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. Sujeet says:

    Dear Shekhar ji,
    I watched the India Today Conclave online, and listened to Yasin go on about “naan-violence”, etc. with little surprise. I then waited for any of the audience ask him questions, to which I was nearly disappointed, until you rose to ask Yasin a question.
    “Have you forgiven?” At first, I thought I had misheard. No, that couldn’t be what that man had said. I rewound the video a few seconds. “Have you forgiven?” Something must be wrong with my computer. Let me rewind again. “Have you forgiven?”
    I wish I could have asked you a question: “Are you serious?” or perhaps, “Is this a joke?” I could not understand any logical reasoning that would excrete such a strange string of words to that panelist; should not the question have been, “What have you done to be forgiven?” Or, “Why do you deserve to be forgiven?”
    ONLY AFTER the entire race of the orginal, proud, and distinguished community that call Kashmir, “Maej Kasheer” (Mother Kashmir), Kashmiri Pandits, were sent with all that they had, running away from their homes for fear of murder, pillaging, rape, lynching, being burned alive, and other actions only experienced by characters in horror films, by YASIN MALIK, and his slew of idiotic, fundamentalist goons, did this person convert to “naan-violence”. Perhaps he was thinking, well, all the Kashmiri Pandits have left, and I’ve killed all that tried to remain; now is a good time to adopt “naan-violence”.
    What is the meaning of “naan-violence” when the weak group that one has victimized for years has been all but eradicated, by means of violence? He had the nerve, the audacity, the insatiable disrespect to call his struggle a “Gandhian struggle”. Did Gandhi ever organize and carry out killings of the British? Did he first force the entire residing British population out of India, and then begin fasting in a “naan-violent” struggle?
    No, the true question here is, “Why should you be forgiven, and why should any legitimacy be attributed to your ‘naan-violent’ movement?” Truly, you have disappointed me, and perhaps anyone else who cares for humanity.

  2. shreya says:

    I am ashamed to share the same space with an Indian celebrity who share a dias with a terrorist who is responsible for making a race of 7 lac Kashmiri Pandits homeless. You people can do anything for money and fame. I have a suggestion please to so, but don’t involve a kashmiri pandit in this shameless act. Sick people you all are.
    Thanks for reading
    Shreya

  3. E.Kanna Tyagaraja says:

    Only one solution to Kashmir problem.
    Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India.
    Everyone knows what will happen then.
    India will change forever and for the better.
    -Tyagraja from Chennai

  4. VASUDEVA REDDY says:

    I think it is fair to say, that a leader/politician like Narendra Modi, if he became Prime Minister of India.
    Alot of things would change in India.
    Especially in Kashmir.
    His open recommendations of demographic engineering in kashmir, for tranporting hindus from bihar, north gujarat, uttar pradesh would happen if he became the head of state.
    his open condemnation of the hypcorisy of article of 370, where an indian muslim non kashmiri like dilip kumar, may buy property in kashmir, where as hindu indians from non kashmir and even kashmiri pandits with legitimate claims have difficult time buying any property in kashmir.
    modi also recommends building 14 of the largest swaminarayan hindu temples across kashmir.
    modi has also guaranteed implementing a comprehensive rail connection to kashmir to main land india, making kashmir dependant on mainland for trade, and local kashmiri dependant on central india for its livelyhood.
    modi is strong, not corrupt and can battle islamic terrorism on any turf anywhere in the world.
    he is willing to stand up to the chinese and develop the northeast of india like gujarat.
    hence, MODI MUST BECOME PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA..
    if anything is to become of kashmir

  5. neha kachroo says:

    When i was growing up i had told myself that i wud join the peace movement and find a solution to the kashmir problem. On turning 28 this year i realized what havei done all these years just thought of my self and forgot about my beloved kashmir. I dont know waht epiphany i am waiting for but i sure need one or maybe just awakening from my lazy selfish self. Lets all get together..and make an effort ..sirf baaton se kaam nahi chalta!

  6. chanakya puri says:

    only narendra modi can solve kashmir problem

  7. shekhar says:

    just wanted to clear one thing to everyone. I was not on the dias with Yasin Malik, I was a member of the audience. But that does not change any of what I said or felt in my blog, shekhar

  8. G KUCHROO says:

    some of the people some where mentioned that we should hear people like yasin malik and other such people who have given up arms.nice argument,but you guys saw him ,is he capable of bearing arms now or any such leaders.but they obviously do mention that they can stop fighting if we give them necessary importance.so obviously they do controle some gun bearing hands.kashmir problem is blown up beyond its importance,there is insurgency in number of places in india,no body gives a thought to those areas.if we chose to be honest kashmir is needed for survival of secularism in india,sooner indian muslims and rest of the world realise,so we can all say tension nahi laneka

  9. Rajesh Pandit says:

    The problem with our country is that people don’t understand the pain unless and until it is their own. Preity understands it just because she is a direct victim. I pity on the people who claim to celebrities, intellectuals but turn deaf and dumb for want of material gains.
    Our media ignores Param Veer Army Jawans but gives people like Yasin Malik ( who killed them) a respectful platform. Perhaps they do want more and more Yasin Maliks to lead our country.
    I appreciate you; at least you had the courage to put it on blog.
    Rajesh Pandit

  10. Satish Kaul says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    It was disappointing to watch the videos of the India today conclave wherein Anand Mahindra was ordering like a dictator ” PL show him the door”.
    A person who was raising his voice against a ruthless killer and a bloody terrorist was thrown out and what was more painful that this action was not being objected by any one from the audience, unfortunately you were also one amongest them. It was astonishing the audience was infact laughing sheepishly. Shame on such people, who do not muster the courage to speak against such a terrorist , who has committed so many crimes and is still delivering the lecture on ” non-violence”.
    I have one one grudge against you that why didn’t you ask Yasin Malik, ” Have the kith and kin of the people whom you have killed ruthlessly forgiven you ?”
    Why did you listen to only one side of the story ?
    If you talk about freedom of expression , why was the KP who raised his voice was thrown out from the venue and you watched this discrimination silently ?
    Request answers from the you on the above questions.
    Thanks,

  11. Shahid Nissar says:

    All agreeed …. but not expect any one to call a kashmiri a terriorist be it yasin malik…Wer are future of kashmir be it a kashmiri hundu or Muslim… i was recently at a party in delhi and kind of love i got from a Hindu Kashmiri Family was great to which i thought the reason being that a Kashmiri Muslim look like / is similar to that of a kashmiri hindu than a Muslim from kerala… Kahmiri Hindus are wrong in say that they are the only one who have suffered totaly ignoring what kahmiri Muslims have gone through in kahmiri in the name of terriorism be it state sponsored which is not a hidden fact… So Dear kashmiri frends be it any person from any religion lets all stand together and do something which will make us see a bright future and future generations of ours will be proud of us…. i hope this make sense to people who still hate kashmiri Muslims….

