“Kashmir Files” Depicts Our “Schindler’s List’: A True Crime of Genocide

By Sunita Ticku
As a proud Houstonian , it gives me immense pride to tell my fellow Houstonians that the conception of the movie “ The Kashmir Files “ happened here in Houston.
In 2018, our brave warrior Dr Surinder met Vivek Agnihotri here in a gala and requested him to make our true story known to the world. And so he did after doing a lot of research. He and his team have taken 700 testimonials and visited all those affected families spread all over the world. THIS IS OUR SCHINDLER’s LIST.
We as a Kashmiri community are very thankful to the residents , media and so many other organizations that have helped in making this movie which is the story of our genocide reach to all law abiding free people of Houston metro.
We are also thankful to the tolerant population of Muslims here in Houston for not giving in to any propaganda and hearing our story with compassion. This movie is not communal but a movie about humanity. There are billions of Muslims world over and only one community of Kashmiri Muslims can not bring a bad name to the whole brotherhood of Muslims. In fact , I’m very thankful to the the Desi population of Houston for letting me voice my story on Open Forum program hosted by Dr Subodh Buchar, Smriti Agarwal & Jagat Ji. This can happen only in Houston. It shows the magnanimity and adaptability of this city.
Kashmiri Muslims had been brainwashed in their ‘madrasas’ and elite homes that they could become an independent Islamic State for which they just had to throw out the Indigenous Hindus out. This is what a young terrorist said,  “So instead of killing them all and wasting so much ammunition , we figured a better plan of terrorizing , harassing and petrifying a community by ghastly murders “. These were done like chopping bodies, gouging eyes out , breaking all bones , chopping heads , raping and then dismembering bodies , dancing and celebrating around dead hindu bodies , hanging tortured bodies from trees , sectioning live humans on band saws and so on.
Two of us, living in Houston metro area, have had our close relatives been snatched from our families in gruesome unthinkable ways. For one of us , her dad was abducted first , tortured , cut into pieces and then thrown in a sack on the street. Yes, kill one and scare a thousand – that was the tactics adopted by our aggressors. In my family , they came to kill my dad who survived though, but my grandfather, grandmother and uncle were fatally shot. Two of them died on spot.
“RALIV , TSALIV YA GALIV “ translation : Convert, or Flee or Die …..these were the choices given to us after such murders. They wanted Kashmiri Pandits to run but leave their women folk behind for which they used the slogan ( we want freedom & kashmiri Hindu women without any kashmiri pandit men ). Another , slogan was …. Yahan kya chalega – Nizam-e-Mustafa ( only the rule of Prophet ) or Sharia law. It was a properly executed plan of removing our existence from there and the design was implemented by even changing the names of towns ( like AnantNag to Islamabad , river Kishen Ganga renamed as river Neelam etc etc ). And a constant denial of our genocide calling it a ‘ Jagmohan Conspiracy ‘. To keep the fear alive , the ongoing killings are still happening selectively like killing a teacher , a pharmacist , a political activist , & so on. So this is not just a 32 year old story , it continues to happen. Need I mention that we are the indigenous race that has been there for more than 5000 years. And now we are at the brink of extinction.
When we were hounded  out of our homes in 1990 , we became refugees in our own country and since we were not a vote bank nobody paid attention to us. Even America who is always trying to protect the vulnerable populaces of the world ignored our plight. Somehow we became invisible to the whole world. While we were trying to survive under hostile and miserable conditions , our perpetrators who had a lot of funding from a lot of foreign resources kept on building their false narrative all over the world. This country functions a lot on lobbying. And that was how their narrative was sold here.
A common question asked is how is it a genocide ? Given our minuscule number, people don’t realize that we are a small ethnicity which comprised less than 5 % total population of the valley of Kashmir. So when a couple of thousand Kashmiri Pandits get killed , that is a big number for a small ethnic group. It is not a big deal for people asking questions. They immediately bring in the fact that Thousands of Muslims have died in Kashmir. What about them ? That is very unfortunate and utterly sad. Every life is precious & may no one have to lose their loved ones in such a way. Sadly for the disillusioned Kashmiri Muslims , it is what they signed up for. They were readily and proudly sending their children for training and were proud that their children would attain martyrdom. What for were we dying ? Just because we were Hindus!
Now as per  UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,
Article II states:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
YES – selectively picking up and mercilessly killing eminent scholars , teachers , high ranking government officers etc etc & then celebrating those deaths.
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
YES – some who escaped from the torture of Islamic terrorists were scarred forever ; families affected by the deaths of loved ones – scarred forever. And the children growing up in small tents in scorching heat and hardly any help from the government or for that matter even Red Cross which is known to help everybody. Stress induced diseases like depression , heart attacks , hyper tension , diabetes etc etc became prevalent.
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
YES – Given the fact that we belonged to a high altitude cold place, we were forced to live in extreme hot places under tents or one room tenements without any water ,with meager facilities. Lot of people died of heat stroke , snake bites , scorpion bites, suicides due to extreme miserable living conditions. In some families , there were multiple deaths due to these harsh living conditions.
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
YES  – when a whole families are forced to live in a tent in extreme poverty without any means of privacy , it is evident that the birth rate is going to fall. We as a community were used to living as joint families of at least 10-20 members in big 4 story houses. Due to this forcible exile with hardly any privacy , our birth rate had fallen to such a point where couples were opting for either one or no child.
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
The plight of Kashmiri Pandits fits in not just one but four of the five parts of the article II above , and yet we still have to justify that it is a genocide. As I am writing this , there is a stabbing pain filling my heart. May be in a decade or two , all of us Kashmiri Pandits would have gotten assimilated in the communities where fate ( and our Muslim brothers ) threw us in. An indigenous ethnicity of 5000+ yr continuity in the vale of Kashmir made of highly educated people will become extinct because their perpetrators had sold the narrative to the big forces of this world.
But, this can change and the change can start from here. Every Kashmiri Pandit is now looking up & saying “ Houston , we have a problem !”  Please help us.
Some people may ask what we as Kashmiri Hindus strive for now. Awareness, or Justice? We need both. Firstly, this movie is making the space for awareness and after that only can we get justice; when the whole world is aware of what happened to a whole ethnicity. So what is Justice?
Justice is holding a formal governmental inquiry into the genocide. Justice is passing bills in Parliament to recognize and prevent the genocide. Justice is bringing the culprits to book. And most importantly, Justice is rehabilitating us securely back in Kashmir in such a way that we and other non-Islamic minorities are not vulnerable to continued genocide.
I want my grandchildren to go back in summers to their summer home in kashmir. I want to spend the rest of my old age in the land that bore me. I want to be cremated in Kashmir and my ashes to be spread all over the holy land of Vitasta.
I want to be rooted back in the soil that I came from.
Sunita Ticku (Bhan) is a Kashmiri Pandit/Hindu who was born and raised in Kashmir. She is one of the Hindus of Kashmir who was directly affected by losing family members , home n hearth by the radical Islamic movement in 1990. She is a proud Houstonian who has been calling now America home for the past three decades. By training , she is an IT analyst who also loves to write poetry in English, Hindustani & Kashmiri. She is passionate about her roots and about the cause of her community’s genocide. She lives in Houston metro area with her husband and mother-in-law. She has two children who are grown up and working.