Oh Kashmir ! Yasin Malik at India Today Enclave

Was speaking at the India Today Enclave with Amir Khan. But then attended a panel where Yasin Malik was speaking. For those that do not remember, Yasin was at one time the leader of the most feared terrorist group in Kashmir. Now he is a political leader looking for peace and reconciliation with India and Pakistan, because he believes that the future of the youth of Kashmir depends upon the two nations coming to terms. But he still supports the right of the Kashmiri’s to decide on their own future, even if it meant an independent Kashmir. A few years ago if he was seen in Delhi he would been shot in sight by the armed forces. So full marks to India Today for having the courage to bring such disparate views on the same platform as Finance Minister Chidambaram, and even on the same dias as a member of India’s Parliament…


… but second, Yasin delivered a completely impassioned and moving speech about the state of the youth in Kashmir, their fears and aspirations, their desire for better leadership. He also spoke of his own life, his fleeing form the armed forces, capture, solitary confinement and of the friends that he lost in the fighting. And how he realized now that if everything needed to be achieved it could only be done through negotiation and reconcilliation. It was a moving moving speech. No one asked him any questions (after all there was Priety Zinta on the Dias too !) and so I did one :
” Have you forgiven ?”
And he said there was absolutely no other way. At the end of the speech he walked over to me and gave me a big genuine hug and said thank you. Invited me to come and speak to the youth of Kashmir, including those that were terrorists once.
As he left, a young girl came to me brimming with anger. Along with a man who worked with India Today. Both were kashmiri Pundits who had seen themselves ousted forcibly and sometimes cruelly from their homeland. I have met many Kashmiri Pundit’s- some of them my friends who believe they are truly the forgotten people. The young girl was as moving as Yasin as she held back her tears, andgry that Yasin was allowed this platform without the audience being told of the atrocities that he and his comrades perpetuated on Kashmiri Pundits. I coudl totally see her point of view.
Later as I was having tea with Priety Zinta she also expressed apprehensions about being on the same platform as Yasin. her father died in the Army and her brother has been fighting and risking his life in Kashmir.
O Kashmir ! Once the paradise without the beauty of which no Hindi film was complete. Who’s people people were once considered the gentlest and the most beautiful. The vision of kashmir was that of little girls with baby sheep in their arms waving as you drove by. And who could forget the Kashmiri Shawl wala that went from one Punjabi household to another bring news of long lost friends ? Ofcouse cleverly outnegotiating my mother while she was lost in emotion !
What happened ?
I think there will never be a solution in Kashmir if there is no forgiveness. Like the Truth and Reconcilliation process and South Africa. India and Pakistan must come to terms with each other and accept the current division as permanent. Of course it is permanent ! Pakistan and India must let go of using kashmir as the excuse to fight each other. Neither nation can afford it in any case.
I do not see an Independant Kashmir as a viable state. I do not agree with Yasin there. In the current political unrest, stuck as it is between some of the most explosive political arena’s in the world, Kashmir will be engulfed in the turmoill of it’s neighboring states.
It’s time to bring peace back to Kashmir. It is time to bring back the romanticism of ‘Kashmir ki Kali’. It is time to enfold Kashmir in the process of economic development that Inda is going through,
Agreed ?
Shekhar

193 Responses to “Oh Kashmir ! Yasin Malik at India Today Enclave”

  1. Dear Shekhar,
    Kashmir is like a chess board, where Yasin Malik, Army of India, Pakistan and people who suffered there…are merely dummies playing with the rules set by same people who did set another chess board in Israel and Palestien.Unless THE MAN, who has set these kind of chess boards all over the earth is not held, These questions will be always answered diplomatically not realistically.
    Anyway Shekhar, I did finished another film and now left alone and jobless again. Need a break now for a while. Coming to your blog refreshes me.
    Regards!
    Sanjay

  2. agreeable one says:

    AGREED !
    the kashmir of our childhood memories ( the times when one went fearlessly and absorbed the beauty of the place …….much before the terror that assaulted that most beautiful paradise on earth )…….who would not want the innocence and purity of kashmir to return ?
    yet……..who will bring it back ?

  3. AJ says:

    We all should try to achieve it during our time.
    It only takes one person to take initiative.
    How our Beloved Shekharji has connected all of us and touched so many people, who respect and admire him.
    I trust and work to do whatever I can:
    “Let us leave this world a better place, more human than we received it”

  4. Amrit says:

    Totally agreed. Loved this post.

  5. Deepshikha says:

    Totally in agreement to you — to love and to forgive is the only way to peace in this world. Just saw a british made documentary on Iraq invasion, and it is very sad to see how facts are tampered with and how both US and Britain think that they are on a social work / development/ upliftment or liberation mission which only they can understand. To make things really diplomatic and sad,they ended the documentary saying “in an effort to restore democracy in Iraq, Britain has risked its own security and has fallen target to terrorist attacks” .. So convinient and what easy lies… When will this end!!

  6. Gopi says:

    Totally agreed! Ive never been there, only on screen and print. Such a beautiful place, has so much to offer the world. I hope things get sorted out for the sake for the people that call Kashmir home!
    Just like I hope the Sri Lankan Government can gives the Tamils what they want! Another beautiful place with so much to offer!

  7. Rashmi says:

    Absolutely ! I agree with all that you have to say, yet I wonder how does one go about it? There is just too much history, too much bloodshed, too many angry people on both sides…with Kashmir in the middle.
    Just that Kashmir’s beauty doesnt deserve the fighting that has gone on all around her for so many years.
    If we believe that there is a supreme force, God, Nature, being good – whatever your version is, I wonder what he/she/it would think of humans, would there be laughter or tears, at our pettiness AND at our spirit..

  8. nagesh pai says:

    I hope the souls of those raped and killed by Yasin’s men are forgiven too. I hope the actual residents of Kashmir, the Pundits forgive them too.
    I feel sad when the land of the Saraswats are claimed by these terrorists, turning the Buddha way.

  9. Navin says:

    Agreed. But the Kashmiri Pundits being reinstated in their homeland will have to be a pre-condition for working out any solution. And Yasin and his men should be made to beg their forgiveness as also a pre-condition.
    Cheers!
    Navin
    PS : You just had to mention that you had tea with PZ! LOL 😉

  10. DQ says:

    “AGREED”
    Will agree till my teeth fall off and i go bald n perhaps then too issues will keep arising….
    Tired, why on earth cant humans do something more peacefully, live and help each other to live and grow.
    Im SICK!!
    Hugss Shekhar…take care, n go on pressing your nose on those windows.
    The first flight I ever took was in my childhood, standard 3 I was in, there was a Lepcha girl from our home town who was an airhostess, one of those beauties which still lingers in my mind n heart….amazing innocent beauty she had….Now I can understand such beauty…
    She was assisting me…and when we reached back home….she met with an accident, fell from a jeep….was hanging at the back….Jeep Fun…
    She died…a Young soul….each flight reminds me of her till date…I look out to see her face smiling and I usually get lost in my memories…
    .
    .
    .

