Constructive Thinking

It is heartening that some groups of migrant Kashmiri Pandits have made bold publicly to voice that they do not wish to return to the valley only to be ensconced in exclusive domains but to be once again integrally among the Muslim population whom they still regard with affection and trust.
Constructive Thinking
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It is heartening that  some groups of migrant Kashmiri Pandits have made bold publicly to voice that they do not wish to return to the valley only to be ensconced in  exclusive  domains but to be once again integrally among the Muslim  population  whom they still regard with affection and trust. 

I have consistently argued that  migrant Pandits must not lay claim only to the  place and territory but to the people as well for any lasting rehabilitation of minds and hearts, and for a recuperation of  Kashmiriyat  which, notwithstanding   inimical  forces, still  thrives  among Kashmiri Muslims in overwhelming measure.

Equally imaginative   has been the initiative taken by some Pandits to meet with Mirwaiz Omar Farooq to clear the air on either side.  Nothing could have been more forthcoming  and admirable than the  suo motu  declaration by the Mirwaiz that the returning migrants  will be welcome to hold their  pro-India allegiance—something that would after all only align  them along  the  mainstream  Kashmiri political formations like the National Conference and the People's Democratic Party, both of whom   subscribe to the accession  of the state to the Union and thus to the Constitution of India.  The Mirwaiz has thus at once removed the   Pandit allegiance to  the Union from  the false  archive of communal  discourse  and  placed it squarely within the  universe of democratic choice.  This must be seen as a richly wholesome and far-reaching contribution to the politics of secularism and   sanity.

One is confident that the Pandits who have taken this  enabling and constructive initiative fully realize  that their projected return will be to a polity and place which  bear scant resemblance to the power equations of bygone times.  The valley of today is chock a block   with a generation of young Muslims who  are second to none in attainments of diverse kinds.  Their academic brilliance and  prowess at stiff national competitions   should put paid to any old and customary  evaluations and social and  professional  equations thereof.  Returning Pandits will do well to share the  joy of their attainments, and  learn to acknowledge their intellectual  leadership  in the spirit of non-sectarian human ism.  

The idea that to begin with returning migrants across communities be sheltered in composite  neghbourhoods is not a bad one.  After all, the logistics of  placement back within old neghbourhoods and environs cannot be met overnight.  That task of relocation will inevitably entail  infrastructural  efforts of  great intricacy—but one  that will hopefully be accomplished with joyful coordination and cooperation over a  period of time.

I have had the uplifting experience of having talked with some Pandit migrants who  went back to  the  five locations  in the valley some years ago. Nothing could have  been more enthusing than to be told that whereas they had any number of grievances against the state and central governments, their rich  source of  material and emotional sustenance had been their  Muslim neighbours who – in many cases – had seen to their  quotidian needs even before the Pandits had actually occupied their flats.    Few places in the world where such a thing might still happen.

Here is wishing the  project every success.

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