I am a Kashmiri Pandit and why I don’t want to go back to Kashmir now

I am a Kashmiri Pandit and I don’t want to go back to Kashmir now. To hell with Kashmir and to hell with those who turned it into hell. Yes, I am saying this after yearning, praying and hoping for 30 years in forced exile that God will pave way for our return one day. But I don’t want to now, even if God tells me so.

Looking at the videos that have surfaced in the past few days, It looks like Kashmiri Muslims have turned into Zombies. All their brains are capable of doing now is to pick up and throw stones. They have lost all the power of reason. I remember a saying I had heard in childhood. It said, “Kashmiri Muslims have their brains in their knees”. I think the DNA mutation has pushed it further below.

And, Pakistan should take a bow. Their Kashmir policy strategists should be complimented for the successful implementation of their plan. They persisted with it for 30 years and it is bearing very tangible results now. When they started in late 80’s, they picked up the traditional methods of insurgency. They trained Kashmiri Muslim youth in Pakistan and geared them up for an armed struggle. India was successful to some extent to bring that in control in a decade or so. Make no mistake; it was only because of Indian army and not due to any political interventions.

Kashmiri Muslims were also fatigued and had seen the futility of it all. They had started concentrating on their livelihoods and tourism was picking up. But then the very agile thinking strategists on the other side changed the strategy. Armed struggle had not given them legitimacy internationally. They introduced Intifada in Kashmir and see how well they have implemented it. They now have power to bring everything to stand still. This was not possible with guns. People would carry on with their work, even if there was a shoot-out in some area. But today, they are holding everyone to ransom and our forces are bearing the brunt on the ground.

And, what did India do all this while? Slept over it!

And, why? Because our incompetent, lethargic, corrupt and self centered politicians never had a strategy to counter Pakistan. They didn’t even have a strategy to deal with the stooges of Pakistan in Kashmir. Pakistan carried a consistent policy for Kashmir across governments and political parties, even at the time of military rule. But, in India, there were contradicting views and plans all throughout. Every tall political figure and every political party experimented in their own stupid way. This includes everyone; Rajiv Gandhi, Vajpayee, Man Mohan Singh at center and Sayeed’s and Abdullah’s in Kashmir; BJP and Congress at center and NC, PDP in Kashmir. Shame! Shame! Shame!

When we left our homes and hearths, we were hoping that the great Indian nation would be able to set everything right in a matter of a few months or a couple of years. It is now around 30 years and still counting.

These mainstream political parties (national and regional) and their leaders have failed all Kashmiris big time. They have turned Muslims into Zombies and Pandits into Nomads.

It is the people who make a place Hell or Heaven. Kashmir is no more Heaven on earth. It is for a reason that people today would prefer to visit places with lesser natural beauty than Kashmir. And, the reason is the native people of that place. This Kashmir is not the Kashmir of my childhood, the memories of which I carried all throughout. It is a hell and I don’t want to go back to hell.

I always prayed for our return. I will now pray for the destruction of everyone responsible for turning it into hell, irrespective of whether the person is from that side or this side

Rakesh Roshan Bhat (RRB)

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