Kashmiri Pandit Trauma Isn't A Political Prop

Image: Getty Images

Image: Getty Images

With the repealing of Article 370, and all these atrocities being committed against the Kashmiri people, Indian people love pulling up the phrase "What about the Kashmiri Pandits?" to justify the horrendous crimes the troops have committed (often targeted at the Muslims of Kashmir). To those who aren't aware, the Kashmiri Pandits are the Kashmiri Hindus who are native to Kashmir. We've suffered a long line of trauma, the most recent being the Exodus in 1989, where an ethnic cleansing was committed in the Valley, using rape, threats and murder, which resulted in more than 200 dead and thousands in the diaspora. After the tragic events, we bore no ill will towards our Muslim brethren because they weren't the ones responsible for the "cleansing," but upper-caste Hindu nationalists in India who would love for nothing more than for Kashmiri Hindus and Muslims to be pitted against once another would say otherwise. It would be a lie to say it hadn’t worked at all because there’s many islamophobic Kashmiris, and Kashmiri Pandits who've turned to nationalism as a solution to this deep-rooted trauma within ourselves. This pain, this suffering, this sense of loss of our history, family and our home is within the Kashmiri Pandits and it's this very same pain we feel that the Hindutvas (The Hindu Nationalists in India) have used as a political prop for generations.

Image: Wikimedia

Image: Wikimedia

The upper-caste Hindus in India have a staggering sense of superiority to the rest the country and seem to want nothing more than a pure (Indo)-Aryan race of Hindu Brahmins in their beloved Bharat. Sound familiar? As a Jewish person (and a person with common sense), comparing Indians to the nazis, or comparing Modi to Hitler is not justifiable in any way, but the similarities between Nazi ideology and Hindutva ideology can't be denied, nor the idolizations of Nazis in India. This ideology is not new to India, and not all the blame rests on the Indian himself when they fall for this propaganda of purity, first brought to them by their own colonizers, who changed the way Hindus saw themselves, and our religion. Hinduism suddenly stopped becoming seen to nationalists as a religion of peace and enlightenment, but an excuse to justify their superiority. Indians and Hindus have lost a lot in their years of colonization and suffers from their own loss, which isn't at all comparable to the loss Kashmiri people have suffered due to the very same colonialism India tried so hard to free themselves from, but then became. The Nazi-inspired RSS was soon formed after, and even with their very open support of neo-nazism, they remain intact. For how popular Adolf Hitler is among Indians, it’s astonishing how the Holocaust is not taught in Indian schools, and are rarely even given as much a sentence in textbooks. The majority of Indian adults haven't as much as heard of the Shoah, and you'll find those very same adults are the ones who voted Narendra Modi in, in the first place. Modi and his fascism are behind the invasion of Kashmir, which will in doubt only end in tragedy for their people, and he will use the pain of us, Kashmiri Pandits, as the bullet to shoot the Kashmiris with.

The wound is still fresh, and our trauma has still not been processed and yet the Indian media still loves to use it to justify attacks against Muslims, to justify this anti-democratic, inhumane annexation of Kashmir. The Indian media will say that Kashmir is a part of India, the religious values it holds to Hinduism, and there are already so many Indian people prepared to buy Kashmiri property, but all they've ever cared about is the land. Kashmir had belonged to the Kashmiris long before India's and Pakistan's occupation, and will always belong to the Kashmiri people first. Neither India nor Pakistan are ever willing to listen as the BJP weaponizes our pain as Kashmiri Pandits for their own terroristic agenda. It was never about the people anyways.


Astha Sharma Comment