Voice Of The People

Why Have The Kashmiri Pandit Not Returned?

The team of Jan Ki Baat spoke to a few concerned citizens of Kashmiri origin, to understand the complicated situations Kashmiri Pandits and their future generation finds itself in post-exodus. Their demands are quite clear: the State and Centre must cooperate for the reinstatement of the community; the J&K government should reopen cases of prosecution and penalize those involved in killings of Kashmiri Pandits during this period; a Commission of enquiry must be set up to find those responsible for the exodus. Shri KK Khosa believes that this matter has become difficult to resolve 26 years later as an entire generation has been uprooted physically and therefore, culturally. Dr Ashok Aima says that attempts to create platform for re-convergence must succeed for the purposes of posterity; preservation and promotion of the culture of Kashmiri Pandits can only be carried further if the next generation is aware of it. A concentrated settlement, a sort og survival-in-exile is necessary for opening up of economic avenues and stable security of the community, opines Shri Moti Kaul. Usha Tickoo and Smt Sujata speak about why the community should be declared as Internally Displaced People; the Kashmiri Pandits don’t qualify as migrants which makes the status of their lives quite difficult to classify. Ajay Pandita, too, argues for it since as IDP they would have rights they otherwise don’t possess. The community agrees on certain pointers: any future formulation must be taken in consultation with the involved community; a dialogue must be initiated with representatives of the community; they must be declared as IDP; the trust deficit between the concerned governments and the community must be filled.

The genocide of Kashmiri Pandits has been condemned globally; the rapes, killings that followed as a result of apathetic and discriminatory treatment meted out to the community. Kashmiri Pandits remain obscure, origin-wise, since they can legaly neither be migrants nor natives of J&K. On 3rd May, more than 5,000 Kashmiri Pandits assembled at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to protest against the perpetuation of pain in their lives and demand governmental intervention.


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