  12. RAMESH Manvati says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    Your nicely written ‘write-up’ on Kashmir (post recent India Today Conclave 2008 ) encourages me to post my article ” KASHMIR WE DO NOT KNOW “on your blog.Hope you spare some of your precious moments to savour the truth about Kashmir( read Jammu ,Kashmir & Ladhaakh),
    Orzuv !
    R A M E S H
    _____________________________________
    “Kashmir we do not know”
    (Read Jammu ,Kashmir and Ladhaak)
    “………General J.J.Singh, retired Chief of Army staff, who was recently appointed Governor of Arunachal Pradesh happened to be on a visit to Delhi. He sent me a note regarding his Memoirs he is writing, saying he would get in touch with me on his next visit to the capital.
    I thought it wise to ask him to let me know about it well ahead of time. I addressed my letter to the Raj Bhawan but the name of the Capital of Arunachal Pradesh eluded my memory. I rang up my secretary Lachhman Dass. He replied, “ I will check up and ring back.”
    I rang up my neighbour Reeta Devi who is Assamese , married to a Cooch Bihari and has lived closer to the region . She replied, “I am not quite sure, I will give you a ring in a few minutes.”
    Then I asked my grand-daughter who is a bit of a Sabjanteewalee. She replied, “I think it is Itanagar. You check up.” Lachhman Dass rang back : “ Eye Tee A Nagar.” So did Reeta. It all went to prove how little Indians know about our own country. I feel ashamed of myself. ” wrote Khushwant Singh in his popular weekly column in Hindustan Times – ‘With malice towards one and all ’ (dated 15-03-2008 ) under the sub-heading ‘India we do not know’.
    Khushwant Singhs’ honest admission reminded me of a similar encounter I had way back in 1991 immediately after our forced exile from our ancestral motherland Kashmir. That was during my interaction there with an Executive ( middle Management cadre) of a well respected Company in Pune (India) . Since Islamic terrorism was at its peak in Kashmir and was catching the headlines of the day both in print as well as electronic media ( though the latter was not as wide spread as it is today ) , naturally my conversation with this officer revolved around our (Kashmiri Pandit) plight and the actual situation back home in the state especially in the valley. My ’friend’ did show a lot of concern for our plight and the way our community had to flee from the valley at gun point. He cursed the double standards of Indian secularism and the inability of the Indian government in controlling the situation as well. His soothing words managed , to a very little extent, nurse my fresh wounds inflicted then on account of my forced exile along with the rest of my family members and the community. It gave me solace to learn that there are some pockets of saner voices in our country who can give ear to my community’s woes. But little realizing that there was a big disappointment in store for me as well.
    While trying my best to acquaint this gentleman with the actual ground realities, he got emotional, opened up and revealed his long cherished dream of visiting Kashmir on LTC and get blessed by its fresh air , enchanting beauty of its’ meadows, murmuring streams and to fulfill a desire to move around in the falling snow as well. He was in total agreement with my advice when I cautioned him ,“It is not possible now, if you love your life and that of your family .” However, with the same breath I suggested to him , “ You can equally experience all this by visiting an alternate hill station . Shimla is an ideal choice”. Pat came the reply . “Arre Yaar ! Raaste Me To Kashmir Padega .” ( Oh ! But Kashmir falls in the way ). My disappointment new no bounds and my inflated spirits deflated to the lowest once again. I tried hard not to allow my disappointment to reflect on my face. Whether I succeeded or not I am not sure. However, I did manage to return immediately to the original ‘business talk’ with this gentleman and took leave of him thereafter .
    Similarly, many of us have often come across devotees of Mata Vaishno Devi, who ‘report’ that “all is fine in Kashmir as I just returned from a pilgrimage to the holy cave along with my family and friends” , little knowing that Katra city where this abode of the holy Mother falls in Jammu region of the state is nearly 300 kms away from Srinagar city – the summer capital of the state . And , still nearly 400 kms away is city of Leh in Ladhaakh region away from Srinagar city of Kashmir valley – the “gateway ” of Islamic terrorism. And also knowing little that nearly fifty percent of the total area of state remains in the illegal occupation of either Pakistan or China. That the three regions are geographically, climatically as well as culturally diverse is another reality-most of the common citizens of the country are hardly aware of.
    The investigating agencies have been suggesting that besides Pakistan ,Kashmir connection remains a common link, behind the numerous bomb blasts that our country has witnessed in the recent past – be it in Delhi, Mumbai , Samjota Express, Hyderabad, UP, North-East region etc.- claiming more than 500 innocent lives, cutting across all regional and religious barriers, during the last nearly two years.
    No surprise then that I was baffled to watch ( before being forcibly thrown out of the main gate of the hotel – midway between the proceedings ) two highly respected and well known Indian citizens like Aroon Purie and Prabu Chawla were very ‘graciously’ escorting a dreaded terrorist Yaseen Malik to the dais ( AP on the left side swinging his right arm showing the way – a step ahead of Yaseen and PC on the right side with his left arm behind Yaseen’s back ) to be a part of ‘Youth Forum’ of ‘India Today Conclave 2008 ’ at Hotel Taj Palace in New Delhi on 15th of March 2008 while my fellow community members were unceremoniously being roughed up outside and taken away in police vans to put them behind the bars. Their only fault – they were protesting peacefully against lending a platform to the perpetrator of hatred and crime at the cost of ignoring the plight of nearly half a million of minority Kashmiri Pandits now in 19th year of their forced exile.
    When another fellow from my community tried to voice his concern inside , about the presence of a terrorist on the dais, he was forcibly evicted. “ Show him the door ,” thundered Anand Mahindra the moderator of this session and shamelessly praising India Today Chief for having withstood the ‘pressure from certain quarters’ of withdrawing Yaseen – introduced as a “secular” and “former militant” by the organizers.
    Unlike Khushwant Singh, I am not ashamed of myself. But, Yes ! I am ashamed of those of my countrymen who exhibit their utter insensitivity towards the plight of the real victims of terrorism be it in J&K or the rest of the country either by their silence / indifference or by remaining “neutral” towards the real kingpins of terrorism under the cover of democracy or ‘free press’ or ‘freedom of expression’. What a shame !!!
    RAMESH MANVATI
    ( a senior activist of PANUN KASHMIR ,currently living in 19th year of forced exile away from my nearly 5000 year old ancestral roots in Kashmir )
    __________________________________________________

  13. Rohit Kachroo says:

    Dear Shekharji,
    Thanks for understanding a part of our problem but can you please make a movie on it, if I may suggest? The views expressed as above would surely have drawn your attention towards the views & notions about Yasir Malik by Kashmiri Youth. I hope you would choose to understand our situation & help derive a campaign to let at least the people of INDIA understand it?
    The situation is deteriorating day by day. Many people in the other part of India now think that every Kashmiri is a Muslim Jehadi Killer. We KASHMIRI HINDU BRAHMIN PUNDITS are considered terrorists by some which is very very painful. These people say so purely because of lack of knowledge on the Kashmir Issue as the media hasn’t focussed on it at all. A movie from your end on our lives would instrumental in giving us respect which we peace loving people deserve. Can we expect this ray of hope from your end Shekharji???
    Kind Regards,
    Rohit Kachroo
    rohit.kachroo1@gmail.com
    PUNE

  14. Arti says:

    Dear Mr. Kapur,
    Just one question. What in heaven’s name prompted you to ask the question ‘Have you forgiven’? This man in responsible for the brutal killings of scores of kashmiri pandits. He is one of the main reasons for the ethnic cleansing and exodus of almost 300,000 kashmiris from their own homes. He is the reason why my parents’ generation would be the last generation to have had the intimate and close relationship to KASHMIR that my generation and the future generations of kashmiri pandits would never have. Instead of inviting him to talk about his so called ‘freedom movement’, the proceedings of the scores of cases pending in courts against him should be initiated. We need to bring justice to the thousand of kashmiris who were forced out of their homes and lost their loved ones on the way. We owe them atleast that much.
    Thank you for your concern. I’m glad that atleast people are once again up for debate on this issue.