  11. Himanshu says:

    Anthony Minghella, the director of English Patient left us today, but he’ll always be remembered for making one of the most wonderful films in history. Shekhar, if I am not mistaken, when I visited your site for the first time in 2002 there was a long interview post-Elizabeth that you had given to Mahesh Bhatt. I still remember many excerpts and I think you talked about your rapport with Anthony after he had won 9 Oscars for the English Patient while you were making Elizabeth. I’m sure he had a wonderful life and may he rest in peace.
    Regards,
    Himanshu

  12. Gopi says:

    The great Arthur C Clark passed away today too, in Sri Lanka!
    Rest in peace Sir!!

  13. Hannah says:

    Living in England I did not know really what this blog entry was about and so I went and researched it….
    its a great post and one that reminds us that there are two sides to everything and that each person fighting for their sides believes they are in the right…. Also can someone really be forgiven for doing something so horrific if they are now searching for peace??

  14. Hannah says:

    Living in England I did not know really what this blog entry was about and so I went and researched it….
    its a great post and one that reminds us that there are two sides to everything and that each person fighting for their sides believes they are in the right…. Also can someone really be forgiven for doing something so horrific if they are now searching for peace??

  15. Hannah says:

    I agree Himanshu.. Anthony Minghella was another great talant we sadly lost this year…his hometime is next to mine and we all feel the great sadness at his passing

  16. Horst Vollmann says:

    The passing of Arthur C. Clarke marks a milestone in the human history of seekers and visionaries. It is a pity that very few people were even aware of his existence. Even “2001: A space odyssey” is almost exclusively credited to the genius of Stanley Kubrick and yet Clarke was the one who had written the novel based on his short story “The Sentinel” and had also written the screenplay in collaboration with Kubrick. When in 1986 The science fiction writers of America had bestowed upon him the honorary title Grand Master he was in the illustrious company of 25 others luminaries of the science fiction genre who had received such honors in the past 33 years, among them none other than Isaac Assimov. Very few know that in 1945 Clarke had predicted in a detailed paper the importance of the practical application of the satellite technology 10 years before the first rocket orbited the earth. History, the great arbiter for human fame, will eventually utter Arthur C. Clarke’s name in one breath with H.G. Wells and Jules Verne and his legacy will be poignantly reflected in his observation on the future of science and the destiny of society “The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.”
    Best regards
    Horst

  17. Aditarya says:

    agreed but the disagreement is that you missed out ‘yourself’ in your question to yasin. The perpetrators of violence are responsible for the state of kashmir. yasin mallik was among the first to fall prey to the games of pakistan. they r the ones responsible for violence. i know centre also made mistakes but govt will have to make mistakes to control violence. public has no right to take to arms unless civil rights r under threat. there was no civil problem in kashmir in the 70s. it is only after the violence that the army moved in. u cannot claim autonomy or separation as a right without reason. that way u go to any muslim or christian dominated area in india and they will want separation. or go the mineral rich regions of bihar and they will want separation(naxals). when we unite as a country once, question of separation cannot be looked through only the wishes of the people of that region but also the wish of the whole country has to be taken into account. The demands of kashmiris could have been genuine if the case was that they were denied religious freedom or any other civil rights. except ofcourse their plebiscite demand. y did nehru say plebiscite will b held after 20 yrs. y wasnt it done just then. bcos he assumed after 20 yrs people will not decide on basis of religion. but we know the situation is the same today and probably will always be. i respect yasins views a lot, bcos he gave up arms. he realised his mistakes…or maybe he thought his job was over and kashmir was on the forefront of agendas. watever the case he can only b forgiven not made to look like a hero. i can understand the pain of the victims of terror when they c such people being treated as heroes. wat do the terrorists think they have achieved by all the violence. no indian thinks we shd give up on kashmir, the borders r the same as before. only a lot of indians have died and Kashmir is in turmoil. I cant see wat they are fighting for and with whom.

  18. Arunima says:

    Shekhar,
    A couple of years back, on a backpacking trip, i saw myself come from ladakh to Srinagar. For an Indian, who’s dad served in the army and who has lived in peaceful conditions throughout, Srinagar was quite a shock.
    The look in the eyes of people who have witnessed violence & death, the desperation, the reminiscing about past glory was quite heart rendering. The misfortune of seeing RPF men carrying guns in a place that was so beautiful was evident.
    Peace is so badly needed, but so many have been affected, that it might take a few generations to forget what has happened. All I could hear from the locals was Independent Kashmir…did they know what they were talking about..maybe yes, maybe not..but the population there has definitely witnessed too much to remain objective and not have prejudices.
    Is it possible to have both the nations as well as the locals in Kashmir realize how meaningless all that happened is? Unlikely…will take another passionate believer like Mahatma Gandhi to make a difference.

  19. Pawan says:

    Shekhar ,
    Yasin has his bag full . Loads of money which has been fed in.
    And do you ever see yourself making a movie on Kashmiri Pandits ?
    Needs a lot of courage !…

  20. Rashneek says:

    Ideally everyone should be given a chance to speak and sir his views including people like Yasin.But since we are not living in an ideal world,I must say India Today should have verified his antecedents if they were unaware of them already.He has raped a young nurse before chopping her on a saw mill.He killed 4 IAF officers who were waiting to take a bus.Instead of apologizing about that,he said”they were agents of the enemy” which means they ought to be killed.
    But I appreciate that you could call a spade a spade.We young Kashmiri Pandit boys and girls who were protesting his presence at the conclave were beaten by the Police when he must have been speaking inside.We were all detained for simply protesting against a man who has to his credit every conceivable crime known to man(and woman too)

  21. Indu says:

    Dear Shekar,
    It is actually people like you who can make the world know the truth about Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandits. There are many to think about the majority community but seldom about Kashmiri Pandits. We are also part of this country but unfortuenatly hold no say as we are less in numbers and hence do not matter in any way.
    I wish you knew about our plight too………
    Our sufferings are equally harsh and painful.I hope someday someone will gain enff courage to write on us also but ofcourse before we become HISTORY.
    Hence till that time we will keep on exploring and searching for souls .As i did for my late friend Priyadarshini Mattoo.It took 10 long years to give justice to her and hopefully this fight for our motherland will yield the same results…………..
    Regards
    Indu Jalali

  22. Sunil Bhat says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    I don’t know what kind of economic development you are talking about. Indian govt. is already pumping crores of rupees in Kashmir every year. But still the alienation is there. I remember the interview of hardline separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani in which he had said that even if the govt. of India makes the roads of gold in Kashmir still they want an independent Kashmir or merger with Pakistan. These Kashmiri separatists leave no stone unturned in defaming our brave security forces who risk their lives for the integrity of our nation. These separatists seem to have forgotten history that it were the Indian security forces who saved Kashmiris from the Pakistani tribals in 1947. It were the Indian security forces who rendered a great help in the relief and rescue operations after the earthquake in Kashmir.
    Kashmir is, was and shall always remain an integral part of India. Whatever is happening in Kashmir is not a freedom struggle at all and the ethnic cleansing of half a million Kashmiri Hindus ( Pandits ) is a clear testimony to this fact. Let me remind u Shekhar Ji, it was Yasin Malik and his JKLF men who selectively killed hundreds of Kashmiri Pandits. Yet India Today invited him in their conclave. I felt very sad about our democracy when I saw him on TV sharing the dais with Sachin Pilot, Preity Zinta and others at the India Today conclave. It was Yasin Malik who killed the Director Doordarshan Kashmir, Lassa Kaul in 1990 thereby silencing the media.
    Should he have been given a platform like India Today Conclave to speak?? Isn’t it shame that some of the people mostly Kashmiri Hindus who were protesting peacefully outside the conclave that day were beaten up and arrested??
    U said that the best solution for Kashmir is forgiveness…. but don’t u think that people like Yasin Malik who are responsible for many heinious crimes should be punished according to the law of the land so that a deterent is served for those who might do such things in future.
    Lastly, I challenge u to make a movie on the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus.
    Thanks a lot, looking forard for your reply.
    With Regards,
    Sunil Bhat

  23. sim says:

    Is it easy to forgive?

