Criticism of a Kashmiri Pandit
Dr Shabir Choudhry 16 December 2004
In response to my article ‘Peace in Kashmir’ a Kashmiri Pandit, Gunga Din, wrote to me. Although the letter is rather long but it is appropriate to produce it here to understand depth of hatred and anger, the gentleman has against Muslim Kashmiris and Pakistan. He said:
’I would counsel all Pakistanis, Kashmiris and all Muslims, please listen with intent and heed the words from New Delhi: there will be no more portioning of India. Time for redrawing of maps is over, has been over for a long, long time. You will be disregarding this message to your own disappointment and at your own peril.’
’I know the stock argument: Kashmir is not part of India so there can be no
partitioning of India. We have heard that before and dismiss it with the
contempt it deserves. That is your opinion, not India's. You or your
allies have tried to change that opinion by force of arms three-and-a-half
times, but you have been whopped every time. In the process you were also
cut - down to half your size. Now that all of you have morphed into born-again
peaceniks, it does not change an iota. War is the only option you have to
change the status- quo, and you are more likely than not to be cut to half
your present size again, if you do, you being a "nooklear rival",
"All those people who have been uprooted because of the trouble in Kashmir
including members of the Pundit community must be settled back in their
homes and appropriate compensation should be paid to them. These people are
part of Kashmiri history and culture and they must be made comfortable to
come back to their homes."
‘Why? Thank you, sir, for your "magnanimity"!!! On behalf of the Pundit community, I "thank" you from the bottom of my heart by saying to you "Go to hell!". After hounding them out with murder and rape and beheadings, you have to be downright shameless to say that. Has that got anything to do with the fact that we have constipated you for 50 odd years, and given you hell in the last 15. You are impotent, all full of hot air and no substance. Who needs your sympathy?
Again you wrote:
"..President Musharraf has made some interesting suggestions and people have
criticised him for that. One must accept that it is a daring move, which none
of his predecessors could dare to take. I don't accept everything he has
said but it is wrong to outrightly reject everything he has said. There are
some positive aspects of his speech, for example he recognised that: Areas
of Gilgit and Baltistan are part of State of Jammu and Kashmir; the UN
resolutions have failed to provide a solution and that they have to find a
solution outside of these resolutions; there is no military solution to this
dispute; Jihadi forces and other forces of extremism are hurdles in peaceful
resolution of the dispute; solution will come through a process of dialogue;
an independent Kashmir is also an option. One can see it is a big change
from Pakistan's previous stated position and we should commend him for this,
and hope that he will continue with this peace process."
’We laugh at your self-delusion, but not surprized by it. Mussalman is congenitally self-delusional. Why else would you be in the state you are in, in every corner of the world. If U.N resolutions had been any good, why did you not take the issue back to U.N and ask it to enforce its own resolutions? The fact is that Annan himself told you that they could not be enforced. Are you trying to encash counterfeit money, sir? Instead of following that civilized, though admittedly sterile, course, you foisted
both hot and proxy wars on India. Now that you have been made to eat crow, you have become "wiser". Good for you! But that has nothing to do with India.
As far as" independence" goes, get real. There is not even a snow flake's chance in hell of that happening. That is a promise. If you are a Kashmiri, and cannot live under the Indian flag, the obvious course for you is to get the hell out before you find yourself taking an Indian bullet in between your eyes or your heart, for sooner or later, being a Mussalman, you are going to come asking for it.
USA/India Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is difficult to say who this gentleman is, but one thing is clear that he intends to embitter the environment further. I have met many Kashmiri Pandits and they have genuine complaints because they were uprooted from their homes. At the beginning they all talk aloud and show anger. They demand a right to go back to their homes in complete safety and right to compensation, and when you support these rights they tend to cool down.
But this Pandit Ji, even though I have supported these rights in full (this issue was discussed in detail with members of the Pandit community in International Kashmir Conference in Toronto and their demands incorporated in the declaration), and yet he seems to be angry. One wonders why he is angry when demands of the Pandit community are respected and honoured.
During my interaction with other ethnic Kashmiris I was told that whereas majority of ordinary Pandits have suffered, and they desperately want to go back to their homes; some ‘leaders’ of this community who have benefited from this conflict don’t want to go back, as they are getting good rewards, and their children are being looked after on discretionary grounds in educational institutions in other states of India.
I don’t know the truth behind this, but the fact is that there are people on both sides of the divide who have benefited from this conflict; and they want this conflict, in one shape or other, to continue. I don’t know if this gentleman falls in to this category or not but people with vested interest in Jammu and Kashmir, India and Pakistan want this conflict to continue.
At times when I support rights of the Pandit community I get criticism from extremist elements of the Muslim community, but I continue to support this because of the principled involved. No doubt the Pandit community is suffering because of this conflict but the question is what about the suffering of other communities? More Muslims have been killed, imprisoned, raped, tortured and uprooted because of this conflict than the Pandit community.
As a nationalist Kashmiri and humanist I do not condone any kind of suffering of any community, and I don’t categorise suffering according to religion, cast or creed of people. To me its human rights issue and rights of all people of Jammu and Kashmir must be respected and upheld. But I must accept that Gunga Din (this may not be his real name) and his language has disappointed me. I just want to tell him that we have Gunga Din’s like you as well, and if people like you are allowed to have your way then future of Jammu and Kashmir and that of South Asia is bleak.
I acknowledge wrong has been done not only to the Pandit community but to other communities as well, but what is the way forward, can we make peace and resettle the uprooted people back in their homes by spreading hatred and embittering the environment?
We have to put mistakes and bitterness of the past behind us if we are to make any progress towards peace and stability, and meet challenges of the 21st century. As is generally believed, violence breeds more violence, similarly arrogance and hatred generates more hatred and arrogance which is a good recipe if we want to aggravate already extremely bad and difficult situation.
It is quite possible that some so called Pandit leaders and some Muslim leaders want the status quo to continue because it suits them, but ordinary people want to see peace and stability in Jammu and Kashmir and in South Asia; and despite all the hurdles and opposition we have to continue our journey to peaceful, stable and prosperous South Asia.
Writer is a Chairman of Diplomatic Committee of JKLF and author of many books and booklets. Also he is a Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs. Email: Schoudhry@freeuk.com