In the lost margins of the blood stained history of Kashmir. There’s a genocide that is so barbaric and cruel that it has disappeared from the memory. More like enforced disappeared by the occupiers of Kashmir. There will be no mention of it in the Indian History books that are taught in Kashmir. There will be a Jalianwala Bagh in the history to present the cruelty of the British Colonisers but not a mention of the cruel invasion of Kashmir by its army. There will be courses on the India’s ‘great contribution in the development of Kashmir’ but its immense contribution in terms of statistical deaths and graveyards will not find a place.
One such memory is of the Jammu Genocide. Call it a massacre, ethnic cleansing, pogrom or a genocide, it was a gruesome and a terrible act. Around half a million people were affected by the pogrom initiated by the last Dogra ruler who had brought Hindu mercenaries from India, and Indian army whose role in the genocide who are complicit of this act.
Since the Indian army was called in to ‘protect’ the people of Kashmir, it turned a blind eye when the streets of Jammu districts were piled with dead bodies. The smoke from arson had made clouds in the sky, as the cries of the women shrieked and reverberated in every corner. Those who could ran away to Sialkot and other border towns in Pakistan for safety. There is major population of refugees of 1947 in Pakistan from Rajouri and other parts of Jammu.
The terror was such that a father killed his own daughters to save them from getting raped by extreme monstrosity. Many jumped into River Tawi running away from the axes and swords. The dead kept piling, the smell of burnt flesh and blood was all over Jammu. Local legends say that the dead were buried in a large open field, in mass graves. The field is used to carry out parades during the Indian national functions.
It becomes easier for the Indian state to deny and sell the lies to the people of India by their Studio Corps who tend to force-feed the occupation of Kashmir, as an ‘imperial’ right. Integral part and the ‘crown of the nation’ analogy was used by the colonisers of the yore, and India has repackaged it with fancy scrolls and graphics on their news channels in bold letters. As if it to hypnotise the entire population with their propaganda.
The deniers of the genocides and the one that continues till today are from the same orientalist cliches that dehumanise and demonise the people of Kashmir in accordance to their national interests. Like for example, the arson of 450 houses in Batamaloo by the Indian Army will not enter the history books of India because apparently the original narrative of Kashmir’s history is seditious and threat to their national interests.
These stories need to be told for generations, the world may have forgotten but it remains a duty for those who live to speak of it to their unborns and the unknowns. Our lands and rivers across its length and breadth are the graveyards of our dead.
There sacrifices need to be established in books and researches as a tribute in their memory. For those in occupations, memory and cultural history fight a constant battle with forgetfulness and enforced amnesia. Our history needs to be told in the version of the people who witnessed it. Not in the narrative of our occupiers.
Let us un-forget the Genocide. Remembrance will always be resistance.
“In the case of a political identity that’s being threatened, culture is a way of fighting against extinction and obliteration. Culture is a form of memory against effacement.” — Edward Said.