Exhibition in Houston

Sir, The exhibition on Kashmir killings (The Tribune, Aug. 20) titled “A glimpse of a tragedy without an end” organised by the French journalist and author Francois Gautier and hosted by the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT) in
Houston (20 – 27 Aug) , is the first attempt made by dedicated human rights activists to bring to the notice of the American civil society what a minuscule religious minority suffered at the hands of the terrorists in Kashmir in 1990 and thereafter. The ethnic cleansing of nearly 400,000 Kashmiri Pandits for last one decade and a half from Kashmir valley has been knowingly suppressed or ignored by the union as well as the state governments just because a mention of the tragedy would explode the myth of Kashmiri claim to secularism. Moreover, the Pandits, dispersed and disintegrated as they are, make no vote bank for any political party in their country. The exiled community should be highly thankful to the French journalist and author, Mr. Francois Gautier for bringing their tragedy to the notice of the world abroad. One hopes that these early victims of theo-fascism will find their voice heard by the international community. At home, they have been denied justice even to the minimum level of categorising them as Internally Displaced Persons, thanks to the politicisation of the National Human Rights Commission of India. That the Government of India formally declared in the Parliament that it would not agree for a Homeland to the exiled community may not be painful. What is really painful, is that it neither came out with any statement on the causes of the sudden rise of theo-fascism in the valley resulting in a stupendous task of ethnic cleansing of the Pandits nor proposed any viable alternative to the Pandit demand of a Homeland in the Valley. Kashinath Pandit, 29.08.06

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