  24. Pallav Trivedi says:

    Sir,
    Nice to see that you do understand the problems of Kashmiris but is it fair that a terrorist gets to put forth his side of the story with romantic editions while those who are genuinely wronged and thrown out of their homes are not even given an audience by the who’s who of our great country? In stead they are whisked away in police vans and trucks for daring to oppose the man who threw them out.
    Sir, we need people like you to speak up and to support the right thing.
    Kind regards,
    Pallav.

  25. Ashok Manvati says:

    We appreciate your genuine concern for internally displaced Kashmiri Pundits, who just for holding high the Indian Tricolor in Kashmir where thrown out.

  26. Hi Shekhar,
    First I feel we should thanks you and Prity for at least looking into Neerus Eyes…
    Two gentlemen were thrown out of this confernece before Neeru wept…Anand mahindr might be a billionare but he is poorest in our eyes because from that high stage he couldnt see 7 Lakh refugees , 5000 killed by militants, 2000 thousand by diseases in refugee camps…
    I am not denouncing JKLF or HM..may be they are doing what relision propagates them to do..JEHAD so it be.and they did what they were supposed to do like their friends around the world. But what our secualr INDIA did was not right.
    We cried and wept.. we were born with great Indian dream and today we know we were cheated more by INDIA than by terrorists.. we produced the first PM of INDIA …but never ever could produce a leader or militant for our selves .. I am today neck deep in shame for we ahve been so non voilent and gandhian in our action and thought that we even forgot how to protest.
    But thanks for looking into the Wet eyes of Refugee Girl

  27. Aditarya says:

    i dont think it was wrong to call yasin in the india today conclave. we must hear everybodys views in all forums possible. that is wat we are basically saying to the extremists-give up arms and talk. but the pundits are also well within their rights to protest if it was peaceful. In india if u are a terrorist u will b provided a personal commando to guard u, and if u r a peaceful protester u will b beaten up by the police. sad story but wat to do.

  28. Sidharth says:

    Shekhar
    I am amazed that you had no qualms sharing dias as a YouthIcon with someone like Yasin Malik – who has killed, raped without regret. A wolf turned saint – who even today refuses to apologize the holocaust he and his armed followers perpetrated on Kashmiri Hindus just because of their religion. And to top it off, Mr Mahindra introduced him as a secular person.
    Aah… thats the intelligentsia of today…
    What next…? Osama for Nobel-Prize for Peace…

  29. ANIL LANGAR says:

    i pity INDIAN GOVT seriously who allow terrorist to be the youth icons of Kashmir. i am ashamed how could welldignified people share a a moment with a terriost
    what about the sons of those parents who were shot dead by terrorist . after all yasin malik is a terrorist and how can we forget our soldiers who fight with them for our safety ——will we allow any soldier to participate in such function. do we respect a jawan who fights for us how can we respect yasin malik
    think seriously every youth will love to be yasin mallik one fine day and none will fight at border

  30. Rishik Dhar says:

    Have you forgiven yourself, Shekhar for all the mistakes you must have committed in your life? I am sure you have, based on the success that you have achieved, it couldn’t have been possible if you were stuck on your past, on your weaknesses? So has Yasin. He knows he was lucky to have killed so many people, and still live to this day when he might be on the verge of governing the lives of those who would have condemned to the gallows without a second thought or would have shot him in the head. So he can forgive himself without any qualms.
    But ask yourself, if a woman from your family would have died in shame begging for the mercy of people like Yasin, lying naked in front of them, would you still’ve had taken that hug from Yasin?
    Romanticizing about Kashmir is something only those can afford who haven’t seen a kith or kin getting slain for absolutely no reason.
    Kashmiri Pandits are not worried about who gets a chance to showcase their oratory skills. What we are worried about is that Govenment of India and Media are giving a face to terrorist.
    Here is something of an exercise for you. Just spend some time in Kashmir without your regular entourage and barrage of security personnel, just go on a stroll in the streets of Kashmir and you will get an idea about what we have been through.
    Kashmir is not just an issue. It is our home snatched from us. And we are not going to let Yasin and his kind run our home. We are taking it back and that is going to be very soon…

  31. I Me My says:

    Yet another disputed territory that will weave around itself hordes of harrowing memories while the likes of us, bystanders, will watch history happen! Then, our future generations, completely disconnected with the Kashmir that was, will take it upon themselves to write chronicles about why it all happened! The time for action is now and in my limited foray of awareness, I can identify but one individual who appears to have made some inroads to bringing peace in Kashmir: Dr Zian Mian, a Professor here in Princeton who has made some very tangible contributions (documentaries/ youth missions)to the peace process.

  32. morning rays says:

    hi shekhar,
    going by the last 8-9 posts i feel it is callous to even expect people who have suffered total destruction at the hands of terrorists…..to forgive them…….. none of us would in their place !!
    what is hoped at under the circumstances, is, an agreement…….an arrangement of convenience by both parties in the hope of benefiting what is left of kashmir ! yet, to expect people who have no respect for you or who frankly detest you…to actually work in coordination with you or even want anything in common with you or to be in the same space as you itself, is an expectation that is unreal…….one that can be had by an outsider who has not suffered at the hands of these monsters ! reconciliation is possible where there is scope for acceptance in the heart…….all else is business !
    i empathise with the people who have suffered, and feel that going by the power equations that the world runs by…….the unfortunate lot has no say in the larger scheme of things…….but on your blog……..atleast dont give them a raw deal !

  33. morning rays says:

    hi shekhar,
    just as yasin without the powers that are backing him is a ‘ NOBODY ‘………
    kashmir itself …..the ill fated paradise is NOT INDEPENDANT……..so how can it ever stand on its own unless its neighbouring countries come up with a truce that allows kashmir peaceful existence and scope of growth and developement once again ? !
    yet…….the God that has created the world writes its destiny too……..if times are for growth and prosperity then people are empowered to take bold and positive stands that allow new situations accompanied by hope……..else…..the sorry picture is there for all to see !

