property.

In the same vein, he asked where they all should go if this happens even by mischief? It left everybody thinking and dumb founded. Such is the reaction of the Kashmir Hindus that there doesn’t seem to be any solace or solution to the vexed safety and security of Hindus in our own land. What a pity?  

Core Committee members of Kashmir Culture Welfare Trust Shri T N Dhar `Kundanji’, Shri K K Zutshi, Shri G L Sapru,, Shri G L Khurdi, Shri P K Ganjoo , Shri Vijay Kashkari and Shri Vijay Ganjoo spoke and paid their homage on the occasion.

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