Exhibition on Kashmir killings draws thousands

21 08 2007

Exhibition on Kashmir killings draws thousands

From the TRIBUNEIndia

Houston, August 28
Heart-rending pictures depicting the tragic plight of Kashmiri Pandits, their selective killings, mass cremations, exodus and refugee life since 1990 due to terrorism in Kashmir drew thousands of people at an exhibition here.

The exhibition titled “A glimpse of a tragedy without an end” and designed by journalist and author Francois Gautier, covered the killings and hardships the community had undergone.

Hosted by the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT), a non-profit organisation, for raising awareness about terrorism and its affects on the people in India and South Asia, it was on display at the George R Brown Convention Center on August 20 and August 27 and drew over 15,000 people.

The exhibits, according to organisers, had been displayed in various other countries and was brought for the first time to the United States to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the exodus of 400,000 Pandits.

The pictures showcased the rich heritage of Kashmiri Hindus and the violence they have faced due to terrorism.

Many who saw the exhibition were appalled at the sufferings of the community.

“It is beyond imagination, how a community can survive and hold on to their culture, especially when barely 8,000 Kashmiri Hindus are left in the valley after the exodus,” said Ashwin Patel, a visitor.

“The scale of the exodus is larger than in Kosovo, yet the world remains silent,” FACT director Rahul Pandit said.

“And in this whole conflict there is not a single mention of the sufferings that these Kashmiri Pandits have faced after leaving their home and hearths back in valley,” he added.

Special guests to the exhibit included Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (Democrat-Texas).

Earlier, the exhibit had received approval by the House Ethics Committee in Congress prior to its premiere in the Rayburn Congressional Office Building in Washington DC on July 11. — PTI

Exhibition on J-K militancy at Capitol Hill

From the Tribuneindia

Washington, July 3
An exhibition depicting the plight of Hindus displaced by militancy in Jammu and Kashmir will be held this month at Capitol Hill, the Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT) announced today.

The two-day exhibition, which will open on July 11 in Rayburn Congressional Building, is expected to be attended by many members of the Congress.

The exhibition is in response to a feeling in the Kashmiri Hindu community that, for too long, the Kashmir problem has been supposed to be the struggle between India to retain the state as a part of the Union and Pakistan’s determination to annex it, the FACT-US said. — PTI

…this sends chills through my spine and my eyes are full of tears…
“…I know how some of my relatives have been murdered in cold blood, my own family house has been razed to the ground. I can’t even begin to describe the pain, we, the Kashmiri Pandits feel at the very mention of Kashmir, which has been our dear motherland for ever and we can’t even think of returning back to this beautiful land. I was always proud of being a Kashmiri Pandit, but by now it has become a nightmare to be one. I can’t go to the land where I was born, I can’t pray in our Temple at Shankaracharya Hill to our family deity, LordShiva. I cannot visit the holiest Mata’s temples in Kashmir, the Khir Bhawani Temple. These temples and Srinagar is a part of my beautiful childhood memories. Sometimes, we, the Pandits lose all hope that no – one cares and because of our number there are not too many Pandits remaining by now (after centuries of sufferings and persecution by the Islamic terrorists), we can’t make any difference to the vote bank in our own country, India, either; however, every now and then, people like you all show up and renew our hope in humanity all over again. Please note that I am not anti-Muslim or anti-Islam by any means but like most of us I am most definitely anti-terrorism.” – Identity of the person kept confidential on request.