School named after Taploo
NEW DELHI, Mar 27: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh today alleged that contrary to the myth being spread that the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) was engineered by the then Governor Jagmohan at the behest of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the matter of fact is that the National Conference (NC), Congress and their Kashmir-centric allies had a vested interest in KP exodus because it gave impetus to their policy of appeasement towards a particular community and benefited them by creating a deep communal divide.
Speaking at a largely attended programme organised to name a Govt School after Shaheed Tika Lal Taploo, Dr Jitendra Singh said, in the aftermath of Kashmiri Pandit exodus and the overwhelming atmosphere of terror that followed, the voter turn out in 1996 and subsequent elections remained confined to around 10%, which the National Conference and its allies were successful in easily manipulating to get their members elected as MLAs and MPs.
He recalled that he had on the floor of the Parliament said that there should be a provision to fix the minimum threshold of voter turnout percentage to allow a candidate to be recognized as having been elected as the member of Lok Sabha or State Legislative Assembly.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, he and several other youth activists of his generation were eye-witness to each sequence of exodus beginning from the arrival of first batches of Kashmiri Pandits at Geeta Bhawan Jammu and makeshift Camps at Mishriwala and Nagrota, where they lived in most unhygienic conditions with the drains passing through the kitchen area and hardly any toilet facility available. It was pathetic to see upper middle class Kashmiri Pandit families forced to live in a makeshift single room shed without any basic amenities.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, he vividly recalls the summer of 1990 which was most harsh for the displaced Kashmiri Pandits who had never seen the summer of plains, as a result of which there were a series of heat stroke cases happening, and as as a young medico, he and his colleagues would physically lift heat struck Kashmiri Pandits and place them on ice-slabs. He said, the film “The Kashmir Files” has done a tremendous contribution in bringing out the unspoken side of the Kashmir story, when most of the film makers were busy making films romanticising the Kashmiri terrorist.
Describing the death of Tika Lal Taploo as not only an assault on Kashmiri Pandits but a bigger assault on the composite culture of Kashmir valley, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Taploo enjoyed reverence across all sections of society for his integrity and compassion. He said, there are several other aspects also, which require more films to be made to depict, for example, why in a democratic set up, a section of society was forced to become refugees in their own country and why this did not elicit the world’s attention.
Speaking on the occasion, Vijender Gupta MLA and former Delhi BJP president welcomed Tika Lal Taploo’s family which now resides in Rohini, along with 237 families of Kashmiri Hindus or Pandits.
Gupta said that people of Delhi are shocked at the level of insensitivity and apathy displayed by Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal on the plight of Kashmiri Hindus. Not only did the AAP Government refuse to make ‘The Kashmir Files’ tax free, but its leaders also made mockery of the Kashmiri Hindus massacre in the Delhi Assembly. This attitude is a proof of CM Arvind Kejriwal’s “anti-Hindu mindset,” he added.
It was an emotionally charged moment when people remembered Taploo and what ensued in Kashmir after his brutal killing. Many of them recalled the dark days of Kashmiri Hindu genocide and subsequent coverup that took place due to vested interests, especially in politics and media.
Mayor of NMCD, Raja Iqbal Singh was present as guest of honour. Alok Sharma, president, NMCD Education Committee and MCD Councillor presided over the programme.