  34. Anil Raina says:

    It was great to see your column on Kashmir. People living in Kashmir never had any problems till late 80’s. One of the Jehaidi leader Maqbool Bhat was given a death sentence according to the law of the land but few people didn’t like that.
    He is the Jinah for Yasin Malik. Yasin got training in Pakistan and shot that justice (Mr Ganjoo) who gave death sentence and after that Yasin made a death list for pandits and that list was announced from every mosque in Kashmiri. I was a kid and let me tell it was horrifying to listen all that.
    There is a famous hind proverb which fits on yasin 100%
    ” 100 Chuhai khakar Billi Haj Koo challi”
    I want to take you back to the history how Mughals conquered us. They killed our innocent people, took our women, destroyed our temples.. Once they got power they try to give secular image and peaceful image (Akbar). Maharaja Mann singh fought for Akbar against Maharana Pratab Singh. So they day came where we are fighting with each other to live.
    Same goes with Yasin and other Jihadi commardes.. they killed us, took our women, destroyed our temples and now they are in transition to give a peaceful and secular image so that people like us will fight each other
    What they couldn’t achieve with bloodbath in Talibani style and now they are giving a try to Gandhi style… Tomm. they will try something else…
    I hope we will learn from our mistakes from history
    Once a murderer is always a murderer. We cannot call him saint.
    All I can say is if you get time from your busy schedule, Pls visit refugee camps for Pandits. We are refugee in our own country.

