"No Kashmiri Pandit can ever forget what happened on January 19, 1990. Want to let people know we still exist, our voices should be heard." - Indian film actor Anupam Kher on the 27th anniversary of Kashmiri Pandits' Exodus.
One of the most tragic events in Indian history was the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990. Not many among the present generation know why Kashmiri Pandits had to leave Jammu and Kashmir. Also, not all know who are Kashmiri Pandits. They are Hindus who have been living in Jammu and Kashmir for centuries.
Mughal Emperor Akbar called them Pandits as he thought they were astute. In last few centuries, some Kashmiri Pandits became Muslims after they accepted Islam as their religion.
Let us know how and what happened in Jammu and Kashmir back in 1990, which is a dark chapter in Indian history forever.
The mass migration of Kashmiri Pandits started with the appearance of militancy in the valley. The circumstance was terrible for them however the occasions happened in January 1990 were fierce and they had brought about Pandits getting away from the state to spare their lives.
On January 4, 1990, a daily paper had distributed an official statement issued by Hizb-ul Mujahideen. The gathering had asked youngsters to wage jihad for withdrawal from India and promotion to Pakistan. The discharge had additionally requested Hindus to leave the valley.
After this, a crusade to affect the Muslim populace was completed. Reports of Kashmiri Pandits being slaughtered had begun spreading. Incendiary announcements were made using the speakers of mosques. Blurbs were stuck on the houses and shops of Kashmiri Pandits requesting them to either grasp Islam or leave the valley. They were undermined with their lives.
A check in time was forced by the then senator, Jagmohan after he had rejected the state government. Activist gatherings JKLF and Hizb-ul Mujahideen were admonishing individuals to resist the time limitation. Provocative mottos were transferred from mosques throughout the day. One of them stated: 'Kashmir mei agar rehna hai, Allah-O-Akbar Kehna hai'.
Going before January 19, more than 300 Kashmiri Pandits were murdered. Many noted identities were among them. Numerous ladies were stolen and assaulted. The Kashmiri Pandits needed to escape from the valley to evacuee camps in Jammu and Delhi.
The number of Kashmiri Pandits who had to keep running off is assessed to be between 1 lakh to 3 lakh. The Jammu and Kashmir government in 2010 said around 808 Pandit families still live in the valley. Till October 2015, just 1 Kashmiri Pandit returned. After UPA government's monetary bundle to help Kashmiri Pandits, 1,800 Kashmiri Pandits have returned.
It might have been 27 years, but the wounds of this incidence are fresh in the memories of every Indian, especially the Kashmiri Brahmins, their families. Who stands responsible for the loss, the trauma, and the sufferings? The people who were killed won't come back, the houses abandoned won't have people living in them again or will the pain end.
No matter how ignorant the world is, let's come together and help the those who sacrificed their lives for the nation, whose families still haven't been served with justice and their hopes are still hanging in the middle of nowhere.
Somebody from amongst us took upon himself the sole responsibility of doing something for the people who had been wrong with.
Nishant Mittal, lives in Mumbai and is the co-founder of 'The Testament'. The story of The Testament is one such story. The most remarkable about their journey is that The Testament never raised any capital or funds! They started as a university journal aimed at branding IP University and got funding from the university itself.
(Un)fortunately, the college management stepped down after some time leaving the founders red-faced. But that didn't stop them from covering bigger milestones. The business, which grew from "coffee shops to offices" today boasts of more than 500 employees in 20 cities and has expanded themselves to offering technology innovations and training and development services.
"It had been thirteen years and I was convinced that I was never going to have a band. "Fuck it, man! If it couldn't happen in thirteen years, maybe there's a better way out" I thought. Whatever it was, I made a promise to myself – I'd never leave music. I started The Testament in the freshman year of my college and kept on with my entrepreneurial journey, but never gave up on the music dream.
It was still my room and me, but better. I was finally getting the equipment I couldn't afford earlier. My brother and I had better pockets. I didn't need a band anymore - I learned how to play guitar, drums, bass, and harmonica by myself - I was the band. I couldn't perform on the big stage, but I could at least record my songs without shedding tears. I could even think of hiring musicians if needed. But now the fight had changed - I had lesser time."
"Startup life is hard. Very hard. But I somehow kept the artist in me alive, while he did the same for me. After 13 years of all that had happened, I went to the studio and recorded this song. It's 10 years old, but still seems fresh to me, I love it. I thought of doing something greater than just entertaining or inspiring people with it, so I attached it with a fundraiser designed to help the dependents of the Indian Armed Forces' martyrs. The ten-month long journey behind this song and music video proved to be as difficult as the 13 years before it, but I finally had it covered. I sung, played guitar, drums, bass, and harmonica on the song and even directed the video. The editing table was hell, but I could do it. A lot of nice people helped me and I'll never forget their contribution.
Could I have done it alone? No! The journey isn't over yet, my music isn't really a viral success. But it's out. Out of my room. Out of those small stages. Out of my bucket list. Out for the world to hear and feel. Finally, it's out of my heavy heart; and that feels beautiful. There are two things which I learned from this journey: One, the struggle is sacred. And two, have faith in fate. Finally, have faith in the struggle."
Nishant always felt very sad about the entire Kashmir situation and thought something was needed to be done, and so he hit the recording studio with Kashmir - a song he had written - 8 years ago - and then decided to raise funds with it should do something about it. So he hit the studio with Kashmir – a song I wrote 8 years ago – and decided to start crowd funding it solely for the purpose of raising money for the families affected in the Kashmir Exodus.
"I knew I had to think like an entrepreneur to solve this. Just feelings don't count. We all know how CRPF Jawans survive there and how their families survive when they're martyred. They don't even get the benefits which the army does! We need to raise enough money to help at least 10 families of martyrs; that's at least Rs. 20 Lakh. If we achieve that, I'll be happy" says Nishant, who is the 24-year-old, founder of The Testament (a bootstrapped startup which has scaled to revenues of $1 Million in two years) and now Cread too".
Smriti Nagpal is a sign language expert. She learnt to Sign - the colloquial term for communicating through sign language - at a very early age. It started with her deep desire to talk to her two siblings who're hearing impaired and has arched as an inspiring tale with Smriti referring to Sign as her first language and dedicating herself to work for the upliftment of the deaf with her socio-entrepreneurial endeavours at AtulyaKala and Hearken Café. Acknowledging her work, BBC counted her in the list of 100 influential women in 2015.
So when Smriti was approached by Nishant Mittal – an entrepreneur and musician – to sign his song on the plight of Kashmir, she immediately said yes. The song Kashmir is narrated as the story of a Kashmiri boy who's forced to leave his home to survive during the heart-wrenching exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1990s. Smriti could relate to the song as her uncle was also amongst the ones escaped from Kashmir while being attempted for assassination by Islamic terror forces.
She has done a phenomenal job in the video which will definitely touch your hearts!
We here at WittyFeed, are supporting Nishant's cause, are you?
That's all, fellas. You can reach out to me on firstname.lastname@example.org.