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Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus

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Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus
Kashmir Region November 2019.jpg
Political map of the disputed Kashmir region, showing the Indian-administered Kashmir Valley or Vale of Kashmir from which a large proportion of Hindus have migrated out
DateEarly 1990.[1][2]
LocationKashmir Valley, Indian-administered Kashmir
Coordinates34°02′00″N 74°40′00″E / 34.0333°N 74.6667°E / 34.0333; 74.6667Coordinates: 34°02′00″N 74°40′00″E / 34.0333°N 74.6667°E / 34.0333; 74.6667
Outcome
  • 90,000–100,000 Pandits of an estimated population of 120,000–140,000 fled the Valley between January and March 1990, according to several scholarly estimates.[3][4][5][6][7]
  • Other scholars have suggested a higher figure of approximately 150,000 for the exodus.[8][9][note 1]
Deaths
  • 30–80 Kashmiri Pandits had been killed by insurgents by mid-year 1990 when the exodus was largely complete, according to several scholars.[7][12][13]
  • Indian Home Ministry data records 217 Hindus civilians fatalities during the four-year period, 1988 to 1991;[14] another scholar estimates 228 Pandit civilian fatalities.[15] Government of Jammu and Kashmir recorded 219 Pandit fatalities between 1989 and 2004.[16][17]

The Exodus of Kashmiri Hindus,[note 2] or Pandits, is their early-1990[1][2] migration,[19] or flight,[20] from the Muslim-majority Kashmir valley in Indian-administered Kashmir following rising violence in an insurgency. Of a total Pandit population of 120,000–140,000 some 90,000-100,000 left the valley[3][5][4][7] or felt compelled to leave,[21] and 30–80 were killed.[7][12][13][note 3] During the period of substantial migration, the insurgency was being led by a group calling for a secular and independent Kashmir, but there were also growing Islamist factions envisioning an Islamic state.[24][25][26] Although their numbers of dead and injured were low,[27] the Pandits, who believed that Kashmir's culture was tied to India's,[6][28] experienced fear and panic set off by targeted killings of some high-profile officials among their ranks and public calls for independence among the insurgents.[29] The accompanying rumours and uncertainty together with the absence of guarantees for their safety by India's federal government might have been the latent causes of the exodus.[30][31] The descriptions of the violence as "genocide" or "ethnic cleansing" in some Hindu nationalist publications or among suspicions voiced by some exiled Pandits are widely considered inaccurate, aggressive, or propaganda by scholars.[32][33][34][35]

The Kashmir Valley, which is a part of the larger Kashmir region that has been the subject of a dispute between India and Pakistan from 1947, has been administered by India from approximately the same time.[36][37] Before 1947, during the period of British Raj in India when Jammu and Kashmir was a princely state, Kashmiri Pandits, or Kashmiri Hindus, had stably constituted between 4% and 6% of the population of the Kashmir valley in censuses from 1889 to 1941; the remaining 94 to 95% of the population was Kashmiri Muslim.[38] By 1950, a large number of Pandits—whose elite owned over 30% of the arable land in the Valley—moved to other parts of India in the face of land reforms planned by the incoming administration of Sheikh Abdullah, the threat of socio-economic decline, and the unsettled nature of Kashmir's accession to India.[39][40] In 1989 a persisting insurgency began in Kashmir. It was fed by Kashmiri dissatisfaction with India's federal government over rigging an assembly election in 1987 and disavowing a promise of greater autonomy. The dissatisfaction overflowed into an ill-defined uprising against the Indian state. The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), an organization that had generally secular antecedents and the predominant goal of political independence,[6][25][41] led the uprising but did not abjure violence.[42][43] In early 1990, the vast majority of Kashmiri Hindus fled the valley in a mass-migration.[44][45][46][note 4][note 5] More of them left in the following years so that, by 2011, only around 3,000 families remained.[8] 30 or 32 Kashmiri Pandits had been killed by insurgents by mid-March 1990 when the exodus was largely complete, according to some scholars,[7][12] and 80 Pandits were killed by mid-year 1990 according to a journalist.[13] Indian Home Ministry data records 217 Hindus civilians fatalities during the four-year period, 1988 to 1991.[14][note 6]

The reasons for this migration are vigorously contested. In 1989–1990, as calls by Kashmiri Muslims for independence from India gathered pace, many Kashmiri Pandits, who viewed self-determination to be anti-national, felt under pressure.[49] The killings in the 1990s of a number of Pandit officials, may have shaken the community's sense of security, although it is thought some Pandits—by virtue of their evidence given later in Indian courts—may have acted as agents of the Indian state.[50] The Pandits killed in targeted assassinations by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) included some high-profile ones.[51] Occasional anti Hindu calls were made from mosques on loudspeakers asking Pandits to leave the valley.[52][53] News of threatening letters created fear,[54] though in later interviews the letters were seen to have been sparingly received.[55] There were disparities between the accounts of the two communities, the Muslims and the Pandits.[56] Many Kashmiri Pandits believed they were forced out of the Valley either by Pakistan and the militants it supported or the Kashmiri Muslims as a group.[57] Many Kashmiri Muslims did not support violence against religious minorities; the departure of the Kashmiri Pandits offered an excuse for casting Kashmiri Muslims as Islamic radicals,[58] thereby contaminating their more genuine political grievances,[59] and offering a rationale for their surveillance and violent treatment by the Indian state.[60] Many Muslims in the Valley believed that the then Governor, Jagmohan had encouraged the Pandits to leave so as to have a free hand in more thoroughly pursuing reprisals against Muslims.[61][62] Several scholarly views chalk the migration to genuine panic among the Pandits that stemmed as much from the religious vehemence among some of the insurgents as by the absence of guarantees for the Pandits' safety issued by the Governor.[26][63]

Kashmiri Pandits initially moved to the Jammu Division, the southern half of Jammu and Kashmir, where they lived in refugee camps, sometimes in unkempt and unclean surroundings. At the time of their exodus, very few Pandits expected their exile to last beyond a few months.[64] As the exile lasted longer, many displaced Pandits who were in the urban elite were able to find jobs in other parts of India, but those in the lower-middle-class, especially those from rural areas languished longer in refugee camps, with some living in poverty; this generated tensions with the host communities—whose social and religious practices, although Hindu, differed from those of the brahmin Pandits—and rendered assimilation more difficult.[65] Many displaced Pandits in the camps succumbed to emotional depression and a sense of helplessness.[66] The cause of the Kashmiri Pandits was quickly championed by right-wing Hindu groups in India,[67] which also preyed on their insecurities and further alienated them from Kashmiri Muslims.[68] Some displaced Kashmiri Pandits have formed an organization called Panun Kashmir ("Our own Kashmir"), which has asked for a separate homeland for Kashmiri Hindus in the Valley but has opposed autonomy for Kashmir on the grounds that it would promote the formation of an Islamic state.[69] The return to the homeland in Kashmir also constitutes one of the main points of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's election platform.[70][note 7] Kashmiri Pandits in exile have written autobiographical memoirs, novels, and poetry to record their experiences and to understand them.[71] 19 January is observed by the Kashmiri Hindu communities as Exodus Day.[72][73]

Background

Under the 1975 Indira–Sheikh Accord, Sheikh Abdullah agreed to measures previously undertaken by the central government in Jammu and Kashmir to integrate the state into India.[74] Farrukh Faheem, a sociologist at the University of Kashmir, states that it was met with hostility among the people of Kashmir and laid the groundwork for the future insurgency.[75] Those opposed to the accords included Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir, People's League in Indian Jammu and Kashmir, and the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) based in Pakistani-administered Azad Jammu and Kashmir.[76] Since the mid-1970s, communalist rhetoric was being exploited in the state for votebank politics. Around this time, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) tried to spread Wahhabism in place of Sufism to foster religious unity within their nation, and the communalization aided their cause.[77] Islamization of Kashmir began in the 1980s when Sheikh Abdullah's government changed the names of about 300 places to Islamic names.[78][note 8] Sheikh also started delivering communal speeches in mosques that were similar to his confrontational pro-independence speeches in the 1930s. Additionally, he referred to Kashmiri Hindus as mukhbir (Hindustani: मुख़बिर, مخبر), or informants of the Indian military.[80][81][better source needed]

The ISI's initial attempts to sow widespread unrest in Kashmir against the Indian administration were largely unsuccessful until the late-1980s.[82] The American- and Pakistani-backed Afghan mujahideen's armed struggle against the Soviet Union in the Soviet–Afghan War, the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the Sikh insurgency in Indian Punjab against the Indian government became sources of inspiration for large numbers of Kashmiri Muslim youth.[83][84] Both the pro-independence JKLF and pro-Pakistan Islamist groups including Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir mobilized the rapidly-growing anti-Indian sentiments amongst the Kashmiri population; the year of 1984 saw a pronounced rise in terrorist violence in Kashmir. Following the execution of JKLF militant Maqbool Bhat in February 1984, strikes and protests by Kashmiri nationalists broke out in the region, where large numbers of Kashmiri youth participated in widespread anti-India demonstrations and consequently faced heavy-handed reprisals by state security forces.[85][86]

Critics of the then chief minister, Farooq Abdullah, charged him with losing control of the situation. His visit to Pakistani-administered Kashmir during this time became an embarrassment, where according to JKLF's Hashim Qureshi, he shared a platform with the JKLF.[87] Abdullah asserted that he went on behalf of Indira Gandhi and his father, so that sentiments there could "be known first hand", although few people believed him. There were also allegations that he had allowed Khalistani militants to train in Jammu, although these were never proved to be true. On 2 July 1984, Ghulam Mohammad Shah, who had support from Indira Gandhi, replaced his brother-in-law Farooq Abdullah and assumed the role of chief minister after Abdullah was dismissed, in what was termed a "political coup".[86]

G. M. Shah's administration, which did not have people's mandate, turned to Islamists and opponents of India, notably the Molvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, Mohammad Shafi Qureshi and Mohinuddin Salati, to gain some legitimacy through religious sentiments. This gave political space to Islamists who previously lost overwhelmingly in the 1983 state elections.[86] In 1986, Shah decided to construct a mosque within the premises of an ancient Hindu temple inside the New Civil Secretariat area in Jammu to be made available to the Muslim employees for 'Namaz'. People of Jammu took to streets to protest against this decision, which led to a Hindu-Muslim clash.[88] In February 1986, Shah on his return to Kashmir valley retaliated and incited the Kashmiri Muslims by saying Islam Khatre Mein Hey (transl. Islam is in danger). As a result, this led to the 1986 Kashmir riots where Kashmiri Hindus were targeted by the Kashmiri Muslims. Many incidents were reported in various areas where Kashmiri Hindus were killed and their properties and temples damaged or destroyed. The worst hit areas were mainly in South Kashmir and Sopore. During the Anantnag riot in February 1986, although no Hindu was killed, many houses and other properties belonging to Hindus were looted, burnt or damaged.[89] An investigation of Anantnag riots revealed that members of the 'secular parties' in the state, rather than the Islamists, had played a key role in organising the violence to gain political mileage through religious sentiments. Shah called in the army to curb the violence, but it had little effect. His government was dismissed on 12 March 1986, by Governor Jagmohan following communal riots in south Kashmir, and led to Governor's rule in the state. The political fight was hence being portrayed as a conflict between "Hindu" New Delhi (Central Government), and its efforts to impose its will in the state, and "Muslim" Kashmir, represented by political Islamists and clerics.[90]

