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Terror made Pandits exit Valley – Letter to the Editor

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Editor: Times of India

On Thu, Jan 28, 2010 at 11:18 AM, K.N. Pandita wrote:

Dear Sir:

Apropos ‘Terror made Pandits exit Valley’ (ToI Jan. 28, p.21), please put the record straight. I watched the entire debate. One participant (Tarun Vijay) commenting on the inadequacy of the consstitution in certain aspects wanted to know why the constituion could not protect the entire Hindu(Pandit) minority commmunity  from extirpation from its home and hearth in 1990.

In response Manish Tiwari said that an atmosphere of fear was created by the then J&K Governor (obviously Mr.Jagmohan) forcing the Pandis to flee.

In the first place, I wonder if Manish Tiwari has read Jagmohan’s well-documented book My Frozen Turbulence in Kashmir.to know what exactly happened. Continue Reading…

Taliban re-integration: Impact on Kashmir situation

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By Dr. K.N. Pandita

In the volatile region to our north-west, bizarrely intricate political situation is developing with obvious implications for our domestic and foreign policy.

After less than a decade of intrigues, sabotage, subterfuge and war of attrition, the US feels her interests lie in hastening her withdrawal from war-torn Afghanistan. This experience is very different from that of Iraq. Afghan war history has come full circle.

Not to give an impression that it was responding to the situation from a position of weakness, Obama administration made great media hype of “US military surge” in Afghanistan. But to a discerning eye, the more poignant aspect of Obama’s policy statement was US’ decision to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2011 with virtually no condition attached to it.  Continue Reading…

To forget would be to forgive

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Published on Sunday Pioneer, by Kanchan Gupta, January 24, 2010.

Twenty years ago this past week, Hindus were forced to flee Kashmir Valley, their ancestral land, by Islamic fanatics baying for their blood. Not a finger was raised by the state in admonition nor did ‘civil society’ feel outraged. In these 20 years, India has forgotten that outrage, a grotesque assault on our idea of nationhood. So much so, nobody even talks of the Kashmiri Pandits, driven out of their home and hearth, virtually stripped of their identity and reduced to living as refugees in their own country, any more.

Our ‘secular’ media, obsessed as it is with pandering to the baser instincts of Muslim separatists, waxing eloquent about the many sorrows of India’s least of all minorities, arguing the case for rabid mullahs and demanding ‘greater autonomy’ for Jammu & Kashmir so that the Tricolour doesn’t fly there any more, has not thought it fit to take note of the 20th anniversary of the new age Exodus.   Continue Reading…

The Pandits of Kashmir: Culture and Future

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By K.N. Pandit

It is somewhat painful to write on this subject. We are in exile; we have little to say and much to lament. No culture can survive if it is uprooted from its place of origin. There is eternal link between people and their land.

Our cultural heritage is an integral part of vast Indian Hindu cultural fund as a whole. But our land, Kashmir Mandala, has been an independent kingdom for thousands of years. The Mughals annexed it in 1588 but then Maharaja Gulab Singh created the present State of Jammu and Kashmir in 1846.  Since 1947 our land has become part of the Indian Union.

Despite the fact that our cultural heritage is part of Indian civilization, our ancestors did not fail to add and induct new aspects and ideas into Indian pantheon. Shaivism or the Shaivite philosophy is a unique contribution of our sages and savants to the rich fund of Indian philosophy. If Hinduism became our faith Shaivism became our religion. Extensive reach of Shaivite trinity, meaning Shiva as the creator, preserver and destroyer became the watchword of Kashmiri Pandit thought process. Continue Reading…

The package and recruitment

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By K.N. Pandita

Prime Minister’s Kashmir package is for “relief and rehabilitation” and not only for “rehabilitation”.  Recipients are distributed into three categories. (a) Kashmiri Pandit Migrants (b) Refugees, and (c) Victims of terrorist violence in J&K.

It is not clear what is the share for “relief and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in category (a) above out of a total package if Rs. 16180.40 crores.

Term “refugee” has not been defined. Are they the people who sought refuge within the territory of the state following tribal invasion in 1947 or are they war affected people of 1962, 1971 and 1998-99 (Kargil war)?  Continue Reading…