  15. Vijay Kashkari says:

    Indian State as well Indian Nation has to reply if Kashmiri Pandit is a responsblity or a liablity. A KP is right to ask ‘India Today’ if inviting Yaseen Mullick to the conclave proves what he says. It is unfortunate of Indian Nation that it does’nt want to see the hyprocracy of the class of Yasin Mullick.Responsblity of media fails if it does’nt analyse correctly the perception of a man about whom they write or want him tio speak.

  16. shekhar says:

    I am overwhelmed by the responses to this blog, and am learning a lot. And must say I walked in late and did not witness the protests at the begining. I agree there should have been a more civil way of doing that.
    Here are some answers to questions asked of me.
    I am a partition child from Lahore myself. And I constantly heard horror stories about what happened to us Hindus till I started to pick up on horror stories perpetuated on the Muslims. I finally went to Lahore a few years ago and can well understand how you feel about your birth place. I cried even though I was less than one year old when we left. But the overwhelming feeling I had was to embrace everyone and say lets just forget the past. We were one people once, lets just be that again. Lets just forgive and forget ?
    But maybe the wounds of Kashmiri Pundits are too raw and recent ? :
    why did I ask Yasin if had it in him to forgive ? Because all conflict is created out of hatred and there is no end to hatred except through reconciliation, and there is no reconciliation without the ability to forgive whatever you perceive was wronged against you.
    I was thinking also of the truth and reconciliation movement in South Africa. Where over a century of oppression, abuse and hatred was overcome by people coming out and confessing what they did to others and ask for forgiveness that was almost always forthcoming.
    What is the alternative ? A never ending conflict ?
    I am wondering too, where are the counterpoints to these voices ? Surely the Muslims in Kashmir have suffered too ?
    shekhar
    shekhar

  17. B K Dass says:

    Indian Parliament has passed a resolution with 100 % votes to wrestle Pakistan to wrentch away POK and make one Indian Kashmir. Implementation of your suggestion of permanent borders and to forget about the Pak occupied Kashmir will reduce the Indian Parliament Members as a pack of jokers. I doubt if Mahbooba Mufti, the MP Indian Parliament and others will agree to play for a joker.

  18. Pramod says:

    Shekharji,
    Unless Pakistan exists on the face of the earth and Kashmir is not owned by them, this problem does not have solution. Unless Jammu and Kashmir becomes just like any other state in India, this problem will continue. Unless Jammu and Kashmir state allows rest of Indians to invest,relocate and buy land there, this problem will not go away. For how long can Majority of Indians suffer just for the sake of so called vote banks?

  19. B K Dass says:

    Indian Parliament has passed a resolution with 100 % votes to wrestle Pakistan to wrench away POK and make one Indian Kashmir. Implementation of your suggestion of permanent borders and to forget about the Pak occupied Kashmir will reduce the Indian Parliament Members as a pack of jokers. I doubt if Mahbooba Mufti, the MP Indian Parliament and others will agree to play for a joker

  20. Vikas Kaul says:

    Hello Mr. Kapur,
    Sure, forgiveness is one of the keys towards reconciliation. However, my view of the history is not very encouraging. Let’s take a hard and honest look at one of the key components of the equation i.e. Islam:
    1) Have Shias and Sunnis reconciled? [exception being Turkey; but Turkey also has Muslims who eat pork, enjoy alcohol and have little relative restriction on women – burkas are almost non-existent relatively speaking; belly dancing is an open, legal and respectable profession]
    2) Have India and Pakistan reconciled? Pakistan’s army had little use if Kashmir weren’t an issue. Kashmir has traditionally been a burning issue of their politics. We’ve fought multiple open wars and proxy war is ongoing.
    3) Pick any Islamic country. Why aren’t those countries secular? Why are other cultures asphyxiated?
    Here’s what I am trying to get at. Reconciliation is possible only when average people agree upon historical facts. Unfortunately, whereever Islam has spread, its rulers/leaders have manipulated history. You might say I am being a Hindu fundamentalist, try reading the official Pakistani websites – there’s no mention of Hinduism being a religion in their history! Were there no saints/temples in Lahore, Mr. Kapur? Why were the statues of Buddha destroyed in Afghanistan? Annihilation of other cultures and then distortion of history goes to the heart of the problem. How many average Kashmiri Muslims are ready to admit similar facts when it comes to Kashmir? Not many, trust me, I’ve interacted with more than a few. Example: as soon as Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) were leaving Kashmir, a rumor was floated among Kashmiri Muslims that said Governor Jagmohan had prompted KPs to leave Kashmir. Today, its an accepted fact among Kashmiri Muslims. How will KPs reconcile with this distortion?
    Accepting a set of historical facts (mistakes, horrors, blunders, missed opportunities ..) by all concerned parties is at the heart of reconciliation.
    To end this, while I respect and admire your opinion on Kashmir I must say there are other dynamics at play which, if ignored, end up oversimplifying the Kashmir imbroglio. Not one documentary or movie has captured the complexity, forces at play and the suffering of ALL people (not just KPs or Kashmiri Muslims, but also Sikhs, Buddhists, Gujjars etc.). As someone mentioned earlier, perhaps you could accept this challenge.

  21. Navin says:

    Whoah Shekhar! You seemed to have opened the Pandora’s Box here. This is more than you can handle. There is no doubt that Kashmiri Pandits do have a legitimate claim on Kashmir, simply because it’s their homeland and they were forcibly driven out of it. As mentioned in my post #9 above any solution for the Kashmir problem can come out only after first reinstating the Kashmiri Pandits in their homeland. Surely, right thinking Muslims will have no problems with this and should welcome them with open arms. Erstwhile terrorists like Yasin can be forgiven, but only if they genuinely repent for the atrocities they have committed and publicly apologize for it.
    It is only fair for the Kashmiri Pandits to question why were they not given the same platform which was given to Yasin to voice their side of the story?
    As an Indian citizen, I’m embarrassed to say this but it is the truth that India is coming across as a weak state. It wouldn’t have been possible for Pakistan and China to occupy parts of Kashmir illegally if the Indian leadership wasn’t weak. I hope we get better/stronger leaders after the general elections scheduled for next year.
    Cheers!
    Navin

  22. Rashneek says:

    This is response to Shekhar’s comment no 69.Who but an idiot will argue that Kashmiri Muslims havent suffered.Undoubtedly they have.With the kind of deaths around them and within them everyday who can lead a life of peace and bliss.But then Shekhar we arent arguing about them.I do believe that they deserve better leaders than this killer Yasin Malik.
    We have difference of opinion with our Muslim brethern but then that is OK.One day we will sit and talk to them.But then who dares go there as long as people like Yasin and Bitta Karate roam free.Between them they have killed more than 50 Pandits.
    Yasin is a sick man and even if I was a Muslim I would rather have a man with clean credentials as my mascot or leader.Here is a man who is guilty of every conceivable crime and yet he feigns of representing a non-violent struggle.This is paradoxical,isnt it.
    We have lived alongside Muslims for hundreds of years but Yasin Malik isnt a Muslim.He isnt human itself.To be a Muslim he has to be a man first.
    So we arent against Kashmiris Muslims(agreed we are estranged brothers but brothers nonetheless)but against people like Malik and Bitta.You will have never heard of Pandits protesting against a Mirwaiz despite the fact that he represents the right wing Islamist fraction of Kashmir.That says it all.
    Thanks for all the concern on the issue.
    Next time in Kashmir
    Rashneek Kher