For the 1987 state elections, various Islamist groups, including Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir, organised themselves under the banner of Muslim United Front, with a manifesto to work for Islamic unity and against political interference from the centre. The two mainstrain parties (NC and INC) were allied together and won the election, However, the elections are widely believed to have been rigged in favour of the mainstream alliance and thus the government formed by Farooq Abdullah lacked legitimacy.[91] The corruption and alleged electoral malpractices were the catalysts for an insurgency.[92][93][94] The Kashmiri militants killed anyone who openly expressed pro-India policies. Kashmiri Hindus were targeted specifically because they were seen as presenting Indian presence in Kashmir because of their faith.[95] Though the insurgency had been launched by JKLF, groups rose over the next few months advocating for establishment of Nizam-e-Mustafa (administration based on Sharia) on Islamist groups proclaimed the Islamicisation of socio-political and economic set-up, merger with Pakistan, unification of ummah and establishment of an Islamic Caliphate. Liquidation of central government officials, Hindus, liberal and nationalist intellectuals, social and cultural activists was described as necessary to rid the valley of un-Islamic elements.[96][97] The relations among the mainstream parties and Islamist groups were generally poor and often hostile. The JKLF had also utilized Islamic formulations in its mobilization strategies and public discourse, using Islam and independence interchangeably. It demanded equal rights for everyone, however this had a distinct Islamic flavour as it sought to establish an Islamic democracy, protection of minority rights per Quran and Sunnah and an economy of Islamic socialism. The pro-separatist political practices at times deviated from their stated secular position.[98][99]

Insurgency activity

In July 1988, the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) began a separatist insurgency for secession of Kashmir from India.[100] The group targeted a Kashmiri Hindu for the first time on 14 September 1989, when they killed Tika Lal Taploo, an advocate and a prominent leader of Bharatiya Janata Party in Jammu and Kashmir, in front of several eyewitnesses.[101][102] This instilled fear in the Kashmiri Hindus especially as Taploo's killers were never caught which also emboldened the terrorists. The Hindus felt that they were not safe in the valley and could be targeted any time. The killings of Kashmiri Hindus, including many prominent ones, instilled more fear.[103][better source needed]

In order to undermine his political rival Farooq Abdullah who at that time was the Chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian home minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed convinced prime minister V.P. Singh to appoint Jagmohan as the governor of the state. Abdullah resented Jagmohan who had been appointed as the governor earlier in April 1984 as well and had recommended Abdullah's dismissal to Rajiv Gandhi in July 1984. Abdullah had earlier declared that he would resign if Jagmohan was made the Governor. However, the Central government went ahead and appointed him as Governor. In response, Abdullah resigned on 18 January 1990, and Jagmohan suggested the dissolution of the State Assembly.[104]

Most of the Kashmiri Hindus left Kashmir valley and moved to other parts of India, particularly to the refugee camps in Jammu region of the state.[105]

Attack and threats

On 14 September 1989, Tika Lal Taploo, who was a lawyer and a BJP member, was murdered by the JKLF in his home in Srinagar.[102][101]

On 4 November, a judge Neelkanth Ganjoo, was shot dead near the Srinagar High court. He had sentenced Kashmiri separatist Maqbool Bhat to death in 1968.[101][106][107]

In December, members of JKLF kidnapped Dr. Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of the-then Union Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, demanding release of five militants, which was subsequently fulfilled.[108][109][110]

On 4 January 1990, Srinagar-based newspaper Aftab released a message, threatening all Hindus to leave Kashmir immediately, sourcing it to the militant organization Hizbul Mujahideen.[111][112][113][unreliable source?] On 14 April 1990, another Srinagar based newspaper Al-safa republished the same warning.[101][114] The newspaper did not claim ownership of the statement and subsequently issued a clarification.[111][112] Walls were pasted with posters with threatening messages to all Kashmiris to strictly follow Islamic rules[115] which included abidance by the Islamic dress code, a prohibition on alcohol, cinemas, and video parlors[116] and strict restrictions on women.[117] Unknown masked men with Kalashnikovs forced people to reset their time to Pakistan Standard Time. Offices buildings, shops, and establishments were colored green as a sign of Islamic rule.[113][118] Shops, factories, temples and homes of Kashmiri Hindus were burned or destroyed. Threatening posters were posted on doors of Hindus asking them to leave Kashmir immediately.[113][119] During the middle of the night of 18 and 19 January, a blackout took place in the Kashmir Valley where electricity was cut except in mosques[citation needed] which broadcast divisive and inflammatory messages, asking for a purge of Kashmiri Hindus.[120][121][better source needed]

On 21 January, two days after Jagmohan took over as governor, the Gawkadal massacre took place in Srinagar, in which the Indian security forces had opened fire on protesters, leading to the death of at least 50 people, and likely over 100. These events led to chaos. Lawlessness took over the valley and the crowd with slogans and guns started roaming around the streets. News of violent incidents kept coming and many of the Hindus who survived the night saved their lives by traveling out of the valley.[122][123][100]

On 25 January, the Rawalpora shooting incident took place, wherein four Indian Air Force personnel, Squadron Leader Ravi Khanna, Corporal D.B. Singh, Corporal Uday Shankar and Airman Azad Ahmad were killed and 10 other IAF personal were injured, while they were waiting at Rawalpora bus stand for their vehicle to pick them up in the morning. Altogether around 40 rounds were fired by the terrorists, apparently from 2 to 3 automatic weapons and one semi-automatic pistol. The Jammu and Kashmir Armed Police post located nearby, with 7 armed constables and one head constable, did not react. Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), with its leader Yasin Malik in particular, were allegedly involved in the killings. Incidents like these further expedited the exodus of Hindus from Kashmir.[124][125][126][127]

Several intelligence operatives were assassinated, over the course of January.[128][110]

On 2 February, Satish Tikoo, a young Hindu social worker was murdered near his own house in Habba Kadal, Srinagar.[101][129]

On 13 February, Lassa Kaul, Station Director of Srinagar Doordarshan, was shot dead.[101][130]

On 29 April, Sarwanand Koul Premi, a veteran Kashmiri poet and his son were shot and hanged.[131]

On June 4, Girija Tickoo, a Kashmiri Hindu teacher was gang raped by terrorists, who ripped her abdomen and chopped her body into two pieces with a saw machine while she was still alive.[132]

Many Kashmiri Pandit women were kidnapped, raped and murdered, throughout the time of exodus.[133][116] The local organisation of Hindus in Kashmir, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), after carrying out a survey in 2008 and 2009, estimated 357 Hindus were killed in Kashmir in 1990.[134]

Aftermath

Militancy in Kashmir increased after the exodus, and militants targeted properties of Kashmiri Hindus.[135][136] Indian Home Ministry data records 1,406 Hindu civilian fatalities from 1991 to 2005.[14] Jammu and Kashmir government stated that 219 members of the Hindu Pandit community had been killed between 1989 and 2004 and none thereafter.[16][137] The Panun Kashmir organization has published a list of about 1,341 Hindus killed since 1990.[101] The local organisation of Hindus in Kashmir, Kashmir Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS) after carrying out a survey in 2008 and 2009, said that 399 Kashmiri Hindus were killed by insurgents from 1990 to 2011 with 75% of them being killed during the first year of the Kashmiri insurgency, and that during the last 20 years, about 650 Hindus have been killed in the valley.[138][139]

In response to the exodus, an organisation Panun Kashmir, a political group representing the Hindus who fled Kashmir, was formed. In late 1991, the organisation adopted the Margdarshan Resolution, which stated the need for a separate Union Territory in Kashmir division, Panun Kashmir. Panun Kashmir would serve as a homeland for Kashmiri Hindus and would resettle the displaced Kashmiri Pandits.[140]

In 2009 Oregon Legislative Assembly passed a resolution to recognise 14 September 2007, as Martyrs Day to acknowledge ethnic cleansing and campaigns of terror inflicted on non-Muslim minorities of Jammu and Kashmir by militants seeking to establish an Islamic state.[141]

Kashmiri Hindus continue to fight for their return to the valley and many of them live as refugees.[142] The exiled community had hoped to return after the situation improved. Most have not done so because the situation in the Valley remains unstable and they fear a risk to their lives. Most of them lost their properties after the exodus and many are unable to go back and sell them. Their status as displaced people has adversely harmed them in the realm of education. Many Hindu families could not afford to send their children to well regarded public schools. Furthermore, many Hindus faced institutional discrimination by predominantly Muslim state bureaucrats. As a result of the inadequate ad hoc schools and colleges formed in the refugee camps, it became harder for Hindu children to access education. They suffered in higher education as well, as they could not claim admission in PG colleges of Jammu university, while getting admitted in the institutes of Kashmir valley was out of question.[143]

During the 2016 Kashmir unrest following the killing of Burhan Wani, transit camps housing Kashmir Hindus in Kashmir were attacked by mobs.[144] About 200–300 Kashmiri Hindu employees fled the transit camps during night time on 12 July due to the attacks, and held protests against the government for attacks on their camp and demanded that all Kashmiri Hindus employees in Kashmir valley be evacuated immediately. Over 1300 government employees belonging to the community had fled the region during the unrest.[145][146][147] Posters threatening the Hindus to leave Kashmir or be killed were also put up near transit camps in Pulwama allegedly by the militant organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba.[148][149]

An organisation called Roots of Kashmir filed a petition in 2017 to reopen 215 cases of more than 700 alleged murders of Kashmiri Hindus, however the Supreme Court of India refused its plea.[150] They have also demanded the creation of a "special crimes tribunal" to look into the ethnic cleansing and crimes committed. They also demanded a one time compensation for displaced Kashmiri Hindus who are not able to apply for government jobs.[151]

Rehabilitation

The Indian Government has tried to rehabilitate the Hindus and the separatists have also invited the Hindus back to Kashmir.[152]

As of 2016, a total of 1,800 Kashmiri Hindu youths have returned to the Valley since the announcing of Rs. 1,168-crore package in 2008 by the UPA government. However, R.K. Bhat, president of Youth All India Kashmiri Samaj criticised the package to be a mere eyewash and claimed that most of the youths were living in cramped prefabricated sheds or in rented accommodation. He also said that 4,000 posts have been lying vacant since 2010 and alleged that the BJP government was repeating the same rhetoric and was not serious about helping them. The apathy on the part of the government and the sufferings of the Kashmiri Hindus have been highlighted in a play titled 'Kaash Kashmir'.[153] Such efforts or claims have lacked political will as journalist Rahul Pandita writes in a memoir.[154]

In an interview with NDTV on 19 January, Farooq Abdullah created controversy when he stated that the onus was on Kashmiri Hindus to come back themselves and nobody would beg them to do so. His comments were met with disagreement and criticism by Kashmiri Hindu authors Neeru Kaul, Siddhartha Gigoo, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and Lt. General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd.). He also said that during his tenure as Chief Minister in 1996, he had asked them to return but they refused to do so. He reiterated his comments on 23 January and said that the time had come for them to return.[155][156][157][158]

The issue of separate townships for Kashmiri Hindus has been a source of contention in the Kashmir valley, with Islamists, separatists, as well as mainstream political parties, all opposing it.[159] Hizbul Mujahideen militant, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, had threatened of attacking the "Hindu composite townships" which were meant to be built for the rehabilitation of the non-Muslim community. In a 6-minute long video clip, Wani described the rehabilitation scheme as resembling Israeli designs.[160] However, Burhan Wani welcomed the Kashmiri Hindus to return and promised to guard them. He also promised a safe Amarnath Yatra.[161] Kashmiri Hindus residing in the Valley also mourned Burhan Wani's death.[162] Burhan Wani's self-styled successor in the Hizbul Mujahideen, Zakir Rashid Bhat, also asked the Kashmiri Hindus to return and ensured them protection.[163][164]

In 2010, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir noted that 808 Hindus families, comprising 3,445 people, were still living in the Valley and that financial and other incentives put in place to encourage others to return there had been unsuccessful.[16] The employment package was also extended to Hindus who did not migrate out of the valley with an amendment to J&K Migrants (Special Drive) Recruitment Rules, 2009 in October 2017.[165] The Indian Government has taken up the issue of education of the displaced students from Kashmir, and helped them get admissions in various Kendriya Vidyalayas and major educational institutions & universities across the country.

