Official Organ

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There may perhaps be hardly any communi- ty in the world, living in exile in their own moth- erland, oscillating between the two extremi- ties of their ...

Official Organ


Spade a Spade AUGUST 2015


UPROOTEDNESS IN THE OFFING Pain of uprootedness is always the same, no matter even if it is about returning to ones roots BY RAMESH PANDITA here may perhaps be hardly any community in the world, living in exile in their own motherland, oscillating between the two extremities of their rehabilitation, one proposing and other disposing at each other's behest. Yes, this is what holds true of Kashmiri Pandits (KP), as the recent hype over their return to their roots simply turned out a damp squib. The proposal put forth by the present central government to rehabilitate the community in composite townships in the Kashmir valley received a big jolt, as the party patron of their ruling ally in the state (PDP) disposed the move by calling the proposal more about creating another Israel on the earth and termed it contrary to the wishes and aspirations of the majority community of the Kashmir. The KP community has been hearing of their possible return since the day they were forced to abandon their homes and hearths. The level of skepticism over the period about their possible return has run so high, that nothing short of their palpable return will give them the solace they are languishing for. The harsh truth is, the life during the past 25 years of exile has given nothing to the community except the sleepless nights, crying for rehabilitation, battling with the odds of life to save their identity, with no real takers, yearning for a clear roadmap to tread on and thereon living under the constant danger of being getting eroded by the tides of time. The emotional besiege has left the community altercated to look forward and move ahead. The predilection for Kashmir took the community hostage from the day one of their exodus and not to lose the sight and essence of their belongingness, the community preferred to migrate only to the backyard of their motherland, rather venturing outside in the airs of total freedom. The present central leadership appears to be hell bent to work out the modalities with the state leadership of which they are part, to chalk out things, whereby the


Kashmiri Pandits can be rehabilitated back in the Kashmir valley at the earliest possible. The entire KP community apart from being elated is very much optimistic about their return to their roots and rightly so, because no child would ever like to be parted with his/her mother and be left in lurch. The community brethren, despite having made some good fortune outside the Kashmir valley could not shed their languishing for their motherland, even after the eclipsing of the 25 years in exile most of these well-off KPs are ready to leave behind their material attainments for their motherland. The fact of the matter is, that the KP community during the past 25 years has undergone through repeated migrations, be it from one tent to another tent, one room to another room, one locality to another locality, one town to another town, one district to another district or even from one state to another state, perhaps the list may go endless. And above all, the govt itself has put the community to repeated migrations and people still wonder whether their habitat is going to be in Jaggti Camp, Muthi Camp, Nagrota Camp or Purkhoo Camp. None of these locals bear the permanent address of their inhabitants and sooner or later they will be subjected to their next migration. The pain and trauma of repeated uprootedness is not elusive to Kashmiri Pandits, who always lived under the constant fear of losing their temporary shelter and used to look for a new cover. Owning and disowning the tenants each new day by the landlords during the early years of migration had become the order of the day and the constant harassment on one or the other pretext, a norm. This repeated uprootedness, rather repeated migration was not only about folding and unfolding ones baggage, wearing a pal of gloom on faces or strives hard to make it to safer end, but was more about cutting and connecting the threads of life with one's own hands, which always involved the great danger of being getting entangled. The bigger question is, is the return of KPs back to their roots going to be that

easy, the way it is being project and what it seems and by far? Perhaps not, though most of us may have forgotten the pain of repeated uprootedness through which the community passed time and again during the first decade of exile, but to untangle the entangled threads is not that easy. The community may return to their roots, but the pain of uprootnedness is going to be the same, what the community experienced from time to time during the past 25 years. Even the rolling out carpet to welcome the community back in the fold is going to be more about standing exactly there where we stood 25 years back. Under the given circumstance, pushing vigorously an agenda only to deliver on the pre-poll promise, without giving a good thought over the conduciveness & the favorability of the situation is itself questioning the success percentage of the return roadmap. The yelling of return by the KP community members in affirmative from all across the globe is surely signaling towards the migration in offing, no matter even if it is about returning to ones roots. Any move towards the rehabilitation of the KP community in the Kashmir valley has to receive the concord of the majority community of the Kashmir first, as there voice is going to be instrumental in the KPs return process, which they unfortunately have already declined acrimoniously, no matter owing it to the creation of separate KP concentrated zones. One should not forget the recent outcry across the Kashmir over the proposed return of Kashmiri Pandits to the valley, which stands testimony, that the majority community of the Kashmir by no means is ready to accept the Kashmiri Pandits back in their fold, as yet. Besides, the harsh reality is, it is still the aspirations and the wishes of the majority community of the Kashmir, which are being taken care of and are being held in high regard and not the pain and trauma inflicted to & faced by the KP community over the years in exile. So, before going ahead with any such proposed move, need is to understand, that the return is going to be purely conditional, resting on

