Inimitable Sacrifices for The noble cause

BALIDAN DIVAS 14TH SEPTEMBER, 2012

Inimitable Sacrifices for The noble cause

“It is the cause and not the death that makes the martyr” — Napoleon Bonaparte

23 years have passed, yet the memories are unsullied and will remain fresh till eternity. 14th September every year revives memoirs of a long sequence of events of a dark night that befell upon Kashmir and our community and the long list of persons whose journey of life was cut short abruptly not by nature but by brute fanatics claiming to be the soldiers of Allah. Those unarmed, guiltless great souls who became victims of this horrible offensive sacrificed their lives for a cause, the cause of the nation and Humanity. They knew they were vulnerable soft targets yet they chose neither to surrender nor to compromise.


The circumstances prevailing in Kashmir valley in the decade of eighties has not elapsed for a second from the collective memory of victimized community of Kashmiri Pandits. Those were the man made conditions that changed the course of History of Kashmir. It was the period that easily qualifies as the darkest era of Kashmir.


Kashmir situation somewhat resembled the time of the Great Depression and increasing fascist influence in Hungary that lead to composition of ‘Hungarian Suicide Song’- titled "Gloomy Sunday" , by Hungarian pianist and composer Rezső Seress.


The darkness further expanded on 14th September 1989 as soon as the staunch nationalist and fearless leader Pt. Tika Lal Taploo was assassinated in broad daylight near his residence in busy Srinagar city. When bullets of assassins hit Pt. Tika Lal Taploo what fell down was not just the body of an innocent defenseless individual who happened to be the most revered, valiant & vocal nationalist leader of Kashmir. Gunshots fired from backside by the cowards on that decisive day knocked down a tradition, an idea, an inspiration and the symbol of a civilization. It was the beginning of the use of violence for political purposes in Kashmir valley.


Taploo Ji was a multifaceted personality. He belonged to the minority Hindu community and was a fearless and assertive Hindu. He was not a narrow minded, self centered individual. He was a well known social activist and was ready to help anyone and everyone irrespective of colour, caste, creed or religion. This belief system was and in fact continues to be a challenge to the Theo-fascists for whom religious identity is the only characteristic that matters.
Tika Lal Taploo was an advocate on record but practicing law to earn money was not his focus. Practicing law for personnel comforts was secondary to his scheme of things. He was Vice President of the State BJP, but he was not the politician that the term has come to mean.


He was a firm believer in complete integration of the State of J&K with secular democratic pluralist India and politics was just a tool to achieve that objective. Fearless, as he was, Taploo Ji never concealed his beliefs. He stood firm like a rock to defend his cherished ideals. It did not matter how many people joined him. He always put in persistent efforts. He never tired out, and never felt dejected or demoralized.


Brutal murder of Tika Lal Taploo was neither an isolated act carried out in any momentary reaction, nor was it result of personal enmity between two individuals. Reprehensible killing of Pt. Tika Lal Taploo and hundreds of others massacred later was part of a well thought out strategy of Theo- fascist fanatics groomed to establish “Nizam-e-Mustafa” in the Land of Kashyapa. Ethnic cleansing of the aboriginals of the single largest minority of valley was integral to this conspiracy.


Tika Lal Taploo and all those who fell to the bullets of terrorists in Kashmir represented a civilisational ethos. They were living symbols of a cultural continuity that survived worst holocausts of past, be that of Tyrant Aurangzeb’s extremist regime or brute Afghan rule. In that sense it is the clash of civilizations out there in Kashmir.


Compatible with global experience the Radical Islam practiced in Kashmir is soaked in blood. The killing and ethnic cleansing of aboriginal non-Muslims has become an important weapon in the hands of expansionist, imperialist, unprovoked Islamic aggression. Slaughter (jihad) and oppression (sharia) are part of the core doctrines of Islam as we have experienced. Killing for Islam is not a modern idea and Islam has been the most violent religion in the world. At least the visible face of Islam for the non Muslims.


It needs to be underlined that anarchist forces were working overtime for a long period using deceit, duplicity and deception as tools to misguide local population and brainwash an entire generation and replace all-embracing secular outlook with a rabid communal ideology imported from alien lands. Mobilization on communal lines had in fact begun in 1931, much before India became independent.


