Lutyen’s star-boy Karan Thapar makes news at regular intervals for the inane opinion pieces he writes for anybody who offers their platform to him. A dynast of the highest order with a colonial and imperial hangover, Thapar is leaving no stone unturned to join his cousin, Romila Thapar’s club of historians. To be a member of this exclusive club, one must have a completely indifferent attitude towards facts and also must have a clear anti-Hindu and anti-India bias. As a journalist, Thapar has many laurels to his account. One of them includes the fact that his 2017 article in The Indian Express against Kulbhushan Jadhav was used by Pakistan at the International Court of Justice. Similarly, Thapar is again seen toeing the Pakistani line on Jammu and Kashmir.
Karan Thapar, who recently was re-launched by Kapil Sibal at Tiranga TV, found himself jobless after the channel found no viewers, and no advertisers, and also had copyright issues. As it turns out, writer and Director Vivek Agnihotri, in his book ‘Urban Naxals’ also stated that Thapar refused Pallavi Joshi a TV Serial owing to her ‘dark texture’. It is a bit rich for a man like him to preach to the Indian public but he’s done it again. This time Karan Thapar says, it’s “not my intention to diminish what happened to the Pandits” and then does exactly that.
On 15th September, Hindustan Times published an article titled: ‘We cannot be selective about the past in Jammu and Kashmir’. In it, Thapar claims that the article does not aim to ‘diminish the Kashmiri pandit exodus and genocide’, however, that is exactly what he goes on to do. To begin with, Thapar seems to contest the very usage of the words ‘exodus’ and ‘genocide’ for the crimes committed against Kashmiri pundits. He then goes on to say that 300,000 pandits ‘were never thrown out of the valley’. He rather relies on the J&K government data, which states that a mere 150,000 Kashmiri Pandits comprised the total population of Kashmir, out of which only 24,202 families ‘migrated’ out of Kashmir. It is indeed a subtle use of words by Thapar. How can we blame him for claiming that this exercise was a mere ‘migration’? The man is so succinct, after all. However, nobody is impressed with his evidently false and shoddy government data. From the 1990s, Thapar jumps back to 1947 and reminds us of a genocide against the Muslims of Jammu by the Dogra Hindus and Sikhs of the region. Thapar claims that the casualty figures of Muslims were anywhere between 70,000 to 237,000, in what is a completely manufactured lie. Karan Thapar is merely throwing inflated figures of Muslim casualties to downplay the Kashmiri Pandit exodus, to somehow suggest that what happened to the Kashmiri pandits was not as alarming and monstrous as compared to what happened in 1947. The claim by Thapar that Jammu was a ‘Muslim majority’ region is absolutely fabricated, unverified and reminds one of Romila Thapar’s style of rewriting history.
Thapar claims that Maharaja Hari Singh’s army was involved in atrocities against Muslims but the fact remains that the King’s army comprised of 1/3rd Muslims. Thapar is seen toeing the Pakistani rhetoric here, which is used to justify Pakistan’s attack on Jammu and Kashmir in 1947. According to Pakistan, Maharaja Hari Singh wanted to alter the demography of Jammu and Kashmir to make accession to India easier. This is what Thapar too tries to portray through this article. A quick Wikipedia search shows that the Muslim deaths may have ranged from anywhere between 20,000-100,000. What Thapar does not mention, is the fact that in these riots, over 20,000 and Hindus and Sikhs were also killed. In 1947, North India, in its entirety, was gripped with communal riots and flare-ups sparked by the horrendous partition. Thapar completely ignores the massacres which took place in West Punjab where Hindus and Sikhs were killed like cattle during the Partition. In such an atmosphere of violence across the region, the disturbance in the border regions of Jammu was a fallout of what was happening in Punjab. Moreover, claims that the Dogras indulged and initiated the violence are completely unfounded. It was the defectors from Hari Singh’s army, and raiders, which indulged in this violence. Jammu, in fact, after partition, absorbed many Hindus and Sikhs who managed to escape the carnage in Punjab.
Through his article, Thapar does two things: Demonises the Dogras and Sikhs of Jammu and diminishes the genocide of Kashmiri pandits. What Thapar also ignores is the fact that 1947 saw Pakistani irregualars, and subsequently the Pakistani army invading the region to take control over Kashmir. In such a scenario, Thapar tries to portray the violence in Jammu as an exclusive incident of ‘Muslim genocide’ having nothing to do with the partition and invasion by Pakistan. As he selectively ignores the absolute wipeout of Hindus and other non-muslims in the Jammu and Kashmir regions occupied by Pakistan the same year, he has the nerve to preach and says, “we cannot not be selective about the past in Jammu and Kashmir. How very convenient.
Not just Thapar, the cabal of left-liberals have not let go of any opportunity to downplay the Kashmiri Pandit exodus. Some have even had the gall to justify the massacre. The excuses which are often given to downplay the massacre of the Kashmiri pandits include, “Kashmiri pandits occupy most of the top jobs”, “The exodus was a mere fallout of rising conflict”, “The number of deaths are highly overestimated” (Thapar indicates this in his article), and so on. This cabal completely ignores the plight of the indigenous Hindus, Buddhists and Shias of Gilgit-Baltistan of PoK region and not to mention the fact that Kashmiri Pandits and their heritage was completely wiped out of PoK.
Karan Thapar is highly attention deprived. It is only with such hideous articles that he can validate his existence among the elite journalist community. Being the Pakistan loyalist that he is, it is only expected that Pakistan will fully utilise this article of his on other international forums, when need be. If not anything else, his dedication to produce content for the enemy must be appreciated.