An elite but miniscule Section of Kashmiri Pandits is now out to malign & demonize Kashmiri Muslims at every available opportunity. Enjoying power & financial security in various cities of India and around the world , they are increasingly identifying themselves with the hardcore obscurantist Hindutva forces in India. Oblivious of the pitiable conditions of their own kiths & kins living in pitiable conditions and instead of contributing something positive to repair the damaged “Guldasta-i-Kashmir” (Bouquet of Kashmir),these slickers are promoting an agenda of exclusiveness & hatred. In the process they are not only inflicting a grievous injury upon the centuries old relations between the two communities but also render a disservice to India itself by alienating Indian public from people of Kashmir with heaps of falsehoods & misinformation.
In this template of odium, an incompatible & unacceptable vocabulary like ethnic cleansing & genocide is freely used by these merchants of hatred to extract personal benefits & luxuries in exchange of the agonies & miseries of others. In television discussions, voices are raised to highest decibels to obtain more debating points. In newspaper columns wrong information is being disseminated on a continuous basis to vitiate the atmosphere at a time when every Kashmiri feels fresh fragrance of many returning pandits roaming on streets & parks in Srinagar and few of them like Kachroo’s making a comeback to their homeland without Govt. doles & much flurry and ado. (http://kashmirreader.com/migration-of-pandits-was-bad-part-of-our-history-an-aberration-18562#comment-200561).
In this context, a specific reference to an article on Kounsar-Nag Yatra written by Rahul Pandita in “The Hindu” on August 8th 2014 is in order. According to him refusing permission to 40 odd Pandits for visiting Kounsar Nag is loaded with ulterior motives. What he hides from the general public is that in the first instance, permission was sought for 4000 persons to visit the place from Kashmir Side. The figures from Jammu Side was deliberately kept a guarded secret. A Yatra to Kounsar Nag with that many number of vistors is hitherto unknown in the history of Kashmir. This figure when juxtaposed with statement of Hindutva leaders exhorting district administration to chalk out comprehensive strategy to popularize Kausar Nag Yatra by erecting hoardings at prominent locations, so that pilgrims after visiting Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, could be diverted to the lake for tourism promotion did raise genuine alarms for fragile environment , flora & fauna of the area.
(http://www.tehelka.com/kousar-nag-yatra-politics-jammu-kashmir/). This is particularly so when Kounsar Nag is no known or recognized pilgrimage destination as testified by Mr.Vijay Bakaya, former chief Secretary of the State. Mr. Pandita, further justifies the ecocide of the area on the ground that forests in the surroundings have already been denuded by smugglers & undesirable persons. Yes-Very true-but only a naïve can plead that two wrongs make one right? What Pandita conceals from his readers is the whole-hearted support & cooperation extended by Kashmiri Muslims to recognized Yatra Pilgrimages like Shri Amarnath & Khir Bahavani. His malafide intentions to present Kashmiri Muslims as a communal & intolerant people, before Indian Public is too obvious to be missed. In hindsight it is now clear that it was a well devised game-plan. First hype the low key yatra to an unacceptable level for people of Kashmir and then market that unacceptability as a symbol of bigotry & intolerance of . Even Indian Union Home Minster accepted in Parliament that Yatra was hyped beyond acceptable levels.
Let me leave here unsaid at whose behest these charlatans are doing all this as that unpleasant job has been performed long back by Nitasha Koul, a celeberated writer and an illustrious daughter of the soil, in these words."Kashmiri Hindus themselves have been used as pawns by the Indian state. Their story is one of a small but educated and comparatively elite, affluent minority in a Muslim-majority state who had close connections with the Indian establishment and were always targeted and cultivated by Indian intelligence machinery as agents of RAW (Research and Analysis Wing), IB (Intelligence Bureau) and the Indian state. Such machinations over the decades since independence have only served to widen the gulf between Kashmiri Hindus and Kashmiri Muslims. The Indian state has failed both Kashmiri Hindus and Kashmiri Muslims, failing to account for the aspirations of both communities; it has however, succeeded in dividing them in a fundamental (hopefully not irreversible) way” –(http://www.opendemocracy.net/nitasha-kaul/kashmir-from-contact-zone-to-conflict-zone).
It is these particular persons whom Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah referred to as “fifth Columnists” in his book “Aatish-i-Chinar” and the whole India concurred by bestowing a Sahitya Academy award on the book.
(The author is a practicing chartered Accountant. E mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)