Some consider the now-abrogated Article 370 as a roadblock in the resettlement of Kashmiri Hindus as the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir does not allow those living in India outside Jammu and Kashmir to freely settle in the state and become its citizens.[166][167][168] Sanjay Tickoo, president of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), says that the 'Article 370' affair is different from the issue of exodus of Kashmiri Hindus and both should be dealt with separately. He remarks that, linking both the affairs is an "utterly insensitive way to deal with a highly sensitive and emotive issue"[169]

In popular culture

Books

Movies

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Still another estimates it to be 190,000 of a total population of 200,000.[10] The CIA Factbook estimated the number to be 300,000.[11]
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary Online defines exodus as – "The departure or going out, usually of a body of persons from a country for the purpose of settling elsewhere. Cf. 'emigration n. 2': The departure of persons from one country, usually their native land, to settle permanently in another.[18]
  3. ^ Kashmiri Pandits are not considered "refugees" as they have not crossed an international border. Many Pandits would like to be considered Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), but the Indian government has denied them that status, fearing international involvement in Kashmir, which it considers to be its internal affair. The Indian government considers Kashmiri Pandits to be 'migrants.'[22][23]
  4. ^ According to several scholars, approximately 90,000–100,000 Pandits of an estimated population of 120,000–140,000 left in early 1990.[1][2] Other scholars have suggested a higher figure of approximately 150,000 for the exodus.[9][47]
  5. ^ Still another estimates it to be 190,000 of a total population of 200,000.[10] The CIA Factbook estimated the number to be 300,000.[11]
  6. ^ Alexander Evans estimates 228 Pandit civilian fatalities, or 388 if the deaths of officials are included, but considers the higher figure of 700 to be gravely undependable[15] The 20-year Hindu civilian fatalities following 1990 have been reported by scholars quoting Kashmiri Pandit organizations within the Kashmir valley to be 650, the tally including those who were suspected by the militants to have been Indian intelligence agents.[48]
  7. ^ Kashmiri Pandits are not considered "refugees" as they have not crossed an international border. Many would like to be considered Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), but the Indian government has denied them that status, fearing international involvement in Kashmir, which it considers to be its internal affairs. The Indian government considers Kashmiri Pandits to be 'migrants.'
  8. ^ Other sources claim that he changed 2,500 place names.[79]

