This is the first part of the series on the history of ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits. In this part, Kashmiri political analyst and activist Sushil Pandit converses with Madhu Kishwar and shares his personal experiences. He begins by describing how the 1989-90 exodus of Pandits from the Valley was the final culmination of a long process of wiping out all traces of Hindu presence and millennia long history when Kashmir was the cradle of Hindu civilization.
In this part, he also gives a heart-rending account of the betrayal of Kashmiri Hindus by the media, by Hindus in the rest of the country and each and every Government of India, no matter which part was in power in Delhi. He also describes the wretched conditions under which the uprooted Pandits lived in India after being ousted from Kashmir. The most bizarre part of the betrayal by Government of India is the manner in which they have been denied “refugee” status and instead termed as “migrants” as though their leaving their homeland was a voluntary move, no different from Keralites or Tamilians coming to seek better job opportunities in Delhi, Mumbai or Dubai.
He also describes the methods used by Jinnah to force the Partition of India and Nehru’s complicity in humiliating Maharaja Hari Singh and banishing the Maharaja from his own state at the behest of Sheikh Abdullah.