Return of Kashmiri Pandits: How Long ?
In an interactive session organized by some Kashmiri Pandits, discussion was held on the following questions facing the community. The first question was, “How long will it take the powers that be to address the genuine concerns of the displaced community? The second question was, “How long will the Govt. of India and the State Government take to come out with concrete plans regarding the return and rehabilitation of the displaced community in the valley of Kashmir? The third question was,” How long will it take for the displaced community to realize their responsibility towards their progeny for safeguarding their identity and heritage?
How long will it take to the Govt. of India and the state government to formulate definite plans of return and rehabitation.? Twenty five years is not a small time. It is almost one generation.
The speakers, one after the other, gave their assessment, experience and understanding of the reasons for not realizing a resolution of their problems. There are glaring examples of discriminatory treatment, indifference and casual approach towards the concerns of the displaced community. The employment component of the PM’S package of 2008 took four long years to come to the operational level and as of now only 1963 jobs have been provided which comes to about 30% of the total quota of 6000 jobs. The dewelling units provided to these employees are so inadequate that it makes it impossible to live like human beings and have privacy in the limited space so provided. The encroachments on private properties and on those of the temples and shrines are not being vacated and owners run from post to the pillar to get the fair deal from the administration. There are similar other concerns and the only refrain is how long will it continue?
History is replete with instances of civil turmoil and each part of the world has its share, but there hardly is an instance that the aggrieved are left to languish without any proper care by the powers that be. If concerns of the oppressed are not addressed in time, it smacks of a design of let the things continue as such. Time is a great heater but in a fast changing world where is the long waiting time which the communities may avail to heal up their wounds. History records everything and the official apathy towards the concerns of the aggrieved people will not go unrecorded. Kashmiri Pandits have their roots of 5000 years of existence struck deep into the soil of Kashmir. These may become dormant for sometime but will definitely sprout again much stronger to whether the turbulent winds sweeping the earth. Survive it will and survive it must.
How long will it take to the Govt. of India and the state government to formulate definite plans of return and rehabitation.? Twenty five years is not a small time. It is almost one generation. How much this generational gap contributes to the complexity of the problem is not far too difficult to understand and how much more time do our Governments need to set the things moving? Return of displaced community is becoming a challenge and it will have to be converted into an opportunity to exhibit the statesmanship of handling such challenges at home before claiming much talked about success abroad.
Kashmiri Pandits have their roots of 5000 years of existence struck deep into the soil of Kashmir.
Return and rehabilitation is no longer the concern of the community alone, it has assumed much wider dimensions which need to be addressed earnestly and immediately. The country’s ethos has to remain intact and its commitment towards building a strong democratic and secular country has to leave nothing at stake. Displaced community has shown its competence as also the strength to face the Tsunomy, it is for the state to awake and rise to the occasion. If it does not, it will be seen as a deliberate indifference towards this vital national concern with many ramifications.
Politicians looking at smaller concerns and devoid of broader vision will neither understand the future fall out of present indifference nor would be able to conceive a result oriented plan, it is statesmanship that is required to handle this issue. All that has been witnessed in the state during the last six months is not encouraging nor is it assuring of all things promised to the people. The revival of the environment of peaceful coexistence is leaving much to be desired. Humans are supposed to be the most refined specie of life and if human fail to exercise discipline, show the required decency and fail to look forward, it is certainly a warning of uglier things happening in the future.
The return and rehabilitation of displaced community has assumed greater importance because it relates to the revival of much talked about Kashmiriyat, it relates to the ray of light , Mahatma had seen in Kashmir when rest of the country was aflame, it relates to the Indian state in a special measure and it has an equally significant bearing internationally. KP’s are watching closely the Governments that have to come out with a well worked out plan assuring the return in a dignified manner and ensuring the political and economic security to the exilees besides, of course, providing the safe environment of exercising their social and cultural independence. Let no more time be wasted in passing the temples and shrines bill. Let first things happen first.
Kashmiri Pandits’ identity is faced with serious dilution on social front, cultural front and at genetic front as well. This will have to stop. The community needs to take these concerns seriously and evolve strategies to combat it as much as possible.
The third important question” How long will it take for the displaced community to realize their responsibility towards their future generations? Also needs to be viewed in its futuristic prospect for the preservation of K.P identity. Twenty five years that have gone by have witnessed formidable changes in the community on social and cultural front. Nuclearisation of families was not a natural phenomena, it was only a byproduct of family compulsions imposed by living in one room tenements for a pretty long time. Jagti added more in this directions. Young boys and girls seeking their privacy and elders realizing its necessity resulted into sub-nuclearisation with its far reaching consequences. Elders of the community are the victims of these circumstances who by compulsion have to stay back as watch dogs, on the one hand and as isolated members of the family not capable of coping with the rigors of metropolitan life which their youngsters had to adopt unavoidably.
It poses a big challenge to the community as to how should it check the adverse consequences of this phenomena and safeguard the ethos of its social, cultural and religious heritage for the future generations. K.P identity is faced with serious dilution on social front, cultural front and at genetic front as well. This will have to stop. The community needs to take these concerns seriously and evolve strategies to combat it as much as possible. Most of this can be achieved, when we build our homes with a sense of belonging in our homeland. Houses we have built everywhere but home is lost till it is regained and used as centre of attraction and togetherness. Globalisation will drive away youngsters but home will get them together on auspicious occasions, keep them tied with their roots and heritage and offer them to share their pains, pleasures and experiences in their own language at their own home away from the houses they might have built elsewhere.
ZU CHUM BRAMAAN GHAR GACH HA How long shall I wait ?