References

  1. ^ a b c
    • Bose, Sumantra (2021), Kashmir at the Crossroads: Inside a 21st-century conflict, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 373, ISBN 978-0-300-25687-1, Some Pandits constituted a privileged class under the princely state (1846–1947). When insurrection engulfed the Valley in early 1990, approximately 120,000 Pandits lived in the Valley, making up about 3 per cent of the Valley’s population. In February–March 1990, the bulk of the Pandits (about 90,000–100,000 people) left the Valley for safety amid incidents of intimidation and sporadic killings of prominent members of the community by Kashmiri Muslim militants; most moved to the southern, Hindu-majority Indian J&K city of Jammu or to Delhi.
    • Rai, Mridu (2021), "Narratives from exile: Kashmiri Pandits and their construction of the past", in Bose, Sugata; Jalal, Ayesha (eds.), Kashmir and the Future of South Asia, Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series, Routledge, pp. 91–115, 106, ISBN 9781000318845, Beginning in January 1990, such large numbers of Kashmiri Pandits – the community of Hindus native to the valley of Kashmir – left their homeland and so precipitously that some have termed their departure an exodus. Indeed, within a few months, nearly 100,000 of the 140,000- strong community had left for neighbouring Jammu, Delhi, and other parts of India and the world.
    • Hussain, Shahla (2021), Kashmir in the Aftermath of the Partition, Cambridge University Press, pp. 320, 321, ISBN 9781108901130, The Counter-narrative of Aazadi: Kashmiri Hindus and Displacement of the Homeland (p. 320) In March 1990, the majority of Kashmiri Hindus left the Valley for "refugee" camps in and outside the Hindu-dominated region of Jammu.
    • Duschinski, Haley (2018), "'Survial Is Now Our Politics': Kashmiri Pandit Community Identiy and the Politics of Homeland", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 172–198, 179, ISBN 9781108226127, Although various political stakeholders dispute the number of Kashmiri Pandits who left the Valley at that time, Alexander Evans estimates on the basis of census data and demographic figures that over 1,00,000 left in a few months in early 1990, while 1,60,000 in total left the Valley during the 1990s
    • Gates, Scott; Roy, Kaushik (2016) [2011], Unconventional Warefare in South Asia, 1947 to the Present, Critical Essays on Warfare in South Asia, 1947 to the Present, London and New York: Routledge, ISBN 9780754629771, LCCN 2011920454, India’s response has been more brutal than ever before. The government's efforts to roll back the insurgency and the militants’ armed resolve to “liberate” Kashmir have produced daily deaths. The Muslims constitute a majority of those killed, primarily by India’s armed forces but also by armed Muslim militants silencing dissenters in their own community. The number of Hindus killed would have been greater if most of them had not migrated to camps in Jammu and Delhi. Some left after losing kith and kin to Islamic militants, others after receiving death threats, but most departed in utter panic between January and March 1990—simply to preempt death. Of the more than 150,000 Hindus, only a few are left in the valley.
  2. ^ a b c
    • Kapur, S. Paul (2007), Dangerous Deterrent: Nuclear Proliferation and Conflict in South Asia, Stanford University Press, pp. 102–103, ISBN 978-0-8047-5549-8, When the Kashmir insurgency began, roughly 130,000 to 140,000 Kashmiri Pandits, who are Hindus, lived in Kashmir Valley. By early 1990, in the face of some targeted anti-Pandit attacks and rising overall violence in the region, approximately 100,000 Pandits had fled the valley, many of them ending up in refugee camps in southern Kashmir.
    • Braithwaite, John; D'Costa, Bina (2018), "Recognizing cascades in India and Kashmir", Cacades of violence:War, Crime and Peacebuilding Across South Asia, Australian National University Press, ISBN 9781760461898, ... when the violence surged in early 1990, more than 100,000 Hindus of the valley—known as Kashmiri Pandits—fled their homes, with at least 30 killed in the process.
    • Kumar, Radha; Puri, Ellora (2009), "Jammu and Kashmir: Frameworks for a Settlement", in Kumar, Radha (ed.), Negotiation Peace in Deeply Divided Societies: A Set of Simulations, New Delhi, Los Angeles and London: SAGE Publications, p. 292, ISBN 978-81-7829-882-5, 1990: In January BJP strongman Jagmohan is reappointed Governor. Farooq Abdullah resigns. A large number of unarmed protesters are killed in firing by the Indian troops in separate incidents. 400,000 Kashmiris march to the UN Military Observers Group to demand implementation of the plebiscite resolution. A number of protestors are killed after the police fires at them. A number of prominent Kashmiris are killed by militants, among whom Pandits form a substantial number. Pandits begin to be forced out of the Kashmir valley. The rise of new militant groups, some warnings in anonymous posters and some unexplained killings of innocent members of the community, contribute to an atmosphere of insecurity for the Kashmiri Pandits. Estimated 140,000 Hindus, including the entire Kashmiri Pandit community, flee the valley in March.
    • Hussain, Shahla (2018), "Kashmiri Visions of Freedom", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 89–112, 105, ISBN 9781107181977, In the winter of 1990, the community felt compelled to mass-migrate to Jammu, as the state governor was adamant that in the given circumstances he would not be able to offer protection to the widely dispersed Hindu community. This event created unbridgeable differences between the majority and the minority; each perceived aazadi in a different light.
  3. ^ a b Bose, Sumantra (2021), Kashmir at the Crossroads: Inside a 21st-century conflict, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 373, ISBN 978-0-300-25687-1, Some Pandits constituted a privileged class under the princely state (1846–1947). When insurrection engulfed the Valley in early 1990, approximately 120,000 Pandits lived in the Valley, making up about 3 per cent of the Valley’s population. In February–March 1990, the bulk of the Pandits (about 90,000–100,000 people) left the Valley for safety amid incidents of intimidation and sporadic killings of prominent members of the community by Kashmiri Muslim militants; most moved to the southern, Hindu-majority Indian J&K city of Jammu or to Delhi.
  4. ^ a b Kapur, S. Paul (2007), Dangerous Deterrent: Nuclear Proliferation and Conflict in South Asia, Stanford University Press, pp. 102–103, ISBN 978-0-8047-5549-8, When the Kashmir insurgency began, roughly 130,000 to 140,000 Kashmiri Pandits, who are Hindus, lived in Kashmir Valley. By early 1990, in the face of some targeted anti-Pandit attacks and rising overall violence in the region, approximately 100,000 Pandits had fled the valley, many of them ending up in refugee camps in southern Kashmir.
  5. ^ a b Rai, Mridu (2021), "Narratives from exile: Kashmiri Pandits and their construction of the past", in Bose, Sugata; Jalal, Ayesha (eds.), Kashmir and the Future of South Asia, Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series, Routledge, pp. 91–115, 106, ISBN 9781000318845, Beginning in January 1990, such large numbers of Kashmiri Pandits – the community of Hindus native to the valley of Kashmir – left their homeland and so precipitously that some have termed their departure an exodus. Indeed, within a few months, nearly 100,000 of the 140,000- strong community had left for neighbouring Jammu, Delhi, and other parts of India and the world. One immediate impetus for this departure in such dramatically large numbers was the inauguration in 1989 of a popularly backed armed Kashmiri insurgency against Indian rule. This insurrection drew support mostly from the Valley’s Muslim population. By 2011, the numbers of Pandits remaining in the Valley had dwindled to between 2,700 and 3,400, according to different estimates. An insignificant number have returned.
  6. ^ a b c Metcalf, Barbara D.; Metcalf, Thomas R. (2012), A Concise History of Modern India, Cambridge Concise Histories (3 ed.), Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 308–309, ISBN 978-1-107-02649-0, The imposition of leaders chosen by the centre, with the manipulation of local elections, and the denial of what Kashmiris felt was a promised autonomy boiled over at last in the militancy of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, a movement devoted to political, not religious, objectives. The Hindu Pandits, a small but influential elite community who had secured a favorable position, first under the maharajas and then under the successive Congress governments, and who propagated a distinctive Kashmiri culture that linked them to India, felt under siege as the uprising gathered force. Upwards of 100,000 of them left the state during the early 1990s; their cause was quickly taken up by the Hindu right. As the government sought to locate ‘suspects’ and weed out Pakistani ‘infiltrators’, the entire population was subjected to a fierce repression. By the end of the 1990s, the Indian military presence had escalated to approximately one soldier or paramilitary policeman for every five Kashmiris, and some 30,000 people had died in the conflict.
  7. ^ a b c d e Braithwaite, John; D'Costa, Bina (2018), "Recognizing cascades in India and Kashmir", Cacades of violence:War, Crime and Peacebuilding Across South Asia, Australian National University Press, ISBN 9781760461898, ... when the violence surged in early 1990, more than 100,000 Hindus of the valley—known as Kashmiri Pandits—fled their homes, with at least 30 killed in the process.
  8. ^ a b Evans 2002, p. 20: "In early 1990, large numbers of KPs began leaving the Kashmir Valley. Over 100,000 left in a few months; some 160,000 in total have left the Kashmir Valley since. Not all KPs have left; but a mere handful remain today. Most of the original 1990 migrants left for Jammu, where they lived in squalid refugee camps, to begin with, but, by 1997, most had moved on, either to proper homes in Jammu or to cities elsewhere in India. Conditions in the refugee camps were, and still are, grim."
  9. ^ a b Talbot, Ian; Singh, Gurharpal (2009), The Partition of India, New Approaches to Asian History, Cambridge University Press, pp. 136–137, ISBN 9780521672566, Between 1990 and 1995, 25,000 people were killed in Kashmir, almost two-thirds by Indian armed forces. Kashmirs put the figure at 50,000. In addition, 150,000 Kashmiri Hindus fled the valley to settle in the Hindu-majority region of Jammu.
  10. ^ a b Madan 2008, p. 25
  11. ^ a b "South Asia. India". The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency. 21 December 2021.
  12. ^ a b c Bose, Sumantra (2021), Kashmir at the Crossroads, Inside a 21st-Century Conflict., Yale University Press, p. 92, ISBN 978-0-300-25687-1, On 15 March 1990, by which time the Pandit exodus from the Valley was substantially complete, the All-India Kashmiri Pandit Conference, a community organisation, stated that thirty-two Pandits had been killed by militants since the previous autumn.
  13. ^ a b c Joshi, Manoj (1999), The Lost Rebellion, Penguin Books, p. 65, ISBN 978-0-14-027846-0, By the middle of the year some eighty persons had been killed ..., and the fear ... had its effect from the very first killings. Beginning in February, the pandits began streaming out of the valley, and by June some 58,000 families had relocated to camps in Jammu and Delhi.
  14. ^ a b c Swami 2007, p. 175.
  15. ^ a b Evans 2002, pp. 19–37, 23: "The Indian government figures are set out in its Profile of Terrorist Violence in Jammu & Kashmir (New Delhi: Ministry of Home Affairs, March 1998). Between 1988 and 1991, the government claims 228 Hindu civilians were killed. Even if the bulk of government officials and politicians killed over the same period were Hindus and this is added, this figure would increase by a further maximum of 160. Hence the figure of 700 appears deeply unreliable."
  16. ^ a b c "Front Page : "219 Kashmiri Pandits killed by militants since 1989"". The Hindu. 24 March 2010. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010.
  17. ^ Manzar, Bashir (213), "Kashmir: A Tale of Two Communities, Cloven", Economic and Political Weekly, XLVIII (30): 177–178, JSTOR 23528003, Official records suggest that 219 Kashmiri Pandits had been killed by militants since 1989.
  18. ^ ""Exodus, n."", Oxford English Dictionary Online, Oxford University Press, 2021
  19. ^
    • Evans 2002, p. 20(p. 19) The present article is structured as follows. First, it tries to explain what happened to KPs in 1990 and beyond. (p. 20) Examining the fall-out of the mass migration, it then looks at the extremist politics that followed, before concluding with an assessment of the contemporary situation. (p. 22) There is a third possible explanation for what happened in 1990; one that acknowledges the enormity of what took place, but that examines carefully what triggered KP migration: KPs migrated en masse through legitimate fear. (p. 24) While decennial growth rates rose between 1961 and 2001, the same period saw a degree of migration of KPs from Jammu & Kashmir.
    • Zia, Ather (2020), Resisting Disappearnce: Military Occupation and Women's Activism in Kashmir, University of Washington Press, p. 60, ISBN 9780295745008, In the early 1990s the Kashmiri Hindus, known as the Pandits (a 100,000 to 140,000 strong community), migrated en masse from Kashmir to Jammu, Delhi, and other places.
    • Hussain, Shahla (2018), "Kashmiri Visions of Freedom", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 89–112, 105, ISBN 9781107181977, The rise of insurgency in the region created a difficult situation for the Kashmiri Hindu community, which had always taken pride in their Indian identity. Self-determination was not only seen as a communal demand but as a secessionist slogan that threatened the security of the Indian state. The community felt threatened when Kashmiri Muslims under the flag of aazadi openly raised anti-India slogans. The 1989 targeted killings of Kashmiri Hindus who the insurgents believed were acting as Indian intelligence agents heightened those insecurities. In the winter of 1990, the community felt compelled to mass-migrate to Jammu, as the state governor was adamant that in the given circumstances he would not be able to offer protection to the widely dispersed Hindu community.
