Panun Kashmir commemorated Kashmiri Hindu Holocaust Day on 19 th January, Sunday in Jammu. The commemoration was attended by members of Kashmiri Hindu community from all walks of life and activists of Panun Kashmir in Invitation Banquet Hall, Roop Nagar, Jammu. The event this year was held in the backdrop of many historical and epochal decisions taken by the Union government with regards to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and amendment in Citizenship Act which have reestablished the faith of entire exiled Hindus of Kashmir.
Dr Agnishekhar, Convenor, Panun Kashmir while rekindling the pain of displacement said, “19 th January – The Kashmir Hindu Holocaust Day is enshrined in the collective and individual memory of each and every Kashmir Hindu. This day marks the beginning of 7th exodus of our community and tells the tale of perpetual religious persecution and genocide.” Adding, “The resistance of Kashmiri Hindu community against Islamic Jihad is chronicled in history and speaks volumes about persecution and genocide suffered by the community.”
He further said, “It is on 19 January 1990 the Islamic Jehad once again unleashed the barbarity and mayhem on a spiritual and peace loving aboriginals of Kashmir Valley.” Speaking further Dr Agnishekhar said, “The pain and agony of forced displacement has left indelible marks on the psyche of Hindus of Kashmir and last 30 years have added to our festering wounds.”
Dr Agnishekhar further said, “Though this day marks as one of the goriest days in the history of Kashmir Hindus, but this day has stirred up the consciousness of entire community and the community has risen like a phoenix. He said, “It was the forced exile in 1990 that gave birth to geo political aspirations of the community and the entire community adopted Margdarshan Resolution in 1991 which envisages a Union Territory for entire 7 Lakh exiled Hindus of Kashmir to the east and north of River Vitasta under the Constitution of India.” He further expressed hope that after epochal decisions on August 5 and amendments in Citizenship Act Union government under visionary leadership of Narender Modi will address the pain and agony suffered by Hindus of Kashmir for last 30 years.”
Dr Ajay Chrungoo said, “Genocide of KPs didn’t start on 19 January 1990, this day marks a symbolic reference to a Genocidal war unleashed on the Hindus of Kashmir for last 1000 years.” He said, “This day also marks the sacrifice of our revered Guru Teg Bahadur who sacrificed his life in the same Genocidal war which led to the displacement of entire community in 1990.” Terming Denial of Genocide as a climax of Genocide Dr Chrungoo said, “Terms like ‘Migration’ and ‘Ethnic Cleansing’ were consciously coined to ignore and deny Genocide, and international experts have termed this apathy amounting to ‘Double Genocide’.”
Dr Chrungoo further said, “Genocide of Hindus has not limited itself to Kashmir Valley alone, Hindus of entire south Asia have suffered pangs of Genocide.” Giving a clarion call to stop this onslaught on Hindus, he said, “ It is time when we should come out of ostrich syndrome and fight the Genocidal onslaught – Recognize and Reversed. Terming partition of India as the declaration of Genocide, He said, “Pakistan was created to unleash this Genocide on Hindus and the then Indian political leaders of this country are squarely responsible for this heinous crime, and history will never forgive them for such sins.”
Tito Ganju, a renowned legal expert said, “State complacency is a crime in UN Genocide convention so, the state conveniently termed the displacement of KP community as mere ethnic cleansing.” He further appraised the vast gathering that our community is not only the sufferer of Genocide but denial of Genoicide thus a double Genocide has taken place and it is perpetual. Referring to the National Human Rights commission observation that Kashmir Hindus have suffered acts akin to Genocide, Tito Ganju said, “Culpable Homicide amounting to murder is a murder, similarly the observation akin to Genocide is actually a Genocide”
Tito Ganju appraised the gathering about the recently proposed ‘Panun Kashmir-Genocide and Atrocities Prevention Bill 2020’ which was submitted to all the parliamentarians on Homeland Day said, “This bill is based on three major international legislations: UN Convention on Crime against Genocide, UN Rights of Indigenous People and Rights of People affected by violence, besides being harmoniously construed with all the domestic legislation in our country.” He appraised the audience, “The proposed commission in the said Bill will have the right to discuss return and rehabilitation of exiled community in accordance with the ‘Principle of Non-Refoulement’.
Hira Lal Bhat, a prominent socio-political activist while speaking on the occasion recounted said, “This day belongs to every Kashmiri Hindu for every Kashnmiri Hindu has a harrowing tale to narrate, adding we suffered because we were the symbols of Indian Nationhood in Kashmir.” He further said, ‘There is no ambiguity in the minds of our adversary who have openly advocated and professed the ideology of Dar ul Islam, adding, “The ambiguity lies in our mind, and still few amongst us carry the farcical notions of Kashmiryat.” He further added, “We are not victims of any natural calamity, it is a manmade disaster, and we are suffers of an ideological war.”
Hira Lal Bhat said, “Kashmiri Hindu have suffered a genocide in Kashmir and ironically the state has denied it in last 30 years,” adding, “Return and Rehabilitation of displaced Kashmiri Hindu community cannot take place without widespread consultation with the community and taking in cognizance the political demand of separate Union Territory.”
Prof B L Zutshi, a prominent social activist while speaking on the occasion recounted the hardships faced by the community “Our history takes us back to thousands of years and our contribution to the Indian civilization is immense,” adding, “Kashmir is the cradle of Indian civilization and Kashmiri Pandits have always fought and survived for Indian Civilization.” He further added, “Homeland is the political empowerment of the community, and we look forward to this political empowerment.”
Prof Zutshi said, “Right since 1947, Kashmir was gradually moving into grip of fanaticism and theofascism and 1900 saw the culmination of a well orchestrated ploy to dislodge Kashmir Pandits – the epitome of Indian Nationhood in Kashmir.”
The entire commemoration program was coordinated by Bihari Lal Koul, senior activist, Panun Kashmir, who announced that this year the Kashmiri Hindu Holocaust Day marks three decades of Pandit-Dogra amity and brotherhood. He expressed the gratitude of entire community in general and Panun Kashmir in particular towards local Dogra community which stood firm and compassionate with the persecuted and displaced brethren from Kashmir. He said, “We shall always stay indebted to the love and compassion of Dogras of Jammu who made sure that the homeless community forced out their Homeland is made to feel at home in the place of their refugee.” Bihari Lal Koul further said, “There are few vested interests who are trying to break this bonhomie of love and mutual respect between the two communities and we warn them to stay away with their nefarious designs.
The highlight of the event was a poem recitation by Prof P N Shad on Holocaust of Kashmiri Hindus leaving the mass gathering in tears.