Heart of a Pandit

When the lips are silent, the heart has a hundred tongues , says Rumi
Heart of a Pandit
GK File Photo

History has always witnessed mysteries that may never be solved, especially when it comes to our homeland Kashmir (Kashir). The lack of answers only makes these enigmas more intriguing.

There are several mysteries that have left the valley people clueless, time and again. These unearthed mysteries are many like who pelted the first stone? Who blinded one eye? Who chopped most of the beautiful braids?

One of the mysteries that changed the whole structure of entire JK, creating ripples in everybody's heart and soul, was the migration of Pandits from Kashmir. A Kashmiri pandit had to leave behind his home and hearth and everything else he possessed before seeking shelter in faraway cities, from Jammu to rest of India.

There are many narrations about as to why Kashmiri Pandits migrated from their own homeland. Were they forced to do so or they left Kashmir by their own will owing to safety reasons? The debate has been continuing since January 1990 when exodus of Pandits from Kashmir got underway.

Let's not get into the argument trap as it would only generate a bitter taste. What a strange combination our body attunes to. Our tongue and heart, parts of same body yet behave in a different manner. Our tongue reveals our heart and our heart tames our feelings. Our tongue expresses, while our heart conceives.

From last 30 years we have been lending ear to plenty of desperate preachers who talk about resettlement of Pandits in the valley. There are some who have been campaigning for separate Kashmiri Pandit (KP) zones within the Kashmir Valley and there are some who talk about providing a safe atmosphere, enveloping each pandit with a security cover. Surprisingly, nobody talks about the wailing heart of a Kashmiri pandit.

Lately, I watched a documentary on Pandits in which a small diary left in an old abandoned pandit house has been driving the story. After a long time, a Muslim guy returns the diary to this Pandit family and the diary recreates the scene of 90's when the large-scale exodus of the fear-stricken Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley had taken place. Likewise, there are so many thought provoking movies made by the dream merchants of Bollywood on the plight of displaced Kashmiri Pandits.

Bollywood might be proud of making such award winning movies on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits, but the point is what did a common pandit gain out of this? In fact  this has created more controversies around their exodus from the valley and at the end damaged their cause rather than helping them to end their miseries as migrants.

Telling the story of what happened to you to those whose job is to help you or trying to find new and positive ways to deal with the situation, that is one thing. But telling the story of what happened to you again and again in a negative way to everyone is often a form of keeping one stuck in victimhood. Exactly this is the damage our leaders, stake holders and those for whom a pandit is a potential cash cow, have been doing to the heart of a pandit.

It has been over three decades now that pandits left this valley and in these years nothing has been done in concrete to resolve the issue except feeding high doses of bitterness to make a pandit feel even worse.

Stephen Diamond, Ph.D., defines bitterness as "a chronic and pervasive state of smoldering resentment," and regards it as "one of the most destructive and toxic of human emotions." Referred to as 'embitterment' in psychology circles, bitterness happens when you feel there is no action left to take because everything is out of your control.''

Bitterness and self-pity is a dead end street that only blocks healing and never lets a  person see the positive side of life.

As for that victimhood, if you are a victim, you are helpless. Bitterness, victimhood, self-pity all thrive on sympathy.

If we ponder for a while keeping all the grudges aside, don't Kashmiri Muslims have gone through the hurt?  They too have been suffering more than anybody else. But the only positive thing is they never let themselves fall in the trap of self-victimization. No doubt they live in their own homeland, but the fact is they too lost their dear and near ones, above all tranquility of hearts.

If we really want to work for the rehabilitation of Pandits back in the valley we have to forget the insane resolutions that have locked a pandit in victimization mode.

Every problem has a solution, if we listen to our heart and every solution is a problem if we listen to provocateurs' tongue. So let the resolution come from the heart of a pandit.

Let me quote Rumi here, "Listen! Clam up your mouth and be silent like an oyster shell, for that tongue of yours is the enemy of the soul, my friend. When the lips are silent, the heart has a hundred tongues."

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