    • Duschinski, Haley (2014), "Community Identity of Kashmiri Hindus in the United States", Emerging Voices: Experiences of Underrepresented Asian Americans, Rutgers University Press, The mass migration of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir Valley began in November 1989 and accelerated in the following months. Every family has its departure story. Many families simply packed their belongings into their cars and left under cover of night, without words of farewell to friends and neighbours. In some cases, wives and children left first, while husbands stayed behind to watch for the situation to improve; in other cases, parents sent their teenage sons away after hearing threats against them, and followed them days or weeks later. Many migrants report that they entrusted their house keys and belongings to the Muslim neighbours or servants and expected to return to their homes after a few weeks. Tens of thousands of Kashmiri Hindus left Kashmir Valley in the span of several months. There are also competing perspectives on the factors that led to the mass migration of Kashmiri Hindus during this period. Kashmiri Hindus describe migration as a forced exodus driven by Islamic fundamendalist elements in Pakistan that spilled across the Line of Control into the Kashmir Valley. They think that Kashmiri Muslims had acted as bystanders to violence by not protecting lives and properties of the vulnerable Hindu community from the militant ... The mass migration, however, was understood differently by the Muslim religious majority in Kashmir. These Kashmiri Muslims, many of whom were committed to the cause of regional independence, believed that Kashmiri Hindus betrayed them by withdrawing their support from the Kashmiri nationalist movement and turning to the government of India for protection at the moment of ... This perspective is supported by claims, articulated by some prominent separatist political leaders, that the Indian government orchestrated the mass migration of the Kashmiri Hindu community in order to have a free hand to crack down on the popular uprising. These competing perspectives gave rise to mutual feelings of suspicion and betrayal—feelings that lingered between Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri Hindus and became more entrenched as time continued.
    • Bhatia, Mohita (2020), Rethinking Conflict at the Margins: Dalits and Borderland Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 9, ISBN 9781108883467, Despite witnessing a prolonged spell of insurgency including a few incidents of selective killings, Jammu was still considered to be a relatively safe refuge by the Hindu community of Kashmir, the Pandits. As a minuscule Hindu minority community in the Muslim-majority Kashmir (around 3 per cent of Kashmir's population), they felt more vulnerable and noticeable as insurgency peaked in Kashmir. Lawlessness, uncertainty, political turmoil along with a few target killings of Pandits led to the migration of almost the entire community from the Valley to other parts of the country
    • Bhan, Mona; Misri, Deepti; Zia, Ather (2020), "Relating Otherwise: Forging Critical Solidarities Across the Kashmiri Pandit-Muslim Divide.", Biography, 43 (2): 285–305, doi:10.1353/bio.2020.0030, S2CID 234917696, ...the everyday modes of relating that existed between Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims in the period leading up to the "Migration," as the Pandit departures have come to be called among Kashmiris, both Pandit and Muslim.
    • Duschinski, Haley (2018), "'Survial Is Now Our Politics': Kashmiri Pandit Community Identiy and the Politics of Homeland", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 172–198, 178–179, ISBN 9781108226127, The Kashmiri Pandit migration: (p. 178) The onset of the armed phase of the freedom struggle in 1989 was a chaotic and turbulent time in Kashmir (Bose, 2003). Kashmiri Pandits felt an increasing sense of vulnerability
    • Zutshi 2003, p. 318 Quote: "Since a majority of the landlords were Hindu, the (land) reforms (of 1950) led to a mass exodus of Hindus from the state. ... The unsettled nature of Kashmir's accession to India, coupled with the threat of economic and social decline in the face of the land reforms, led to increasing insecurity among the Hindus in Jammu, and among Kashmiri Pandits, 20 per cent of whom had emigrated from the Valley by 1950."
  20. ^
    • Bose, Sumantra (2021), Kashmir at the Crossroads, Inside a 21st-Century Conflict, Yale University Press, pp. 119–120, As insurrection gripped the Kashmir Valley in early 1990, the bulk – about 100,000 people – of the Pandit population fled the Valley over a few weeks in February–March 1990 to the southern Indian J&K city of Jammu and further afield to cities such as Delhi. ... The large-scale flight of Kashmiri Pandits during the first months of the insurrection is a controversial episode of the post-1989 Kashmir conflict.
    • Talbot, Ian; Singh, Gurharpal (2009), The Partition of India, New Approaches to Asian History, Cambridge University Press, pp. 136–137, ISBN 9780521672566, Between 1990 and 1995, 25,000 people were killed in Kashmir, almost two-thirds by Indian armed forces. Kashmiris put the figure at 50,000. In addition, 150,000 Kashmiri Hindus fled the valley to settle in the Hindu-majority region of Jammu.
    • Metcalf & Metcalf 2006, p. 274The Hindu Pandits, a small but influential elite community who had secured a favourable position, first under the maharajas, and then under the successive Congress regimes, and proponents of a distinctive Kashmiri culture that linked them to India, felt under siege as the uprising gathered force. Of a population of some 140,000, perhaps 100,000 Pandits fled the state after 1990
  21. ^
    • Brass, Paul (1994), The Politics of India Since Independence, The New Cambridge History of India (2 ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 222–223, ISBN 978-0-521-45362-2
    • Hussain, Shahla (2018), "Kashmiri Visions of Freedom", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 89–112, 105, ISBN 9781107181977, In the winter of 1990, the community felt compelled to mass-migrate to Jammu, as the state governor was adamant that in the given circumstances he would not be able to offer protection to the widely dispersed Hindu community. This event created unbridgeable differences between the majority and the minority; each perceived aazadi in a different light.
    • Snedden, Christopher (2021), Independent Kashmir: An Incomplete Aspiration, Manchester: Manchester University Press, p. 126, ISBN 978-1-5261-5614-3, This is because many Pandits have left Kashmir, or felt compelled by militants’ violence and antipathy against them to leave, since Muslim Kashmiris began their anti-India uprising in 1988
    • Dabla, Bashir Ahmad (2011), Social Impact of Militancy in Kashmir, New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House, p. 98, ISBN 978-81-212-1099-7, The third migration from rural-urban areas of one place to urban areas of other places involved people who felt compelled to migrate due to political, religious, ethnic, and other such factors. The migration of ... Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir to different parts of JK state and India in 1990–91 fit in this type of migration.
    • Rajput, Sudha G. (4 February 2019), Internal Displacement and Conflict: The Kashmiri Pandits in Comparative Perspective, London and New York: Routledge, ISBN 9780429764622, The grandfather recalled that the state officials, too, had warned the Pandits that 'not every house could be protected from militants.' In the interest of protecting the family from harm and having reached the 'threshold of tolerance and constant mental abuse inflicted by the militants," the grandfather felt compelled to flee the Valley.
    • Hardy, Justine (2009), In the Valley of Mist: Kashmir: One Family in a Changing World, New York and London: The Free Press, p. 63, ISBN 978-1-4391-0289-3, Children born in Kashmir since 1989 have not heard that song of symbiosis. Just as the young Pandits in the refugee camps have only their parents' memories to portray the homes they felt forced to leave, so, too, do young Kashmir Valley Muslims have only stories and photograph albums as proof of how it used to be before they were born.
    • Sokefeld, Martin (2013), "Jammu and Kashmir: Dispute and diversity", in Berger, Peter; Heidemann, Frank (eds.), Anthropology of India: Ethnography, themes, and theory, London and New York: Routledge, p. 91, ISBN 978-0-415-58723-5, Since the time of Madan’s fieldwork. the situation of the Kashmiri Pandits has changed dramatically. Instead of 5 per cent, they now make up less than 2 per cent of the Valley’s population. After the beginning of the insurgency, in early 1990, most of the Pandit families left Kashmir for Jammu, Delhi or other places in India. It is still disputed whether the Pandits’ exodus was caused by actual intimidation by the (Muslim) militants or whether they were encouraged to leave by the Indian governor Jagmohan, a ‘hardliner’ who was deputed to Kashmir by the government in Delhi in order to counter the insurgency. Alexander Evans concludes that the Pandits left out of fear, even if not explicitly threatened by the insurgents, and that the administration did nothing to keep them in the Valley (Evans 2002). Since then the ethnography of the Kashmiri Pandits has had to be tuned into the ethnography of exile.
  22. ^ Duschinski, Haley (2014), "Community Identity of Kashmiri Hindus in the United States", Emerging Voices: Experiences of Underrepresented Asian Americans, Rutgers University Press, p. 132, Another key point of contention is the community's status as migrants. Kashmiri Hindus are not considered refugees because they have not crossed an international border to seek sanctuary in another country. This means that they are not covered by a well-defined body of international laws and conventions. They would like to be considered Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) because they believe that this designation would give them some leverage to assert their basic rights in their dealings with the Indian state. The government of India refuses to grant them IDP status because it does not want to facilitate international involvement in its internal affairs.<<Footnote 22>> According to this logic, legally classifying the displaced Kashmiri Hindus as IDPs might attract international attention, initiate third-party involvement in the conflict, and prompt international scrutiny of the government's handling of the Kashmir situation. Kashmiri Hindus are thus classified as migrants, meaning that international agencies such as the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) do not play a role in their situation. Kashmiri Hindus vehemently dispute their classification as migrants because they believe that it carries the connotation that they have left their homeland of their own will, and are able to return freely, without threat of harm.
  23. ^ Duschinski, Haley (2014), "Community Identity of Kashmiri Hindus in the United States", Emerging Voices: Experiences of Underrepresented Asian Americans, Rutgers University Press, p. 141, –<<Footnote 22>>: In 1995, the Kashmiri Samiti Delhi issued a petition to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) demanding that authorities extend to the Kashmiri Pandit community facilities and rights—such as nonrefoulement, humanitarian assistance, and the right to seek asylum—on the basis of their internal displacement. The petition also demanded that the government implement the recommendations of the representative of the UN secretary-general on IDPs and invited the NHRC to meet representatives of the displaced community. The NHRC issued a notice to the state government to respond to the petition. The government, in its response to the NHRC, argued that the Kashmiri Pandits are appropriately described as "migrants" since the word favors the community's return when the situation becomes more conducive. After reviewing the petition and the government's response to it. the NHRC indicated that the Kashmiri Pandits did not meet the typical definition of IDPs in light of the government's benevolent attitude toward them.
  24. ^
    • Bose, Sugata; Jalal, Ayesha (2001), Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy, London and New York: Routledge, p. 226, ISBN 0-415-16951-8, In 1989 and the early 1990s a popularly backed armed insurgency was orchestrated by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, which called for a secular and sovereign Kashmir. Kashmiri cultural and linguistic identity appeared to be more potent than Islamic aspirations or pro-Pakistan sentiment in the Vale of Kashmir. In time, however, the balance of firepower among the rebels shifted to the Hizbul Mujahideen, which received more support from Pakistan. The Indian state deployed more than 550,000 armed personnel in the early 1990s to severely repress the Kashmir movement.
    • Staniland, Paul (2014), Networks of Rebellion: Explaing Insurgent Cohesion and Collapse, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, p. 73–76, ISBN 978-0-8014-5266-6, The early years of JKLF activity, especially in 1988, involved coordinated, publicly symbolic strikes carried out by a relatively small number of fighters. Central control processes at this point were handled by the four original organizers. Crackdowns by the Indian government spurred mobilization, and “within two years, the previously marginal JKLF emerged as the vanguard and spearhead of a popular uprising in the Kashmir Valley against Indian rule. It dominated the first three years of the insurgency (1990-92).”! Even to the present day, “most commentators agree that among Muslims in the Valley, the JKLF enjoys considerable popular support.” This was especially the case in the early 1990s, when contemporary observers argued that “the predominant battle cry in Kashmir is azadi (freedom) and not a merger with Pakistan’”and that “the JKLF, a secular militant group, is by far the most popular. The support for the JKLF was clearly substantial and greater than that of its militant contemporaries. ... In the early years of the war in Kashmir, the JKLF was the center of insurgency, but I will show later in this chapter how the social-institutional weakness of the organization made it vulnerable to targeting by the Indian leadership and dissention from local units. The Hizbul Mujahideen became the most robus organization in the fight in Kashmir. While its rise to dominance occurred after 1990, its mobilization during 1989–1991 through networks of the Jamaat-e-Islami laid the basis for an integrated organization that persisted until it shifted to a vanguard structure in the early to mid-2000s.
    • D'Mello, Bernard (2018), India After Naxalbari: Unfinished History, New York: Monthly Review Press, ISBN 978-158367-707-0, The Kashmir question, centered on the right to national self-determination, cannot be dealt with here, but to cut a long story short, the last nail that the Indian political establishment hammered into the coffin of liberal-political democracy in Kashmir was the rigging of the 1987 state assembly elections there. The Muslim United Front would have electorally defeated the Congress Party-National Conferencecombine if the election had not been rigged. Many of the victims of this political fraud became the leaders of the Kashmir liberation (azaadi) movement. In the initial years, 1988-1992, the movement, led by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a secular organization, seemed to have unequivocally taken a stand for the independence of J&K from the occupation of India and Pakistan. But for this stand of the JKLF, it had to bear a heavy cost in terms of human lives and sustenance