  23. Vinayak says:

    War is father of all, King of all. Some it makes god, some it makes men, some it makes slaves, some free.
    -Heraclitus
    Yasin Malik, the man who at one point in his life harbored ambitions of being an actor but ended up being a cold blooded killer, the man who remorselessly killed innocents, the man who now has grown on his head a bonsai garden of olive trees regularly manured by the benevolent Media, the man whom Heraclitus never had the pleasure of acquainting (and maybe stealing a genuine hug from) else he would have added: Some it makes actors
    I don’t have much to add, my Pandit folks have already said it all. I just keep thinking that in a few years such discussions and dialogues would see participation from:
    Kashmiri Pandits who were never born in Kashmir and having elaborate visions of Kashmir
    Kashmiri Muslims who continue to be resentful of India and having elaborate dreams of a free Kashmir
    Indians still failing to understand what went wrong with Kashmir and having elaborate plans for upliftment of Kashmir
    And Pakistanis still trying to figure out democracy, which once they do – they too would have elaborate plans for Kashmir in their election manifestos.
    At that time, finding a solution would be difficult. But, isn’t this already happening.
    Shekhar,
    I still remember the Yeti story that you shot (I believe it was in Ladakh) for a Doordarshan serial. I was a kid and I really enjoyed it. As each year passes by, Kashmir is becoming more of a Yeti, its myths treated differently by different culture, some revere it, some fear it and some loath it and yet it is unknown to all. Besides India and maybe Pakistan, Kashmiris (including Pandits) have little use for romanticism of ‘Kashmir ki Kali’, this cute cuddly version of Kashmiri Yeti that children can play with (it can be argued that this version never existed in the first place, just like it can be argued that other version do not exist.) The solution should be nothing less than truth and reconciliation. And, all parties involved should remember that the process is not just about bringing out the ugly truths but more importantly also about a lasting reconciliation. But, who had time for reconciliation when there are wars to be won.
    Vinayak

  24. KG says:

    Shekar,
    It is great that you bring awareness to this issue. But the root cause of the problem is the seeming incompatibility of muslims or so called followers of islam to accept living in a multi cultural, multi ethnic and multi religious society.
    1) Why is it that muslims wherever they exist in a majority or a minority prefer not to have a multi ethnic multi religious multi cultural country and instead choose to have islamic based democracy?
    2) We see the movements in east turkmenistan otherwise known as xianjing, china, and northern cyprus and across different regions in the world, where muslims push for their own state, on the basis of islamic theology, instead of pluralistic democratic and secular nation statehood.
    3) You can never have elections in kashmir, until 1.5 million kashmiri pandits return to the valley.
    ( assuming 500,000 kashmiri pandits had to leave the valley in thr 1980’s and after 20 years, they each would have a family of 3 or 4 by now)
    Please see this blog by a Saudi Arabian woman, who speaks of the talibinazation of the entire islamic world, is on the rise.. http://alienmemoirs.typepad.com/my_weblog/
    Muslims must learn to live as a minority outside of the holy land. The world has people of other faiths, ethnic backgrounds and cultural traditions.
    5) Whoever said, Modi can solve Kashmir’s problems, most likely that is the truth of the day.. sadly, Narendra Modi is the only politician in India, who would develop Kashmir to its true potential if given the opportunity.

  25. Jai says:

    People talk about secularism in India..
    Even after 20 years of the btural broad daylight murder, rape and abuse of kashmiri hindu pandits, all innocent un-armed civilians…. nothing has changed!!!
    To this day, the goverment of india has not even developed a plan to bring back kashmiri pandits to the valley, find the criminals and prosecute them, even rehabilitate the millions of kashmiri pandits who live suffering in the back drops of delhi, chennai, noida, and those who fled from india to europe, america.. etc.
    20 years.. not a single thing has changed in Kashmir,
    if we go back to our home,after 20 years we see someone occupying it illegally.. in a democratic nation of india..
    Then people wonder, why across the length and breadth of india, from kanyakumari to ladakh, from jaipur to imphal, from telangana to kolkata, from delhi to kolhapur…
    a man such as narendra modi, occupies a place in some way or the other.. in every hindu heart…

  26. krishna says:

    Lets be honest withoutselves, Shekhar.
    Kashmiri Muslims, performed Land grabbing and took over FREE LAND of kashmir hindu’s after killing innocents and drove them out.
    Today, they get everything from mainland india, oil, vegetables, fruits, wheat, all basic goods everday.
    the poor salaried class Indian taxpayer… supports the kashmir state..
    They are lazy, that even when jobs are available kashmiri muslims do not want to do it. Remember the recent crisis when because kashmiri muslims did not want to do hard labor, bihari migrants migrated and completed the jobs.
    Then all hell broke loose where kashmiri muslims protested and killed laborers in a xenophobic manner.
    What do these folks expect?
    You cant have the cake and eat it too ???
    On one hand, you complain about atrocities that somehow the indian army is doing on you, when your the ones who killed innocent folks, and then many years later, when the indian govt.. starts infrastructure projects, and creates employment opportunities, you dont make use of it, and u kill innocent poor bihari hindus, who come to do your dirty work , so that you have a better life??
    LETS GET REAL.
    i cannot wait, till modi becomes prime minister..
    all this kashmiri muslims, pakistan, chaos will be solved within a few weeks.
    even osama bin laden has said, the greatest threat to islam is not the west, not america or israel.. it is just one man.
    narendra modi.. because he has the capacity to make 950 million hindus across the world one united force, and expose the hypocrisy of the al queda argumenet that the west is against islam..
    God blesss shekhar kapur, and narendra modi.

  27. neha kachroo says:

    i agree with alot of people, when they say modi can help the kashmir issue.
    i mean, that is hard truth.. that every indian, whether he is muslim, hindu, christian, sikh, jain, parsi, buddhist, jew.. understands.
    modi has the courage and vision.
    the guy does not even talk about bangladesh, pakistan..
    he talks about china..
    no politician in india has the backbone to stand up against china, except for modi.
    forget kashmir, even arunachal pradesh, assam, sikkim, ladakh.. the whole of india is gonna break up.. if current powers to be.. continue their sham politics.
    why do you think modi wins 3 elections?
    why is it that modi is the most popular leader in india today.. since independance….
    appeasement, vote bank, caste based, divisve politics cannot fool the public anymore?

