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Hindu pilgrims massacred; but the show must go on
By Rajeev Srinivasan

It is no great surprise to me that the so-called 'ceasefire' by the shadowy Hizbul Mujahideen in Jammu and Kashmir came to an ignominious end. As I said in my previous column ('Beware of Greeks bearing gifts!') it was a propaganda exercise for the separatists and the Pakistanis to claim that see, they were willing to talk, it was India that was intransigent.

For once, India did the right counter-propaganda by immediately responding to the 'ceasefire' offer. With such alacrity that the Pakistanis (and their puppet, the Hizbul Mujahideen man Salahuddin in Islamabad) were caught on the wrong foot. They might actually have had to sit down and negotiate with the Indians, which they really don't want to do. Therefore, Plan B was put into action.

That was the brutal massacre of a hundred Indians, including Hindu pilgrims on the Amarnath Yatra and Hindu laborers from Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. This was trigger-happiness, intended to a. show the Indians who was boss, b. cause mass outrage and calls to abort the talks. But the Indian government still did not withdraw from the negotiations; the Indian public did not rise up in anger.

Therefore Plan C had to be hastily constructed: add some unreasonable demands. Yes, ask for Pakistan to be included in the talks post-facto -- this is guaranteed to be rejected by India. Thereafter, feigning injured innocence, the Hizbul Mujahideen wrings their hands about Indian 'unreasonableness' and goes back to business as usual, murdering people.

The theatrics have backfired: anybody who cares could see that India acted in good faith, and it was Salahuddin and the Pakistanis that sabotaged the talks. So no little gold stars for the dictator Pervez Musharraf; his propaganda ploy got him no plaudits whatsoever. So it is back to square one -- Situation Normal All Fouled Up.

Except for one small detail -- one hundred innocent people, mostly Hindus, who were murdered. In particular, many were pilgrims, going on an arduous pilgrimage to the ice cave at Amarnath. Pilgrims are always treated with deference everywhere in the world, for their closeness to the Infinite. Yet, the Indian media did not see fit to dwell on them; I don't remember seeing anywhere a full list of the people killed, their family backgrounds, any details about them. I know nothing about who these unfortunate people were. They have already been forgotten.

And I don't remember seeing the professional Human Rights mafia raising a ruckus. Let me pick on the most visible of these 'progressives' -- Shabana Azmi, Teesta Setalvad, Communalism Combat, SAHMAT. Not to speak of John Dayal and the National Christian Council or whatever. Not one of them, unless I am gravely mistaken, even turned an elegantly coiffed hair. You see, the dead were Hindus, so they were not human. So they had no human rights. QED. Only Muslims and Christians have rights.

Can you imagine the fuss if 50 Muslim or Christian pilgrims were slaughtered in India? Do you remember the breast-beating about attacks on Christians? The god-awful fuss made over exactly one missionary ('Death of a Missionary') burned to death? The mea culpas are still resonating. The manhunt for the perpetrators was most energetic. We get periodic interviews with the missionary's saintly wife who forgives all and sundry for all their sins, whether they committed any or not. I wouldn't be surprised if the Vatican saints Graham Staines any day now, even if he was not a Catholic.

Where are the interviews with the wives of the Hindu laborers and the pilgrims? Why doesn't anybody care if they forgive the killers of their kith and kin? Are they even getting any compensation money? I suppose not. They have already been forgotten. They are only Hindus.

This is what it means to be a Hindu in the great Socialist Progressive Secular Republic of India. You are a second-class citizen. Jawaharlal Nehru must be laughing in his grave -- he has succeeded in what he set out to do: destroy Hinduism. He put in place a perfect system of apartheid, one in which the silent majority is explicitly handicapped and exploited by law; and they believe they deserve it. While the 'minorities' are coddled. How this is different from the erstwhile white-supremacist regime in South Africa I really am not sure.

The Nehruvian Indian Constitution is a discriminatory document, as it expressly curtails the freedoms of Hindus, but not of 'minorities'. For instance, Hindu religious institutions come under government control and grand theft, but not Muslim or Christian ones. Hindus are not allowed to run schools, but 'minorities' are. The list goes on and on. It is apartheid, codified.

Each of these dead Hindus is a victim of Jawaharlal Nehru's megalomania. For it occurred to me recently that Nehru was anti-Lincoln. Whereas Abraham Lincoln gave his life to preserve the American Union, Jawaharlal Nehru gave the lives of several million Indians to destroy the Indian Union; primarily to massage his ego. As I said in my previous column 'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,' Nehru was the reason for Partition, for the Kashmir problem, for Pakistan. He and his dynasty have been India's sorrow.

As India looks fearfully to August 15 and the mayhem on that day, it is worth remembering Saadat Hassan Manto's words: "There, behind barbed wire, on one side, lay India; and behind more barbed wire, on the other side, lay Pakistan. In between, on a bit of earth which had no name, lay Toba Tek Singh." We in the subcontinent all seem to inhabit an illusory homeland, just like that disappeared village, Toba Tek Singh.

