The mass exodus of Kashmiri Pandits in 1989-90 raised a pertinent question. The question was as to whether the Kashmiri Pandits could live again in the valley of Kashmir as a community....!
This question brought to the fore a bunch of other issues which the Kashmiri Pandits were required to debate, discuss and opine upon finally. The first half of the year 1990 forced the Pandits to recollect the horrific tales of Kashmir. In fact each and every Kashmiri Pandit had his own story of horror, forcing him finally to leave his birthland. Selective killings, abductions, rapes, arson and mayhem were the order of the day in the valley. The whole community was on the roads in Jammu, Udhampur and partially in Delhi. This was the most horrible part of the period of exile. It was a very difficult and confusing scenario for Kashmiri Pandits in their early days of exile to even think beyond the issues pertaining to their immediate survival. However, a number of committed young men, who were previously active in the valley under the banner of Hindu Yuvak Forum, reorganized themselves and decided to address the fundamental question:- Can Kashmiri Pandits again live in Kashmir as a community? HHow is the struggle to be fought and what would be the mode of the struggle...!
They decided to hold a 2-day convention, under the banner of the then virtually defunct ASKPC(Yuvak Sabha), at Jammu in the month of July, 1990. A hard labour was put in to activate the Yuvak Sabha and finally the 'Kashmiri Hindu Convention' was organized on 13-14 July, 1990 at Jammu. The Convention was attended by 500 delegates and in all eight resolutions were passed. The political resolution which founded the Kashmiri Pandit political movement in exile was in the form of Resolution No.4. On the fundamentals of this resolution, under the banner of Panun Kashmir, the Margadarshan Conference(attended by 1,000 delegates in December, 1991 at Jammu) adopted and proclaimed the historical Homeland Resolution.
The Homeland resolution unequivocally expressed the intent of the Hindus of Kashmir who were the victims of genocide and ethnic cleansing in Kashmir. The Kashmiri Pandits declared that:
- With their deep and firm commitment to social unity, religious co-existence, democracy and secularism, they will not accept a society, which is communalised, obscurantist, intolerant and medieval. They will not submit to any authority in the State which does not recognise their right to life, equality, faith and protection against discrimination. They will not be a party to the present struggle launched against secular and democratic India.
- With their history of having lived and died for freedom and their open espousal of the cause of tolerance, peace, amity and brotherhood between various ethnic, social and religious groups, they cannot accept the pre-eminence and predominance of any single religious community at their cost.
- Having been the original inhabitants of Kashmir from ancient times and being the inheritors of a glorious cultural tradition of more than five thousand years, the Kashmiri Pandits have as much a right to live in Kashmir as any other religious group. Preservation of this community in its natural and historical habitat is a political necessity.
- The present crusade by the terrorists against the Kashmiri Pandits to drive away the last remnants of this proud community from its rightful place is a shame for the secular India in particular and the world community in general. Any measure taken to rehabilitate this community outside the Kashmir Valley will only result in the dispersal of this community leading to its dissolution and extinction. This will be a tragedy, as the only relic of a small but distinct race with an outstanding culture will be destroyed.
- Because of their equal rights to the land of their birth they stake their claim to be an equal party to any future deliberations in the process of normalization and ultimate solution of the Kashmir problem.
Panun Kashmir made a demand for the establishment of Homeland in Kashmir and is relentlessly pursuing its mission. We are sure, we will achieve our goals in our lifetime, consequent upon the struggle that was initiated in 1990.
The Mantra is: "Move ahead, move ahead and stop not till the goal is realized".