NL Interviews Rahul Pandita

Rahul Pandita speaks to Alpana Kishore on Our Moon Has Blood Clots, the ignored Kashmiri Pandit narrative, the majority hostility, Jagmohan’s role, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, receiving threats on Twitter, baba log journalists and more...

Rahul Pandita speaks to Alpana Kishore on Our Moon Has Blood Clots, the ignored Kashmiri Pandit narrative, the majority hostility, Jagmohan’s role, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits, receiving threats on Twitter, baba log journalists and more…

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  • Tie to India, because India gave them all the govt jobs !.

    • Ashish

      This is hilarious. On the contrary, Kashmiri Pandits were denied government jobs and admission in professional colleges. Hard to believe but true. Why don’t you use your real name, ‘Aditya’?

  • Aman Dogra

    Wow, I have lost all sympathy for Kashmiri muslims after watching this interview. Wish the center will deal with this problem more assertively than in the past.

    • Kumar

      This center govt will never react against the majority in Kashmir but will go to all length to subdue the right and voices of majority in rest of India

  • Nameless Kashmiri Pandit

    “My name is not Khan, I am Mr Kaul” by Tarun Vijay:

    I am not Khan. My name bears a different set of four letters starting with a K: K A U L. Kaul. As those who know Indian names would understand I happen to have been born in a family that was called “Hindu” by others, belonging to a land that was once our own. Hence, we were sure, we would never get a friend like Karan Johar (“KJ”) to make a movie on our humiliations, and our contemptuous and forced exile from our homeland. It’s not fashionable, you see. It’s fashionable to get a Khan as a friend instead and portray his agony and pains and sufferings when he is asked by a US airline to take off his shoes and show his socks. Natural and quite justifiable that Khan must feel insulted and enraged. Enough Masala to make a movie!

    But unfortunately I am a Kaul. I am not a Khan.

    Hence when my sisters and mothers were raped and killed, when six-year-old Seema was witness to the brutal slaughtering of her brother, mother and father with a butcher’s knife by a Khan, nobody ever came to make a movie on my agony, pain and anguish, and tears.

    No KJ would make a movie on Kashmiri Hindus. Because we are not Khans. We are Kauls.

    When we look at our own selves as Kauls, we also see a macabre dance of leaders who people Parliament. Some of them were really concerned about us. They got the bungalows and acres of greenery, and had their portraits worshipped by the gullible devotees of patriotism. They made reservations in schools and colleges for us. In many many other states. But never did they try that we go back to our homes. They have other priorities and ‘love your jihadi neighborhood’ programmes. They get flabbier and flabbier with the passing of each year, sit on sacks of sermons, issue instructions to live simply and follow moral principles delivered by ancestors and kept in documents treated with time-tested preservatives.

    They could play with me because my name is Kaul. And not Mr Khan.

    I saw the trailer to this fabulous movie, which must do good business at the box office. There was not even a hint that terror is bad and it is worse if it is perpetuated in the name of a religion that self-congratulatingly and self-promotingly calls itself as the “Religion of Peace”. (Peace be upon all its followers and all other creatures too.)

    So you make a movie on the humiliation of taking off shoes for a foreign police force that has decided not to allow another 9/11. The humiliation of taking off the shoes and the urge to show that you are innocent is really too deep. But what about the humiliation of leaving your home and hearth and wife and mother and father and relatives and the world? And being forced to live in shabby tents, at the mercy of nincompoop leaders encashing your misery and bribe-seeking babus? And seeing your daughters growing up all too suddenly? And yet finding no place to hide your shame?

    No KJ would ever come forward to make a movie, a telling and spine-chilling narration on the celluloid, of five-year-old Seema, who saw her parents and brother being slaughtered by a butcher’s knife in Doda. Because her dad was not Mr Khan. He was one Mr Kaul.

    Sorry, Mr Kaul and your entire ilk. I can’t help you.

