Kashmiri Pandits observe January 19 as ‘Holocaust Day’ to mark their migration from the Valley in 1990. Though the term is a gross exaggeration of facts, the truth behind the community’s migration is yet to be dug out. Contrary to the claims of the Pandits, nothing happened on January 19. People did raise slogans from mosques, but it was not a tirade against the community. There is absolutely no evidence of slogans like “we will make Pakistan without Pandit men.” No Muslim can chant such atrocious slogans, particularly from a mosque. On the contrary, they take strong exception to bids aimed at undermining the sanctity of their places of worship. And nobody migrated on January 19 except an army officer from the Magarmal Bagh locality, who was escorted to the JAKLI headquarters at midnight.
The Pandits also believe that the procession of January 21, which was fired upon by the CRPF near Badiyar, was planned. Facts, however, do not support this. The processions were spontaneous, being taken out from various parts of the city in protest against the molestation of women by the CRPF at Chanpora and Chotta Bazar. The procession was not anti-Pandit, as stands proved by the fact that not a single Pandit was harmed, and no Pandit house ransacked. On the contrary, personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Police personnel were beaten up by CRPF men, and nobody has bothered to investigate this. They were roughed up when the local SHO, who happened to be a Pandit, informed the paramilitary force that they (the Kashmir police) were not doing their duty.
The holocaust myth is exploded by the president of the Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, who was in Mumbai in February 1990, and wanted to celebrate Shivratri, which fell on the 26th or 27th of the month, with his family in Srinagar. He heard of a registration office for migrants on his arrival in Jammu, and was entered at serial number 46 when he went to sign up. This would indicate that only 46 persons had migrated up to February 26, the day he went to register himself.
Around the same time, a self-styled Pandit leader was going around his community, asking it to migrate before March 15, as, according to him, the Jawahar Tunnel would be closed after that date. Later, the same ‘leader’ would accompany prominent civil society members like Sheikh Abdul Kabir, Ghulam Muhammad Bakhshi, GM Dagga and others to Qazigund to stop the exodus in March. So the migration took place in March and not on January 19. There is something fishy about the exodus. Revisiting 1990, therefore, becomes all the more important.