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Pandits or Bandits?

21 February 2011 7 Comments

Pandits are people of highest caste (brahmins) among hindus who are experts in Vedas(religious sayings) along with the corresponding religious rhythms and melodies.Pandits originate from Kashmir.On the contrary Bandits are outlaws who defy the laws of the realm or run away after commiting a crime. I was drawn to write this after events which took place at AZADI seminar in New Delhi last october. It was an attack on a seminar held at an auditorium in Delhi where booker prize winner and human rights activist Arunadhati Roy and Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani were about to deliver a speech.Pandits walked in and disrupted this meeting,hurled abuse and shoes at the panel.It was an attack on democratic India’s freedom of speech, it was an attack on Kashmiri’s and their human rights. Another similar incident took place a month later where Mirwaiz Umar Farooq was manhandled by so called Pandits at a similar event.

Most of the Kashmiri Pandits(400,000) left valley in 1989 when governor Jagmohan organised their quick migration to Jammu a move which was planned to safeguard this class from becoming target of violence.Master Plan hatched on high political level in New Delhi was to bring Pandits back to valley as soon as Indian security forces have supressed call for freedom by Kashmiris.In order to crush uprising Indian security agencies in this process arrested,tortured and killed innocents who were rebeling, protesting or standing up against Indian illegal occupation. Kashmir was on verge of religious divide.Sikh popultation saw through the hatched ferocious plan of Governor and decided to stay.

Kashmiri Pandit organisations like Panun Kashmir claiming to represent Pandits since their migration have shown animosity on every level towards Kashmiri muslims and supported Indian draconian laws and acts which are designed to torture,kill and humiliate Kashmiri muslims . Kashmiri muslims on the contrary have repeatedly invited Pandits back to their homeland and promised them rehabilitation. Syed Ali Shah¬†Geelani has personally called for Pandits to return back to Kashmir. I fail to understand why Pandits would attack and disrupt Geelanis’s seminar.Geelani is a man of principles & high morale and he has never changed sides and always advocated peaceful resolution of Kashmir issue involving all including minorities. He has in recent years become the champion of freedom,democracy and justice atleast in peoples eyes in Kashmir.

I have known Pandits as family friends since childhood. They have been known for bieng highly educated taking up leading posts in the state of Jammu & Kashmir where Kashmiri muslims mainly were businessmen,farmers or professionals. I again fail to understand that a class so intellectual would resort to such cheap and uncivilised tactics to get their point across.Pandits I know or most of them may not support accession of Kashmir with Pakistan but they definitely do not see Panun Kashmir as an organisation which truly represents them.Panun Kashmir is an organisation which promotes disharmony,divide and religious hatred across India. Indian right wing hindu extremists are exploiting and hijacking plight of Pandits to give bad name to cause of Kashmiri freedom struggle.

It is clear from recent events that organisations like Panun Kashmir or groups which have recently attacked peaceful protests and seminars are not true representatives of Pandits.These are clearly Bandits atleast they will be called so in Kashmir, hired to cause further tension and religious divide and mislead Indian public to justify un precidented use of force & war tactics against Kashmiri muslims.


  • imtaiz said:

    Nice post!

  • Ravi said:

    Good piece explaining exploitation of Kashmiri pandits by Indian intelligence

  • Bakshi said:

    I hope Mr Jagmohan did not plan this:

    Educational Institutions burnt, damaged forcefully occupied : 105
    Religious & Cultural Institutions Destroyed/burnt, damaged : 103
    Shops, Factories looted/burnt/occupied : 14,430
    Agriculture dependent families deprived of their land and source of income : 20,000
    Horticulture dependent families deprived of their resource : 12,500
    Houses Burnt : more than 20,000
    Houses looted : 95%
    Torture killings of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley : more than 1,100

    @Hamim, no one leaves his house, his belongings, and his life just like that. And definitely, not when an outside politician asks him to do so. So please, be a bit more considerate.

    My uncle received death threats everyday, bricks crashing on his windows was a daily thing. He ran away with his kids to settle in Bangalore. My cousin was doing his BTech at that time in Srinagar, and he had to start afresh.

    So please stop pretending as if nothing happened. Atrocities have been conducted in Kashmir – both by military and Kashmiri hard liners. And those who have suffered the most are innocent citizens.

  • Bakshi said:

    >> Kashmiri muslims on the contrary have repeatedly invited Pandits back to their homeland and promised them rehabilitation.

    Again, are you really serious about this, or is this a hyperbole? Do you really think anyone would really trust the politicians who caused this problem at first hand?

    Btw, what do you mean by rehabilitation? Who would rehabilitate whom? Would it be Arundhati Roy, Syed Shah Gilani, or Mr Abdullah? Today Kashmiri’s come out in huge numbers when a single Kashmiri is killed. And there are sane voices against opression of Kashmiris. Were were these people when Pandits were being killed and driven away?

    And please stop talking like a politician. No one is rehabilitating anyone. We are all on our own.

  • Harun said:

    KPSS, an independent kashmiri pandit organisation today released figures of KP’s who have died due to violence and it is 399 according to them(max 600) which is little higher than state government figure of 222 and lot lower than your misleading number of 1,100.I believe you may need to curtail quite few digits from your self created census.Can we atleast agree now that It is you who speads disinformation campaign about kashmiri’s?

  • Abu zeeshan said:

    Migration of pandits was caused by selfish persons n agents

  • Sarvan said:

    Kul Bhushan:I am glad you offer a personal opniion. We are talking about a sensitive political issue and not individual graciousness. Who are these people? Pandits continue to be IDP(internally displaced people) even in their own nation.Please stop blaming all Pandits for demand of independence by Panun Kashmir.By the way they were not Jihadi group.How do you define displaced/refugees/exodus/fleeing/chose to leave? No one is blaming all pandits for separatist notions of a group. However, would you extend the same magnanimity towards the local Muslims who did not align with separatists? How many of them are jihadi groups and why stereotype them? Raja of Kashmir ,who was Hindu wanted to remain a king till Pakistan sent the forces and he joined IndiaSo did the nawabs of Hyderabad and Junagadh. India did not want kingdoms post independence. There were several political considerations, including the Abdullahs. No Indian and particularly Indian Muslim can be proud of how they have been treated in last fourty years.Why have you chosen 40 years as the cut off time? No Indian must be proud of several aspects of the country and that includes establishment supported riots and killings anywhere. Why single out Indian Muslims? How are they responsible for what happens among the various groups, New Delhi and Pakistan? One of the reason of lack of progress has been absence of educated Pandits of Kashmir who have left Kashmir.Because of violence most educated Muslims have also chosen to settle in places away from shadowes of ISI.The local militant groups were active long before the ISI. Educated pandits were given sops. Ask the Jagmohans and T.N.Kauls. Even those who are not very educated have got homes and stipends. Educated Muslims who left were lucky if they found professional jobs; their main source of income had been tourism and many were artisans. I am always surprised that Jammu has not asked for a statehood for itself.Let’s end your surprise. The Jammu State Morcha, affiliated to the RSS, has been asking for a separate state for almost a decade. They renewed their demand during the recent Telengana crisis. Let us not forget Ladakh. It does not want to have anything to do with the Valley or Jammu. Btw, why are people not interested in preserved schools or hospitals? Would any samiti have gone to take them over?

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