Amitabh Mattoo sprinkles salt on the wounds of Kashmiri Hindus
On December 23, JNU teacher and former VC of Jammu University, Amitabh Mattoo, dumbfounded the original inhabitants of Kashmir (Hindus). He claimed that “for larger national interest KPs (read Kashmiri Hindus) preferred to be called 2nd class citizens in Valley”). And he made this mind-boggling assertion while delivering Pt Shiv Naraian Fotedar Memorial lecture at Gandhi Memorial College in Jammu and, that, too, in the presence of some hounded out and persecuted Kashmiri Hindus.
Clearly, Amitabh Mattoo sprinkled salt on the wounds of Kashmiri Hindus, who have been living in Jammu and other parts of the country as refugees since January 1990. That he didn’t speak a word on the seven Hindu migrations from Kashmir after 1339, when Shah Mir usurped the Hindu throne through deceit, intrigue, and murder, including the one that took place in 1990, and he didn’t think it prudent to remind the audience that Kashmir was hundred percent Hindu till 1339 and now 100 percent Hindu-free only suggested that he claimed what he claimed to promote a particular agenda.
It needs to be emphasized that Amitabh Mattoo also served as political advisor to pro-self-rule, pro-Pakistan and pro-separatists Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and for some time to Mehbooba Mufti when they were J&K CMs (May 1, 2015-June 19, 2018). Earlier, he had been vouching for greater autonomy as demanded by Sheikh Abdullah, Farooq Abdullah, and Omar Abdullah, the owners of the Kashmir-based National Conference (NC). The point is that Amitabh Mattoo, a self-styled trouble-shooter and conflict manager, is an ardent believer in the pernicious concept that only hurts India and non-Muslims in J&K and promotes Pakistani cause in J&K and drives the state away from the national mainstream. He was also a great champion of Article 370 which conferred special status on J&K just because it housed more Muslims.
I don’t think the Kashmiri Hindus ever mandated Amitabh Mattoo to insult and humiliate them and describe them as a second-grade community in their own land of Vitasta. A number of sophisticated Kashmiri Hindu activists told me that “what Mattoo said was highly insulting and derogatory”.
It bears recalling that the internally-displaced Kashmiri Hindus have been spearheading separate homeland movements since December 28, 1991. They have reiterated again and again that they can’t have any kind of truck with those who tortured, murdered, abused, dishonored, and expelled them from Kashmir just because they were Hindus and that they will return to Kashmir only if a separate homeland for seven lakhs Kashmiri Hindus is created within the Valley so that they could lead a dignified and secure life.
Mattoo not alone
But Amitabh Mattoo is not the only Kashmiri who had the temerity to describe the Kashmiri Hindus as second-grade citizens in the land of Kashyap Rishi. JL Nehru, whom the imperialist Britons, imposed on India as PM in 1946, had, on August 7, 1945, even gone to the extent of asking Kashmiri Hindus to join fundamentally separatist and communalist of communalists Sheikh Abdullah and his NC if they wanted to live in Kashmir.
Let me quote what well-known writer and political commentator Sunanda Vashisht said and quote what she quoted in this regard in her November 5, 2022 article “When Nehru threatened wary Kashmiri Pandits to join National Conference” (News18.com). She said: “On August 7, 1945, Kashmiri Pandits faced rebuke from Nehru in the Sheetalnath Bhairav temple compound. Their only crime was that as victims of genocide, they were fearful of majoritarian Islamic rule returning. Sheetalnath Bhairav temple in Kralkhud is an ancient Bhairav temple in the heart of Srinagar. This temple, and the large compound around it, used to be the epicenter of the political expression of Kashmiri Pandits until they were thrown out of the Kashmir Valley as part of continued genocide which saw the seventh exodus in 1990…It was here in the temple’s compound that Jawaharlal Nehru, who was visiting Kashmir on the invitation of the NC, addressed Kashmiri Pandit youth on August 7, 1945…Strange advice from the stalwart of the Indian National Congress was passed on to the aboriginals of Kashmir who had resisted Islamist repression for 700 years and were now reduced to 5 percent of the total population of Kashmir”.
And what she quoted about Nehru? She quoted: “If non-Muslims want to live in Kashmir, they should join the NC or bid goodbye to the country. The NC is a real national organization and even if a single Hindu does not become its member, it will continue to be so. If Pandits do not join it, no safeguards and weightages will protect them”.
It’s unfortunate that there are some Mattoos and Nehrus in the suffering community of Kashmiri Hindus, who continue to flirt with those who work day and night to break India and considered, and continue to consider, Hindus “fifth columnists”. They are responsible for creating obstacles in the way of the Kashmiri Hindus whose watch-word and battle cry has been separate homeland and emboldening even J&K Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to make statements similar to the ones separatists and half-separatists in Kashmir and their supporters in the Indian political make to mislead the nation. The case in point is what Manoj Sinha said in the “Idea Exchange Programme of The Indian Express”. He, inter-alia, said: “It is true that some Kashmiri Pandits became victims of targeted killings. But there is another side too. The country should stop seeing this issue on the basis of religion. A lot of other people have also been killed”.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
 For larger national interests KPs preferred to be called 2nd class citizens in Valley: Prof Mattoo – Dec 24, 2022, Daily Excelsior
PGurus is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with all the latest news and views
For all the latest updates, download PGurus App.