Return of Kashmiri Pandits
Come back and live with amity
MIR GHULAM RASOOL
This refers to the article by P. N. Razdan (GK, 18-7-2012). Mr. Geelani and other leaders of Kashmir have all been in favour of return of Kashmiri Pandit community to their places of birth without any reservations. They have only opposed creation of separate homeland for Kashmiri Pandits. The statement of Janata Dal leader Mr. Swamy that appeared in Greater Kashmir dated 24-10-2011, suggesting abrogation of Article 370 and an army of ten lakh ex-servicemen should accompany the migrant Pandits to their return to valley did not evoke any opposition from KP community or others present while he was delivering his address at Jammu. It did however create doubts in the minds of majority community giving rise to apprehensions expressed by Mr. Geelani, though belated. We need not go into those sordid and unfortunate reasons for this migration as much has been said and established about it. What we need now is to harmonize relations between KPs and the majority community. This cannot be achieved by creating a separate state for KPs, nor by building safe zones in their natural habitations
As mentioned by Mr Razdan in his article, 80% of migrants have sold their properties and have settled outside the state. Their children have received education and are employed outside the state. Their return, though welcome, is not a top priority. Priority is for those who are still in camps languishing and eager to return. There are still vacant houses and those under occupation of security forces or under unauthorized occupation. Their owners have to be given top priority for resettlement. The state government should create an agency to repair or reconstruct all such houses to render them habitable so that their owners return and resettle. This will require renting of accommodation for such families while houses are repaired or rebuild.
As regards those who have sold their houses but retained their agricultural lands, for them state needs to allot plots in vacant state land in the vicinity of village where they belong. The state should create an agency to collect data of such migrant families on emergency basis as any further postponement thereof will only create bitterness among the two communities who have lived together amicably and harmoniously. Prior to reign of Budshah Pandits had migrated from Kashmir except few families but they returned to valley and resettled in same localities where they lived with Muslim neighbors with amity for hundreds of years without fear even during rule of Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs and Dogras. They witnessed the atrocities committed on majority community during this period (1470-1948 AD). The rulers created a distinction between KPs and Muslims by absorbing latter in services to further their interests. The majority community did not harbour any ill will towards KPs as they well understood the designs behind such distinctive governance.
During 1946 movement, KPs supported the movement along with Kashmiri leaders for emancipation from the despotic rule. Let us forget the past discord and forge a new future together and welcome our brothers with open hearts. Sometime back it was reported that some senior teacher namely Mr. Satish Raina got himself transferred to Kupwara district to resettle on his ancestral property. And till he repaired his house his Muslim neighbors offered him free accommodation. Several KP employees employed afresh in various districts have taken accommodation in Muslim habitations and some are even living as paying guests. Let our Pandit brothers trust their Muslim neighbors and forge ties rather than being misguided to live in separate localities.
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Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 29 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 30 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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