    • Kumar, Radha; Puri, Ellora (2009), "Jammu and Kashmir: Frameworks for a Settlement", in Kumar, Radha (ed.), Negotiation Peace in Deeply Divided Societies: A Set of Simulations, New Delhi, Los Angeles and London: SAGE Publications, p. 292, ISBN 978-81-7829-882-5, 1990–2001: An officially estimated 10,000 Kashmiri youth crossover to Pakistan for training and procurement of arms. The Hizb-ul Mujahedeen (Hizb), which is backed by Pakistan, increases its strength dramatically. ISI favours the Hizb over the secular JKLF and cuts off financing to the JKLF and in some instances, provides intelligence to India against the JKLF. In April 1991, Kashmiris hold anti-Pakistan demonstrations in Srinagar following killing of a JKLF area commander by the Hizb. In 1992, Pakistani forces arrest 500 JKLF marchers led by Amanullah Khan in Pakistan held Kashmir (PoK) to prevent a bid to cross the border. India also uses intelligence from captured militants. JKLF militancy declines.
    • Phillips, David L. (8 September 2017), From Bullets to Ballots: Violent Muslim Movements in Transition, London and New York: Routledge, ISBN 9781351518857, Consistent with the concept of Kashmiriyat, the JKLF was essentially a secular organization that aspired to the establishment of an independent Kashmir where both Muslims and Hindus would be welcome. This ideal is anathema to Pakistan-based fundamentalists as well as to Afghan and Arab fighters who care far less about Kashmiri self-determination than they do about establishing Pakistani rule and creating an Islamic caliphate in Srinagar.
    • Morton, Stephen (2008), Salman Rushdie: Fictions of Postcolonial Modernity, New British Fiction, Houndmills and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 143–144, ISBN 978-1-4039-9700-5, Yet if General Kachhwaha’s military campaign of terror against Kashmiri Muslims in the Valley of Kashmir gives the lie to Nehru’s legacy of secularism and tolerance by exposing the hegemonic and military power of India’s Hindu majority, Rushdie’s account of the secular nationalism of the Jammu Kashmir liberation front in Shalimar the Clown seems to embody what the postcolonial theorist Homi K. Bhabha calls subaltern secularism (Bhabha 1996). For the secular nationalism of the Jammu and Kashmir liberation front (JKLF) is precisely subaltern in the sense that it reflects the view of the Kashmiri people rather than the elite, a people ‘of no more than five million souls, landlocked, preindustrial, resource rich but cash poor, perched thousands of feet up in the mountains’
    • Tompkins, Paul J. Jr. (2012), Crossett, Chuck (ed.), Casebook on Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare, Volume II, 1962–2009, Fort Bragg: United States Army Special Operations Command and The Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory, pp. 455–456, OCLC 899141935, More than the relatively simple denial of civil and political rights that characterized the Kashmiri government for more than four decades, the events of 1990, when Governor Jagmohan and the Indian government stepped up their counterinsurgency efforts, developed into a pronounced human rights crisis"—there were rampant abuses such as unarmed protestors shot indiscriminately, arrests without trial, and the rape and torture of prisoners. Jagmohan whitewashed the security forces’ role in human rights violations, laying the blame for atrocities at the feet of “terrorist forces. In February, he also dissolved the Assembly. Combined with the severe, indiscriminate harassment of the population, whereby all citizens were treated as potential suspects, the January massacre, and Jagmohan’s draconian policies, support for the JKLF skyrocketed!"... However, it was JKLF, an ostensible secular, pro-independence movement, that dominated the field at the onse of the insurgency.
  25. ^ a b
    • Lapidus, Ira A. (2014), A History of Islamic Societies (3 ed.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 720, ISBN 978-0-521-51430-9, By the mid-1980s, however, trust between Delhi and local leaders had again broken down, and Kashmiris began a fully fledged armed insurgency led by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front calling for an independent and secular Kashmir. As the military struggle went on, Muslim—Hindu antagonism rose; Kashmiris began to define themselves in Muslim terms. Pro-Muslim and pro-Pakistan sentiment became more important than secularism, and the leadership of the insurgency shifted to the Harakat and the Hizb ul-Mujahidin. To achieve its strategic objectives the Pakistani military and its intelligence services supported militant Islamist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, who attacked Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir and more recently attacked civilians in India. Saudi influences, more militant forms of Islam, and the backing of the Pakistani intelligence services gave the struggle in Kashmir the aura of a jihad. The fighting escalated with the deployment of more than 500,000 Indian soldiers to suppress the resistance.
    • Metcalf, Barbara D.; Metcalf, Thomas R. (2012), A Concise History of Modern India, Cambridge Concise Histories (3 ed.), Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 308–309, ISBN 978-1-107-02649-0, The imposition of leaders chosen by the centre, with the manipulation of local elections, and the denial of what Kashmiris felt was a promised autonomy boiled over at last in the militancy of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, a movement devoted to political, not religious, objectives. ...As the government sought to locate ‘suspects’ and weed out Pakistani ‘infiltrators’, the entire population was subjected to a fierce repression. By the end of the 1990s, the Indian military presence had escalated to approximately one soldier or paramilitary policeman for every five Kashmiris, and some 30,000 people had died in the conflict.
    • Varma, Saiba (2020), The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir, Durham and London: Duke University Press, p. 27, ISBN 9781478009924, LCCN 2019058232, In 1988, the JKLF, an organization with secular, leftist roots, waged a guerrilla war against Indian armed forces with the slogan Kashmir banega khudmukhtar (Kashmir will be independent). Other organizations, such as the Jama’at Islami and Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), supported merging with Pakistan. In 1988, Kashmiris began an armed struggle to overthrow Indian rule. Because some armed groups received assistance from Pakistan, the Indian state glossed the movement as Pakistani-sponsored “cross-border terrorism,” while erasing its own extralegal actions in the region. Part of India’s claim over Kashmir rests on its self-image as a pluralistic, democratic, and secular country. However, many Kashmiris feel they have never enjoyed the fruits of Indian democracy, as draconian laws have been in place for decades. Further, many see Indian rule as the latest in a long line of foreign colonial occupations.
    • Sirrs, Owen L. (2017), Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate: Covert action and internal operations, London and New York: Routledge, p. 157, ISBN 978-1-138-67716-6, LCCN 2016004564, Fortunately for ISI, another option emerged from quite unexpected direction: the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Frong (JKLF). A creature of its times, the JKLF was guided by a secular, nationalistic ideology, which emphasized the independenc of Kashmir above union with Pakistan or India. This fact alone meant that JKLF was not going to be a good match for ISI's long-term goal of a united Kashmir under the Pakistan banner. Still, in lieu of any viable alternative, the JKLF was the best short-term expedient for ISI plans.
    • Webb, Matthew J. (2012), Kashmir's Right to Secede: A Critical Examination of Contemporary Theories of Secession, London and New York: Routledge, p. 44, ISBN 978-0-415-66543-8, The first wave of militancy from 1988 through to 1991 was very much an urban, middle-class affair dominated by the secular, pro-independence Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).
    • Thomas, Raju G. C, ed. (4 June 2019), Perspectives On Kashmir: The Roots of Conflict in South Asia, London and New York: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-367-28273-8, The exception in this case, which is also the largest group among the nationalists, is the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). The JKLF claims to adhere to the vision of a secular independent Kashmir. ... The JKLF committed to an independent but secular Kashmir, is willing to take the Hindus back.
    • Chandrani, Yogesh; Kumar, Radha (2003), "South Asia: Introduction", The Selected Writings of Eqbal Ahmad, New York and Oxford: Columbia University Press, p. 396, ISBN 0-231-12711-1, Decades of misrule and repression in Indian-held Kashmir had led to a popular and armed uprising in 1989. In its initial stages, the uprising was dominated by the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), a secular movement that demanded Kashmir's independence from Indian rule. The Indian government deployed the army and brutally suppressed the uprising. The Pakistani security establishment at first supported the JKLF and then began to seek more pliable allies.
    • Sokefeld, Martin (2012), "Secularism and the Kashmir dispute", in Bubandt, Nils; van Beek, Martijn (eds.), Varieties of Secularism in Asia: Anthropological Explorations of Religion, Politics, and the Spiritual, London and New York: Routledge, p. 101–120, 109, 114, ISBN 978-0-415-61672-0, (p. 109) Like the Plebiscite Front, the JKLF portrayed the Kashmir issue as a national issue and Kashmir as a multi-religious nation to which Muslims, Hindus and members of other religions belonged. While Pakistan was considered as a ‘friend’ of the Kashmiri nation, the purpose of the JKLF was not accession with the state but the independence of Kashmir from both India and Pakistan. In the mid-1980s, the JKLF became a significant force among (Azad) Kashmiris in Britain. Towards the end of the decade, with the support of Pakistani intelligence agencies, the JKLF extended into Indian administered Kashmir and initiated the uprising there. (p. 114) In writings about the Kashmir dispute, secular political mobilisation of Muslim Kashmiris is frequently disregarded. Even when it is mentioned it is often not taken seriously. ... The Kashmir issue is much more complex than the orthodox view on the problem concedes. It is neither simply a conflict between India and Pakistan nor an issue between religion/Islam on the one hand and secularism on the other. ... In the 1980s and early 1990s Kashmiri nationalists, especially those of the JKLF, considered Pakistan a kind of natural ally for their purposes. But when Pakistani agencies shifted their support to Islamist militants ('jihadis') in Kashmir, most nationalists were alienated from Pakistan.
    • Sharma, Deepti (2015), "The Kashmir insurgency: multiple actors, divergent interests, institutionalized conflict", in Chima, Jugdeep S. (ed.), Ethnic Subnationalist Insurgencies in South Asia: Identiies, interests and challenges to state authority, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 17–40, 27–28, ISBN 978-1-138-83992-2, The JKLF, with its indigenous roots, had insider credentials and its secular ideology appealed to a population that had learned to equate ethnic nationalism with Sheikh Abdullah’s version of Kashmiriyat. After the insurgency was in full swing, the Islamist groups made progress with their superior experience in militancy and greater resources. At this point, the JKLF’s secular ideology and its popularity became an obstacle in their path to complete control of the insurgency. In 1992, Pakistan arrested more than 500 JKLF members, including Amanullah Khan, a JKLF leader in PoK. It is alleged that Pakistan also provided intelligence on JKLF members to the Indian military, which led to the JKLF members being either arrested or killed.
  26. ^ a b
    • Ganguly, Sumit (2016), Deadly Impasse: Indo-Pakistani Relations at the Dawn of a New Century, Cambridge University Press, p. 10, ISBN 9780521125680, In December 1989, an indigenous, ethno-religious insurgency erupted in the Indian-controlled portion of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir.
    • Ganguly, Sumit (1997), The Crisis in Kashmir: Portents of War; Hopes of Peace, Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Cambridge University Press, pp. 107–108, ISBN 9780521655668, However, two factors undermined the sense of security and safety of the pandit community in Kashmir. First, the governor hinted that the safety and security of the Hindu community could not be guaranteed. Second, the fanatical religious zeal of some of the insurgent groups instilled fear among the Hindus of the valley. By early March, according to one estimate, more than forty thousand Hindu inhabitants of the valley had fled to the comparative safety of Jammu.
  27. ^ Evans 2002, pp. 19–37, 23: "While the numbers of dead and injured were low, militant attacks between 1988 and 1990 induced panic within the Pandit community. There was widespread fear and a sense of impending trouble, fuelled by extremist propaganda on both sides. By late March 1990, the ASKPC (All India Kashmiri Pandit Conference) was appealing to the administration to assist Pandits in ‘shifting to Jammu’."
  28. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2018), "Kashmiri Visions of Freedom", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 89–112, 105, ISBN 9781107181977, The rhetoric of aazadi[disambiguation needed] did not hold the same appeal for the minority community. The rise of insurgency in the region created a difficult situation for the Kashmiri Hindu community, which had always taken pride in their Indian identity.
  29. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2018), "Kashmiri Visions of Freedom", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 89–112, 105, ISBN 9781107181977, The community felt threatened when Kashmiri Muslims under the flag of aazadi openly raised anti-India slogans. The 1989 targeted killings of Kashmiri Hindus who the insurgents believed were acting as Indian intelligence agents heightened those insecurities.
  30. ^ Evans 2002, pp. 19–37, 23: "KPs migrated en masse through legitimate fear. Given the killings of 1989 and 1990, and the ways in which rumour spread fast in the violent conditions of early 1990, might KPs have been terrified by uncertainty as much as by direct threats? There was collective unease at the situation as it unfolded. While the numbers of dead and injured were low, militant attacks between 1988 and 1990 induced panic within the Pandit community. There was widespread fear and a sense of impending trouble, fuelled by extremist propaganda on both sides. By late March 1990, the ASKPC (All India Kashmiri Pandit Conference) was appealing to the administration to assist Pandits in ‘shifting to Jammu’."
  31. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2018), "Kashmiri Visions of Freedom", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 89–112, 105, ISBN 9781107181977, In the winter of 1990, the community felt compelled to mass-migrate to Jammu, as the state governor was adamant that in the given circumstances he would not be able to offer protection to the widely dispersed Hindu community. This event created unbridgeable differences between the majority and the minority; each perceived aazadi in a different light.
