Friday, June 10, 2005

A Nation of Shameless People

India is a meaningless mass of amorphous humanity
Oswald Spangler, The Decline of the West

A Nation of Shameless People
Some time back, I met someone from Kashmir. While chatting with him, I realized how small and insignificant our lives are compared to what others have go through. Coming from a sheltered background, I feel we take a lot for granted.
After Urdu newspapers published press releases by the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen asking all Hindus to pack up and leave, there was complete chaos in the Kashmir valley in early 1990. The State Government led by Abdullah abdicated all responsibility and allowed the terrorists to roam free to kill as many Hindus as they pleased. Slogans such as 'Be one with us, run, or die!" and 'If you want to say in Kashmir, you have to say Allah-O-Akbar' were followed by the murder of prominent Hindu priests, teachers and judges. Hindu women were kidnapped, brutally raped, tortured and killed. The Kashmiri Hindus decide to move out en-masse, some of them to Jammu, most of them to Delhi.
There are no Kashimiri Pandits in Srinagar, or, for that matter, anywhere in the Valley. Pandits have fled their homes and hearth and been reduced to living the lives of refugees in their own country. Two-thirds of them are camping in Jammu. The rest are in Delhi and other Indian cities. Many of them, once prosperous and proud of their rich heritage, now live in poverty, dependent on government dole and charity. In these fifteen years, an entire generation of exiled Kashimiri Pandits has grown up, without seeing the land from where their parents fled to escape the brutalities of Islamic terrorism, a land they dare not return to, although that land still remains a part of their country.
The fate of the Kashimiri Pandits should make every single one of the one billion plus Indians hang their heads in shame. Here is a peaceful community of over 300,000 that was driven out of their ancestral homes 14 years ago and have been living in pathetic conditions for all of those 14 years. What was the 'crime' of these people other than the fact that they practice a religion different from the majority ? We, the people of a secular, democratic and socialist Republic of India have resolutely and totally put them out of sight and out of mind. The Kashimiri Pandit exodus took place in early 1990s. Since then, a lot of water has flown down the Ganga and all sorts of parties have been to power. Yet all of them have ignored the plight of the Pandits and did nothing to end their suffering, save for empty promises.
The sad plight of the Pandits have also not touched the conscience of the ever so sensitive 'human rights groups' in India. The news media, both print and television have shown no inclination to highlight their cause.
An entire people have been uprooted from the land of their ancestors and left to fend for themselves as a week-kneed Indian state shamelessly panders to Islamic terrorists and Pakistan who claim they are the final arbiters of Kashmir's destiny. Had this tragedy occurred elsewhere in Hindu majority India, and had the victims been Muslims, the media would have been shouting from the rooftops 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing'. While Gujarat riots were deplorable and state sponsored terrorism at its naked worst, this is equally worse. This is state apathy towards its own people. This is not limited to just apathy for Pundits from Indians, everywhere they are accorded the same status. Francois Gautier puts it best when he summarizes, 'Perhaps no one knows them because they don't blow up buses'.

Who cares for the Pundits?
Article Courtesy - Rediff India. Links open in the same window. Right click the link and use 'Open in New Window'

Has India reached that advanced stage of decay that we are now a nation of shameless people?

1 Comments:

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11/24/2010 2:41 AM  

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