Kashmiri Pandits and Palestinians share many unfortunate commonalities. Yet whenever the civilized world deliberates on human atrocities, the former community is entirely forgotten. The reasons are obvious and there is very little that Indians can do about it. Bloodshed and bombs are the only proven methods to catch world’s attention and Pandits, being Indians, are inherently incapable of excelling in that option. Second and third generation of Kashmiri migrants are languishing in refugee camps spread over India for reasons unknown to them. Indians have an uncanny knack for suffering and Pandits seem to possess more of it. There may be many more similar refugees in different parts of the world, but the case of Kashmiri Pandits is something unique and worthy of study by others. All that is required is to note that India’s first Prime Minister, who could have done literally anything in India, was a Kashmiri Pandit himself!
What happened to the Pandits in Kashmir did not take place in one month or one year or even one decade. It was a long process which provided enough warning signals and opportunities for remedial action. But the so-called community leaders saved their skins (also their immediate family) and collective conscience of the community became numb when it was supposed to be alert. Action was most wanted when the first signs of trans-border loyalty started showing and the community failed miserably in doing anything. Wishing for divine interventions and unsolicited help from others have not solved the problems of any community anywhere in the world. In critical times, action and even thoughts of each and every individual in a society can contribute to their ultimate victory and survival. Recognising and accepting the reality of dangerous signals is the first requirement for avoiding any catastrophe in the future. Unfortunately this is exactly what is lacking in the case of the many more Pandits in the making. The case of Kerala Hindus, especially the so-called higher castes, is a typical one.
Kerala’s Hindu community is dwindling on account of four major factors – Family Planning, Religious Conversion, Family Suicides and Migration. One of the main factors that resulted in the famous Kerala Model of 1980s was the decreasing denominator trend namely population growth. While all political parties and leaders are claiming credit for Kerala Model, the fact remains that such a decline was solely due to the strict adherence of Hindu community to the Family Planning program advocated by the governments in power. A few of the progressive elements in the other two religious communities might have done the same, but a majority of the minority communities ignored the nation’s need with complete impunity. The net result is the shrinking of majority community from almost 70% to about 55% now. Organisations of the two organized religious communities used the situation to create a demographic advantage by ‘educating’ their masses to shun Family Planning. It would be a great eye-opener if someone can conduct a thorough study on this.
As if one weapon was not enough, organized religious conversion was the other deadly weapon in the rivals’ arsenal to tilt the numbers in their favour. Milkpowder conversion by the missionaries and the newly revealed Love Jihad are nothing but deadly weapons that continue to take its toll in Kerala society. Now it is almost a certainty that in any inter-religious marriage in Kerala, the loser is always the Hindu community. If not the spouse, the organized communities will ensure that atleast the children are converted. And once they are in, there is no question of going back for fear of life or loss of limbs. The situation has become even worse in recent times due to the increasing number of family suicides and migration of Hindu families to other districts and states when they are surrounded by the might of organized communities. The number of electoral constituencies is fast growing in the so-called minority districts and decreasing where there is majority. The impact on government and governance is obvious in the days to come.
Hallmark of petty politicians is arch hypocrisy and current Kerala politics is infested with such a variety. The words secularism and communalism have lost their meaning completely. Each individual politician has his own meaning and interpretation for the two and that too varies with situation and times. Division of India on communal lines affected the north of India mostly and people there still retain some spirit of true secularism and realize the horror of communalism. But it is not so in Kerala. The future Pandits of Kerala are now in a self-destructive mode being lectured on secularism by political parties like Muslim Leagues and Kerala Congress. Some of their leaders have even written books on what is true secularism (sic). Just like Family Planning, the charlatans have quietly discovered the next platform to deceive the lotus-eating majority. While the foolish lot will watch the debates and seminars on top of the platform, focused and determined work will be done underneath to subvert the entire edifice.
In the reality of today, liquid money is the root cause of everything good and bad. Things have started going bad in Kerala ever since a cunning few from the minority communities identified their goldmines in the Gulf and the West. What they have promised their sponsors abroad can be easily guessed, and containers of money are flowing into the state for consolidation of vote banks to capture power democratically. And once it is achieved, it is known to all about what will follow. The trap of political correctness has mimed the few sincere politicians who are anyway considered ‘misfit’ in contemporary politics. Erstwhile imperialists in the West and new aspirants in the form of Arab imperialism are eagerly waiting to land in the shores of God’s Own Country à la Vasco-De-Gama in 1498 AD. If it was East India Company then, it will be outright communal corporations that will penetrate the whole of India through Kerala this time. For any close Kerala watcher, the minority grip on politics, government, police, judiciary, business etc., is so very evident and any relief is not easy.
But Kerala Hindus are fast asleep and their snoring is growing day by day. Communities that produced the likes of Adi Sankara, Sree Narayana, Chattampi Swamikal, Mata Amritanadamayi are clueless and lost in direction. Leaders of their prominent community organizations have fallen for slush money and now they spent more time proving their secular credentials in front of minority leaders than in their organizations. While some of the ‘secular’ leaders refuse to light even ceremonial lamps, the petty majority leaders are waiting in front of their palaces and majlises for an appointment. We can only pity the Kerala Pandits who have reposed their faith on Communism to save them from the impending disaster. Remember that the ‘greatest’ communist EMS was a Kerala Pandit and he did exactly what Nehru did to his own people. With his landmark land reforms act, he not only destroyed his own folks but made the poaching communities richer by excluding commercial crops from its purview. Kerala’s Hindus, like Kashmiri Pandits, will end up in refugee camps sooner or later if they cannot secure their position. It is now or never.