    It’s not fashionable to side with those who are Kauls. And Rainas. And Bhatts. Dismissively called KPs. KPs means Kashmiri Pandits. You see, they are a bunch of communalists. They were the agents of one Mr Jagmohan who actually planned their exodus so that the Khans can be blamed falsely! In fact, a movie can be made on how these evil KPs conspired their own exile to give a bad name to the loving and affectionate Khan brothers of the valley!

    To voice the woes of Kauls is sinful. The right course to get counted in the lists of the Prime Minister’s banquets and the President’s parties is to announce from the roof top: hey, ladies and gentlemen, I am Mr Khan.

    The biggest apartheid the state observes is to exclude those who cry for Kauls, wear the colours of Ayodhya, love the wisdom of our civilizational heritage, dare to assert as Hindus in a land which is known as Hindustan and struggle to live with dignity as Kauls. They are out and exiled. You can see any list of honours and invites to summits and late-evening gala parties to toast a new brand. All that the Kauls are allowed is a space at Jantar Mantar: shout, weep and go back to your tents after a tiring demonstration.

    Mr Kaul, you have the wrong name. A dozen KJs would fly to take you atop the glory-posts and gardens of sympathies if only you accept to wear a Khan name and love a Sunita, Pranita, Komal or a Kamini instead. Well, here you have a sweetheart in Mandira. That goes well with the story.

    And you pegged the movie plot on autism.

    I wept. It was too much. I wept as a father of a son who needed a story as an Indian. Who cares for his autistic son, his relationship with the western world, his love affair with a young sweet something as a human, as someone whose heart goes beyond being a Hindu, a Muslim or some proselytizing Vatican-centric aggressive soul. Not the one who would declare in newspaper interviews: “I think I am an ambassador for Islam”.

    Shah Rukh is Shah Rukh, not because he is an ambassador for Islam. If that was true, he could have found a room in Deoband. Fine enough. But he became a heartthrob and a famous star because he is a great actor. He owes everything he has to Indians and not just to Muslims. We love him not because he is some Mr Khan. We love him because he has portrayed the dreams, aspirations, pains, anguish and ups and downs of our daily life. As an Indian. As one of us.

    If he wants to use our goodwill and love for strengthening his image as an ambassador for Islam, will we have to think to put up an ambassador for Hindus as well? That, at least to me, would be unacceptable because I trust everyone: a Khan or a Kaul or a Singh or a Victor. Who represents India represents us all too, including Hindus. My best ambassadorship would be an ambassadorship for the tricolour and not for anything else because I see my Ram and Dharma in that. I don’t think even an Amitabh or a Hrithik would ever think in terms of what Shah Rukh has chosen for himself. But shouldn’t these big, tall, successful Indians who wear Hindu names make a movie on why Kauls were ousted? Why Godhra occurred in the first place? Why nobody, yes, not a single Muslim, comes forward to take up the cause of the exiled and killed and contemptuously marginalized Kauls whereas every Muslim complainant would have essentially a Hindu advocate to take on Hindus as fiercely as he can?

    If you are Mr Khan and were found dead on the railway tracks, the entire nation would be shaken. And he was also a Rizwan. May be just a coincidence that our Mr Khan in the movie is also a Rizwan. Rizwan’s death saw the police commissioner punished and cover stories written by missionary writers. But if you are a Sharma or a Kaul and happened to love an Ameena Yusuf in Srinagar, you would soon find your corpse inside the police thana and NONE, not even a small-time local paper, would find it worthwhile to waste a column on you. No police constable would be asked to explain how a wrongly detained person was found dead in police custody. Because the lover found dead inside a police thana was not Mr Khan.

    No KJ would ever come forward to make a movie on ‘My name is Kaul. And I am terror-struck by Khans.’

    Give me back my identity as an Indian, Mr Khan and I would have no problem even wearing your name and appreciating the tender love of an autistic son.