  32. ^ Evans 2002, pp. 19–37, 23: "My own interviews with a number of KPs in Jammu, many of whom hold Pakistan responsible, suggest suspicions of ethnic cleansing or even genocide are wide of the mark. The two conspiracy theories already described are not evidence based. As Sumantra Bose observes, those Rashtriya Swayam Sevak publications’ claims that large numbers of Hindu shrines were destroyed and Pandits murdered are largely false, to the extent that many of the shrines remain untouched and many of the casualties remain unsubstantiated."
  33. ^ Bose, Sumantra (2021), Kashmir at the Crossroads: Inside a 21st-century conflict, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, p. 122, ISBN 978-0-300-25687-1, In 1991 the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the movement’s parent organisation, published a book titled Genocide of Hindus in Kashmir.<Footnote 38: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Genocide of Hindus in Kashmir (Delhi: Suruchi Prakashan, 1991).> It claimed among many other things that at least forty Hindu temples in the Kashmir Valley had been desecrated and destroyed by Muslim militants. In February 1993 journalists from India’s leading newsmagazine sallied forth from Delhi to the Valley, armed with a list of twenty-three demolished temples supplied by the national headquarters of the BJP, the movement’s political party. They found that twenty-one of the twenty-three temples were intact. They reported that ‘even in villages where only one or two Pandit families are left, the temples are safe . . . even in villages full of militants. The Pandit families have become custodians of the temples, encouraged by their Muslim neighbours to regularly offer prayers.’ Two temples had sustained minor damage during unrest after a huge, organised Hindu nationalist mob razed a sixteenth-century mosque in the north Indian town of Ayodhya on 6 December 1992.<Footnote 39: India Today, 28 February 1993, pp.22–25>
  34. ^ Bhatia, Mohita (2020), Rethinking Conflict at the Margins: Dalits and Borderland Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir, Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 123–124, ISBN 978-1-108-83602-9, The dominant politics of Jammu representing 'Hindus' as a homogeneous block includes Padits in the wider 'Hindu' category. It often uses extremely aggressive terms such as 'genocide' or 'ethnic cleansing' to explain their migration and places them in opposition to Kashmiri Muslims. The BJP has appropriated the miseries of Pandits to expand their 'Hindu' constituency and projects them as victims who have been driven out from their homeland by militants and Kashmiri Muslims.
  35. ^ Rai, Mridu (2021), "Narratives from exile: Kashmiri Pandits and their construction of the past", in Bose, Sugata; Jalal, Ayesha (eds.), Kashmir and the Future of South Asia, Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series, Routledge, pp. 91–115, 106, ISBN 9781000318845, Among those who stayed on is Sanjay Tickoo who heads the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (Committee for the Kashmiri Pandits’ Struggle). He had experienced the same threats as the Pandits who left. Yet, though admitting ‘intimidation and violence’ directed at Pandits and four massacres since 1990, he rejects as ‘propaganda’ stories of genocide or mass murder that Pandit organizations outside the Valley have circulated.
  36. ^ (a) "Kashmir, region Indian subcontinent", Encyclopædia Britannica, retrieved 15 August 2019 (subscription required) Quote: "Kashmir, region of the northwestern Indian subcontinent ... has been the subject of dispute between India and Pakistan since the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947. The northern and western portions are administered by Pakistan and comprise three areas: Azad Kashmir, Gilgit, and Baltistan, the last two being part of a territory called the Northern Areas. Administered by India are the southern and southeastern portions, which constitute the state of Jammu and Kashmir but are slated to be split into two union territories. China became active in the eastern area of Kashmir in the 1950s and has controlled the northeastern part of Ladakh (the easternmost portion of the region) since 1962."; (b) "Kashmir", Encyclopedia Americana, Scholastic Library Publishing, 2006, p. 328, ISBN 978-0-7172-0139-6 C. E Bosworth, University of Manchester Quote: "KASHMIR, kash'mer, the northernmost region of the Indian subcontinent, administered partlv by India, partly by Pakistan, and partly by China. The region has been the subject of a bitter dispute between India and Pakistan since they became independent in 1947";
  37. ^ Osmańczyk, Edmund Jan (2003), Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements: G to M, Taylor & Francis, pp. 1191–, ISBN 978-0-415-93922-5 Quote: "Jammu and Kashmir: Territory in northwestern India, subject to a dispute between India and Pakistan. It has borders with Pakistan and China."
  38. ^ Rai 2004, p. 37: According to Walter Lawrence, the British settlement commissioner deputed to Kashmir in 1889, the Hindus comprised about 5 to 6 per cent of the population of the valley, the Sikhs about 0.5 per cent and the Muslims (including the Shias) about 93 per cent. The total population, according to him, amounted to 814,214. Walter Lawrence, The Valley of Kashmir (Srinagar: Chinar Publishing House, repr. 1992), p. 284. These numbers remained relatively steady as the 1941 census of India indicated that the Muslims comprised 93.6 per cent and the Hindus about 4 per cent of the total population of the valley. Census of India, Jammu and Kashmir, 1941.
  39. ^ Rai 2004, p. 283; Bose 2013, pp. 250–251
  40. ^ Zutshi 2003, p. 318 Quote: "Since a majority of the landlords were Hindu, the (land) reforms (of 1950) led to a mass exodus of Hindus from the state. ... The unsettled nature of Kashmir's accession to India, coupled with the threat of economic and social decline in the face of the land reforms, led to increasing insecurity among the Hindus in Jammu, and among Kashmiri Pandits, 20 per cent of whom had emigrated from the Valley by 1950."
  41. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2018), "Kashmiri Visions of Freedom", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 89–112, 105, ISBN 9781107181977, The rhetoric of aazadi[disambiguation needed] did not hold the same appeal for the minority community. The rise of insurgency in the region created a difficult situation for the Kashmiri Hindu community, which had always taken pride in their Indian identity. Self-determination was not only seen as a communal demand, but as a secessionist slogan that threatened the security of the Indian state. The community felt threatened when Kashmiri Muslims under the flag of aazadi openly raised anti-India slogans. The 1989 targeted killings of Kashmiri Hindus who the insurgents believed were acting as Indian intelligence agents heightened those insecurities. In the winter of 1990, the community felt compelled to mass-migrate to Jammu, as the state governor was adamant that in the given circumstances he would not be able to offer protection to the widely dispersed Hindu community. This event created unbridgeable differences between the majority and the minority; each perceived aazadi in a different light.
  42. ^ Talbot, Ian; Singh, Gurharpal (2009), The Partition of India, New Approaches to Asian History, Cambridge University Press, pp. 136–137, ISBN 9780521672566, (Farooq Abdullah's) efforts to establish an all-India oppositional front for more autonomy resulted, first, in his dismissal, and then, in his return to power in alliance with Congress in the rigged assembly elections of June 1987. It was these elections, and the denial of the growing support of the Muslim United Front, that triggered the uprising in the Kashmir valley from 1987 onwards. Thereafter the separatist groups (Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Hizbul Mujahideen) transformed decades of ethnic oppression into a generalised uprising against the Indian state. Between 1990 and 1995, 25,000 people were killed in Kashmir, almost two-thirds by Indian armed forces. Kashmirs put the figure at 50,000. In addition, 150,000 Kashmiri Hindus fled the valley to settle in the Hindu-majority region of Jammu. In 1991, Amnesty International estimated that 15,000 people were being detained in the state without trial.
  43. ^ Metcalf, Barbara D.; Metcalf, Thomas R. (2012), A Concise History of Modern India, Cambridge University Press, p. 274, ISBN 9781139537056, The year 1989 marked the beginning of a continuing insurgency, fuelled by covert support from Pakistan. The uprising had its origins in Kashmiri frustration at the state's treatment by Delhi. The imposition of leaders chosen by the centre, with the manipulation of local elections, and the denial of what Kashmiris felt was a promised autonomy boiled over at last in the militancy of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, a movement devoted to political, not religious, objectives. The Hindu Pandits, a small but influential elite community who had secured a favorable position, first under the maharajas and then under the successive Congress governments, and who propagated a distinctive Kashmiri culture that linked them to India, felt under siege as the uprising gathered force. Upwards of 100,000 of them left the state during the early 1990s; their cause was quickly taken up by the Hindu right. As the government sought to locate 'suspects' and weed out Pakistani 'infiltrators', the entire population was subjected to a fierce repression. By the end of the 1990s, the Indian military presence had escalated to approximately one soldier or paramilitary policeman for every five Kashmiris, and some 30,000 people had died in the conflict.
  44. ^ Metcalf & Metcalf 2006, p. 274: "The Hindu Pandits, a small but influential elite community who had secured a favourable position, first under the maharajas, and then under the successive Congress regimes, and proponents of a distinctive Kashmiri culture that linked them to India, felt under siege as the uprising gathered force. Of a population of some 140,000, perhaps 100,000 Pandits fled the state after 1990"
  45. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2018), "Kashmiri Visions of Freedom", Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, pp. 89–112, 105, ISBN 9781107181977, The rhetoric of aazadi did not hold the same appeal for the minority community. The rise of insurgency in the region created a difficult situation for the Kashmiri Hindu community, which had always taken pride in their Indian identity. Self-determination was not only seen as a communal demand, but as a secessionist slogan that threatened the security of the Indian state. The community felt threatened when Kashmiri Muslims under the flag of aazadi openly raised anti-India slogans. The 1989 targeted killings of Kashmiri Hindus who the insurgents believed were acting as Indian intelligence agents heightened those insecurities. In the winter of 1990, the community felt compelled to mass-migrate to Jammu, as the state governor was adamant that in the given circumstances he would not be able to offer protection to the widely dispersed Hindu community. This event created unbridgeable differences between the majority and the minority; each perceived aazadi in a different light.
  46. ^ Evans 2002, pp. 20, 23: "(p. 20) What occurred in 1990 that led to so many (Kashmiri) Pandits (KPs) leaving? The situation at the time was one of open revolt. The Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) launched its armed campaign for independence from India on 31 July 1988. Two powerful bombs exploded in Srinagar and, for the rest of the year, occasional JKLF attacks saw the security situation in the Kashmir Valley deteriorate. As the violence spread, Muslim–Hindu amity in Kashmir came under strain, particularly given the initial militant targeting of Hindu officials. During the course of 1989, civil disobedience and political violence by Kashmiri Muslims gathered pace, and the Indian government imposed central governor's rule in late January 1990. Governor Malhotra Jagmohan faced a series of challenges, and the internal displacement of Pandits was but one of them. ... (p. 23) My own interviews with a number of KPs in Jammu, many of whom hold Pakistan responsible, suggest suspicions of ethnic cleansing or even genocide are wide of the mark. The two conspiracy theories already described are not evidence-based. As Sumantra Bose observes, those Rashtriya Swamy Sevak publications' claims that large numbers of Hindu shrines were destroyed and Pandits murdered are largely false, to the extent that many of the shrines remain untouched and many of the casualties remain unsubstantiated. Equally, it is important to note that some incidents did take place."
  47. ^ Evans 2002, p. 19: "Most Kashmiri Pandits living in the Kashmir Valley left in 1990 as militant violence engulfed the state. Some 95% of the 160,000-170,000 community left in what is often described as a case of ethnic cleansing."
  48. ^ Braithwaite, John; D'Costa, Bina (2018), "Recognizing cascades in India and Kashmir", Cacades of violence:War, Crime and Peacebuilding Across South Asia, Australian National University Press, ISBN 9781760461898, .Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), a civil society group in Kashmir that looks after the affairs of the remaining Pandits, notes that there are currently 3,400 Pandits in Kashmir. Others have placed the number at around 2,700. Rejecting estimates of the death of between 3,000 and 4,000 Pandits as propaganda, the KPSS believes that 650 Pandits were killed in the Kashmir Valley over the past 20 years. Many of these were on a JKNLF hit list for assassination of pro-India leaders and Pandits believed to be intelligence agents.
  49. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2021), Kashmir in the Aftermath of the Partition, Cambridge University Press, pp. 320, 321, ISBN 9781108901130, The Counter-narrative of Aazadi: Kashmiri Hindus and Displacement of the Homeland (p. 320) The minority Hindu community of the Valley, which had always presented itself as a group of true Indian patriots wedded to their Indian identity, now found itself in an extreme dilemma as the tehreek-i-aazadi threatened their security. The community felt safer as a part of Hindu-majority India, as it feared political domination in Muslim-majority Kashmir. It had thus often opposed Kashmiri Muslim calls for self-determination, equating this with anti-nationalism.
  50. ^ Rai, Mridu (2021), "Narratives from exile: Kashmiri Pandits and their construction of the past", in Bose, Sugata; Jalal, Ayesha (eds.), Kashmir and the Future of South Asia, Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series, Routledge, pp. 91–115, 106, ISBN 9781000318845, An important element in the recollections of many Pandits is the effect the killing in the early 1990s of a number of Pandit officials had in shaking their sense of security. Various groups of militants claim that their targets were Indian government 'agents' and so, in eliminating them, they were essentially waging war against the state. Contrariwise, Pandits insist that the targets being exclusively Hindu indicated a 'communal' threat. It is only common sense that not every Pandit could have been an informer or a spy. But what is perplexing is that while the connection of numerous Pandits with the state's intelligence apparatus is denied in discussions relating to their roles in Kashmir, it is well advertised when making demands upon the state's resources in Indian law courts. The latter became an important arena for shaping Pandit narratives. ... At any rate, these testimonies freely given in Indian courts corroborate the claim of militants that at least some Pandits did act as agents of the state in Kashmir; of course, this does not offer justification for killing them.