  28. Tej K Tikoo says:

    Since a lot has been written about the non desireabilty of your presence at the India Today conclave, where a known terrorist had been invited to speak as a youth icon, I shall not repeat the the same tenor of argument. I shall confine myself to your latest comment posted today,wherein you ask, have’nt the Muslims suffered too?
    Muslims have undoubtedly suffered, but pray tell me who is responsible for having brought such enormous suffering on them? If any one individual has to shoulder maximum responsibilty for it, it is none other than Yasin Malik himself, who was a pioneer in introducing gun culture into the Valley and its subsequent cosequences.Just to give you a little background,those who created mayhem on the streets of Srinagar in Dec 89 were known by the acronym HAJY- H for Hamid Sheikh,A for Ashfaq Majid Wani, J for Javed Nalka and Y for Yasin Malik.Before the gun culture was introduced into the Vally by this foursome, there was only enough Army to guard the Line of Control.90% OF THE TROOPS DEPLOYED THERE AT PRESENT ( WHOM HE BLAMES FOR THIS SUFFERING) CAME ONLY AFTER JKLF, OF WHICH YASIN MALIK WAS A LEADING LIGHT,KILLED HUNDREDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE, MANY OF THEM MUSLIMS THEMSELVES, FOR THE SIMPLE REASON THAT THOSE KILLED DID NOT AGREE WITH THEIR WORLD VIEW.So, who shoulders the blame for the sufferings of Muslims.It is none other than JKLF,and within JKLF, mainly Yasin Malik himself, because the other three in the acronym, themselves became victims of the violence thus unleashed , leaving the organisation in the hands of Yasin Malik. Further,he was responsible for making conditions in the Valley fertile for the induction of the hard core Hizb ul Mujahidin (H M) cadres, who believed in rabid Islam and merging of J&K with Pakistan, unlike JKLF,which wanted Independence.So what did HM do? They started eliminating the moderate Independece seeking Muslims.As if this was not enough, Pakistan soon gave up on HM and brought in the Talibanised Lashkar- E- Toiba( L e T). And what does it do? It starts eliminating the Hanfi Muslims- those Muslims who believe in the sanctity of Ziarats and Dargahs.And all this while what does the wily Commander of JKLF, Yasin Malik,do ? Keeps his mouth shut, lest an L e T bullet makes him a target.He knows pretty well the modus operandi of all terrorists, particularly the ones who are a few notches ahead of him in perpretating gruesome and abominable cruelty on their victims.He is well aware that terrorist organisations dont invite those who differ with them, to conclaves and seminars to listen to their views, they just eliminate them. This is what Yasin Malik himself did with so many Muslims belonging to National Confrence , Congress,etc .So, while Kashmiri Muslims were being butchered by the Pakistanis, Yasin Malik thought it prudent to save his skin rather than speak out on their behalf.Now, for the same Kashmiri Muslims he is shedding crocodile tears in the air conditioned comfort of a five star hotel surrounded by the gelliterrati from the world of cinema and India inc. For the former, only reel life matters and for the latter,it does’nt matter what Yasin Malik’s past is, what matters is how he can be used to further their business interests.He blames Indian Security forces for the sufferings of Kashmiri Muslims, little realising that if he and other Kashmiri Muslims are living today in reasonable security, it is only because of the security and protection provided by security forces against the rampaging cadres of HM and L-e-T.Let it be known for once and for all, that Kashmiri Muslim today is enjoying the fruits of Indian economic boom only because of the presence of these security forces – otherwise Kashmir would have long ago turned into another Afghanitan or Iraq and now Pakistan.Yasin Malik has’nt suddenly become a Gandhian and started believing in the philosophy of non violence due to change of heart. The fact of the matter is that he and his ilk became willing tools of Pakistan inspired and fomented insurgency in the Valley, their surrogates in the proxy war- a war which Pakistan has not only badly lost, but the frankeinstein that it had created in the form of Jehadis, are now coming home to roost.PAKISTAN ARMY CANNOT ACKNOWLEDGE IT OPENLY.After all’ it has ruled all these years only because of the fear and hatred of India that it has systamatically induced in the general public through its vast network of open, as also covert institutions.But Asif Ali Zardari had no such compulsions and has said openly that Indo- Pakistan relations cannot be held hostage to just one issue, Kashmir.Therefore, what What alternative is left to the likes of Yasin Malik- talk non- violence, becuse he knows that he can make an ass of Indians, particularly the drawing room elite and the anti National left – liberal chatterati.That he killed AF personnel , DG of Kashmir Door darshan , kidnapped Rubaiya Sayed,killed hudreds of Kashmiri Muslims,was instrmental in turning Firdous’s paradise into hell, is of no concern to them .Shekhar Sahib, there are thousands of well meaning Kashmiri Muslims available to speak as youth icons .Call them . WHY CALL A KILLER.What yard stick is used to invite such people? Why not invite LTTE supremo Prabhakaran or for that matter the Bbbar Khalsa boss also. Is it because such privilege is to be given to Muslims only.Let me tell you my gut feeling- Yasin Malik is intending to fight the next Assembly elections in J&K.He is now trying to ingratiate himself with the Indian political class and is using the media most deftly to gain public acceptability.It is possible that GOI is a party to such moves and it is also possible that it was at its bidding that INIA TODAY invited him to this conclave.They say politics is the art of possible.However, Politicians can continue to do politiking but history is unlikely to forgive those who are willing to shake hands with the hunter and abandon the hunted, and in the proccess, become willing accomplices in the ethenic cleansing of Kashmiri Hindus from the Valley.

  29. :) says:

    OVERWHELMING it sure is……..! i got the gist of where you were coming from, but what is apparent now is that the people who suffered at the hands of that man are TOO many !
    also, the kind of crimes he has committed may have submerged his conscience LONG ago !
    where as the angst being poured out here is of the voices of innocent people who have killed nobody ,and , yet have suffered beyond human tolerance. some of them have seen only this violence all through their lives ( 18 yrs as 1 of them said )!
    yet, atleast they recieved a genuine platform to express themselves……..thanks to you , shekhar!
    now, if only you had the freedom to let them loose on yasin !! 🙂 ( no harm in a lighter note to ease the charged atmostphere ? )

  30. Tiku says:

    Shekhar, The surest and easiest way to tell whether an Indian intellectual like yourself truly “gets” the Kashmiri Pandit plight is to keep an eye out for the inevitable and gratuitous equivocation. Such as the last sentence in your comment above – “Surely the Muslims in Kashmir have suffered too” – As if the Pandits ever claimed that the Muslims did not suffer. Indeed, they suffered.
    But there is a big difference -The Kashmiri Muslim grouse is against the Govt. Of India, not against the Pandits.
    The Pandits on the other hand were ethnically cleansed from the land of their ancestors by Yasin Malik and his Islamist hordes, who explicitly targeted them, while the overwhelming Muslim majority of Kashmir looked the other way. Nary a peep was uttered by the so called secular Kashmiri Muslim. Because he deluded himself into believing that the boys who had driven the mighty Soviet empire from Afghanistan would defeat the idol worshipers in months if not weeks. With Azadi seemingly within reach, in 1989 the Muslims of the valley finally dispensed with the pretense of “Kashmiryat”, and united behind battle cries of Nizam – e – Mustafa.
    Those Pandits not willing to convert were killed or forced to flee; sadly, this was not the first time. But this will be the last time.
    An entire culture, whose recorded history goes back more than two thousand years, has been obliterated while a nation of one billion remained silent. Including you, Shekhar, who definitely does not “get it”.

  31. grisham says:

    muslims suffered???
    thats like saying the french suffered in india, because the british gained control of india.
    that makes no sense..
    i mean. lets be real… with ourselves..
    muslims suffering is like saying….
    malaysians suffer at the hands of chinese in malaysia..
    give me a break.