    • Manoj Kumar Tanwar

      My name is also not “Khan” but neither it is “Kaul” nor even i am a pandit. Although whatever has happened in Kashmir, I am totally frustrated about the role of our so called leaders. But here i am highly disappointed by the fact that the problem has been merely highlighted with reference to so called “Kashmiri Pandits”. What is then the difference between “KJ” and “The Author i.e. the unknown Kashmiri Pandit”. What will you call this attitude of ignoring other Hindus. Indian history is full of examples where the SC and ST of Hindu religion were and are still embarrassed by the so called upper class Hindus (here i will openly say particularly Pandits). Do you all feel that only Kashmiri pandits were the victim? Don’t you feel that other Hindu casts were also displaced? Do you feel that other casts are not still considered inferior to Pandits in our religion? Don’t you feel that most of the national leaders are Pandits? Whom are you then blaming? It will be better if we first change our attitude. First we should think of our religion and we will have to abolish the cast system. If you are not ready to accept that, if you are not ready to eat with Hindus called SC and ST, if you are not prepared to treat other Hindus with dignity, how can you improve the situation? I know that my comment might be deleted as you have already warned, but still I felt strongly to raise the issue of Castism in the greater interest of my religion Hindu.

      Manoj Kumar Tanwar (Frustrated Hindu by Castism)

      • nmkn

        If you are a frustrated hindu, its not because of Kashmiri Pandits. Your response doesn’t make any sense on this post. You brought ‘caste’ in this discussion. It just shows that you are a self-centered, attention-seeking person and unable to feel the pain of others. I apologize if that increases your frustration. But just think over it. ( A hindu without a caste)

      • Just another batteyn

        Mr Tanwar I would suggest a little bit of reading before making any comments on Kashmir. The problem everybody in India jumps the gun even without knowing any history. Sir, hindus in Kashmir no matter which class or caste they come from are referred to as KPs. I wont spoil this section by giving you a lecture in Kashmir history but will highly recommend a little bit of reading to everyone who jumps to this band wangon without knowing the A B C of Kashmir and its people and whose insights are just limited to what Barkha Dutt or the Congress party tells them.

        • Manoj Kumar Tanwar

          So all justify the term given KPs to all Hindus displaced from Kashmir? But who gave this term? Even if the term has been incorrectly given, why should it not be replaced by Kashmiri Hindus? I accept that the majority of them were Pandits and that is one of the reason the term was used. But again my question remains unanswered. Are we people ready to abolish cast system from our religion? Don’t you people feel it will be in greater interest of our religion? Just finding fault with me is not the solution. The points raised by me have not been answered by any of you. Why do you people duck when a question about cast is raised.
          It will be in the interest of the religion as well as the country if you express your views on the issues raised by me.

      • Satyam Sharma

        You are not only unintelligent but also ignorant. “Kashmiri Pandit” is a generic term for Kashmiri Hindus in general. BTW, the only person who brought the irrelevant and totally off-topic issue of “casteism” here in this discussion (which is about the persecution, genocide and exodus of Kashmir’s minority community) is YOU, and you call yourself “frustrated” by something that you are so clearly obsessed with?

        • Manoj Kumar Tanwar

          I am sorry to say that you are using unpleasent adjective Mr. Sharma. But why “Kashmiri Pandit” is a generic term for Kashmiri Hindus in general? Why can’t it be “Kashmiri Hindus” in general? Don’t you feel that “Kashmiri Hindus” will be a more appropriate term. Even if the Kps term was used unintentionally, who is stopping you to change that? And my dear Mr Sharma I am and never was obsessed with cast system in our religion. But off course, after all criticism by you people, it reflects that you are not keen to answer the questions raised by me. It is your this attitude that stops other Hindus to involve them in the matters which was definitely associated with “Displaced Kashmiri Hindus” and not displaced “Kashmiri Pandits” only.

          • Satyam Sharma

            Do some basic research by yourself (at least a puny Google internet search) and educate yourself. Your questions are answered in the Wikipedia page of “Kashmiri Pandits” itself. We are not employed to spoon-feed and educate you here …

          • Deepali Sharma

            Manoj Kumar Tanwar

            I can’t find a reasonable ground for this discussion Mr. MKT. I see your first comment has been deleted for what ever reason possible but rather than making a fuss out of nowhere and jumping onto the conclusions it will be better if you for yourself will try researching facts. And not just facts related to hindus, but muslims as well. Who stops you to form an opinion and be on either side. But it will be important for your and everyone’s sanity to form it on the basis of facts, not the people’s reaction to the facts… Esp. media and politicians since everyone has a stake in story these days. Why blaming anyone for your belief, disbelief, action or inaction.

