Tributes: Third death anniversary

by: Mr. T.N. Mattoo

The humble ramblings on our part in the form of our expression depicting the sorrowful and painful story of community to which the man to whom this collection is being dedicated is no other person than our beloved leader and friend Shri Tika Lal taploo, whose 3rd death anniversary we are celebrating today. He was a common man, a household name in the valley with un common traits. Apparently simple and immaculate in dress, speech and habits possessed a complex personality. A man dedicated to a cause from childhood to the end unmoved by the threats and intimidations allurements and allegations. A lawyer by profession yet more emotional and sensitive and less legal and argumentative. He loved the people with whom he moved and lived without any bent on communal or religious score, popularly known as “LALA” among his friends and colleagues, the formal devotee of a cause was informal in his ways. To him every body whom he came in contact was his brother or sister and time was reciprocated time and again by people all ranks and faiths both in his life time and also at the time of his Martyrdom, the day when a tearful farewell by the people in the valley by men and women at large and outside valley represented by personalities like Shri LK Advani and Shri Kidar Nath Sahani, the eminent personalities from the bench and the bar, befitting the departure of the martyr. No meeting, gathering or “VARG” would be complete without his presence. His presence would render color and completeness to such gatherings. Following the family traditions of “Taploos” whose mention we find in “SANT-MALA” of Kashmir, he like a true sanyasi was moved by the cry of the afflicted and the downtrodden. Unlike his professional demands he would be found pleading the cause of an orphan, a student, a victimized lady, tongawalla or a poor rickshaw driver, least caring for consideration of any kind. The national cause was dear to him. He in the early stage saw the glimpse of true nationalism and the real image of Bharat in the Jan Sangh mooted out by the late Dr Shayama Prasad Mukharjee in 1953 and continued to be in it till he achieved his martyrdom. Firm in his conviction, fearless in his approach, he was more a worker than a leader. He shared pains and pleasures equally with commoners. He was a political institution in his own right. A credit for the conception of political opposition in a democracy in the valley was more or less introduced by him. The party to which he belonged held him in great esteem and held posts in it befitting his stature.

He was an ardent pioneer of Hindus in the valley in general and Kashmiri Pandits in particular. Frequent failures in elections would not deter him from following his program. In fact every failure would exhilarate his action for the commoner. No person in the valley in the recent past has been consistent with the minority cause and to problems than our beloved “Lala”, Every man, Woman or child stand testimony to it. To youth he was a leader and a guide. He did not lack inaction in this field. If we see around us a group of youngsters today who are steadfast and firm for a cause and care of the minority even in the present situation, the credit of formation goes to late “Taploo Jee” the leader and the guide. Why broad day light is anybody’s guess. Even the enemy found him to be the silent and forceful spokesman of minority cause and a symbol of Indian hood in the valley. They found his silence more eloquent and silenced him for ever on the 13th of September 1989. The people (Hindus) hastily realized the warning beguile and the writings on the wall. “Lala’s” endless silence revealed the intentions of the armed anti Indian elements in the valley
towards the community whose voice was silenced for ever. Young and old, men and women of the community smelt the rot and individually and collectively thought what was best for them, in the absence of “Lala” – their survival and the self honor. The community members brook no chance to preserve it amidst death dance all around. It took more a fiction than fact what befell the community and at the hands of their won big brothers.

Lala could do very little in his life time to community excepting keeping them in good humors, and positioned all along, with his life long struggle for the political and social entity. He would be in the vanguard of any political “DHARNA” or procession, ‘Ram Rath’ or ‘Krishna Sawari,’ marriage party or the funeral procession. Lala’s life starts after his death and the community un precedence exodus to Jammu found homely atmosphere and consolation awaiting them fear stricken as they were. We own this to the friendship and political relationship ‘Lala’ had developed through years from the day of Shri Prem Nath Dogra- The Sher-I-Duggar. The residence of late Dogra at the present (BJP Headquarters) became the nerve center for struggle and survival of the community, the victim of political blindness and religious bigotry. Material/ non material succor continues from the same center and community accepts with gratitude. Lala is not part of our history of the community.

His memory will always be recollected with reverence by us and posterity for the part played by Shri Taploo.

We salute his as a patriot and all other who did have achieved martyrdom along with him.

We say VANDE MATRAM, JAI HIND and BHARAT MATA KI JAI the salutations so dear to the departed soul.