Manipulated ascendance of National Conference, the alter ego of Muslim Conference, to power ensured uninterrupted availability of both official patronage and resources to divisive separatists. Elimination of Hindus became undeclared official policy of the state apparatus resulting in further emboldening of marauders. Policy of discrimination, exclusion and victimization that was rampant in the matters of jobs, admissions and participation as equal citizens of the state in different activities of life soon graduated to physical elimination.


Pt. Amarchand , an officer of state CID was perhaps first to be physically eliminated in his native village of Naidahal, Baramulla. He was an honest upright officer who reported ground realities without fear or favour. Swami ji of Goffabal Ashram near Chootus Rafiabad and Hakim Prithvi nath ji of Tangwara Tangmarg were to follow.


Thus the space- economic, political as well as physical- for Hindu minority of Kashmir was constantly squeezed by both state and non state actors often in unison. This process of constriction of minority gained pace in early eighties and 1986 communal attack on the hapless community was full-dress rehearsal of the final onslaught.


Then onwards it was not a moment of respite for the KP’s. the major concern for it became security of honour dignity and life on a daily basis. Protest against power tariff hike meant desecration of Hindu temples. Victory or defeat in cricket match between India and Pakistan for either side was reason enough to stone Hindu houses. Hindu community as a representative symbol of pre-Islamic past of Kashmir and ‘Hindu’ India were deliberately identified as objects of hate and hence the first and easy targets of religious intolerance.


This hate campaign extended to offices and places of business. Social boycott was the next step to intensify the harassment. A Muslim labour refused to work for Hindu farmer/orchardist. Muslim junior including peons disobeyed Hindu officers no matter how senior he or she was. To further compound the misery of victimized community law enforcement agencies refused or delayed action. On the other hand state machinery was almost fully involved in transportation, storing and hiding arms and ammunition along with its handlers.


Those of us who have lived in Kashmir during those eventful years realize how difficult it is to put that experience in words. Huge processions on streets, provocative slogans targeted directly & indirectly at you, absolute collapse of state machinery, media beaming images of Islamic revolution directly into the drawing rooms left no place for shelter.
Parliamentary election of the year of 1989 was occasion to clearly indicate that it was the writ of secessionists running in entire Kashmir. State had willingly/unwillingly surrendered its authority. Coffins were kept near polling booths for those daring to vote. This was followed by playing of “azadi Songs” in markets; opening of beef shops in violations of state law and ater by open threats from loud speakers fitted on mosques.


Vernacular press carried pages and pages of paid advertisements by political activists under the infamous title in Urdu that read ”IZHAR LATALUKI” meaning expression un-attachment to political establishment. Further on the threatening letters delivered individuals first, later pasted on public places were openly published by local Daily Alsafa asking Pandits to leave within twenty four hours or be ready to face consequences. With collapsed administration the community had no choice but to find shelter outside Kashmir.


Islamists of Kashmir are not contented with physical elimination of the Hidu minority. The effort is on to expel us from thehistory and civilsational memory of Kashmir. Whether they succeed or not is another question. But for us it is imperative on this occasion to realize that an arduous effort is on their in Kashmir to replace Kashmir civilization with Arabic symbols in total disregard to any value system.


“Kashmir is not merely a piece of land for us in India, nor is it important to us from only a strategic point of view. Rather Kashmir is one of the proud symbols of India's ancient civilisation and modern nationhood,” observed former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.


Accession of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir to the union of India is the strongest refutation of the communal basis for the two-nation theory. For those who want Islam as the core of Kashmir (both stated and unstated) are unable to accept the accession as a settled fact. Pakistan itself is a classic example of the failure of Islam as a basis for nationhood. The ‘Objectives Resolution’ adopted on March 12, 1949 by the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan proclaimed that the future constitution would be modeled on the ideology and democratic faith of Islam. It further proclaimed that ‘sovereignty rests with Allah’. But all these measures failed to put an end to sectarian as well as intra-sect differences that are being increasingly resolved through violence. Subsequently, conflicts erupted over the fundamental question of who or what constitutes a Muslim.


Kashmiri Muslim society is also inflicted with this sectarian conflict. Burning of shrines of Sufi saints and Killing of adherents of Sufi Islam is rough indicative of this deepening divide. It also specifies the presence of ‘outside forces’ haven taken full control of even social institutions. More worrying is the continued availability of state resource and finances to these radical elements.


Marrtyrs sacrificed their lives to expose these radicals. On this Balidan Divas we need to resolve that their sacrifices won’t go waste. Sectarian and violent forces will be defeated in the land of Rishis.