COMMITTEE ON “REFUGEES OF THE FUNDAMENTALIST TERRORISM IN KASHMIR” SYMPOSIUM
SPONSORED BY INDO-AMERICAN KASHMIR FORUM & KASHMIR OVERSEAS ASSOCIATION
A man believes in many things: peace and unconstrained pursuit of happiness, brotherhood of mankind and equality among its groups, and uniqueness of the individual. These are not only lofty visions of mankind but, also, the practical ways to live it has learned in its long history on this planet. When these values are shattered a human being’s life is reduced to mere physical existence.
The above devastation in Kashmir is furthermore accompanied by the massacre of an innocent minority and destruction of its property, bringing a total breakdown of civilization. All this is being done in the name of religion.
The Kashmir crisis has reached a point where it is possible that we may lose it in the not so distant future. This calamity will bring unspeakable pain to the two hundred thousand Hindu refugees created by the crisis, dismember India of an ancient and a significant part, and trigger the withering away of a culture.
Even before the materialization of this ultimate catastrophe we are standing in witness to human suffering and degradation of horrific proportions. Two hundred thousand tortured victims are struggling for survival in torment and humiliation. They have mostly met unsympathetic and uncaring treatment by the government. Their misery and hopelessness has left a hole in our hearts and disillusionment in our minds.
What should they do to survive? What will they do tomorrow? Where do they go from here? These are open-ended questions which reverberate in empty echoes, without answers. Human condition at this level provokes anger, heartbreak, compassion, and flight into action.
Toward the end of action many organizations around the world have made contributions. Kashmir Overseas Association, based in U.S.A., has sent more than $100,000 and clothing to the refugees and, also, sent its personnel to their camps to assess the situation firsthand. The Kashmir upheaval is being countered at different levels: political, military, cultural, and intellectual. You most likely have participated at more than one level.
Some people in the Tri-State area think that a symposium on the terrorism in Kashmir will be a valuable contribution to the cause of stemming it. Many non-Kashmir Indians, most Americans, and people of other nationalities are unfamiliar with the causes of the Kashmir crisis. Because of this, most of the people remain on the sidelines, inactive and unmotivated to take any position on the problem. Furthermore, the terrorists and their backers have put forward fractured and imaginatively colored version of the facts. In fact, a well programmed and orchestrated disinformation campaign.
Kashmiris alone cannot fight the war with the religious fundamentalists. We need the help of non-Kashmiri Indians, Americans, and other people. One of the first steps of persuasion is dissemination of information concerning the cause. We believe by presenting information on Kashmir history, causes of the crisis, and the consequences of the terrorism, the American politicians, press, and people, and the people of other nationalities will be better motivated to fight for what is fair and just.
The committee believes that education on the Kashmir crisis is of paramount importance. particularly for the American politicians and the press. Fortified by facts, we can impregnate them with the confidence of conviction.
The Committee plans to present a symposium on terrorism in Kashmir in the next three to four months in New Jersey. American and Indian politicians, others, and you will be invited to speak and participate.
We expect the symposium to inform, persuade, and motivate people to fight for the right of Kashmiri Hindus and other minorities to live peacefully in their homeland and to stop further devastation of Kashmir. Details of the symposium will be sent to you as they develop.
To arrange this symposium we need your organizational and financial help. Please write to the Committee at the given address. Your help of $50, $100, and more is essential for the effort to materialize. Send your checks to Indo-American Kashmir Forum.
It is an extraordinary experience to witness your homeland destroyed, your brethren brutalized, and your culture smitten. But even while going through this harrowing experience one hears the inner voice murmuring: if Kashmir dies can we live, and if we live can we let Kashmir die?
Indo-American Kashmir Forum
P.O. Box 2086 M. Kaul
Wayne, New Jersey 07474-2086 On behalf of the Committee