  35. Lalit Ambardar says:

    20-3-2008
    To
    Mr. Shekhar Kapoor
    Subject: ‘India Today Conclave 2008′- a PR exercise for self admitting anti India pan Islamic
    Terror Commander…media ethics ..??..
    Dear Mr. Shekhar Kapoor ,
    It is heartening to know that you are moved by the plight of Kashmiri Pandits courtesy the little girl who approached you. Ms. Preity Zinta’s discomfort in sharing the dais with the terrorist is also understandable. In contrast, Mr. Anand Mahindra in his capacity as the moderator behaved like a megalomaniac when he ordered forced expulsion of the man who protested against the presence of the terrorist commander in the forum & sought intervention against lathicharge & detention of refugee Kashmiri Pandits demonstrating outside the venue.
    Equally appalling was the unsavoury laughter of the audience in response to the insensitive sarcasm of the moderator. It appeared as if India Today was ‘pimping’ terrorism & the civil society represented by the politicians, corporate heads, entertainment industry representatives etc. etc had suddenly become partners in it. Web proceedings of this episode showing
    Mr. Mahindra in action as well as the insensitive response of those present is making raves.
    Do you remember how thoughtfully the audience behaved when during those exclusive DD days Ms. Shabana Azami protested at the National Film awards function against the gruesome murder of the theatre personality late Safdar Hashmi ? But here the ‘elite’ laughed it off – a laugh at the expanse of hapless Kashmiri Pandits…WHAT A SHAME… ….
    For those who have suffered as well as those who have been following events in Kashmir with concern, it was distressing to see the supreme commander of the terrorist outfit JKLF, who along with his other radicalised foreign sponsored cohorts has brought Kashmir to the brink of absolute destruction, being hosted at the ‘India Today Conclave 2008’ . His claim of following a ‘non violence path’ is a farce & it is intended to only hoodwink the people as he continues to support openly all those terror groups that are active in Kashmir & are now spreading their tentacles fast in to the rest of India. Did he ever apologise for the crimes that continue to be committed by terrorists against humanity ? Did you ever hear him condemn in clear terms when ever there is a terror strike in Kashmir or outside? No , he wouldn’t do that.
    This event has been a big PR exercise for the anti India elements as the custodians of the constitution & other national youth icons & national/international celebrity speakers were brazenly shown sharing the limelight together with a pan Islamist terrorist who is fighting for secession of Kashmir from secular India on the ground of Kashmir being a Muslim majority province & has a number of criminal cases pending against him including the one in which he self admittedly killed in cold blood unarmed Indian Air Force officials doing shopping in Kashmir. Modified /morphed Conclave pamphlet is already being distributed by the JKLF as a propaganda material.
    If only the media /civil society had taken due cognisance of the X-mas eve suicide bombing in 2000 in Srinagar by the Birmingham born Mohd. Bilal, possibly 9/11, London metro bombing, Madrid train bombing & many many more gruesome attacks in India & elsewhere could have been averted.
    Please go through the following ‘open letter’ that was addressed to the Editor- in- Chief of India Today Group.
    Warm regards
    Lalit Ambardar
    Email id : lalitambardar@gmail.com
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    An open letter ……………….
    28-2-2008
    To
    The Chairman & Editor-in-Chief
    India Today Group
    New Delhi
    Subject: ‘India Today Conclave 2008’
    Dear Mr. Aroon Purie,
    Permit me to quote you Sir, ….”What India needs is political vision and a leadership that has nothing at stake except India”……… You said that – beautiful words indeed. And “Leadership For The 21st Century” the subject of ‘India Today Conclave 2008’ is an equally great thought. In a civilised society dialogue & exchange of ideas must be encouraged. This could help in resolving various issues & conflicts plaguing the world today, provided the participants exhibit integrity & sincere desire for solutions rather than unscrupulously use the occasion to score propaganda gains. And that such an impressive list of celebrity speakers has been put together for the forthcoming event only adds to the credibility of India Today Group(…I shall gradually come to my reservations……as I continue this open letter.. .??..). Congratulations, any way!
    Contrary to the general expectations the tensions have not eased even after the end of the cold war. The nations today, continue to be under threat. Even the economic globalisation has failed to ensure peace & harmony. In fact, it does appear that the second phase of cold war is already on now, what with the recent US prompted unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo against the wishes of its own minority Serbs even in the wake of Russian threat to veto it. Encouraging religion based dissention & secessionism purportedly to correct the alleged & often misconstrued historical wrongs can open a ‘Pandora box’ of separatist movements world over. Motivated foreign intervention, use of terror as an instrument of foreign policy & sinister designs to balkanise nations on the basis of religion to score geo-strategic gains continue to be used unabashedly.
    World community has its hands full with the issues like ensuring full statehood for Palestine, Iraq civil war, resurgence of Taliban, volatility in Pakistan as it is being now haunted by its own pan Islamic terror machine that it created & directed primarily against India. Pakistan is now widely recognized as an epicentre of world terrorism. It should also be of concern to all that deadly terror strikes are taking place there on daily basis causing heavy losses to the innocent citizens. It will be disastrous for the whole world if the nuclear arsenal was to fall in the hands of radicals in Pakistan.
    In our own backyard pan Islamism inspired terrorism is now no more confined to the valley of Kashmir only. It is not at all difficult to trace the source of material& logistics support as well as of inspiration of most of the jihadi strikes like attack on Parliament of India,
    (i)
    Raghunath temple, Akshardam, & Diwali eve serial bombings in Delhi, Malegaon Eid eve bombing, Mumbai train blasts, Hyderabad mosque blast, IC841 Kandahar high jacking etc. etc. directly or indirectly via Kashmir to Pakistan & POK.
    It was exactly two decades ago that secessionist violence raised its head in the valley when the Kalashnikov wielding zealots wearing symbolic shrouds over their combat uniforms & sporting religious verses laden headbands appeared in the streets of Srinagar (you could ask your colleagues to dig out from the archives, your own journals of that period, for details & pictures, for reference). The aboriginal minority Hindu Pandits were selectively targeted & killed in cold blood in broad day light in open in bazaars & in their homes. The loud speakers of mosques were blatantly used to raise provocative slogans against the beleaguered community. Sir, please allow me to quote here some of these slogans that most Kashmiris still recall with horror : “HUM KO KYA CHAHIYE” – “AZADI”- “AZADI KA MATLAB KYA- LA I LAHE ILLALAH” (what do we want- asides-what does asides mean- la ilahe illalah ; “ASEY GATCSE PAKISTAN”- “BATAV ROSC TA BATNEV SAN” (we want Pakistan – without Pandit men but along with the Pandit women); “E KAFIRO E ZALIMO, KASHMIR HAMARA CHOD DO” ( oh infidels oh tyrants ,leave our Kashmir alone). It is a pity that the civil society in general has chosen to ignore the ethnic cleansing of hapless Pandits at the hands of Kashmiri secessionists who across the board regard Kashmir as the unfinished task of the religion based partition of India. There are numerous stories of macabre killings of innocent unarmed Pandits- young & old, men & women – how the hapless community was hounded out of their ancestral valley. But these moved none…..???…. Yes Sir, this is what we went through & the ‘world remained silent’. Having lost the roots, the community today is on the brink of extinction as a distinct ethnic group & it can now only look forward to anthropologists for their intervention in the face of total failure of media & of the so called liberal society to do so. Pandits are in the eighteenth year of their exile languishing as refugees in their own country & nobody seems to be actually bothered. It is ironic that while 9/11 that happened far away across the seas managed to shake us all, the pan Islamic terrorism in our own backyard that has been bleeding India for the past two decades does not evoke any appropriate response in this country. Instead we have allowed the perpetrators to acquire a political legitimacy & certainly media can not escape its responsibility. Under any civilized norms those who should be tried for crimes against humanity are seen hogging the lime light- often hopping from one TV studio to another the same evening satiating the ever hungry media with their venomous anti India bites.
    (ii)
    Sir, it is in this context that I wish to convey my extreme anguish & reservations over your invite to Yassin Mallik, supreme commander of the terror outfit JKLF to address your ‘Conclave 2008’. Sir, you have yourself been voicing concern over the growing menace of criminal –politician nexus. But here you are getting together a self proclaimed India baiter who does not recognise the constitution of India; who uses every forum to denigrate Indian security forces lawfully deployed to defend the innocent citizens & the integrity of the
    country ; who continues to defend those groups that are engaged in terrorist violence & who has a number of criminal cases of serious nature pending against him including the one of having killed unarmed Indian Air force Officers in cold blood , face to face among others with the young parliamentarians- the custodians of the constitution. Isn’t it ironic that this man who self admittedly went to Pakistan to get trained there & ferried back weapons & mercenaries to found the ‘gun culture’ in the valley, will be addressing your ‘Conclave’ on March15, 2008 in the Youth Forum on the topic “If I Could Change The World”. Yes, indeed he has been instrumental in changing (…euphemism for ‘defacing’- intended to hold your interest..Sir,… ) the social landscape of Kashmir which boasted of almost zero crime rate till Mallik & his other indoctrinated cohorts unleashed the terror war there in 1989-90. A lot of blood has flown down the Jehlum river( by the way our elders preferred to call the river by its original name -Vetasta or Veth) & today a local boy could be hired for just fifty Rupees to hurl a grenade in to a tourist bus to kill innocent tourists. The much acclaimed ‘Kashmiriyat’ which had managed to survive the repeated onslaughts by the plunderers & zealots from the north & north western borders for centuries, today stands ruptured, courtesy these modern day local marauders. Sir, the half burnt, vandalised, abandoned houses of Hindu Pandits along the banks of Jehlum tell you the story, if one would dare & care to venture in to the Srinagar down town. Did you know that most of the properties left behind by the fleeing Hindus have been usurped through manipulated or distress sales? Who cares..??…But you should. Shouldn’t you Sir? If the trend is not arrested in Kashmir today, it could be fast spreading to other parts in India. After all what emerged initially as an ‘idea’ to a few scholars did materialize in to creation of Pakistan. That was probably for the first time in the contemporary world that a nation was created on the basis of religious exclusiveness. It is because of the callousness of the civil society in general & media in particular that the protagonists of the on going strife in Kashmir have been allowed to acquire a political legitimacy which coupled with the right dose of indoctrination is encouraging more & more docile young people into the clutches of Jihadis. Holy Scriptures continue to be quoted by these self styled leaders to justify death of misguided young men in the ongoing eighteen year old bloody turmoil in Kashmir, as ‘martyrdom’ against perceived & misconstrued wrongs. Isn’t this an alarming trend, Sir? Shouldn’t the parochial pan Islamic agenda bother us all? Do the recent reports not suggest that terror outfits have established strong networks amongst the educated, deep in the South?
