Time stands still and wounds are the fresh, story of Kashmiri pandit

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Khushboo Mattoo is a poet, painter, and content head at mirchiworld. She has strong roots in the Kashmir valley. She is born and raised in Jammu as her family had to leave their homes and businesses on January 19, 1990. Her family had to run away from Kashmir and built their life from scratch in Jammu. She says, “Generation born between 1985- 1995 has seen a lot while growing up. We were either too young or weren’t born at that time. We have seen poverty, hunger, and losing family members to serious diseases. We are still trying to get on our feet. Our forefathers and grandfathers were in a highly reputed position in Kashmir. We were the most literate community during that time.”

On the 31st anniversary of the Kashmiri pandit genocide, we talked with her and asked her few questions.

Question 1. Might you have heard about the central government resettlement plan for Kashmiri Pandit? What are your personal views?

Answer: “Central government is not serious about Kashmiri Pandit’s resettlement, even compensation or anything that settle their hearts. Because mostly, it’s very late, and we aren’t a powerful vote bank for them. Also, it just ends with sympathy. A lot a government can do for the generations that grow up and for the new generation who can be given counselling and good job opportunities and scholarships. But that’s not happening, and that’s not even in the government’s plan.

Question.2 What was the reason behind the evacuation of the Kashmiri pandit?|

Answer: It was a pre-planned Islamization of the valley. It was planned. There was nothing like an earthquake that happened overnight. It was planned and plotted houses were burned; people were killed in the middle of the road, women were raped, neighbours, milkmen, shopkeepers, everybody was involved into scaring pundits out of the valley. It was done so that Hindus, especially Kashmiri pundits who were a significant part of the valley’s history, would leave Kashmir.

And the sad part is no one did anything about it, not the government, not
your neighbours, your friends, whom you’ve grown up. Faraq Abdullah, who was a Chief Minister at that time, flew to London
or was incognito. And while he was enjoying in London, Kashmir was burning. So nobody tried to help. When some people plan something if the government stops or if security forces stop or a rescue operation, things fall into place. Law and Order are corrected, but that correction of order never happened. Not even 31 years down the line.

While you’re fabricating this story, there’s something I would like to say a lot of people from the present Generation are saying. Why aren’t you coming back? No one is stopping you from coming back.
Is it so easy as it sounds?
No one is stopping us, but if at that time you would have prevented your brothers and men from the ruthless killing of men and rape of women, giving article in newspapers and announcement from the loudspeaker of the mosque” Leave, convert or die.” We won’t have ever left our homes.

Question 3. On August 05, 2019, article 370 was revoked. What are your views, and are there any significant changes you have seen in the states?

Answer: I don’t have a problem with the abrogation of article 370 as long as there is development. Due to corona, another excuse by the administration, there is not much that has happened on the ground. However, there are a lot of agreements that have been signed. You can see development on the paper, but nothing has happened on the ground. If I see job opportunities and development in the state, then I can article 370 abrogation is right. It’s too early to say it.

There are thousands of such unheard tales from the Kashmir of the night of January 19, 1990. They are not only heart wrenching but torments the soul. We hope the government will take the necessary actions soon and provide justices to the Kashmiri pandit.

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