The feeling of outrage amongst all sections of internally displaced Kashmiri Hindus when the local media reported about the meeting between a group of Kashmiri Hindus and leaders of the separatists Hurriyat Conference in Srinagar recently is understandable. In fact the absence of outrage, anguish and shame on the acts of some individuals from amongst the rank and file of the community hounded out of its homeland and suffering genocide would have been pathetically abnormal.
Kashmiri Hindus by and large hold the exclusivist communal order in Kashmir Valley as the cause of their religious cleansing. They rightly see the leadership of Hurriyat Conference of having collaborated in creating this communal order. Hence they see leaders of Hurriyat Conference as the active collaborators of their genocide. Ali Shah Geelani in particular, is being viewed as a patriarch of theofasicms which has taken stranglehold of Kashmir. Mirwaiz Farooq is the timid acquiescent who has been walking down the lane on which his own father was gruesomely killed.
Kashmiri Hindus have in fact been seeking the cardinal justice in the form of bringing all those forces who perpetrated genocide on them to justice. Some Kashmiri Hindus choosing to give even a semblace of credibility to those who perpetrated grave crimes against their community and humanity at large by engaging in dialogue with them has only defiled the innermost sensitivities of the entire flock of internally displaced Kashmiri Hindus.
Can the meeting between factions of Hurriyat Conference and Kashmiri Hindus individuals be called a Dialogue? Some Kashmiri Hindus intellectuals rightly described it as a dialogue between a predator who cares two hoots about a dialogue and the helpless prey who wants its abject pleas to be recognised as words of wisdom. That the so-called “dialogue” took place under the aegis of the NGO, Council for Dialogue and Reconciliation, puts the whole process into a proper perspective. This NGO has been predominantly promoting and endorsing that leadership spectrum in the State which wants to establish, a Muslim communal order in the State, is brazenly secessionist in intent and a collaborator in the terrorist campaigns in the State. More recently CDR has been seen promoting more fundamentalist and pro-Pak hues of opinion in the Valley. Taking limelight seeking Kashmiri Hindu individuals to talk to separatist leadership was more an act of investing secular credibility on this leadership. The exercise was not an act of dialogue but only an act to put a disguise of liberal motivations on communal bigots.
The Hindus who joined this exercise and invited rebuke from their community have for quite some time been operating as bounty hunters. Such individuals collaborate with the perpetrator only to worsen their own victimhood. Victim collaborator is a tool of devaluation of the victim. Victim collaborator seeks to destroy even the moral claim of the victims to justice. Kashmiri Hindus have performed an utmost human task by disowning them.
What happened in the meetings with the separatists is still a mystery? Many of the participants have voiced their disappointment with the meetings and even confided in their close kith and kin that the issue of return is dead as the separatist leadership is not interested in demonstrating even a semblance of commitment to a pluralist secular order in the state. Their private confidings seem to have been corroborated by the repeated statements from Geelani and others, recently, in which they reiterated their commitment to a puritan Islamic system in the state where Shariat will be the supreme law. The spurt in the activities of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jesh-i-Mohammed, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen asking recently elected Sarpanchs to resign only speaks of the control of regressive forces on the social milieu.
The organisers and the Hindu participants in the meeting with separatist leaders cannot claim to have seen signs of change in the outlook of the Hurriyat leaders vis-a-vis the issue of displacement of Hindus. In fact growing radicalisation of the atmosphere in the Valley is manifest enough to escape notice. Recently Christians and Sikhs living in the Valley have been targetted by the communal zealots. Even the Shrine worshipping Muslims are getting scared due to growing Wahabism to which many of the Hurriyat leaders owe allegiance.
Holocaust experts are unanimous about the need to bring perpetrators of genocide to justice. The idea of coexisting with the perpetrator of Genocide is obnoxious as is the hope that generation of goodwill for the victims in the heart of the perpetrator will lead to reversal of genocide. It is infact a worse form of denial of genocide and far from being an act of rapprochement is actually an act of crime against humanity.
Denying legitimacy to the perpetrator of genocide is basically the first step towards getting justice. Doing otherwise leads to undermining of the process of justice. It leads to a permanent state of devaluation for the victims. It leads to the destruction of self-esteem which acts as the support for the victims to withstand the genocidal crimes. Those who met Hurriyat leaders have been only seeking devaluation and those who debunked the act have only resisted this act of devaluation.