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Volume 2, No. 9 - February 2003

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Survivors Speak

Kashmiri Hindu - the acid test for secularism in India

You can retain the land called Kashmir but can you give a place of honour and dignity to the exiled Kashmiri Hindu when he returns back to his 10,000 year old homeland ? The future of Kashmiri Hindu is the acid test for secularism in India.

How was it that every Muslim contributed to the hounding out of Kashmiri Hindu from the valley from 1947-90. Now when the dream of gifting away the land to Pakistan became impossible they purchase immovable property of Hindus on throw away prices. Day in and day out you see Kashmiri Muslims in refugee camps in Jammu, Delhi and elsewhere. They are erstwhile neighbours urging ailing patients, starving inhabitants, parents with grown up girls with no means for their weddings to sell their property in Kashmir. They did so in 1992-93 in a different way. Then terrorists openly threatened them that their houses would be set ablaze if not sold. In many cases Insurance Companies refused to entertain the insurance proposals of the exiled Hindus.

Only one option was left to the Secularist pro-Indian Hindu that was to sell his house under duress. Will anybody believe that a house built at the cost of 15 lakhs in 1983 fetched Rs. 2 lakhs to a family when one of their members became victim of kidney failure?

Roshan Lal in exile in Mishriwalla Refugee Camp, Jammu, J&K, India.

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