Unfortunately, the extremist elements use Kashmiriyat word, otherwise a beautiful expression of our togetherness, as a burqa to hide their glee while sprinkling salt on Hindu wounds. Have you ever seen a Muslim sufi going to the Valley and appealing to Jihadis to shun violence? They remain safe in the all-Hindu concerts in golf clubs. Where was there Kashmiriyat when Amarnath Yatra was disrupted in 2008? Every year, Muslim leaders and Islamists issue threats to Amarnath Yatra and it has not been a smooth, safe Hindu yatra for long. Kashmiriyat has no meaning if it is separated from Hindustaniyat.
At a time when Hindus are the victims, we try not to mention words like "Muslim" and "Islam" and "Jihad" to preserve our secular fabric and to disallow any such ghastly incident to take away our resolve to make peace with everyone. If Muslims are the victims, it is upfronted, the lead point, the headline - with front page interviews of their sons, mothers and grandpas. If Hindus are victims, please don't even mention the word "H" and don't ever say that the attackers and killers were all Muslims.
For the next three days, till Gujarat erupted, there was no mention in any media that the victims of Sabarmati Express were Hindus and the attackers were Muslims.
And then, every day, we saw pictures of "savage" Hindus with saffron headbands brandishing trishuls. In each case, it was prominently mentioned - Hindu fanatics, Hindu terrorists. The one face of that tailor begging for his life became an instant hit worldwide - an iconic image depicting brutal Hindus and Muslims at their mercy. No mercy-seeking pictures of Hindus travelling in the Sabarmati Express or driven out of their home and hearth from the Valley? Five lakh of them. Some people from Mars drove them out.
I have yet to see a single picture of a Mullah or a bearded Maulana in media caricatures equivalent to that of the tailor or anywhere close to it.
The law of the secular holy scripture for media is that even though we know the attackers were Muslims, that they were killing the Hindus in the name of Allah to prove that their dedication and devotion to Islam is complete, we must refrain from saying so and instead say "All Kashmiri Muslims love us, they are peaceful people, believe in democratic values and they uphold the lofty ideals of Kashmiriyat."
Wherever I have been in the Valley, I have found most Kashmiri Muslims like to lead a peaceful life under the tricolour. But they feel that patriotic Muslims are not safe because they can be attacked by terrorists at any time and Delhi's secular media never highlights the atrocities these Jihadis perpetrate on Kashmiri Muslims. Kashmir's media also plays up all the statements of the traitors, while not giving an inch to those who are patriotic.
So kindly keep your Sufism and other great ideas of togetherness with you till all Indians feel safe in valley.
I am only concerned about my Hindustaniyat. And the Hindustaniyat of every Kashmiri.
I want all Indians safe in every region of my nation. I am speaking for Hindus because in a Hindu majority nation, it has increasingly become unsafe to be a Hindu. From Kashmir to Karnataka to Kerala and the jungles of Chhattisgarh to the Northeast, it's only Hindus who are being killed, converted, humiliated - and their religion has become a matter of mockery. You see any principal mainstreamed newspaper - edited by foreign passport holder journalists who know more about Mexican problems than their neighbourhood - columns are given to those who have been notorious for their hatred for Hindus. The Hindu pain, sorrow, frustration and anguish is never allowed to reflect in their media, though their owners are very patriotic, religious and temple-building legends. Who get cosy with masters of political games and do daily puja (minimum one hour), wear the right-sized stones in their rings to ward off evil effects, and give huge, sometimes very astonishing donations to famous temples. But their Hindu-ness is limited to pleasing the Gods to get more contracts and more profits.
Condemnation of incidents like the Amarnath carnage mean less than ever before.The same sentiments were expressed when Tikalal Taploo, Lassa Kaul, PN Handoo, were killed and also when HL Khera, (General Manager, HMT, Srinagar) was abducted and later tortured to death by Muslims.
We have photocopies of harsh, very harsh, sometimes semi-harsh (as the situation may demand) expressions of condemnation for such actions as we saw in Amarnath. From our comfort zones, we issue huge sheets of our deep-felt sympathies laced with very prudently selected words like "dastardly", "cowardly", "despicable", and, finally, "unacceptable".
The condemnation letters are always ready, only the dates have to be changed.
The Amarnath pilgrims' massacre proves once again that the Hindus of India are still paying heavy price for just being a Hindu.
Friends have mentioned that there have been strong Muslim voices against the Amarnath carnage; I agree. My column above mentions how Kashmiri Muslims love to live in peace under the tricolour. That sums up my feelings for them. But ignoring that, another line has been picked up, which is a deliberate attempt to create a controversy while Hindus are grieving.
Muslims have always condemned such incidents. Wasn't Tika Lal Taploo's tragic killing condemned by all? When I said Muslim voices, I meant voices who bear influence on extremist Muslims - voices who cry for Azadi and support separatists.
I have always stood for Hindu Muslim-solidarity and a need to stand together as Indians.
(Tarun Vijay is a BJP leader and former MP from Uttarakhand.)
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