  32. :) says:

    hi shekhar,
    so you’re off……..away from us for an incomplete film left behind by a friend….huh?
    and what happens to your own film…….. paani?
    since its in the initial stages, it can wait is it?
    hey…….are you gonna get ‘too busy’ to blog regularly ?! please dont coz the flow of energy here has been intense, alive and real !! dont you think ? if you break the chain , it will break !
    wish i could invite you for a cup of coffee before you go …….do you drink coffee 🙂 ?
    DEAR SHEKHAR……
    I WISH YOU ALL THE SUCCESS IN YOUR VENTURE.YOU ARE A VERY SPECIAL PERSON……
    BE HAPPY…..TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF…….LOTS OF LOVE !

  33. Hemant says:

    Have muslims in Kashmir suffered ??
    In their religious zeal to establish nizam-e-mustafa in Kashmir they perpetuated barbaric acts against peace loving and secular KPs – the original inhabitants of the valley. They wanted to create a purely Islamic state out of Kashmir where Shariat would rule. Kashmiri muslims are no different from Osama and his clan who believe in the supermacy of their religion and kill without compunction in the name of Jehad.Kashmiri muslims have simply paid the price to achieve their evil ends.
    Would you term religious zealots as suferrers ? Have they really been wronged? Isn’t their basic premise of building a state based on religion wrong ? Haven’t THEY made Kashmiri Pandits suffer because of their extremist ideology ?

  34. Aditarya says:

    Sir the muslims in kashmir have only been pampered. If the separatists dont accept india why do they agree on security provided by the indian government. The attrocities on the muslims started after their mindless so called freedom movement. Violence doesnt always start with hatred. sometimes its also bcos of ego and power. Ur analysis of what happened during partition is very right. both the hindus as well as the muslims were at fault. but in case of kasmir, it is the terrorists who need to realise their faults and we must b able to forgive them. it is very easy for me to say i forgive them but how can I or u ask the victims of terror to forgive, when they dont even see remorse in the eyes of terrorists. Thats y its important that people like yasin shd first forgive themselves and then mayb everyone else can forgive them. The mess that they have created has to b cleared by them. By pampering u ll only get a spoilt child.

  35. Shailendra Aima says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    We, in a civilized society, do believe in reconciliation. Forgive, is OK. But FORGET ?? that’s what is the Indian ideal mind all about. No sense of history. We denounce carrying the beggage. But then Kashmir is not just about reconciliation and forgiveness and forgetfulness. It is a real political situation, where a brute majority is seeking Azadi from a pluralistic democratic reconciliatory India, in the name of Muslim identity politics. Let’s be brave enough to face this truth. A harmless, peace loving minority of Hindus is wandering in perpetual homelessness for identifying with the values and spirit of Indian nation state. Why not look politically? Create a dispensation for Hindus where they can live and breathe indianness as a socio-cultural entity believing in pluralism, democracy and peace. That is Panun Kashmir, a concept that we are propagating as a viable reconciliatory solution.
    Best Wishes.
    – Shailendra

  36. Manish Mattoo says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    Thanks for recognizing the angst in the voices of Kashmiri Pandits.But i have a question.Is it fair to draw parallels between the violence during Partition and the violence that was unleashed against Kashmiri Hindus?I do not think so.Isnt the fact that not even a single Kashmiri Muslim has been killed by a Kashmiri Hindu in a hate-related violent act a testimony to how lopsided the criminal acts have been?Has a single Muslim home been burnt down by a Hindu mob in Kashmir?Has a single mosque been desercated?Well, the answer obviously is a NO!!!(No surprises there)…I agree everyone has been a victim of this conflict,irrespective of the community one belongs to.But dont we all reap what we sow?Suffering arising out of repression to curb terrorism cannot be equated with the sufferring inflicted upon a minority ,hapless community by inhuman fundamentalist forces!!Agreed that “An eye for an eye will lead to a world where everyone is blind” …but how i wish the world could be turned into a better place this easily..The wounds are atill raw and they would take a while to heal…In the meantime, i hope we do not get carried away by the resolve to resolve all conflicts and forget to mourn over and be ashamed of one of the largest genocides (a well-orchestrated one at that) of modern ‘civilized’ times!!!

  37. Anil says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    Just one question – when are you going to ask those who were victimized by Yaseen and his terrorists if they have forgiven Yaseen? If you care, you can meet the survivors and the victims of Yaseen in the refugee camps in Jammu or Udhampur and ask them directly this question.
    I agree that we have to forgive but only if someone asks for forgiveness. However, as a human it might be very difficult to forget!!!
    You mention that you were emotional when you visited Lahore, even though you were only one-year old when you had to leave Lahore, so I am hoping that you will appreciate my emotions when someone talks about Kashmir because I was born and spent 14 years of my life in Kashmir. Just think about the emotions of thousands of us who were forced to become refugees in our own Country and now are craving to return to our own Homeland.
    Just try to know the facts which you will only know by meeting these Kashmiri refugees and victims who live in refugee camps.
    Lastly, I agree that Kashmiri muslims have also suffered a lot, but again the onus is on Yaseen and his gang because they introduced the GUN-culture in Kashmir which has made the Kashmiri society so desensitized that a few kilings here and there do not even make the front page. I rememeber the same society was so non-violent that any act of violence would be discussed for years because there was no violence or killings prior to 1989 when Yaseen Malik and his JKLF started non-stop killings.

  38. Pawan says:

    Shekhar ,
    Would have appreciated if you would have perhaps shown a certain “civil way ” of protest inside the auditorium….
    And 18 years of living in exile a long time …..not a fresh wound.
    Wish someone would understand ..

  39. Rahul says:

    Hi Shekhar,
    Well firstly – I just love your work and i just finished watching Elizabeth II and you are always at the top of you game.
    Just wanted to let you know that this Yasin Malik thing did not go down well with me – I am a student at Stanford University – and in general the Indian Community in campus did feel strongly about this and we started an online petition against it – and people over 1000 have strongly supported us…you can take a look at this here:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/ymalik8/petition.html
    Kashmir is a complex problem, and i think its the sign of a civilized society to give a chance to factional elements of society to voice their demands in a peaceful manner – however – only once they have paid a price and served their sentence for their militants and paid their dues to society. Yasin Malik and his goons have called up my family members involved in the protest and threatened them! Can such a person have it in him to forgive???
    Rahul

  40. Aarti Raina says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    It is very heartening to see that finally renowned social personalities like yours have started taking initiative and interest in KASHMIR.Thanks for the same. It does make a difference when person of your stature takes interest, primarily because people listen and read
    I would like to ask you the same question that MR Manish Mattoo has asked.Is it fair to draw parallels between the violence during Partition and the violence that was unleashed against Kashmiri Hindus?
    I had written it in my earlier response as well and i would like to mention it here again. While the basic similarity between the partition victims and Kashmiri Pandits is, that both were thrust upon people. None had any say in it. But associating people like Yasin Malik and comparing their situation with that of partition is an insult to the memory of partition. People like Yasin Malik has brought this situation upon themselves. They are ones who resorted to guns against the people of their state and country. And now this country is gracious enough to give them a chance and allow them to speak.
    Lets for once take your point and i do agree hatred is not a solution for anything neither does it help any cause but are people like Mr MaLIK TRUST wORTHY. Well history speaks for It self NO NOT All.
    I do agree everyone has been a victim of this conflict,irrespective of the community one belongs to.But dont we all reap what we sow.
    Shekhar, we all will write and respond to your blog time and again but will that bring a solution and relief to people of Kashmir. NO…Time has come all the sections of society regardless of caste and creed come together and do something about this. If it is left to the politicians of any country i am afraid there never be any solution.
    I am so proud that there are young people like Aditya Raj Kaul, who are doing their bit.Aditya pls tell us we are all ready to contribute to make a difference