    (iii)
    Isn’t it a national shame that a young scholarly life was allowed to be wasted in faraway Glasgow airport suicide bombing? If only Indian media had taken due cognisance then of the X-mas eve suicide bombing in 2000 in Srinagar by the Birmingham born Mohd. Bilal, possibly 9/11, London metro bombing, Madrid train bombing & many many more gruesome attacks in India & elsewhere could have been averted.
    Islam flourished in Kashmir. Kashmiris including the most dreaded hardcore secessionists have never complained of any religious, ethnic, linguistic or cultural discrimination or economic deprivation. In spite of the two decade old terrorist violence, Kashmir continues to be amongst the top per capita income states in the country. The secessionists’ only grouse being simply against the accession of Muslim majority Kashmir to secular India – a typical Pan Islamic agenda. And terrorism is openly being used as an instrument to achieve the goal- however distant it may be. Even those like your celebrity speaker, who now claim to have given up arms purportedly to follow ‘non violence’ path, have themselves never even expressed any regrets for their crimes against humanity & they stubbornly refuse to issue calls to other terror groups to stop the violence. Yassin Mallik, not long ago out rightly refused to apologies for having introduced the ‘Gun’ in the valley when the veteran film maker Mahesh Bhat who is known for audacity & liberal views pleaded him to do so on India TV’s popular ‘Aapki Adalat’ programme. Mallik continues to justify JKLF’s terror past in every available forum, attributing to it the ‘success’ (this is how he sadistically describes today’s shattered Kashmir) of having brought Kashmir issue to the forefront (You may have thought it was Gen Musharaf , the father of Kargil intervention, who only deserved that credit..??.. Wailing mothers & widows as well as orphaned children of thousands of misguided young Kashmiris are offered succour in the form of false & mischievous claims that the sacrifice of their loved ones will not go in vain. The gullible masses continue to be fed with the ‘hope’ every Friday after Friday congregations that the ‘Azadi’ was round the corner. It is not just hypocrisy- it is a well designed strategy to befool the world to keep the pot boiling to suit the vested interests of a few. And it is ultimately the docile average Kashmiri who continues to suffer. Your invitation to this rabid anti India JKLF commander to share the dais with the other luminaries will only be interpreted as victory of Jihad & terrorism. Glamorisation & glorification of terrorists can lead to many more joining the tribe, thereby prolonging the misery of Kashmiris who as is increasingly becoming evident are now getting fed up with the seemingly never ending conflict forced upon them .
    Sir, I wish, besides your business managers (….of course it requires quite a bit of business acumen to sell even the ‘beautiful words’ & ‘great thoughts’ that too at a premium price of 75000 Rupees an entry with scores of added event sponsorships …wow…), you had also consulted your own Editorial Director. Who would know the ‘double talk prone’ Kashmiri
    (iv)
    leaders better than the ‘Seed Baat wale’ veteran Prabhu Chawla? Also, even your Deepak Chourasia could have warned you too, as he very recently carried a breaking story for almost two days on your Aaj Tak channel on JKLF’s Bitta Karate, on his release from the prison. Your channel had brought out a chilling interview from the archives, wherein this terrorist had candidly admitted to your correspondent, scores of selective killings of innocent Pandits at the behest of his JKLF masters.
    I am conscious of the fact that business interests may finally prevail upon the concept of ‘beautiful words’ & ‘great thoughts’ in spite of my pleas. I respect your right to conduct a legitimate commercial exercise & extend invites to any body you deem fit. But the profile of your star speaker posted for the purpose is mischievously misleading. It actually reads like a contestants resume for the Noble Prize. That is where the problem is .Let the world know the facts at least. Please let the other participants particularly those who are expected to confabulate with the JKLF boss know the credentials & true background of their ‘star co participant’ – how the man defends killing of unarmed Indian Air Force men who were shopping in Srinagar along with their women folk, one of whom later succumbed to her injuries, by describing them simply as ‘enemy’ …. , how the murder of retired old judge is justified as revenge etc. etc…
    Sir, allow me to add in a serial order, to whatever I have mentioned already to counter some of the false claims in Yassin Malliks’ profile that you have posted for public viewing:
    i) His faction is a secular…. No not at all.
    JKLF proudly claims responsibility for the gruesome assassination of Retired Justice Neelkanth Ganju – a Kashmiri Hindu Pandit on the plea that he had presided over the session’s court which passed the verdict against Maqbool Bhat, one of the founders of JKLF. The Public Prosecutor, the witnesses were all Muslims – no one was touched. Similar cold blooded selective killing of hundreds of innocent Hindus that followed, as well as the motivated mob frenzy against the beleaguered community lead to their mass exodus in 1989-90. Mallik claims that the then Home Minister Mufti Mohammad’s daughter was treated like a sister while in their captivity. No Hindu women were extended that dignity. Religious frenzy was deliberately created to create fear psychosis amongst minority Hindus. Bitta Karate in an interview to India Today group video news magazine admitted having killed scores of innocent Pandits on the instructions of JKLF bosses. It is no coincidence that this mass killer was accorded a rousing welcome by the secessionists on his release recently. India Today news channels covered it too. No Kashmiri secessionist group- moderate or hard core has any representation of non Muslims from any of the provinces of the J&K state nor is there any representation of Muslims from outside the valley. Even in the valley they hold sway over
    (v)
    only certain select pockets. It is the fear of gun that rules. Separatists across the board regard Kashmir as the unfinished agenda of the two nation theory based partition of India.
    ii)… advocates a united Kashmir independent from both India and Pakistan….. It is only to hoodwink the west & the self proclaimed liberal mind set in India.
    Contrary to their claims of the so called struggle against both India as well as Pakistan, the JKLF beginning with the brutal killing of Indian diplomat Ravinder Mahatre in UK in early eighties, has carried out terror attacks only against India. After Yassin Mallik’s candid confession on camera during his officially sponsored bus ride to POK/Pakistan, it is no more a secret that JKLF & all other groups were indoctrinated, trained & armed by Pakistani establishment to wage the terror war against India. ‘Gleaming faces’ of the separatists coming out of Pakistan High commission in Delhi say that all.
    iii)… . turned to a peaceful mode of protest…. JKLF.. renounced all violence ….
    It is a farce-a strategy to influence the compulsive peaceniks in India. JKLF was forced to withdraw because of logistics. Their Pakistani masters due to strategic reasons stopped them supplies in favour of Hizbul Mujahidin. Many of their cadres either switched their loyalties to other groups or got killed in factional skirmishes. JKLF refuses to express regrets for the violence it unleashed. JKLF refuses to appeal to other operating groups to cease violence.
    iv)… strong advocate for the right of return of Hindu Kashmiri Pandits……
    Goebels lie- a strategy to share a common platform with both the peaceniks as well as the self styled liberals. If only it was so, the community would have been spared ethnic cleansing in the Kashmir valley. Let this be known that Hindu Pandits were targeted because one – they were Hindus & two – because they symbolised Indian presence in the valley. The fact that near total Hindu population of Kashmir today languishes in exile says it all. In any case Kashmiri Hindus have not given up their right to their land of their origin. It is a pity that the civil society has chosen to ignore the communities’ political struggle & has left it for the very perpetrators who were responsible for hounding out the Hindu Pandits out of the valley, to advocate their return.
    Permit me to conclude with your own beautiful words: “What India needs is political vision and a leadership that has nothing at stake except India”- but why leave it to only the political leaders – what about you & me – “there should be nothing at stake except India” for all of us.
    I , obviously do not expect this letter to appear in your magazine. But it will be my endeavour to reach out to as many individuals, groups, media agencies as possible to stir the souls.
    Warm regards
    Lalit Ambardar
    New Delhi.
    Copies to : a) all the participants particularly – the young parliamentarians / the custodians of
    the constitution Ms. Kanimozhi Karunanidhi & Mr. Sachin Pilot;
    (vi)
    Ms. Preity Zinta – who would know the tragedy of Kashmir better
    than Sofi of ‘Mission Kashmir’; corporate representatives Mr.Anand Mahindra,
    Mr.Vikram Akula & Mr.Aditya Mittal – corporate sector cannot afford to
    remain oblivious of the national interests
    b) all the sponsors /partners of the event
    c) to all those who must know the facts
    PS : please click on the following links to know more :
    i)BBC Hard talk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa9CvVV2HXA
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEFXXGWFIiw
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzAWMOyn7IQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pMOHbv_uTc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIn3FXZNCZg
    ii) Filmreview…http://shehjar.kashmirgroup.com/Admin/magazineresourcepage.do?p ageUrl=/files/resources/zip/080127090031_Floating-lamp_Shadow_valley/index.html&MAG_ID=8
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………
    (vii)