Spade a Spade AUGUST 2015 the mercy of the majority community of the Kashmir and not on the individual wishes & aspiration of those who intend to return. Any haste or forced move to rehabilitate Pandits back in the valley is never going to yield the desired result, to which the community is looking for and the KPs willing to return in the given conditions is bound to question their own credulity. Showing, resentment over the return of natives by the majority community of Kashmir, for whatever reasons, reflects the true loci of community over the issue, refuting their baseless claims about the fraternal love and communal harmony, and surely tantamounts to taking pride in

UPROOT / TRIBUTE hounding out KPs from the valley as a right decision. After spending over quarter of a century in exile, the Kashmiri Pandits have got no reason to get carried away by their emotions. Any meek submission before the emotions by no means should result into a premature return, with purpose unfulfilled, as this will question the very essence of mass migration for which it was undertaken. As, it apart from turning out waste of 25 years of life & race, will also subdue the whole purpose of choosing such a course. The community cannot afford to let go waste all those painful, but importantly unforgettable 25 years of life in exile, where we never looked back.


Despite putting up in the backyard of our motherland, we buried our emotions in our chest, we moved ahead in life. This undesirable keenness of the community to undertake a premature return, may end up in haste and that too when the majority community of the Kashmir has overtly expressed its unwillingness to accept the KPs in the valley for whatever reasons. By ignoring the conduciveness of the situation & overriding the pros and cons involved with the return of aborigines at the ground zero may simply turn out to be a repeated uprootedness, with purpose unfulfilled and may show the community in poor light, while turning the pages of history tomorrow. ■


LATE SHRI JANAKI NATH BHAN ne can hardly believe that Shri Bhan is no more. He was a person who is hard to forget and difficult to remove from one's thoughts. I met him for the first time in the Bazme-Adab at the then famous Hindi Bhawan at Connought Place. Thereafter our association continued and we kept on meeting at every literary, cultural and social gatherings in Delhi. He was a shining star of the society and took part in variety of programmes. I was impressed by his command over various languages, his knowledge of the fund of literature written in these languages and his sharp wit. He took keen part in the social, cultural and literary activities of the community in Delhi and was actively associated withBazmeAdab first and then KoshurSamachar. At the BazmeAdab he along with Late Shri B.N.Kaul, Late Shri S.N.Sadhu, Shri S.N.Bhat Haleem and others organised literary meetings, brought out a Kashmiri journal 'Pamposh' and felicitated poets and writers of Kashmir from time to time. This forged a link between the writers and poets within Kashmir and outside Kashmir and contributed in a big way in enriching our literary treasure. At KoshurSamachar he was one of those dedicated team of persons who brought out the prestigious tri-lingual mouth piece of the community. I remember his dedication and commitment in contributing to this journal and in bringing out scores of special numbers like LalDed number, Mehjoor number, Saints and Sages number, Masterji number etc; in collaboration with different editors, writers and contributors. In LalDed number he translated the Vakhs in English while Haleem Saheb provided translation in Hindi. He was well versed in Persian and Hindi and had an amazing command over English. He was so quick in interpreting a thought or an idea from one language to another that the listeners were taken by surprise. I remember that once at a meeting of the BazmeAdabI read the caption of my Kashmiri poem which was, 'Thana pyavtamivizishrukhasharah'


and he instantaneously explained it in English as 'Birth of the Muse'. There was hardly any aspect of Kashmiri society in Delhi with which he was not associated. He took active interest in bringing up the Kashmir apartments under the group housing scheme of the DDA. He had a distinguished career of a teacher first and then from 1951 to 1982 in the Parliament as a senior interpreter. He was a prolific writer who wrote original creative pieces, translated writings from Kashmiri to Hindi and English and vice versa, and did monumental work in compiling dictionaries and other compilations. He was frank, forthright and fearless human being who stood by the principles that were dear to him. There was hardly any cultural programme organised in Delhi wherein his contribution was not vivid and praiseworthy. He came to Bengaluru a few years back, where his granddaughter lives and was kind enough to visit our home too. During this visit he gifted to me his book, 'Hugs And Handshakes After Aeons' and I had the privilege of writing a review of this book, which was published in the Naad. He acknowledged that with gratitude.He had love and regard for all those who he worked with and those who came into contact with him. He had very keen interest in quality literature and appreciated a well written poem or a story. He was a Kashmiri Pandit in every sense of the term, proud of our culture, knowledgeable in our rich tradition, well informed about our history, customs and rituals and bold and firm in his views and ideas. We remember him with reverence, regard and high esteem. May his soul rest in peace and may God bestow courage to his children to bear his loss, which no doubt is a colossal loss. He unfortunately lost his wife at a young age and brought up his children single handed with love, care and fond attachment. God has been kind to him that with his care and concern all his children are successful in their lives and have done him proud. My homage to his memory. ■ Email: [email protected]; [email protected]