            Okay now down to white facts and answer you.

            ‘Why Kashmiri Pandits are called Kashmiri Hindus?’

            The Hindu caste system of the Kashmir region was influenced by the influx of Buddhism from the time of Asoka, around the third century BCE, and a consequence of this was that the traditional lines of varna were blurred, with the exception of that for the Brahmins, who remained aloof from the changes.After fourteenth century Muslim rule was finally established in the Valley which brought in series of muslim rulers. The outcome of this shift both in population and in religion was that the Kashmir Valley became a predominantly Muslim region. It was when Akbar conquered Kashmir in 1587 A.D during his mughal rule the Hindus enjoyed security of person & property & were alloted high government posts. It was he, who pleased with their intelligence, gave them the surname ‘Pandit’.

            2nd Question: ‘Kashmiri Hindu’ as a more appropriate term?

            Since this term came as a symbol of respect for their intelligence, tradition and culture, assuming me in their shoes, I wouldn’t have traded this off for anything.

            So clearly it doesn’t smell like a politically motivated caste initiative other than the Indian govt. lack of action and media’s strategic silence to avoid the fuss. And that is all Nameless Kashmiri Pandit is alluding to..

            To end this topic, there is an advice for you. Just if you would want it otherwise ignore. I am reading this book (which is journalistic and factual in nature) called ‘Worshiping false Gods’ by ‘Arun Shourie’. Completed 200 pages and all I have gathered in a nutshell is that how because our individual lack of understanding on certain things and individual agendas and pursuits, we tend to loose the sight of the bigger picture. And the enemy is always looking for that little foolish, selfish or rebel streak in you to turn you to his side and confusing you more. And that is exactly what is wrong with our people who occupy the influential positions in media and intellect world is. And since they are conditioned, its imperative that we read, research the facts and then choose a direction.

          • ram yadav

            It is pandit not “pundit”. there is a difference. Don’t show your brain.

    • Anand

      what kind of bullshit is this

  • sameer
  • Leo

    In just so use to watching madhu doin interview tht I couldn’t finish this whole video.

  • This interview should be disseminated far and wide so that every infidel should know what fate awaits them at the hands of the fiddlers, if they are not careful!

  • Kumar

    I think in future Madhu Trehan should interviews. Not very impressed with how Alpana conducted this interview which could have been much better. She lacks the skills

  • Kiran

    i have annoyed by the long questions. Why can’t Aplana let speak to the Rahul. Also the questions are long enough and it become like giving opinion plus the interruptions!!! This is really irritating because Rahul is sounding very convincing and persuasive. This is totally different in Madhu’s interviews. She always asks simple, short and direct questions which make the interview very remarkable.

  • Satyam Sharma

    Good interview but at times it felt as if the interviewer is giving the interview herself, and not taking it instead. She should have stuck to questioning and giving more time to the interviewee’s views, instead of elaborating her own opinions.

  • The pain on Rahul Pandita’s face was visible & nobody could do much about it.Kashmir was established by Rishi Kashyap thousands of years ago and it was a great place of philosophy of Kashmir Shaivaism (bhagwan shiv) that many sanatan dharmic scholars used to go there to learn about it.Sadly,Islam has taken over places in last 1400 years & now we have 57 countries all over the world.But,still Islam is in danger. God knows why?

    No sympathies or apologies to KP’s or Rahul will serve the purpose.They should have organised themselves & went for the kill,instead of scatering away & vanishing.Hindus as a community are deeply divided.

  • Rohit

    Correction – this is the second book. The first one, The Garden of Solitude by Siddharth Gigoo, was completely ignored except perhaps by Barkha Dutt. Earlier attempts like conferences were also ignored by the mainstream media.

