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ON 28-12-1991 AT JAMMU, J&K, INDIA


The terrorist violence that has ravaged the State of Jammu and Kashmir for the last four years is the culmination of the long secessionist movement carried on by the fundamentalist forces in Kashmir since 1947, and overtly and covertly supported by the Pakistan. Terrorism in Kashmir is a Muslim religious crusade aimed at the secession of the State from the Republic of India and its merger with Pakistan. It is founded on an ideological struggle of which the main tenets are

i. That Kashmir which has a majority Muslim population should become a part of Pakistan on the basis of religion;
ii. That all institutions which stand for secularism and democracy are destroyed and all individuals or groups that vouch for equality, justice and religious tolerance are eliminated;
iii.  That the rich cultural traditions of Kashmir hallowed over more than five thousand years of the history be demolished and replaced by Islamic fundamentalism.

Pakistan is deeply involved in its attempts to subvert the constitutional and administrative machinery of the State of Jammu and Kashmir in order to strain and snap the relations between the State and the Republic of India. Its abatement in the terrorist violence by lending moral, political and military support is common knowledge. The terrorists operative in Jammu and Kashmir are being trained in camps raised for this purpose in Pak held Kashmir and the neighbouring states of Pakistan and then pushed into India to cause large scale anarchy, destruction, arson, murder, molestation and rape.

The Kashmiri Hindus have become the first victims of terrorism as a result of which they had to flee the place of their abode.  The Hindus in Kashmir have, right from the dawn of freedom faced and fought communalism and fundamentalism. They are a part of the Vedic heartland of India and have lived in Kashmir from times immemorial. In fact, they are the original inhabitants of the valley of Kashmir, now reduced to an ethnic minority, with a history of more than five thousand years dating back beyond the “ Neelmat Era “ almost contemporary to the Vedic civilization of India. The Hindu religious precepts have borne the message of universal peace, brotherhood and coexistence of all creeds and faiths. The Hindus of Kashmir are the progenitors of “Shakt” and Shaivite Monism and Hinyan and Sarvastvadin Budhism, which spread to Central Asia, Tibet and western China. They propounded the great Shaivite doctrine of Trika and the theory of recognition.  Kalhana, Jonaraja, PrajBhat, Shuka and Shrivara, the great masters of History compiled the historical chronicle of Rajatarangini. The Hindu Kingdom of Kashmir reached its zenith with the ascendance of the Karkotas when Kashmir commanded respect and tribute from its neighbouring Kingdoms till the fall of Utpalas.  The ascendancy of Muslim Sultans in the thirteenth entury witnessed fierce religious persecution and attempts at conversion of Kashmiri Pandits who resisted it with will, and determination, preferring death to surrender.

The Kashmiri Pandits have played a major role in the liberation struggle against the British and their colonial imperatives in the State. The secularization of the various communal movements which rocked the State in the aftermath of the growth of Muslim separatism in India was achieved, mainly due to the efforts of Kashmiri Pandits.  They authored and sponsored the famous declaration of National demand in 1938, which later became the secular national movement in the State. The political movement for National self-government received its ideological content from the Kashmiri Pandits who gave the first call for self-government.

Since the independence of India and accession of Kashmir to the Indian Union, the Kashmiri Hindus have continued to fight the religious precedence as well as the separatism, which accompanied the rise of Muslim communalism. They were reduced to a  plight of slavery, misery and servitude but they did not  react against Muslim communalism  as  a communal minority.  In spite of the forces arraigned against them viz.   Muslim fundamentalists, the Muslimised State-apparatus and the secessionist group, the Hindus suffered at the stake to save the secular and democratic image of Kashmir and India.  While resisting the orchestrated moves fostered by Muslim communalists inside the State and their mentors in Pakistan to Islamise the State and snatch it from the Union of India, the Hindus became the victims of communal hatred and faced hostility, ridicule and privation. The Indian leaders, on the other hand, served their petty personal interests and party objectives leaving the field open for the fundamentalists to carry out their nefarious designs. The Kashmiri Hindu was the main obstacle in the attainment of the goal of fundamentalists and became the victims of communal hatred and faced hostility, ridicule was branded as the agent of the Government of India. Even a leader of the stature of Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah charged them of acting as the fifth column of India. They, thus became the victims of a dangerous irony, where on the one hand they were persecuted because of their adherence to the values of secularism and democracy enshrined in the Indian Constitution and on the other hand the rulers of India jettisoned them. The Hindus of Kashmir, because of their minority and almost negligible representation in the State legislature and bureaucracy, became helpless onlookers to the manoeuvring, manipulation and distortion of the established democratic, constitutional and legal institutions of the State which gave rise to Muslim majoritarianism, Under this system Kashmiri Hindu faced a deliberate, steady and relentless squeeze of his constitutional, political and legal rights and was forced into a slow exodus. In the process nearly three lakh Hindus have already left the valley during the last four decades.Muslim majoritarianism is inherently communal in nature. The Indian partition was not an accident of history nor was it contrived by the British to contain the Indian freedom movement.  It was the culmination of the Muslim struggle for separate Muslim majority State where the pre-eminence of Muslim Umah was recognized. During the last forty years of the history of Pakistan the Hindus who constituted nearly thirty percent of its population at the outset are reduced to only one percent as on today. The operative design of Muslim communalism in Kashmir has almost been similar-the Hindus of Kashmir who formed about nine percent of the population of Kashmir in 1947 are almost wiped out of the Kashmir Valley by now. As a part of the grand strategy for the attainment of the Islamic and Fundamentalist State of Kashmir, communal elements and terrorist are bent upon annihilating the Kashmiri  Hindus as a result of which their exodus has been made inevitable.