  41. Anil Rain says:

    Dear Shekhar,
    Rang de basanti did make a difference in Youths in a lots of ways.. At least youth started protesting in a peace way.
    No Director has been able to make a successful movie on Kashmir to show all shades. It is unfortunate and I believe a director like you can just make a difference in a big way.
    India’s prime chapter for 60yrs demands a movie and this movie will not a basis on religion because that is not a factor here.. there are lots of colors to it which you can see clearly now.
    We don’t want the Kashmir issue to be burn like Gaza for years, who knows your movie can be a BLISS to the generation ahead.
    Thanking in anticipation,
    Orzu,
    Anil Raina

  42. Samvit Rawal says:

    I think you need to dig deep into the darkness of your heart and think how it would be like thrown from your own house, how difficult it is to be a KP-a man with no address. We gave away our homes and hearths because we wanted the Indian flag to fly high. If the KPs would have aligned with the terrorists, no powere on earth could stop Kashmir from segregating from India.
    As a teenager, I have seen Yasin with a gun in his hand shooting 5 people of the Indian Air Force in Rawalpora. Yasin is a butcher, the Butcher of Maisuma.

  43. Rakesh Kaul says:

    Dear Shekhar
    Thank you for your post. I had the pleasure of meeting you at the last Pan IIT convention in Santa Clara and as always it is instructive to read the perceptions of a person who looks at the world through a different lens.
    The Kashmir issue is a complex issue and yes we should look at all options that bring peace and end conflict. However, I think the KPs were protesting a different point which is- Is Yasin Malik the kind of Leadership example that India should be looking at? Yasin is entitled to his political point of views howsoever controversial they might be. He is entitled to his actions howsoever heinous they might be and for which he will have to face the consequences one day.
    However, was he entitled to the stage at the India Today conclave? Would you have felt comfortable being billed on the same stage as him? I think NO and I think his presence diminishes all Indians especially those of us who seek higher standards from our leadership role models.
    This is the question that India Today has not answered satisfactorily, failing which there will be a feeling that India Today wittingly or unwittingly has become an extension of the GOI politicians who are seeking to clothe Yasin in new clothing to make him acceptable to the Indian public. This exercise in PR won’t succeed because the acts are ugly and undisputed and India Today will be the loser for its ill thought out association. Regards
    Rakesh Kaul

  44. Manisha says:

    Free speech is a beautiful thing, but holds little utility when only one side of the story is told. Yes, Yaseen Malik had a vision for Kashmir, yes he and other have struggled to attain this vision. But that does not erase the fact that he cruelly and cold bloodedly used the Kashmiri Pundit community to fulfill his vision. His heartless massacre of so many Kashmiri Pundits, be it a political tool to get his voice heard, still showed a complete lack of respect for human life. Before asking if he had “forgiven”, I would ask him if he has come to regret his deeds against the Pundits or even more basically, does he consider Pundits as equal claim holders to Kashmir?
    Moroever, as a final comment. I do not consider a conclave useful, until it takes the courage to ask the toughest, most controversial questions. Serving as a mouthpiece for the dais holder is not enough. The young girl you mentioned should have had the right to ask those questions to Yasin Malik in front of the entire audience and not as an aside. Moreover, an illustrious publication such as India Today shouldn’t even have needed this young girl to ask those questions. Ultimately, with regard to Yasin Mallick, if he is not asked to confront his atorocities, his sacrifices and biography have little value for me, since they are missing a key fact that actually make Yasin Malik the figure he is today. Yasin Malik was not on BBC’s Hard Talk for being just another head of a terrorist organization, he was on the show as someone who had unrepentantly used the massacre of innocent Kashmiris as a political tool.
    To those who don’t remember this memorable interview, here it is
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa9CvVV2HXA

  45. arun koul says:

    Shekhar wat u say might b the right solution but it wud b very difficult for kashmiri pandits to forgive wat they have suffered. Only the person who has suffered the pain cn tell wat he/she has gone thru and now the sme fate is being suffered by kashmiri muslims.Now they r also realising wat they were doing was wrong but alas they has taken too longer to realise it.
    Now the return of kashmiri pandits to kashmir is next to im-possible and without a pandit the kashmir wl never b complete.
    So ur dream of old kasmir, i am sorry to say, wl alwayz remain a dream.

  46. Lalit Koul says:

    Hello! Shekhar,
    I have always admired you for your artistic work. But your one line question to Islamic Terrorist Yasin Malik at the India-Today Conclave shows the lack of your understanding of the humanistic dimensions of Kashmir issue. I wonder which “forgiveness” and “forgiveness for whom” were you asking Yasin. By now you must know that he is a rapist, murderer, kidnapper and a terrorist. The day he raped a Kashmiri Pandit lady and then cut her into pieces using a wood saw, he lost all his rights. The day he killed our 4 Jawans (IAF officers), he lost his right to any kind of freedom. He should be hanged until death at the red square in the middle of the Srinagar city. That is what he deserves.
    I agree with your concept of Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But in case you have noticed, the word Truth comes before Reconciliation. First the truth about Yasin’s and other Islamic Terrorists’ crimes has to come out. First Yasin and other Islamic Terrorists have to pay for their crimes. Only then Reconciliation can happen. Have you ever seen Yasin and his other partners in crime showing any remorse and asking for forgiveness. No, because folks like Aroon Purie and you give them these platforms where they get to show their criminal wares. I wish you had shown the courage to stop Anand Mahindra from throwing out Kashmiri Pandits who were protesting Yasin’s presence at that platform. If you are there to fight for the rights of all humans, then you should have fought for Kashmiri Pandits as well. I think you should take up the challenge and work on a documentary that will show the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits and more importantly the root causes behind that ethnic cleansing. And if you ever created that documentary, you will clearly find Yasin Malik at the center of this ethnic cleansing as one of the key perpetrators.
    With regards to your comment that “haven’t muslims suffered?”, all I can say is that Muslims brought it upon themselves whereas we, the Kashmiri Pandits, did not bring it upon ourselves. We got ethnically cleansed because we believed in Hinduism and India. Muslims in Kashmir suffered because like everywhere else in world, they want to create Nizam-e-Mustafa in Kashmir as well. Hope you can understand the distinction between the two.
    Regards
    Lalit Koul

  47. meera mota says:

    hi shekhar,
    i thought you were a very intelligent person how could you fall for this.can i ask you something In ‘mr india’ you showed that mogambo gets killed in the end but in real life you hug him and ask people to forgive him oh you dont believe in that you just showed that to make your movie a hit,i mean you actually hugged him!!!!!for what.Do you guys even have the slightest idea who this yaseen malik is??? he killed so many innocent peolple he raped so any kashmiri hindu women, they were the reason which led to kashmiri pandit diaspora and you guys actually listened to his crap. i had lost the hope in our indian government long back they are all gutless eunuchs out there but i am surprised that people like you i mean our ‘INTELLIGENTSIA’are falling for this crap.It takes few days for indian government to supply crores of rupees aid to muslim community of kashmir and it took them seventeen long years to build some decent homes for kashmiri pandits.we kashmiri pandits who have always served our country no matter what and were always taken forgranted….anyway this is our fight we dont expect anyone to understand nobody ever has.but forgiving and forgetting what muslims have done to our community is an absolute no no and is not possible. they chose to suffer but we suffered because we had no choice.
    meera

