Migration of Sikhs from the Kashmir Valley after Chitti Singh Pura killings

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Migration of Sikhs from the Kashmir Valley after Chitti Singh Pura killings

A VIEWPOINT BY By Mohan Singh


Sikhs have been living in the Kas-hmir valley for centuries. They were having cordial relations with Muslims and Hindus. As part and parcel of Jammu and Kashmir, they fought tribal (Qabalis) invaders in 1947 to protect independence. They continued to live in Kashmir, except in that part of J&K, which was forcibly occupied by Pakistan. In 1990, when Pandits migrated from the Kashmir valley, Sikhs thought it better not to leave the Kashmir valley in the larger interests of the country and communal harmony. They continued to live there in the far flung areas, towns and city. They never ought that they will be mowed down in Chitti Singh Pura by some militants. It was a great shock to the Sikhs living there and elsewhere, as this brutal act was committed after a period of about ten years. It is also a puzzle to them as to why have they been targeted when they were not involved in any way and were having cordial relations with the Muslims. This shock wave was so strong that it shook the entire world. There were spontaneous protest marches, strikes and gatherings by the Kashmiri Muslims, inhabitants of Jammu & Sikhs in Punjab, Delhi and other parts of India. World leaders condemned this act. National and International media gave coverage to this brutal killing. Those who committed this outrage should learn a lesson that there is unity and brotherhood among different communities living in Jammu and Kashmir and elsewhere in the country. There seems nothing communal with regard to this brutal killings by a group of militants. This was committed by third party on the directions of forces from across the border to create communal tension in the Valley and other parts of the country. But these forces failed in their evil designs.


Because of this single act of killings, there seems no other ground of Sikhs to leave their homes and hearth and migrate from Kashmir valley at this stage. This would amount to falling into the trap of forces who want to cleanse Valley of Hindus and Sikhs, which is not supported by the local-Muslims. In fact, it is encouraging and healthy sign. Sikhs living in the Valley have been given moral support, apart from political and material support by the Kashmiri Muslims, Sikhs of the country and inhabitants of Jammu and political parties and Govt of J&K and Central Govt. Such a support and strength received by the Sikhs of the Valley was beyond expectations. Why should they migrate when the entire country stood by them as one-man. Migration means leaving behind their hearth and homes and start new life. To resettle is very difficult in these hard days. To migrate and resettle is a painful process to build every thing a new, which takes years together. In fact a lesson needs to be learnt from Kashmiri Pandits, who migrated about 10 years back and from refugees of 1947. After migration they will have to build houses, start some work, search for employment, arrange education for children and many other things.


Above all majority community has shown solidaritary and Sympathy and have assured protection to their live and property. This really matters. In the absence of assurance by the majority community, other types of protection and security will not serve the purpose. If the majority community is sincere it should restore the confidence of the Sikhs, who have been living with them in complete communal harmony. If such congenial atmosphere is created, then there is no reason for the Sikhs of the Valley to migrate. Sikhs of the Valley are mature enough to decide whether migration is good for them or not. They may take a decision keeping all aspects in view. In case they consider migration as inevitable, then they should migrate en-masse at appropriate time and settle at one place. There are, no doubt, social, educational and economic problems, being faced by this microscopic community in the Valley. But Sikhs cannot afford to live in isolation. As a minority they will have to live with others, particularly in communal harmony with other minorities to ward off evil designs of the communal forces. Migration can have adverse repurcusison.


Keeping all these aspects in view, they should, in my opinion give some time to the majority community and to the State and Central Govts. to prove their good intentions and bonafide. Hasty decision taken of migrating may prove counter productive. They should wait and watch and then take a decision.