Flashback-‘90s:A ‘forgotten letter’ from Kashmiri-Pandiths to Muslim brethren surfaces in social circles

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Srinagar: A copy of a letter believed to have been written in 1990s by Kashmiri Pandiths post-exodus to their Muslim brethren back in the homeland, has suddenly emerged as a curious case of revelations in the restive Valley.

The letter addressed to editor of a then leading Urdu daily and signed by a group of prominent Pandiths of their times accuses the then Governor Jagmohan and others in the government of making Kashmiri Pandiths scapegoats as a part of a game plan to crush the majority community whereas the minority community was repenting its decision of having left their motherland.

As of now the letter is doing the rounds on the social media forums, after Mehboob Makhdoomi, a columnist with a Srinagar-based daily, made mention of the document in his recent article. While claiming to have got the document from a reliable source in the Pandith community, Makhdoomi asked readers to seek its copy from him. The sharing has gone viral, online.

The 2-page letter dated September 22, 1990, a digital copy of which lies with Kashmir Observer is duly signed by 23 respectable including: Brij Nath Bhan, M.L Dhar, K.L. Kaw, Kanya Lal Raina, G.N. Daftari, Moti Lal Mam, C.L Kak, Chuni Lal Raina, M.L Munshi, B.N Gunjoo, Ashok Koul, C.L Parimoo, Pushkar Nath Bhat, Prem Nath Kher, R.K Koul, M.L Razdan, Pushkar Nath Koul, B.N. Bhat, Moti Lal Koul, Ashok Dhar, Kamal Raina, H.Koul and SN Dhar.

The letter states: “There can be no dispute about the fact the Kashmiri Pandit community  was made a scapegoat by Jagmohan, some self styled leaders of our community and other vested interests.”

“It is an open secret now that the Indian occupation forces had  drawn a plan to massacre a large section of Kashmiri Muslims, particularly those in the age group of 14 to 25 years so that the people could be enslaved and subjugated for all times to come,” the letter states adding “According to reliable and well informed sources the plan was to make  the KPs migrate from the Valley so that the mass uprising against occupation forces could be painted as communal flare up  and the massacre of Muslims could be termed as fight against the communal forces and measure for the restoration of law and order.”

“The orders to foreign journalist to vacate the Valley and restrictions on the local press should be seen in that scenario and perspective. The idea was to keep the world community ignorant of the real issue and create a cover for the sinister designs,” the letter said adding the then Union Home Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayyed equally conspired against Pandiths and Muslims.

“Some self-styled leaders of the Pandith community, led by none other than that stove mechanic turned politician… begged the Pandiths to migrate from the Valley. We were told that our migration was very vital for preserving and protecting Dharm and the unity and the integrity of India. We were told that our migration would pave the way for releasing the dreams of Akhand Bharat,” the letter reads.

“We were made to believe that our migration was very important for Hinduism and for keeping India together… At the same time we were assured that as soon as the people of the valley were silenced and made to surrender we shall be sent back to our homes. That day has yet to come and under the present circumstances we do not see any such hope,” the letter said.

“We were assured in names of all the gods and deities that we shall be looked after very well and we shall be provided with anything  and everything we desire or demand. At the same time we were threatened of dire consequences in case we did not obey the orders. We feel cheated because we understand now that it’s not a war between two religions but a struggle for independence and the struggle for right of self determination which is birth right of every human being,” the letter claims.

“We have been exploited beyond limits and there is no end to our miseries, as the things stand now. We hold nobody responsible for the mess we see in now but our own selves. We were fooled and we were more than willing to become fools.”

If the letter is to be believed, the Pandiths thanked the valor of Kashmiri brethren. States the letter in the concluding lines, “Kindly convey our respects and good wishes to our Muslim brothers and sisters; we salute their valor and courage which they are showing against the onslaught of occupation forces. Please remind them that it is a temporary phase and that the blood of our great martyrs will be victorious very soon.”

 

 

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