All thanks to the wholly unnecessary Partition. All the other nations that were partitioned in the binge of partition in the mid-1900s have reunited or will reunite: for instance, Germany, Korea, etc. But Nehru's vanity and desire to be king have forever blighted this beloved country. Pakistan will never give up its struggle to destroy India: we will never reunite the old India.

Macaulay must be laughing too. He too has succeeded beyond his wildest imagination. This country has an entire two generations of Nehruvian Stalinists in positions of influence and power who have been brainwashed into despising themselves and being bilious shadows of others, in this case Chinese, Russians and Americans. Not the British, though, alas for Macaulay.

I read a lot of reports in the worldwide media about this whole ceasefire charade. Most of them scarcely mentioned the massacre. Practically none of them mentioned that these were pilgrims. I suppose the world media also hardly thinks of Hindus as human beings. How can you blame them if the Indian media doesn't? Self-respect is needed before others will respect you.

At best, Hinduism falls in the 'Other' category of religions according to the New York Times. This is the way they reported on the Peace Summit (which His Holiness the Dalai Lama was excluded from): Rev. XYZ, Monsignor ABC, Rabbi XYZ, Mullah ABC, and then 'representatives from the Buddhist, Hindu, Native American, Shinto and other faiths.' Once again, note that these are nameless, un-individualised people. Only the Semites deserve names and individuality. Only the Semites are people. So, naturally, they have human rights. Hindus are mere statistics.

Ramesh Rao in a column on rediff.com suggested that the New York Times has been unremittingly hostile to India in the recent past. I agree, at least from the time Barbara Crossette used to file unvarnished tripe from Delhi. I think this has hurt the Indian propaganda cause quite a bit, as the paper is practically the mouthpiece of the foreign policy mafia in the US. I suggest that India's ambassador to Israel should ask the leaders there to put in a good word with the NY Times, who are after all Jewish and very pro-Israel. This could be a tangible benefit from the growing Indo-Israeli warmth.

What bothers me most is the casual way in which devout Hindus were butchered by Muslim terrorists. Don't they realise the worm can finally turn one day? After all, Muslims do go on pilgrimages too. Or maybe these terrorists are so bloodthirsty that rational thought does not occur to them. They have massacred some 50,000 of their co-religionists in cold blood in Algeria. And god knows how many in Afghanistan.

Look at the list of killings of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir (from India Today, August 2, 2000). This is in addition to 350,000 Hindus ethnically cleansed from the Kashmir valley. Most of the following are in the Jammu region. These were cold-blooded executions of unarmed civilians by heavily armed mercenaries, often Afghan or Arab.


August 2: 11 in Doda district
August 2: 7 in one family in Kupwara district
August 1-2: 27 labourers in Anantnag district
August 1: 31 Amarnath pilgrims at Pahalgam
February 28: 5 drivers in Anantnag


July 19: 15 in Doda
June 20: 15 in Anantnag
February 20: 11 in Rajouri, 9 in Udhampur


August 8: 35 in Himachal Pradesh (Islamic terrorists responsible)
July 28: 16 villagers in Doda
June 19: 25 in Doda
April 18: 27 in Udhampur


March 20: 7 in Budgam in Kashmir
January 25: 25 in Ganderbal

Who cries for the Hindus? Are we children of some lesser god? Will the world notice us only if we take up the gun in self-defense?

And why is it that explosions do not disrupt Pakistan's Independence Day? What exactly is RAW doing? Pakistan can relate to counter-terrorism: being fanatic bullies they will be able to appreciate pain when it is applied to them. Pakistan is a fairly porous country, as demonstrated by the roving bands of mercenaries: why aren't some of them in India's employ, wreaking large-scale havoc and terrorising people?

India needs to ally with the Israelis to understand both the psychology and the tactics of protracted action against religious terrorism. After all, the Hindus and the Jews have both been victimised for millennia; it is time that both stood their ground. Especially for the Hindu, there is no outside help, at least not until India gets to be a major economic power. We are the Other, those of the frighteningly timeless religion, that which Islam and Christianity must worry about -- for Hinduism was there before they came about; and Hinduism will still be there after they disappear.


Thank you to the readers who wrote to the United Nations regarding the shameful blackballing of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. In particular, I liked reader Kaustubh's gentlemanly yet firm note. However, it appears the insult will stand: the Lama is not going to the conference.

I read somewhere that the Pakistani information minister took umbrage to L K Advani referring to 'South Asia' as the 'Indian subcontinent'. "India is only one of the countries in 'South Asia' " quoth the Pakistani. (Quotes mine.) Now you know where all this 'South Asia' garbage is coming from. As I said in my previous column, 'Why I am not a South Asian' it is a desperate Pakistani information warfare attempt to reduce India's brand equity. After all, the only things people associate with Pakistan are "Paki-bashing" and "wild-eyed, bushy-bearded, fundamentalist terrorists including Osama bin Laden."



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