This might be seen or read as contempt of court. So be it.
The Supreme Court of India, the highest court of the country, has shut its doors on Kashmir’s ethnically cleansed minority community because it was “too late” to knock at the doors of justice. What were the displaced Kashmiri Pandit Hindus doing for the last 27 years; why didn’t they ask for justice all these years, the court argued.
No whimper, no squeak anywhere in the country. Neither from the Hindu Right wing BJP, supposedly the saviors of all Hindus, nor from the Left wing, Congress, CPM and other “secular” parties, supposedly the crusaders of all minorities in the country.
Before I get to how the Supreme Court not only denied justice to an ethnically cleansed minority but also indulged in victim-blaming, let me give you a primer on the politics of Kashmiri Pandits.
This small community was once the flag-bearer of Marxism in Kashmir. A majority among them were, therefore, naturally associated with the National Conference, the Congress and the CPM until 1989-90. When the entire community was driven out of the valley by Pakistan sponsored Kashmiri jihadi terrorists, none of the “secular” parties spoke up. Since then, most Kashmiri Pandits have been pinning their hopes on the BJP. I believe most displaced Pandits voted for the BJP in the last parliamentary elections, with the expectation that under the Modi Raj, they will find justice.
2017, We are apparently under the ‘Ram Rajya’ where no injustice happens. It is Utopia of ‘achhe din’ and 56 inch ki Sarkar. And of course, our Supreme Court is the supreme epitome of ‘nyaay’.
So the Kashmiri Pandits should not crib and whine and rant if the country’s highest court tells them that since they delayed, justice is denied. Of course, the Supreme Court will not tell Indian citizens why it did not take suo motto notice of the worst ethnic cleansing since the Partition in the last 27 years. Nor will the Court ask the legislature, the executive and the judicial system how and why it failed an entire community that sought help from its every institution. The onus is certainly on the victim to have gone directly to the Supreme Court, as a first resort and not the last, while it was struggling for survival and dealing with an existential crisis, both literally and philosophically.
The Court will also not explain why time is a factor only in the case of displaced Kashmiri Pandits and fortunately, not in cases like 1984 Sikh riots, Babri Masjid demolition, Bombay blasts and other equally old or older crimes committed against people of this country. Think about this one thoroughly. What is the logic behind this? Have you ever heard a court denying justice to a victim because he/she was too late? If and what and whose politics is behind this?
Yes, it is not possible for the Supreme Court to gather evidence of the killings of over 700 Pandits in Kashmir because we don’t have a conscientious and competent authority like the one that held Nuremberg trials. Forget that, we don’t even have the moral courage to be like Bangladesh that tried the perpetrators of the 1971 genocide. Why? Because we are a Republic that celebrates, empowers and rewards murderers and criminals.
Aarti Tikoo Singh is an active journalist working as Senior Assistant Editor with Times of India. she has a tendency to bash everything that is considered sacrosanct.