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Kashmir Files Row: Kashmiri Pandits shared Gut Wrenching stories on Quora!

Read stories that will leave you in tears, here is how Kashmir Files has brought horrifying memories back


Highlights:

  • Shailesh Kaul, a software engineer pens down his story of exile on Quora. 
  • We Lost Our Childhood and Our parents Lost precious days of their life, Shally A Dhar, a native of Kashmir
  • We were left with 3 choices, convert, die, or flee- Sidharth Bhan, a Kashmiri Pandit in Exile

As soon as Kashmir files hit the theaters, people from all across India are showing  support to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits who were forced to abandon their homes. It is more than three decades now, but the horrors of Kashmir still haunt people who had lost their loved ones.

While searching on Quora, many KPs shared their stories, how it feels like to be a Kashmiri pandit, and how they were kicked out from their own land.

While People seek for Justice for Kashmiri Pandit, they  have shared their gut-wrenching stories on Quora

Shailesh Kaul, a software engineer pens down his story of exile on Quora. 

We were forced to leave and thrown out of the Valley by the Kashmiri Muslims. They killed our men, our women were raped, and properties were looted, our houses were burnt  without any provocation, and all that happened in the name of Islam. Our only mistake was that we were considered Indians, and we did not want to merge with Pakistan; that was   the reason behind our exile.

In 1990, Wall posters in large letters proclaiming Kashmir as ‘Islamic Republic of Kashmir’ became a com­mon sight in the entire Valley.  So the significant and prominent advertisements in local dailies, declaring their intent:

‘Aim of the present struggle is the supremacy of Islam in Kashmir, in all walks of life and nothing else. Anyone who puts a hurdle in our way will be annihilated’.

Press release of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) published in the morning edition of Urdu Daily ‘Aftab’ of April 01, 1990.

‘Kashmiri Pandits should leave the Valley within two days.

We were left with 3 options: convert to Islam, get killed, or leave.

We Lost Our Childhood and Our parents Lost their Youth, Shally A Dhar, a native of Kashmir

This part of my experience is of our initial years in Jammu.

Read more- TejRan ka Roka, tejasswi-Karan Engaged in Private Ceremony?

We reached Jammu very late at night after 10 hours of a long journey. We were tired, hungry, & clueless with no place to go. I still remember having rajma chawal from a roadside Dhaba and then sitting half sheepishly in a small under-constructed shop. That night was one of the longest nights of our lives.

We slept in an under-construction shop for the next few days; Women would sleep inside the shop and men outside on a charpai.

My father was in central services, and he was asked to join in Srinagar, he was reluctant but had no option except to re-join services during the peak of militancy, risking his life to feed us, so that we could go to school again. Every time he would leave, we wave at him with tearful eyes.

Our first house in Jammu was a single room almost like a cowshed with no windows, kitchen, and my mother would cook in one corner, and the heat would be intolerable in summers and boom in winters.

For many years, we lived in self-denial with hopes of returning someday, every day in the hope of taking the next bus back home. Once they started burning our homes deep inside our hearts, we knew this was the end, and we had to build new homes.

We Lost Our Childhood and Our Parents Lost their Youth.

We were left with 3 choices, convert, die, or flee- Sidharth Bhan, A Kashmiri Pandit in Exile

 “We Kashmiri Pandits are often accused of being cowards, questioned for abandoning our ancestors land, homes, jobs, property, and temples. Indeed, if 27 years on, we are still mourning our loss, we should have put up a fight. When the option of “raliv, galiv ya chaliv” (convert, die, or flee) was given to us, why did not we choose to die and defend our rights?”

Read more: The Kashmir Files hits the theaters: People walked out with teary eyes

We left Kashmir to save an identity as Indian, as Hindus.

It takes immense courage to sacrifice everything that you have- past and present and put your future at stake, to get up & leave on an unknown journey just to uphold your values, beliefs, and identity. What we lacked in the physical strength of numbers, we had in steely strength of individual character that made us stand by our dharma. Irrespective of what you may think of KP exodus, one thing is clear, though –

Had Kashmiri Pandits capitulated and chanted “Azadi,” India would have lost Kashmir there and then. Mull over it!

These people limited words to describe their pain. However, there are many who are still living in refugee camps in the memory of their heaven like home. Out of all the outcomes, the one thing remained common. They were left with three options, convert, die, or flee.

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Ayushi Mittal

In her journey to become a journalist, Ayushi can inculcate your tale through her news writings. You may find her with a mike in protests, rallies, or in museums. So what's your story?
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