Kashmiri Pandits driven away from home and made refugee in their own country often find their sufferings trivialized. If anyone would have read the report “Kashmiri Muslims In Bandipore Celebrate Shivratri, Want Pandits To Return’ then many would believe that all was well in the valley. ‘Kashmiriyat’ was well and alive. And yet we find that while media tries to paint the noble picture, Kashmiri Pandits themselves remain vulnerable unable to return to the valley. The situation for Kashmiri Pandits is anything but good as Currentriggers.com’s coverage has shown time and again.
Vimal Sumbly in a post titled “Circulating the myth; celebrating the ruins!!!” lays bare the truth behind news attempt to normalize their suffering of Kashmiri Pandits with cosmetic gestures:
There cannot be a grossly inaccurate story than the one shown by the NDTV about some Kashmiri Muslims “celebrating Shivratri” in Sumbal town of Kashmir. Let me clarify the truth since Sumbal is my native place having spent 18 years of my life there and having played in the lush green lawns of the same temple that virtually no longer exists.
The main Shivling of the temple, which was about 5-6 feet long and about 2 feet in diameter, no longer exists. I learnt during my visit there in June 2015 that it (the main Shivling) had been thrown into the river.
What’s shown and seen is one of the many small Shivlings that were kept along with the main Shivling there. In fact most of the small Shivlings have also been removed.
The entry to the temple has been barred. The land has been encroached upon. An Islamic School has been set up on the temple land. One has to enter the temple through the school.
The locals have already started making a case for converting the temple into a Muslim shrine as they claimed it to be “originally” a Muslim shrine of ‘Khwaja Sayed Sahab’, whose shrine is situated across the river. That’s what they told me when I visited there despite knowing it so well that I was born and brought up there and I know the full history of the temple.
I don’t want to comment much about the prayers offered by the Muslims there. Less said the better. The motives are obvious. These photo ops need to be viewed in the context of the Hurriyat relaxing its Hartal ‘fatwa’ for Shivratri, so that it is not seen in its real character and true sectarian and radical colours. And NDTV seems to have gladly done the favours to Hurriyat.
Let me add, Pandit Janki Nath Sumbly, whose family had contributed a lot towards maintaining the temple and had preferred to stay back, was shot dead right outside the same temple in June 1990.