Kashmir, a few Pictures, and Ironies


"Pages from India" returned by Google for "Kashmiri Pandits", "Palestine conflict" & "Tibet freedom".


"Pages from India" returned by Google for "Kashmiri Pandits", "Palestine conflict" & "Tibet freedom".

While the above search results might not be the best index to gauge the amount of information that is available and/or disseminated in India over the above issues, yet they do present a sorry picture as far as the cause of Kashmiri Hindus in India is concerned.

It was very late in my life, i.e., in 2001 when I was 16 that I had come to know of the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, that they had been asked to flee in 1990 at gunpoints with a deadline of just 24 hours. The condition was so bad that even those who used to live in heavily shielded government establishments could not stay on, and eventually within a week had to leave. The event was so violent and disturbing that there are no reliable estimates on how many people had died and how many had emigrated in the process.

While it might be contended that it was the common people of India who never really wanted to know of this tragedy of such a massive scale, I do not believe that is the case. Somehow, the media and historians never focused on the issue. The issue is not even very old. Most of the readers of this blog must have already been born at that time, or in fact, old enough to appreciate the impact of this ethnic cleansing.

In my understanding, discourse over the internet is also shaped and directed by how much the mass media pushes an issue. If the major news channels would not have covered the Common Wealth Games, 2010 held in Delhi the way they did, I believe, few bloggers and independent commentators would have taken notice of the issue. Had the media not provided platform to the various commentators on Gujarat riots of 2002, few bloggers would have taken interest in the issue and there would have been proportionately fewer articles.

That Tibetan freedom has been discussed more than the plight of Kashmiri Pandits over internet in India is something out of this world. And that the Palestine problem has been discussed to a comparable degree is further bewildering.

A few pictures of Kashmir

The above pictures speak for themselves. Of course, the few very skeptical amongst the readers might question if these pictures are indeed from the Kashmir valley, but they seem to be.

However, I would want to take the readers on an entirely different tangent. Does it look like that the State government or the Central Command had ordered the paramilitary (and perhaps, military or police forces) personnel seen in above pictures to give a free hand to the miscreants (I hope, some people do not find the word “miscreant” demeaning to the freedom fighters)? Does it look like the State forces had deliberately abdicated their responsibility as part of some larger conspiracy to allow the violence in Kashmir valley to continue unabated? Does it seem that the forces seen above could have controlled the mobs “just like that”, in a jiffy. Or alternatively, does it seem that if the Chief Minister would have made a few phone calls, the entire situation would have easily been brought under control? Does it seem that the above kind of mob was really afraid of the police personnel?

Now think of what the Gujarat Police and army might have been faced with in controlling the Gujarat riots of 2002.

Credit: Second picture originally uploaded by @scamsutra here (click).

8 thoughts on “Kashmir, a few Pictures, and Ironies

  1. I usually do not read such articles .. though i do think i should .. but some how it escapes my mind the serious note these issues demand .. But i read this and i feel so sad .. Every other day i get to see and read of things that out government has failed to fix ! And the list keeps piling .. dunno what is the end of all this …

    • ladynimue,

      It’s perfectly alright. Everyday I think I should blog something creative (like you do), because there is no point thinking on issues over which I have no control.

      When I had started blogging (on Yahoo 360), for more than 6 years I used to publish only poems because I had wanted to preserve them digitally.

      But now, I don’t post more than 2 to 3 poems in a year. 🙂

      One of the points I was trying to make in the post was that not everything is under “government’s” easy control. 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      • I know that but yet i do not agree to it .. It doesn’t start to rot all of a sudden .. If things were controlled by people in power at correct time, things might have been dfferent today .. And its not that people are not doing their bit to set it right .. but without huge actions and sanctions from govt, things do look grim !

  2. Ketan it was not as great as your other articles are. However, your fan following is growing 😉
    Ppl r loving your long but thoughtful articles

    • TG,

      Would have liked to know what it was that you found deficient in the post.

      This was one of the posts, where pictures had to do the talking. So well… 🙂


    • Tarun,

      Hahaha! I’d have liked to know why you didn’t find this article as good as others. 🙂

      In fact, I thought this was one of the few articles where I spoke very little and let data and picture speak for themselves, so that it would not be a case that I would not appear as if I would be forcing my inferences upon the readers.

      But yes, I liked your honest feedback. So, thanks!

  3. Ketan,

    your first search term was KPs but your others were Palestine conflict, tibet freedom etc.

    Did you run “kashmir conflict” against these?

    Did you run “palestine arabs” or “tibetan buddhists” against KPs?

    Your controls or comparators could be improved?

    • Jai,

      The reason I did not search for ‘Kashmir conflict’ is because there are two issues involved with it – one of its freedom from India and second of the associated alleged atrocities by Indian military and paramilitary forces. Obviously, both these issues have nothing to do with the fate of Kashmiri Pandits. Whereas, Palestine conflict has to do only with Palestine Arabs, and Tibet freedom has everything to do with Tibetan Buddhists, so there was no chance of confounding there.

      However, following your suggestion I had searched for a few more terms, I must say that my suspicions had only been further reinforced (click):

      1. Kashmir conflict – 37,400 [Palestine conflict – 17,000]
      2. Kashmir freedom – 275,000 [Tibet freedom – 42,800]
      3. Tibetan Buddhists – 33,000 [Kashmiri Pandits – 36,200; Gujarat Muslims – 145,000; Palestine Arabs – 112,000]
      4. Palestine Arabs – 112,000 [Kashmiri Pandits – 36,200; Gujarat Muslims – 145,000; Tibetan Buddhists – 33,000]
      5. Gujarat Muslims – 145,000 [Kashmiri Pandits – 36,200; Palestine Arabs – 112,000; Tibetan Buddhists – 33,000]

      However, I am not trying to portray above figures as some highly reliable index. The fact is very, very few people know about the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. And I say that because I myself had come to know of how they had been exterminated from Kashmir quite late in my life despite the fact that quite a few Kashmiris who had fled from Kashmir had been living in my colony. Even Gujarat riots that have been much publicized did not lead to large-scale displacement of Muslims or Hindus, in that Gujarat violence was not as bad as extermination of Kashmiri Pandits. Of course, Gujarat riots had happened at the time when private media had just started blooming and internet was just coming up, so it obvious that much greater information and opinion would be found on the topic. But that issues related to Palestine and Tibet, which are hardly related to India, are being talked about more than or to a comparable degree as plight of Kashmiri Pandits was mildly shocking (“mildly” because I am aware of the dispositions of the mainstream media and ‘historians’) for me.

      Thanks for your inputs!

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