  • Chetan Sanghi

    interview is good but the interviewer is not.I am not able to understand what she is asking most of the time.I have to listen every question 3 times to understand.

  • Chetan Sanghi

    Please ask madhu or abhiandan to do the interviews like they have been doing and if you replace them please replace them with good people.

  • vamsi

    media and pandits, instead of calling urself as pandits, why dont call Hindus. Indian psudeosecular media suppressed ur plight in 1990s. Also this is Pak sponsored islamic terror. Islamists are intolerant unlike naive disunited hindus. No wonder hindus got ruled by invading muslims for 800 years and then British for 200

    • Pandit

      You r right. We are first indians then hindus and then pandits.

  • Pandit

    Rahul pandita

    Few things from your well wisher..

    A. Dont be careless in your security.. We dont want to lose you..pls for our community sake
    B. The interviewer asked right Q…what abt 50 people killed on two days of jan 19th.. The answer is that those killed were carrying out violent procession and had to be killed..they themselves asked for it..pandits never hurted anybody..then why pandits got killed
    C. One comment that no one ever gives is…when muslims gang up together in the name of islam and jihad it rains hell for minority…and that is what undid the pandits.
    D my suggestion.. Never visit valley again.. They dont deserve you

    • KPthrownout

      I agree,Rahul be careful ,they belong to none .

  • indirakaul

    kashmiri pandits always wanted to be with India. In past if kashmiri pandits were at top position in ,it was because of their hard work and intelligence. Government choose to ignore pandits because of majority vote bank.

  • KPthrownout

    India needs to wake up,this has happened to us and sooner or later will happen to all of us if we don’t wake up .Barkha dutt and paid media will make sure it is hidden.

  • ram yadav

    AAP party the so called secular but leftist party insult kashmiri pandits and soldiers who died there. Bhushan said to give kashmir to separatists.

  • Sita

    Liked Alpana Kishore’s way of interviewing. Good job.

  • Borrowed Name

    First, the not so good part: The interviewer is incoherent and rambles out her questions. This gives a sense of straggle to the interview.

    Coming to the subject of it, Rahul Pandita does make a very valid point about the unilateralism in the Kashmiri narrative. And as an attempt at providing an alternative discourse Pandita’s book gains primacy. The common theme, though pervading these discourses is that they are individuated and exclude ‘the other’, like two lines running in parallel. The tempting question therefore, is whether the twain shall ever meet? Sadly, this was something the interview did allude to but never really explored.

    However, let me attempt an answer. A few years ago I was at a Youth Parliament at a prominent Eng. College in the South. The Parliament was divided into three houses: India, Pakistan and Kashmir. I was in the Kashmir House with about twenty other Kashmiri youth and a sprinkling of non-Kashmiris. The discussions in the house were passionate but noticeably one sided. Actually, I didn’t know there was anyone from the other side until I met this boy during lunch who pensively declaimed, “It is always about them, what about us?” He didn’t bother to show up post lunch.

    The post lunch session acquired a certain stridency. A resolution was floated seeking to make Kashmir an Islamic State and continuing the exclusion of the Kashmiri Pandits from Kashmir as and when Kashmir becomes independent. This was objected. We objected to it on the grounds that under the Regime of rights a group indigenous to a particular place does not lose its rights just because it can no longer stay there. So, the Right remains in absentia and as such if tomorrow there is an independent nation state of Kashmir without the displaced Hindus they would be well within their rights under International law to start an insurgency not too dissimilar from their own. Also that designing Kashmir as an Islamic state would be the perpetuation of the same discrimination and ill treatment that they accuse the Indian state of effecting. Wouldn’t it be then a denudation of their own locus standi and legitimacy of their demand? In the end, the resolution was dropped and by unanimity it was accepted that secularism and interests of all groups shall guide any future solution of Kashmir.

    I understand the cynicism of the dogra boy in not being keen to discuss or the reluctance of Pandita and his Muslim friends to deliberate on things gone by but there is no alternative to engagement. Only dialogue, continuing and reasoned can make the divergent lines to merge.