Include Ethnic Cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits in NCERT Textbooks

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2020 marks 30 years since the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits from their homeland of 5000 years. Descendants of Hindu priests and among the original inhabitants of Kashmir Valley, this ethno-religious community follows a deep culture of non-violence. They have survived indignities, brutalities and massacre with not a single act of retaliatory violence recorded on their part. An acknowledgement in Indian history of their insidious persecution is long overdue. Sign my petition and ask the Ministry of HRD, Department of Education, to include in NCERT textbooks facts of history and literature on the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits  from their traditional homeland of Kashmir Valley in independent India, post-1990. Targets of a plan to change the demographic composition of Kashmir Valley, within weeks of the outbreak of ethnic cleansing in January 1990, a whopping 95% of the original 3,50,000 Kashmiri Pandit community in the Kashmir Valley found themselves reduced to the miserable status of refugees in their own country. Majority of them continue to languish in refugee camps with a severe toll on their physical and mental health. This constitutes not only the quickest and quietest but also the longest and biggest ethnic displacement of the subcontinent’s indigenous peoples since the partition of 1947. It is a chapter of Indian history that cannot be left missing from school textbooks. While rehabilitation and restorative justice may take decades, a mere expression of solidarity for the pogrom against the Kashmiri Pandits in academic curriculum would help make the current generation aware of the clear and present danger militant extremism poses to civil society, and  also signal to Kashmiri Pandits that their nation has not forgotten them. Thank you for taking action. Jai Hind! Dr Suchitra Kaul Misra