  48. Rajesh Koul Upmanyu says:

    Dear Shekhar!
    Your selected article on kashmir above in itself speaks of your honest & creative attempt to vent out your observations based on your past experiences of the good times and the possible impartial knowledge that has been available via TRP infested media since the militancy.
    I am Rajesh Koul, a kashmiri Pandit and having watched whole proceedings at the conclave, I must congratulate you for your sense of Picking the most sensitive and the most important subject in the conclave that engulfs our country and your urgency to have gone a step ahead in suggesting the solution even again exhibits intelligence and gravity of the situation that all our big time politicians,bereaucrats & businessmenlack to assess amidst talk of sensex, need for Infrastructure growth and growing economy & inflation of the country.
    I guess you sensed it right …that if the very cultural and social fabric of India is under threat from Islamic fundamentalism which on Indian soil is springing from kashmir and spreading to other parts of country like fire,then all growth and economics talk shall be futile with freedom of a common man under threat…and hence your priority to this write up on Kashmir is admiring and brilliant in selection, but if only you would be knowing of the torturous acts that Yasin and his men inflicted on the peaceful minority Hindu community in kashmir…you would have rephrased your question …”has he done enough to be forgiven?” or “has he been forgiven by those whose nears and dears he & his men killed?”.
    Many a people have given you different counts already in their comments and I would like to add for your knowledge that the same kashmir named after a rishi (saint-kashyap rishi)has been abode of many a top saints directly blessed by the supreme lord shiva of whom(The Rishi’s) the entire Pandit and even the converted muslim community are generations of.
    You have mentioned about the current position be made as final and as per you and rightly so autonomy is not a solution…however I must share with you that a little across LOC in Muzaffarabad lies the greatest seat of wisdom on earth i.e SHARDA PEETH…Which has since time immemorial been the spring of Vedic civilisation and where all the saints from across the entire sanskritik Bharat(India) including the most learned Shankaracharya would go on regular intervals to evaluate, gain and certify their knowledge and be blessed.We have been crying for years to allow us the annual piligrimage to this spring of our language and culture to start with,as we are striving hard to maintain our culture and language in exile.
    While the state administration is equally involved in a malafide campaign to eliminate Kashmir Pandits -the aboriginal race of kashmir from its soil and our places of faith are being and properties are being encroached… Islamisation is on full spring with renaming of our heritage sites like Anantnag to Islamabad…shankaracharya hill to Koh-e-sulemaan and I beleive only a powerful and true thinker like you can do a difference by bringing out the truth ….of state sponsored terrorism, and the total failure of administration leading to mass killings and exodus of the entire community of kashmiri pandits.
    Soft & elusive words of Yasin does not solve the purpose…he should stand up and ask for sentence and confess his killings and not support those like Farooq ahmed Dar-Alias Bitta Karate his deputy who has gone on record on AIR in a TV interview of having killed above 40 kasmiri pandits and look at the irony the same man was released last year because the state Govt didn’t provide material/witness to support their 22 charges filed against him.
    What ground does yasin malik hold,who has no followers and what weight does his call for return to kashmiri pandits hold who cannot himself walk freely in kashmir…Is he calling for a fresh feed to militants? I visited kashmir last summer and must share that the youth of valley today relates itself with Palestine and Iran and the larger fundamental and the militants have grwon only smarter only to use outsoucing techniques and manpower to have executed 20th suicide bomb attack outside kashmir recently at CRPF camp in Rampur helped by none other than the surrendered militants recruited as a rehabilitation program in the CRPF.
    The Govt.was caught sleeping when such Rehab militants had reached PM security cell and the news was belittled…Ah!This vote bank politics of Psuedo minorityism will eat the nation out.
    Paksitan has a role to be involved should it first vacate the Occupied territory as was the status in 26-27 october 1947,Accession Day, when the Ruler of the state had signed the accession document with dominion of India, which 500+ other pricley states had also done.
    Next thing is Let Pakistan declare itsef secular & be at par with India in terms of its credentials to make itself eligibile for talks.
    Should yaseen malik care to answer, that does he want to give his generations the turmoil of Civil war like atmosphere prevailing every now and then in Pakistan or enjoy the self sufficient and Highest per capita income of kashmiri families under Indian secular rule.
    Article 370 alienated the state from rest of the country and today we have RTI ACT 2005 Not being implemented in the state under the excuse of security against which I have launched a campaign for implementation of the same (excluding security) rtiinkashmir@gmail.com and did one program with Doordarshan as well on the same while having submitted various memorandums.This can be tool to answer our queries while be equally handy for local muslim people wanting to know about the expenditures by Govt on various projects and other queries other than security being a border & militancy sensitive state.
    I thank Neeru, the Girl who met you and briefed her side for enlightening you with the other side of the story.
    Mr Shekhar!You have done wonders to the fame of India, If it was Costumes of Elizabeth that won the oscars… we offer you the Purest costume of our pain in our story of ethnic cleansing of the community and look forward to a greater and nobler initiative in this regard.
    Thanks for your time and interest on Kashmir
    that is, was and shall forever remain an integral part of India..
    Thanks again
    Rajesh Koul-‘Upmanyu’
    A Kashmiri Pandit activist…
    living in exile since 19Jan1990
    (M)+91-11-9811431127
    rajeshkouljk@gmail.com
    rtiinkashmir@gmail.com

  49. kashmiri pandit says:

    Kashmir is a complex issue. It will not be solved easily, everyone knows this.
    But their is hope. If the project of connecting railways to the kashmir valley is completed in a few years.. and their is full fledged interaction between mainland india and kashmir..
    Also, Shekhar, you raise good points. Maybe you should make a movie on the genocide in Kashmir.
    Something like hotel rhwanda, where kashmiri pandits hid in a hotel, while kashmir was burning and the world watched ?
    It is ironic that as a kashmiri pandit, I look up to a man like Narendra Modi. But this is the reality of the times.. Modi is a pleasant suprise to this nation, where our babus and upper class folks sit in their a.c. offices and homes on marine drive, janpath, banjara hills, malabar hills, nariman point, park street.. etc etc.
    and debating issues of national security.. like its some sort of academic ivory tower issue.
    Get on the groun, visit the border area of bangladesh and west bengal, visit manipur/myanmar border, visit kashmir and azad kashmir border…
    You will be shocked!!
    once again, my life and family has been destroyed ever since i lost my whole family at the hands of muslim terrorists like yasin malik almost 20 years ago.
    I lost my purpose of life, my youth, everything…
    Only thing that gives me hope in India today, for justice… is Narendra Modi as prime minister of India.
    Until that day, nothing will change in Kashmir

  50. Nitesh Bhat says:

    Hello Shekher,
    Yes, I am agreed with your exp.
    Too much of everything is bad; and that is how pampering and overzealous concern for the Muslims in the Valley of Kashmir have led them to committing wrongs against the nation, its patriotic citizens and the soldiers fighting for her integrity. They have learnt to squeeze the maximum benefits from this nation and yet collude with the secessionists, terrorists and fundamentalists.
    This is the time now to remind the past n look forward.Tht’s how we can get our rights.
    Nitesh….

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