Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s diabolic laughter and his satanic stance against the depiction of ‘The Kashmir Files’ speaks for and represents those cartels and conglomerates who have been at the forefront of denying the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits for the last three odd decades. Kejriwal and those he speaks for and represents are akin to ‘Holocaust deniers’ who have spent a lifetime and continue to expend energy whitewashing the crimes against humanity perpetrated by Hitler and his hellish ‘Third Reich.’ Kejriwal denies the genocide of Kashmiri Pandits, while the Congress and the National Conference led by the Abdullah father and son duo, the Mufti-led PDP continue to deflect or justify the genocide and its origins.
The communist parties have maintained a studied silence on the issue. They have attacked ‘The Kashmir Files’, with its general secretary Sitaram Yechuri saying that the film is vitiating the atmosphere. Having sided with the Pakistan version of the situation in Kashmir and having been at the forefront in peddling the subversive and anti-India “Kashmir under siege” narrative globally, for years, through the camouflage of conferences, seminars and book discussions, it unnerves the Indian Left to see the success of the film, to see the truth that they have tried to suppress for decades, surface and create waves and to see their own irrelevance in the entire process of a nation finally awaken to this truth. The communists also fear that speaking on the genocide of the Kashmiri Pandits would open the lid on their own grisly past in Marichjhanpi, which saw their government in West Bengal perpetrate genocide on hapless Bengali Dalit Hindu refugees. Opposing The Kashmir Files for the communists is a compulsion, a reflex reaction to protect themselves and to prevent the truth of their own violent politics from spilling out. However, the genie of Marichjhanpi is also out; it awaits a creative filmmaker to give it voice and sound.
Kejriwal’s laughter is reflective of those who had perpetrated the genocide on Kashmiri Pandits and laughed because they were never taken to task nor tried for their blood-soaked acts. Instead, they were helped in diverting and deflecting their complicity. One of the kingpins of the genocide against the Kashmiri Pandits, Yasin Malik, for instance, was helped in this act of deflection, by the likes of Dr Manmohan Singh, then Prime Minister of India, who ‘exonerated’ Malik of his bloody acts by shaking hands with him, and also by Arundhati Roy, who shared the stage with him and laughed with him at any accusations that Malik had perpetrated genocide on Kashmiri Pandits. In fact, anyone who had given Yasin Malik a stage, a microphone, a forum or a podium to explain himself has been and is complicit in the crimes against the Kashmiri Pandits. Kejriwal is the latest in the line to have openly expressed his support. He must have felt this way for a long time, but the floor of an Assembly, symbolising Constitutional sanctity, was used by him to laugh off an act which was in itself a brazen attack on the Constitutional fabric and spirit of the Indian Republic.
The Congress and its intellectual amplifiers in general and in particular father Abdullah and son Abdullah launched a diversionary rigmarole by falsifying the history of that period. This group’s favourite punching bag is the late Jagmohan, who, as Governor of J&K had actually arrested the state’s spiralling downward. By the time Jagmohan came for a second time as Governor, it is well known to the impartial observer and the evidenced-based historian, that the Congress and the National Conference, then led by Farooq Abdullah had allowed Kashmir to be taken hostage by Pakistan’s armed minions in the state. Sufficient and continuous warnings and cautions were given by Jagmohan since the mid-1980s on the deteriorating situation in the Valley. Yet the Congress, National Conference and the communists want people to believe that the pogrom and genocide against Kashmiri Pandits was a sudden and overnight affair.
From the early 1980s, the symptoms of terrorist outfits gaining ground in Kashmir was becoming evident. On October 19, 1983, for instance, in Srinagar, records Jagmohan, ‘in full view of millions of television viewers, and in the presence of Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah, anti-India slogans and pro-Pakistan slogans were raised. The National Flag was dishonoured. The Indian players were jeered at pelted with pebbles and refuse.’ By 1989, the situation had spiralled out to such an extent that explosions daily rocked Srinagar, Pakistan’s Independence Day was ‘celebrated’ in the valley, while bandhs and hartals greeted India’s Independence Day. Series of political killing by terrorists followed with the murder of BJP Vice President Tikkalal Taploo, Justice Ganju, journalist PN Bhat and all this while Farooq Abdullah fiddled. By August 15, 1989, under Farooq Abdullah’s jurisdiction, terrorists were taking salutes in various parades across colleges in Srinagar!
As early as March 1986, Jagmohan, then serving his first stint as Governor of the State, wrote to Home Minister SB Chavan, with a copy to Rahul Gandhi’s father, Rajiv Gandhi, then Prime Minister of India, alerting them of the growing challenges, especially before the Pandit community. Having undertaken an extensive tour of four districts after the riots in February 1986 which had badly affected the Kashmiri Pandit community, Jagmohan wrote, ‘The damage done to individual property – houses and shops – and temples of Kashmiri Pandits is substantial. But much greater damage has been done to the psyche of the Kashmiri Pandits. They are now living like frightened pigeons. In some villages like Wanpoh or Bonigund, Akoora and Salair, their terror-stricken faces reminded me of the picture of the war-time German Jews slated for the gas chambers.’ No action was initiated by Rajiv Gandhi or his Home Minister. Kashmiri Pandits were, it seems, being prepared by the Congress and by its Gandhi family’s political friend, Farooq Abdullah, for the gas chambers that Pakistan sponsored terrorists were setting up for them in the Valley.
Besides sending regular reports on the deteriorating situation in the Valley to the President of India, Jagmohan continued to persist with Congress leadership in Delhi. In April and May 1989, for instance, he wrote two personal letters to Rajiv Gandhi on the critical conditions in the Valley. ‘The situation is fast deteriorating’, he wrote to Rajiv, “It has almost reached a point of no return. For the last five days, there have been large-scale violence, arson, firing, hartals, casualties and whatnot. Things have truly fallen apart…Yesterday it was “Maqbool Butt”; today it is “Satanic Verses”, tomorrow it will be “repression day” and the day after it will be something else. The CM (Farooq Abdullah) stands isolated. He has already fallen – politically as well as administratively; perhaps, only constitutional rites remain to be performed. His clutches are too soiled and rickety to support him. Personal aberrations have also eroded his public standing. The situation calls for effective intervention. Today may be timely, tomorrow may be too late.’ Writing on May 14 to Rajiv Gandhi, Jagmohan noted how from May 8 to 13, there were 14 bomb blasts and six cases of firing and cross-firing, with four persons dead and 20 injured. But Rajiv Gandhi looked the other way and Farooq Abdullah continued to perform the last rites of the Constitution by allowing Pakistan’s armed proxies in the Valley to gradually turn it into a ‘gas chamber’ in which Kashmiri Pandits could be asphyxiated to death.
It is because ‘The Kashmir Files’ establishes their direct complicity, indirect abetment or soft support to that genocide over three decades ago, Rajiv’s political heirs, communist compradors, Farooq Abdullah, his son Omar, both of whom oversaw the terrorising of the Pandits and anarchy infatuated disrupters like Kejriwal, who have displayed their soft corner for Khalistanis are busy trying to debunk the film.