  51. ^ Bose, Sumantra (2021), Kashmir at the Crossroads, Inside a 21st-Century Conflict, Yale University Press, pp. 119–120, JKLF's series of targeted assassinations that began in August 1989 (see Chapter 1) included a number of prominent Pandits. Tika Lal Taploo, the president of the Hindu nationalist BJP's Kashmir Valley unit, was killed in September 1989, followed in November by Neelkanth Ganjoo, the judge who had sentenced the JKLF pioneer Maqbool Butt to death in 1968 (the execution was carried out in 1984). As the Valley descended into mayhem in early 1990, Lassa Koul, the Pandit director of the Srinagar station of India's state-run television, was killed on 13 February 1990 by JKLF gunmen. The murders of such high-profile members of the community may have spread a wave of fear among Pandits at large.
  52. ^ Snedden, Christopher (2021), Independent Kashmir: An Incomplete Aspiration, Manchester University Press, p. 132, ISBN 9781526156150, Some other slogans were clearly directed against pro-India Kashmiri Pandits. ... by the end of January 1990, loudspeakers in Srinagar mosques were broadcasting slogans like 'Kafiron Kashmir chhod do [Infidels, leave our Kashmir]
  53. ^ Zutshi, Chitralekha (8 November 2017). Kashmir: History, Politics, Representation. Cambridge University Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-1-108-40210-1. Anti-Hindu announcements in neighbourhood mosques, such as, ‘Kashmir kiske liye? Mussalman ke liye’ (Kashmir is for whom? For the Muslim), resulted in a large, almost total exodus of most of the Valley’s Hindu (Pandit) population.
  54. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2021), Kashmir in the Aftermath of the Partition, Cambridge University Press, pp. 320, 321, ISBN 9781108901130, The polarized political positions that the two communities had adopted since 1947 reached a breaking point in the new political climate of the 1990s, when Kashmiri Muslims openly invoked anti-India slogans and demanded aazadi. As the new valorization of armed resistance gripped the region, targeted killings of prominent members of the Kashmiri Hindu community whom the JKLF insurgents believed to be Indian intelligence agents sent shivers down the spine of the minority community. Stories of Kashmiri Pandits, branded as "informers," and killed in their own homes or in their alleys, and survived by grieving wives and children, had a tremendous impact on the psyche of the minority community. Their fears were heightened as religious slogans merged with the cry for independence emerging from the mosques of Kashmir. Certain militant groups even wrote threatening letters to the Kashmiri Hindu community, asking them to leave the Valley.
  55. ^ Evans 2002, p.23: "P. S. Verma echoes this; his interviews with migrant Pandits found few who had actually been personally harmed or threatened to leave the Valley (and many who had been begged to stay by their Muslim neighbours). A research study conducted by postgraduate politics students at the University of Jammu in 2001 found that 2% of KPs surveyed had received threatening letters; however, over 80% had not received any form of direct threat. Nevertheless, as Verma states, most of these migrants 'felt very much threatened in an atmosphere of unabated violence, particularly during January–February 1990 when the major exodus took place'. My own interviews with a number of KPs in Jammu, many of whom hold Pakistan responsible, suggest suspicions of ethnic cleansing or even genocide are wide of the mark."
  56. ^ Datta 2017, p. 61–63: "While most accounts of events in Kashmir featured militancy and demonstrations against the Indian state, few references are made to the Pandits. The slogans the Pandits refer to have never been reported or recorded officially at the time and suggest a gap between what was recorded and what the Pandits describe.... Yet conversations [with Kashmiri Muslims] regarding the Pandit exodus were complicated by their insistence that the Pandits were not targeted by the Muslims. They denied hearing (p.63) the slogans, even those threatening women, from the demonstrations which the Pandits draw attention to."
  57. ^ Evans 2002, p. 20: "Most KPs believe that they were forced out of the Kashmir Valley; whether by Pakistan and the militant groups it backed, or by Kashmiri Muslims as a community. Representing the latter variant, Pyarelal Kaul contends that the Pandit departure was a clear case of communal intimidation by Muslims, designed to expel Hindus from the Valley. Mosques 'were used as warning centres. Threatening the Hindus and conveying to them what terrorists and many Muslims of Kashmir wanted to achieve.'"
  58. ^ Verma, Saiba (2020), The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir, Duke University Press, p. 26, ISBN 9781478012511, Although Kashmiri Muslims did not support violence against religious minorities, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits (who are Hindus) and their unresolved status continues to be a pain often "weaponized" by the Indian state to cast Kashmiris Muslims as Islamic radicals.
  59. ^ Zutshi, Chitralekha (2019), Kashmir, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-099046-6, These developments subverted the popular nature of the insurgency, tarnishing the very real political grievances that underlay it with the brush of criminality and Islamic radicalism.
  60. ^ Verma, Saiba (2020), The Occupied Clinic: Militarism and Care in Kashmir, Duke University Press, p. 62, ISBN 9781478012511, Soon after Jammu and Kashmir became a disturbed area in 1990, the change registered in the landscape. Armed forces occupied protected forests, temples, orchards, and gardens. Cricket grounds became desiccated ovals in the middle of the city. Historical sites became interrogation centers; cinemas became military bunkers. Counterinsurgency tactics, such as sieges, crackdowns, and cordon-and-search operations, transformed village after village. Checkpoints, roadblocks, and identity checks became everyday realities.
  61. ^ Bhan, Mona; Duschinski, Haley; Zia, Ather (20 April 2018), "Introduction. 'Rebels of the Streets': Violence, Protest, and Freedom in Kashmir", in Duschinski, Haley; Bhan, Mona; Zia, Ather; Mahmood, Cynthia (eds.), Resisting Occupation in Kashmir, University of Pennsylvania Press, pp. 25–27, ISBN 9780812249781, . Their stories of departure are deeply contested; while many in Kashmir view their departure from Kashmir as Governor Jagmohan Malhotra' grand design to exterminate Muslims once Kashmir's Hindu minority had fled the valley, many Kashmiri Pandits track the onset of Kashmir's armed rebellion in 1989 to a new brand of Islamic extremism, which in their view posed a grave threat to Kashmir's Hindu minority (Duschinski 2008).
  62. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2021), Kashmir in the Aftermath of the Partition, Cambridge University Press, pp. 320, 321, ISBN 9781108901130, In this violent and unstable atmosphere, rumors spread that the exodus of Kashmiri Hindus was the machinations of the state governor who planned to use unrestrained force to suppress Kashmiri Muslim resistance and thus viewed the presence of the Kashmiri Hindus in the neighborhoods as a hindrance to the army in quickly and efficiently carrying out its plan.'!" Many Kashmiri Muslims claimed to have "witnessed departing Pandits boarding vehicles organized by the state," and felt fearful about their own security. A senior Indian administrator, Wajahat Habibullah, posted in Kashmir at this critical juncture, denied the involvement of the government in a coordinated plan for Kashmiri Hindu departure. However, he emphasized that the state governor did little to stop the Pandits from leaving the Valley. Jagmohan remained adamant that he would not be able to offer protection to the Valley's widely dispersed Hindu community, and rejected Habibullah's suggestion to televise "the request of hundreds of Muslims to their Pandit compatriots not to leave the valley." Instead, the government reassured Pandits of their support in settling them in refugee camps in Jammu and paying the civil servants their salaries, if the community decided to leave
  63. ^ Evans 2002, p. 22: "There is a third possible explanation for what happened in 1990; one that acknowledges the enormity of what took place, but that examines carefully what triggered KP migration: KPs migrated en masse through legitimate fear. Given the killings of 1989 and 1990, and the ways in which rumour spread fast in the violent conditions of early 1990, might KPs have been terrified by uncertainty as much as by direct threats? There was collective unease at the situation as it unfolded. While the numbers of dead and injured were low, militant attacks between 1988 and 1990 induced panic within the Pandit community. There was widespread fear and a sense of impending trouble, fuelled by extremist propaganda on both sides. By late March 1990, the ASKPC was appealing to the administration to assist Pandits in 'shifting to Jammu'. The public rhetoric of some of the more Islamist militants in the Valley, with calls for an Islamic state, although aimed primarily at Indian rule, struck a chilling chord with KPs. This in turn sparked off an exodus, which was not actively combated by Governor Jagmohan's administration (during whose tenure, almost 90% of the departures took place)."
  64. ^ Evans 2002, p. 23: "Once it became clear that the government could not protect senior KP officials—and would pay their salaries in absentia—many other KPs in state employment decided to move. At the outset, few of these migrants expected their exile to last more than a few months."
  65. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2021), Kashmir in the Aftermath of the Partition, Cambridge University Press, p. 323, ISBN 9781108901130, Interestingly, themes of omission, anger, and betrayal are absent from the narratives of those Kashmiri Pandits who stayed in the Valley and refused to (p. 323) migrate. Even though life was extremely difficult without the support of their own community, their stories emphasize human relationships that transgressed the religious divide, and highlighted the importance of building bridges between communities. Pandits' experience of displacement varied depending on their class status. While the urban elite found jobs in other parts of India, lower-middle-class Hindus, especially those from rural Kashmir, suffered the most, many living in abject poverty. The local communities into which they migrated saw their presence as a burden, generating ethnic tensions between the "refugees" and the host community.' Adding to the tension, Kashmiri Hindus from the Valley, mostly Brahmans, had their own social and religious practices that differed from the Hindus of Jammu. They wanted to retain their own cultural and linguistic traditions, which made it difficult for them to assimilate into Jammu society.
  66. ^ Rai, Mridu (2021), "Narratives from exile: Kashmiri Pandits and their construction of the past", in Bose, Sugata; Jalal, Ayesha (eds.), Kashmir and the Future of South Asia, Routledge Contemporary South Asia Series, Routledge, pp. 91–115, 106, ISBN 9781000318845, According to the Indian home ministry's annual report for 2009–10, 20 years after the exodus, there were 57,863 Pandit refugee families, of whom 37,285 resided in Jammu, 19,338 in Delhi, and 1,240 in other parts of the country. Countless writers have described the miserable conditions of the Pandits living in camps, especially those who are still languishing in those established in and around Jammu. Unwelcomed by their host communities, entirely deprived of privacy and basic amenities, many succumbed to depression, ageing-related diseases, and a sense of desperate helplessness. Needless to say, there were some who fared better – those with wealth and older connections – but for those many others with none of these advantages, it was as being plunged with no safety net. Ever since 1990, Indian politicians promised much and delivered next to nothing for the camp-dwellers.
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  68. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2021), Kashmir in the Aftermath of the Partition, Cambridge University Press, p. 323, ISBN 9781108901130, The Pandits' situation was further complicated by the indifference of Indian political parties, especially the Congress and the 1989-90 National Front government.' Kashmiri Pandits perceived themselves as "true patriots" who had "sacrificed greatly for their devotion to the Indian nation." As such, they saw the inability of the state to provide support in exile as a moral failure and a betrayal. This vacuum was filled by Hindu rightist groups, who, while advocating for Kashmiri Pandits, preyed on their insecurities and further alienated them from Kashmiri Muslims.
  69. ^ Hussain, Shahla (2021), Kashmir in the Aftermath of the Partition, Cambridge University Press, p. 323, ISBN 9781108901130, Some Kashmiri Pandits adopted a radical approach and organized the "Panun Kashmir" (Our Own Kashmir) movement, demanding a homeland carved out from the Valley. Panun Kashmir claimed that the entire Valley had originally been inhabited by Hindus, giving them a right to it in the present. The movement argued that to prevent the total disintegration of India, Kashmiri Pandits "who have been driven out of Kashmir in the past" or "who were forced to leave on account of the terrorist violence in Kashmir" should be given their own separate homeland in the Valley. The movement's slogan was "Save Kashmiri Pandits, Save Kashmir, and Save India. Kashmiri Hindus, according to its leaders, had borne the cross of Indian secularism for several decades and their presence had played a major role in the restoration of the Indian claim on Kashmir. The organization warned India that restoring any form of autonomy to the state would indirectly mean conceding the creation of an Islamic state. As historian Mridu (p. 324) Rai has argued, ironically, while "Panun Kashmir opposes demands for Aazadi as an illegitimate demand of Islamist separatists, their own territorial claims are no less separatist." The exclusionary nature of their organization was immediately visible from their maps, which depicted a Valley denuded of Muslim religious sites. As Rai argues, maps such as Panun Kashmir's are "fashioned to enable easy pleating into that of India, the status quo power in the Valley."
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Bibliography

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Primary sources

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