Thursday, March 21, 2013


                                                         By Brigadier Chitranjan Sawant,VSM
If there is a Heaven on Earth, it is here, it is here, it is here, so said Firdaus, the Persian poet for the Iranian city of Isphahan. The Moghul kings in India found the valley of Kashmir so bewitching and enchanting that they had the said Persian couplet written in the Moghul gardens of Srinagar.
The Kashmir valley was regarded as heaven on earth with periodic disruptions during reign of cruel Afghan and other foreign kings from time to time. The cruelty, both mental and physical, was so devilish that many Kashmiri people, especially the Pandits- Shaiv Brahmins - chose to migrate to safer parts of plains in India rather than convert to Islam and continue living in their ancestral land with different faith, names and an alien cultural milieu. The bloodshed, disrobing of their women and dishonoring them was on such a massive scale that they deserted their original home and hearth in droves and it was given the name – Exodus of Aborigines. The last exodus happened in 1989-90 and continued for a couple of years.
The rest of India read about it in bits and pieces and forgot all about it until a patriot Kashmiri Pandit, a victim of Islamic terror himself despite his being a regular Army officer of the million strong Indian Army, was banished from the land of birth, his habitat consigned to flames and his old parents were abandoned on the road on a wintry evening in the snow laden cold valley. He is Colonel Tej K. Tik00, Ph.D. who refused to suffer in silence. He made up his mind to share the trials and tribulations of the unfortunate Kashmiri Pandits with the rest of the world who cared to listen.
 Most of the Kashmiri Pandits were shell-shocked that their neighbours joined the foreign terrorists as they professed the same faith, Islam, in terrorizing centuries-old Hindu friends. The Muslim Kashmiris went to the extent of threatening their Hindu Pandit neighbours to leave the valley for good but leave their youthful daughters behind to be ravished by JIHADIS of ISLAM and be converted to Islam. The KPs or Kashmiri Pundits were  made of sterner stuff and chose their own path of independence.
The Kashmiri Pundits have survived in other parts of Bharat despite no major help coming to them from the State of Jammu & Kashmir. The book titled “ Kashmir : Its Aborigines and their Exodus” written painstakingly with an eye on historical details by Colonel Tej K. Tikoo. He was commissioned in the First Battalion of the Naga Regt on completion of training at the Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun. Colonel Tikoo knows professionally what insurgency is and indeed he knows from the land of birth, Kashmir, what Islamic terrorism is.
Where do we go from here? It would be wrong on the part of the Indian population to let the Kahmiri Pandits suffer in isolation in a remote village in the valley or in a crowded locality in Jammu without a proper roof over their heads. After all the Kashmiri Pandits are citizens of India and it is incumbent on the Govt of India that our unfortunate compatriots should get two square meals a day have a shelter overhead and a little petty cash for a rainy day. It should be the aim of the central govt of India and the State Govt of J&K to escort the Kashmiri Pandits and their families back to the Kashmir valley and rehabilitate them there with honour and dignity.
Men and women in the rest of India who have a barbed tongue must ensure that they have just a word of sympathy for our Kashmiri brethren and not dig old graves of history to say that they deserved what they eventually received. Allow me to say that the Kashmiri Pandits are our compatriots, our kith and kin and it is our sacred and moral duty to provide succor the needy brethren and sisters.
I salute the Kashmiri Pandits for their perseverance, resilience and love of the Hindu Dharma that they still profess despite adverse circumstances. May ISHWAR give them courage to walk on the difficult path of life as it is and May they live in happiness for  ever .
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