  36. Rahul says:

    I am ashamed to be an Indian , and ashamed more for our celebreties share a dias with a terrorist who is responsible for making a race of 7 lac kashmiri pandits homeless.

  37. Dear Shekhar,
    I appreciate your concern on the situation in Kashmir through your current blogpost. I would here take your attention towards the protest rally which was on outside Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi at the exact time when Yasin Malik was about to give his speech. Hundreds of Kashmiri Pandit Refugee’s gathered along with other supporters for a very peaceful protest but the authorities present had some other plans (maybe because of the orders from their seniors). Almost, 25 Kashmiri Pandit educated youth were arrested and a few got seriously injured when Police clashed with them. While Yasin Malik was given all comfort and VIP Treatment and security; poor Kashmiri Pandits were mercilessly beaten by the Police. If you still cannot believe it watch pictures and read details yourself here http://kashmiris-in-exile.blogspot.com/2008/03/to-my-friends.html Almost more than 40 media agencies were present who covered the event; but there were very few who dared to publish stories or show visuals of the Police Brutality.
    What can we expect from the State ? Or, Where are the so called Human Rights Activists and Organisations ?
    I Thank you for your concern and for endorsing the point of view of the young girl at the Conclave. But, do you realise what made that girl so angry or why she cried at the top of her voice ?
    Is just lip sevice enough ? Can you for a change act differently then the other glamour laid personalities ? Can you spread awareness through your own medium ? Can you get us Justice or atleast try to through your own little way. I wait for your reply.
    Let me tell you that in 2006 I was announced the Youth Icon of the year by NDTV along with Preity Zinta and Naveen Jindal because of the role we played for the society the entire year. And Preity promised me that she would come to help my dear cause whereever possible. I clearly remember that she was moved. Today, I still wait for her support. Please do convey this to her if possible.
    I know you are busy man and have hundred other important things to worry about. But, this is a plea from a Kashmiri Hindu Refugee. I’m as old as the terrorism in Kashmir. Is my being Hindu cause of my misery ?
    Its been more then 18 years to our exodus and still no ray of hope. I atleast expect a small reply from you as to what you think and in what little minute way you can contribute. I still long for those streets of Rainawari, Srinagar where I was born and my forefathers lived. My great-grandfather was the first Ornithologist of Asia and had a huge collection of books and what not and in those times when education was not that much popular in far-flung areas. But, almost 12 years back one of the gang members of Yasin Malik’s JKLF burned our entire house not realising what all was inside it. It was the saddest day of my life.
    I haven’t written anything about Yasin Malik and JKLF above because thier reality is known & nothing can be added. What astonishes me till date is that how they can roam free today and organise events in Nation’s capital ?
    Is there some hope for the 50,000 Kashmiri Pandits languishing in the inhuman camps in Jammu ? They survive in mere animal existence.
    I don’t know why I’m writing to you in such great detail. But, I see in you some rays of hope and your conscience may not allow you to remain silent.
    With Regards,
    Aditya Raj Kaul
    New Delhi
    E-mail – kauladityaraj@gmail.com
    I used to blog at http://www.kauladityaraj.blogspot.com After writing about injustice, terrorism, Pandit exodus and a lot more for over a year and after geting thousands of hits someone hacked it recently. I do believe in freedom of expression but it should not lead to such a limit when it starts suffocating.

  38. Aarti Raina says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    We appreciate your concern on the situation in Kashmir through your current blog.
    You were moved by Yasin Malik and that little girl, like any other person who has read and known about the situation on kashmir through media. The difference between Yasin Malik and that little girl is that people like Malik brought upon so called misery upon themselves. However young girls misery was forced on her.
    How ironic is it… Yasin Malik is invited to speak on a forum with an elite panel. However, no one representing Kashmiri pandits is invited.
    Every one including Mr.Malik and Pakistan seems to be forgetting that Kashmir belongs to KASHMIRI PANDITS as well.
    Mr. Malik should thank his luck that he is in India. Therefore he can talk and convey his views.He is in India, so he can reform himself…
    Had he been in Pakistan, by now he would have been executed.
    It is time people like Mr. Malik are given a clear message. Kashmir belongs and will always belong to Kashmiri Pandits as well. It has and will always be an integral part of India. Sooner they realize it, better it is for them.
    And when they do realize, we will all be there to listen to them and support them.Or else they are free to leave this country, we are not stopping anyone. Kashmir is our motherland and no one can change that.

  39. C. Akella says:

    Its an unfortunate situation. I hope things get better with time but at this point I dont think there is an immidiate solution.

  40. Aj says:

    Dear Shekhar:
    In full agreement with all what you feel and think.
    Even if everything is forgiven and forgotten,
    One question still remains, Are the conditions at present conducive for common man to live there,Can Mr.JKLF cheif live in Kashmir without gunman around him for even a week?

  41. pooja says:

    HEY SHEKHAR…
    Every stage of life brings with it some surprise. At the conclave,the surprise was you.The fact that you decided to hear the point of a view of a girl, brimming with anger. It might,just might, have given your perspective,a different lane.
    But where will this lane head to sir?
    At any point of time when you were listening to that girl,did a thought cross your mind asking you to spread across that view to the audience. If yes, then I appreciate it. And if not,then it was just lending an ear for solace.
    Requestng u to make a movie on the pandits’ exodus would be too much to ask from an artist. But if at your level,whatever you shall do,would be worth the effort.
    As per the understanding of the non-kashmiris,the violence in the valley is perpetrated only by the Indian Army.[and thats ofcourse incorrect]. No-one dares to delve deep to find,as to from where/why/how did it all begin.
    From all these posts that u have received, anyone post that sets your mind thinking will be an achievement for all aching for justice.
    And lastly,you mentioned it so correctly that just one issue can’ve myriad opinions. And [rather than mocking at the protestors in the audi] you took out the time to listen to one of them.
    Thanks…

  42. pooja shali says:

    Someone has gotta put an end to Yasin Malik’s masquerade…

  43. Prerna Kaul says:

    Dear Mr. Kapur,
    I agree that there is a great deal of romanticism involved with Kashmir. Paradise on earth, the most pristine and untouched place in the world. Personally, it’s fantastic to think that my roots belong there.
    But that doesn’t change the fact that it has been pilfered and destroyed by the conflicts of race, land and religion and today, it is light years away from the paradise we once associated it with.
    My idea of paradise is harmony, forgiveness, selflessness, not petty and fanatical feuds that disregard human life.
    No sir, Kashmir is no paradise. Most of the people that inhabit it today, Kashmiri pandits and Muslims, live in constant fear for the lives of their loved ones. And the rest live under the delusional impression of fanatical righteousness.
    Yes, it’s painful. And yet, I hold nothing against Yasin Malik if he is truly looking for peace.
    I forgive him and hope that he can bridge the gaps between these communities.
    As long as people are still trying to make peace with others, there is still hope for our Kashmir.
    The important thing to note is that no one community has suffered due to this conflict. The numbers are irrelevant. Even one life(Hindu,Muslim,Sikh Christian or Buddhist) lost to misguided terroristic notions is too much of a loss.
    I don’t see why the Pandits, Muslims and Sikhs can’t unite forces against terrorism in this region. More than half of Kashmir is under Pakistan’s jurisdiction(or independent jurisdiction). The rest is still somewhat dependent on India. There, clear cut regional division. Conflict resolved. They need to work with what they have and strive to make the best of it.
    Why not get over the past injustice and hatred and work towards this, if only for the sake of our future generations?
    Thanking you for your blog and giving us Kashmiris a forum to express ourselves.
    Sincerely,
    Prerna K Kaul

  44. sharad says:

    Do not agree with you… there is only one Kashmir and that Kashmir belongs to Kashmiri pandits… there can’t be 2 Kashmir’s POK and Indian Kashmir..
    Kashmir has to be one and that too it has to be the part of India..
    We don’t have right to forgive people like Yasin Malik. People like him are responsible for
    Kashmiri Pandits live in abysmal/appalling conditions, ‘as refugees’, in camps in Jammu and Delhi. This mass exodus of 1990 was followed by sustained terror, rapes, murder, loot and kidnappings. About 1,500 Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children, were brutally killed, about 250 religious shrines were burnt down and 30,000 agricultural families deprived of their lands, 20,000 business establishments looted and devastated, more than 30,000 houses reduced to ashes and 90% of the houses looted and about 25,000 vacant houses and other properties left behind have been forcibly occupied.

