A sudden wave of shock, anger and gloomy sadness took over the world on 3rd September, when a picture of a three year old Syrian kid Aylan Kurdi surfaced on news channels; Aylan was washed ashore when he was trying to make his way to Greece from Turkey with his family. Their family like thousands of other Syrian refuges were running away from War Torn Syria. Syria once a beautiful country is now a black hole, and Islamic State is responsible for this. The lifeless body of Aylan stirred the emotions of everyone, and people were demanding justice for Aylan and the thousands of other kids who are doomed to face the similar fate because of notorious Islamic state. I was myself aghast when I saw the picture of Aylan after all, we Kashmiri Pandits were ourselves forced to migrate because of the same Jihadi ideology and its blind followers. I can totally understand what it feels like, when you have to leave the land of your ancestors, your own home, and legacy of your forefathers.
Though the death of Aylan was heart wrenching, but one thing that restored our faith in humanity that day was the response that poured from world. People from different countries, races and religions came forward to show their support for the Syrian Migrants and Aylan. Many leading news-channels and news papers covered the story thoroughly and demanded justice for aylan and Syrian migrants. And to make sure that nothing like this should happen again.
But it wasn’t just sadness that I witnessed that day, but his death brought a nostalgic vibe. Suddenly my past came back to haunt me and it is then when I felt that I was back in 1998. When two Kashmiri Pandit Kids, one among them a toddler were killed in Wandhama along with other 21 Kashmiri Hindus. Those among you who are oblivious to this, let me tell you about this incident which is no less than a 26/11 for Kashmiri Pandits. On the fateful night of 25th January 1998, 23 Kashmiri Pandits were killed by a notorious Islamist terrorist group Harkat ul Ansar.
According to the testimony of lone pandit survivor 14 year old Vinod Dhar, the terrorists came to their houses dressed as Indian Army soldiers, asked them for tea which was served to them and then they waited for a radio message that all Pandit families has been covered and then were asked to come outside of their houses where they were rounded up and gunned down. And this beastly act was perpetuated on Shab-e-Qadar, the holiest night of the month of Ramzan. After the massacre, the local Hindu temple and Houses of Hindus were destroyed.
Among those 23 Innocent Kashmiri Pandits, there were two children’s Akshay (5) and Suraj (2) years old; they were killed in Cold Blood by those cold hearted Pakistani terrorists. When the policemen found the body of Suraj, what they say was enough to move anyone’s soul. A mother had unsuccessfully tried to save her suckling by hiding him in her lap, but the bullets of AK-47 pierced the body of her mother and reached Suraj and snatched his life. Policemen tried to separate the body of Suraj from his mother, but even after the death of Suraj and her mother, she won’t let him go. Doctors pulled out 18 bullets from Suraj’s body during post-mortem.
What happened to Aylan was no doubt unfortunate, but his story was covered, people came forward for help. His death has forced me to ask these questions to all those Humanitarians.
What about Suraj and Akshay? Why were they ignored by their own nation, by the world? Were their life and their story not worthy to share? Will they ever get justice? Why this double standards against my community?
I have no grudge against Indian Media who were also highlighting the plight of Aylan and Syrian migrants, but just for once if they had thought about the refuges in their own country, maybe the story of Suraj and Akshay would have reached to all those who are shedding tears for a Kid who is the latest victim of same senseless terrorism.
Now it’s up to you, you can either read this article and forget about it or you can share the story of these two beautiful souls with your friends and families. Let the memory of Akshay and Suraj live forever in our heart.