The terrorist violence has taken a heavy toll of unarmed, peace loving and tolerant  Hindus of Kashmir valley. Hundreds of Hindus-men, women and  children, were brutally murdered and hundreds were subjected to inhuman torture and suffering. The community was driven out of Kashmir valley by force or on the pain of death. The properties left behind by them have been looted and their houses burnt or destroyed by dynamite.  Right at present a scorched-earth policy is being followed by terrorists by systematically burning the Hindu localities, Hindu Houses and Hindu shrines and temples. The Kashmir history is replete with the contribution of Kashmiri Hindus to the Nation’s march in general and that of Kashmir in particular.    Kashmiri Hindus  have   served   as  a  beacon light to the entire national polity and are the real founders of secularism and democracy in Kashmir.  In the modernization of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, the Hindus have contributed much more than their share and have imparted to the Kashmiri society its scientific, progressive and humane outlook. Throughout their history, more specifically in the  modern  times, they  have  tried  their  utmost to live at peace with their Muslim compatriots. The secular facade, which Kashmir has worn all through the last forty-three years, has  been provided mainly by Kashmiri Hindus. They have not reacted to Muslim communalism, instead they have faced the rigours of Muslim dominance with the fervent hope that the thrust on universal education and scientific progress  in the State would pave way for the free flow of democratic thought, recognition of the human rights, the genuine urges and aspirations Kashmiri Hindu minorities, religious tolerance equity and justice.

This hope is now shattered, Neither his Muslim  brethren in Kashmir nor the Indian Government which swears by secularism came to the rescue of Kashmiri Hindus at the time when they were being butchered and bounded out of their homes and hearths, nor at this  moment when  they have  been uprooted  and thrown into wilderness to face a life and death struggle  for survival. All the constitutional guarantees for the protection of their limb, life, property, their status and dignity have been trampled with impunity. The Hindus of Kashmir wherever they are, therefore, unequivocally declare that:

i.      With their deep and firm commitment to social unity, religious coexistence, democracy and secularism they will not accept a society which is communalistic, obscurantist, intolerant and medieval. They will not submit to any authority in the State that does not recognize their right to life, equality, faith and protection against discrimination.  They will not be a party to the present struggle launched against secular and democratic India.

ii.      With their history of having lived and died for freedom and their open espousal of the cause of tolerance peace, amity and brotherhood between various ethnic, social and religious, groups, they cannot accept the pre-eminence and predominance of any single religious community at their cost.

iii.    Having  been  the    original  inhabitants  of  Kashmir  from  ancient times and being the inheritors of a glorious cultural tradition of more than five thousand years,  Kashmiri Pandits have as, much right to live in Kashmir as any other religious group.  Preservation of this community in its natural and historical habitat is a political necessity.

iv.       The present crusade by the terrorists against Kashmiri Pandits to drive away the  last remnants of this proud community from its  rightful place is   a shame for  the secular India in particular and the world community in general.  Any measure taken to rehabilitate this community outside Kashmir valley will only result in the dispersal of this community leading to its dissolution and extinction. This will be a tragedy, as the only relic of a small but distinct race with an outstanding culture will be destroyed,

v.     Because of their equal rights to the land of their birth they stake their claim to be an equal party to any future deliberations in the process of normalization and ultimate solution on Kashmir problem.

The Kashmiri Hindus, therefore, DEMAND:
a)  The establishment of  a  separate homeland  for Kashmiri Hindus in the Kashmir Valley, comprising the regions of the valley to the East and North of river Jehlum;
b)  That the constitution of India be made applicable in letter and spirit in this homeland in order to ensure  right to life, liberty, freedom of expression, faith, equality and rule of law;
c)   That their homeland be placed under central administration with a Union Territory Status till it evolves its own economic and political infrastructure;
d)  That all the seven lakh Kashmiri Hindus, which includes those who have been driven out of Kashmir in the past and yearn to return to their homeland and those who were forced to leave on  account of  the terrorist  violence in  Kashmir, be settled  in the homeland  on  equitable  basis  with  dignity and honour.

Dated: 28/12/1991
Station : JAMMU TAWI.

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