On October 21st, 2010 a very strange seminar was going on in Delhi and no one even questioned the whole scenario.
Arundhati Roy, Delhi University professor S.A.R. Geelani, Jammu and Kashmir University professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain, activist (and seditionist/Urban Naxal) Varavara Rao, activist Sujato Bhadra and writer Shuddhabrata Sengupta got together at LTG Auditorium at a seminar organized by The Campaign for Relief of Political Prisoners to discuss Kashmir.
Their topic and arguments were about how and why “Kashmiris” should be the only ones to decide the future of Kashmir.
A few Kashmiri Pandits started raising their voice within the auditorium for a seat at the table.
Sounds logical? They surely had more claim to Kashmir than the self-appointed moral policemen like Arundhati and Shuddhabrata by any stretch of imagination!
But the police was called and the Kashmiri Pandits were thrown out and arrested.
I brought it up with a journalist friend of mine and pointed out the level of injustice. It did not even register with him. The fact that in a seminar where “Kashmiri voice for Kashmir” was the thrust, Kashmiri Pandits were being thrown out at the behest of Arundhati Roy did not raise any eyebrows. There were no Opeds, no debates, no articles. Washington Post did not cover it. Heck, my own friend found nothing wrong with it.
And, I stood there wondering if I was living in an alternate universe?
Normalizing of Islamic Jihad was being sold as “Kashmiriyat” and Kashmiri rights and no one was even allowed to raise their voice. Worse, if someone did, s/he was arrested. And that was OK. It was a perfectly normal scenario.
What irked me most was my friend actually laughed at the fact that I even remembered the whole incident.
“The hypocrisy was so loud, it hit me in the face. I haven’t been able to forget it even for a day, and you are asking me how I remember it?!!!” I said.
He went quiet.
When you, your identity, your heritage, your very voice is being drowned, killed, and destroyed - not with a loud bang but with hard, often silent knocks - and you are told that it is your destiny, fate or worse - the ideal way to be. Know that a genocide is being committed against you and you are being coopted as your own killer!
Secularism is a genocide of Hindus, where - like the brown sepoys of Jallianwala Bagh - we have been recruited as our own killers. The only difference is that the massacre of our identity and voice is without a bang.
And, we, the sorry, helpless, idiotic we, are enjoying shooting the present and future of our kids, brothers, sisters, and family. I may not have known BK Ganjoo, but in my expansive self encompassing humanity, he was me. The kids who will, not if, be killed in the coming decades may not have my blood, but they will share the some part of the consciousness that seeped me in its beauty as well.
It is our collective genocide by ourselves. All for a cleverly disguised “ideal” concocted by the genocidal forces, called “Secularism”.