Kashmiri Pandits, a Hindu community native to the Kashmir Valley, are recollecting memories of their home and childhood by sharing videos and pictures on the 30th anniversary of community's exodus from their native region.
In 1990, a mass migration of Hindus from Indian-administered and Muslim majority Kashmir took place after a violent armed insurgency erupted in the Valley. Over 62,000 families are registered as Kashmiri refugees, including Kashmiri Pandits and some Sikh and Muslim families, according to government data.
Several hashtags such as #HumWapasAayenge (We will return), #Justice4KashmiriHindus, and #KashmiriPandits are trending on Twitter to mark the 30th anniversary. Veteran Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, who is also a Kashmiri Pandit, shared a throwback picture of his grandfather and said, "Memories may fade as the years go by but they won't age a day".
“Memories may fade as the years go by but they won't age a day.”— Anupam Kher (@AnupamPKher) January 19, 2020
Seated on the chair, 2nd from left is my grandfather Pt. Amarnath ji. He must have never imagined that his entire family will be thrown out of Kashmir 30years back on the 19th of Jan, 1990. #KashmiriHindusExodus pic.twitter.com/Rg1GToa1gg
Others angered over the mass migration of Hindus, said they are living in exile in their own country. Many walked down memory lane and recalled "how their houses were burnt down" through video messages.
"Leave, Die or Convert"— Geetika Swami (@SwamiGeetika) January 19, 2020
A #KashmiriPandit recalls the horror of how announcements were made from Mosques
One of India's worst Ethnic cleansing that made #KashmiriPandits refugees in their homeland! #Justice4KashmiriHindus #KashmiriHinduExodus #SundayThoughts pic.twitter.com/cSxasWgsPA
It's been 30 years. My father @kaul_utpal narrates how our house in Kashmir was burned and library destroyed by terrorists. Yet Kashmir Pandits always say, next Shivratri we will celebrate in Kashmir. We have lost our house, not resolve to return to our homeland. #HumWapasAayenge pic.twitter.com/AOZqeTDEDE— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) January 18, 2020
#Justice4KashmiriHindus— Aditya Shastri (@shastria) January 19, 2020
Kashmiri Hindus were forced to leave Kashmir only bcoz they were "Hindus" in the then pseudo-secular India.
Now it is time that justice is given to them by securely settling them in their very own homeland of Kashmir.@DrPareexitS @HinduYouthAlert pic.twitter.com/gENzYYan8X
The dream of Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homeland grew stronger after New Delhi revoked the special status of Kashmir in August 2019.
The seven decades-old quasi autonomy of the state had allowed the erstwhile state's legislature to make its own laws. It also banned people from outside the state from getting state government positions. Jammu and Kashmir is now federally administered Union Territory (UT) like any other state or UT.