  45. Aniel Zutshi says:

    Mr. Shekhar,
    Can you imagine, you dad being forced out of home and taken away and killed point blank in your and your moms presence and then you will forgive him. Just imagine this because you seem to be only imagenary.
    While asking for bringing back Kashmir Ki Kali days and peace, why did you not mention anything about Kashmiri Pandits, who have been killed by people like Yasin Malik, that he should come forward and beg for pardon. What about their motherland of 5000 years.
    Aniel

  46. B K Dass says:

    “AND WE DID IT”
    16th. March 2008, over a feast at Jammu, in honour of our Muslim neighbour in kashmir while chatting, I asked Mohumud Yousuf Qureshi to educate me about the Kashmir Issue. He plainly said: “We hardly know what Kashmir Issue is. We are told for settlement of the Kashmir Issue. We feel there must be some issue known to our exploiters. So we second the slogan”. In 1947, the issue was to chase Pakistan forces from Srinagar, Budgam, Baramulla and Kupwara. And we did it with a stick and slogan:”Hamla aver khaburdar hum kashmiri hain teiar”. 1953, the slogan was for plebiscite and we did it. 1975 we were asked to bury the slogan of plebiscite and we buried it. 1975 we were asked to welcome the PM of India in a river procession and follow Shiekh Abdullah’s instructions and we raised the slogan brinjal or gourd Shiekh makes us, we agree to his dictations. We danced to the tune” Ale karenga wangun karenga bubh karenga bub karenga. 1965 we were asked to social boycott the Indian Congress and one Muslim son burnt the coffin of his mother who had died at the residence of her son affiliated to the Indian national Congress. 1975 Shiekh formed the government over the majority of the Congress MLAs; we welcomed the congress gesture despite our 1965 boycott. We were asked to mourn the death of Bhutoo or the Shiekh, we did it. We were asked to burn and destroy the orchards of Jamat Islamis for Butoo’s assassination in Pakistan, we did it in Kashmir. To avenge his downfall in 1984, Farooq conspired and we were asked to send our children for military training across the border and we did it. Now our children in POK(Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) got there married and they have their own family and children there. We are asked to lodge a missing report here in Kashmir and we did it to defame the government and the security forces. We were asked to hound Kashmiri Pundits in 1990 and we did it. We were asked to spread rumours that Jag Mohan asked KPs to quit and we did it. 1990 we were asked to welcome the hounded raiders of 1947 as our friends and we did it. 1965 we were asked to sell Pakistani infiltrators, and we did it.
    Despite all we did, we have yet not been told what the issue is. We are indebted to Kashmiri Pundits who have given us education. Now we have a ray of hope in Prabu Chawla and his crew who may educate us as to what the issue is. We followed Shiekh Abdullah and other Abdullahs from 1931, we followed Maulvis and all we did has proved a futile exercise. Duplicate Gandhi Shabir Shah from Kashmir has amassed wealth unlike the real Mahatma Gandhi. Paupers have become masters of multi trillions. Kashmir issue is an issue of the hen that lays golden eggs. It is a matter of bread and butter for trillions of people. It will never come to an end. It will madden the whole world not to speak of NDTV or India Today, Priety Zinta, Director Shekhar Kapur.
    Prabu Chawla and his crew may please translate the issue in common man’s language to educate both Brijdass and Muhammad Yousuf Qureshi. We shall be both indebted to PC
    brijdass chu venan lasiv te basiv

  47. Sanjay Kak says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    Thanks for pointing concern on Kashmir and Kashmiri pundit’s exodus. I think you are right that current border between India and Pakistan should be permanent and there should be no effort from either government for give and take or any effort towards independent Kashmir. Shekar, I would request you to highlight cause of kashmiri pundits through your media links for awareness in general public, because of our small population we are at disadvantage. The politicians don’t see vote bank in us, for them talking to a terrorist make sense as their vote bank is big in large volume. That is what they care. We are dependent upon our efforts and good people like you.
    Best Regards
    Sanjay Kak
    Livermore, California

  48. Gautam Kaul says:

    By the time you arrive to this space, I am sure you would have liked to blink. I wish Aditya Raj Kaul was faster on the draw with his gun(?) or say his pen. His long comment is all the more relevent.
    India Today must have recieved suggestive inputs from GOI to give Yasin a platform. India Today was started in 1975 by the INC as a supposedly independent Weekly to showcase India abroad with helpful news. It recieved a huge financial support to help make it BIG as much as we see it today. Aroon Purie today cannot be but an extension of the GOI arm, and he now has an empire to defend. Kashmiri Pandits have not contributed to this rise so our complaints do not matter much to India Today. That the Weekly did give Yasin a platform has warmed the heart of those whose orders were executed. The Conclave is now used as a diplomatic lobby to bribe or cajole reluctant politicians to start toeing a middle line. Yasin may have thought he is reporting to the world, yet he has played himself into a corner, and the displaced hindus will remain unforgiving.
    The world wants Kashmir away from India and I dare say one day India may loose it because it is a weak State. People who sit down and decide the fate of Kashmiris in New Delhi suffer one fatal flaw. No one speaks the language of the people, no one can claim knowledge of the culture of the area or the long torturous history of the region and few have ever visited the area and lived there otherwise. Even when New Delhi has about 100,00 displaced Pandits within the city, none of them is associated with decisions concerning Kashmir. Within JK, the Pandits are denied political space, their traditional constituencies have recently been redimarcated in such a manner that for future they can never elect by vote a leader from their community. There is thus a design to eliminate the charector of the hindu Pandit.Sonehow it is expected that the Pandits will survive, and survive to see Yasin annointed as a Chief Minister. That is how the road journey should start. Look around the state of India in the other parts. The govt. in Assam fought Mahanta who was a terrorist leading the AGP and he became a CM; then in Mizoram the underground was accepted to lead the government; and the Nagas are going the same way. The Akalis have had their terrorists gangs and came to lead their State, and loose it too. In essence conflict is essential in life, and the KPs are learning now that conflict is necessary. Today it is one woman, but the world must now await more people in confrontation. Mr. Purie must clain in future that he laid the foundation of a liberation struggle and will certainly send his reporters to the conflict area for coverage.
    As for Shekhar, you sir, are now an outsider living and making a living abroad.You can hardly represent India now. Ms Zinta too is located far away, and even in Mumbai she is removed from reality. She can be forgiven for her sins. Singing ‘bhumroo, bumbroo, shyam rung bhumbroo’ does not make her a Kashmiri Pandit, for a representative of the community.

  49. Virendra says:

    Dear Shekhar ji,
    I do agree let the current Division b a permanent solution between India&pak.Appreciate if u play a major role in seeing Kashmiri Hindu rehabitated with diginity in their homeland.Well u have seen the tears in the eyes of one young girl,belive me all of us are with tears in our eyes since 1989.
    From your thoughts on Kashmir,u shd not have shared the dias with Yasin,a Killer,money launder,who wants to b a Gandhi now without any regret for what all he did to Kashmiri Hindus both women & men.Before doing all this,let this Yasin do “Parashit”.Media Mughal India Today is biased,behaving like “blind Dadrashtra”

  50. sheeba says:

    don’t agree with you !!!!!!!

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