Another World Refugee Day of 2021 migrants in pain and anguish by Bushan Parimoo || LIVE IMAGE

 Pir Panchal :The Sentinel of Kashmir identity.

Another World Refugee Day was celebrated on 20 June by the migrants in pain and anguish, by the Kashmiri  Pandit community diaspora world over. They have been doing it for three decades without fail .Exodus keeps them on march,  through a long dark tunnel of uncertainty, chasing a dangling stick  put in front  of them. where it shall lead  them , how long more  it will take  has become a  matter of speculation. This long arduous  unending journey carried  in a fervent hope  it may end in the  near future. Believing in good faith a  promise by  any  Tom, Deck and Harry who matters. For the  safe return of the Kashmiri Pandit migrants  to their homes and hearth with dignity.  

The prime factor that the assurances in all hue and colours comes from those whom they call their messiah. That is the reason  for them to  move on with hope; a day  shall come sooner or later to be   back to Maouj Kasheer. Migration en-mass broadly speaking has a number of factors that induce it against wishes, one climate related, where drought forces people to migrate  to escape starvation , hunger deaths, second is the contagious incurable disease during that time, and last but not the least . to escape tyranny of the rulers for survival with dignity and honor. 

Kashmir valley bears testimony  to all  these scenarios . Kashmir's unique identity and character, must owed to its natural barrier the Pir Panchal Range that has granted it that historical isolation to remain distinct and unique both in historical and geographical sense. Because of it    developed its own culture,  tradition, though foreign influence  did made in roads but got absorbed never was allowed to ride it over  its  own culture. To understand a Kashmiri by an outsider is a hard nut to crack, reminds of a diplomat once stationed in Moscow, who found two absurd statements in his life that, Liquor do not affect  me  and that I understand a Russian.

The Brahmins of Kashmir are as any other Brahman in the world . Yet they are called Kashmiri Pandits . It has its own Sivism cult, developed Sufism that suited its culture, chanted Kashmiriyat, in a unison. Religious places are revered by all irrespective of caste colour  or faith, Desecration was Ruler sponsored , tentatively started by the  king Harsha (AD 1089-1101) was first to desecrate temples , that ended with the Afghan rule. Kashmri Pandit suffered worst over the centuries  at the hands of tyrant rulers, who desecrated, demolished, converted their religious places  besides other unbearable sufferings and torchers perpetuate on them. 

In spite of it    prevailed upon the Sikh  rulers to agree the places of worship had to be revered not desecrated. This legacy has been carried by  Dogra rulers. Kashmir Muslin has also taken every care to preserve the sanity of the religious places of Hindus. 

On  record seven migrations have taken place in the history of Kashmir. All under tyrant rulers  barring the last one in the democratic set up. Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%" or any of its listed variations. All earlier six exodus were valley based and exclusively of the Kashmiri Pandits. The recent one both sides of the Pir Panchal were affected. From Kishtwar, Doda, Raman, Gool Gulabgarh,Reasi , Poonch, Rajouri, Udhampur, Samba and Kathua.  Has left deep scars of death and destruction everywhere here .Became opposed  and resisted   too . One thing deliberately  avoided to mention that in all these migrations locals in general were against it, before gun helplessness, all that they could do, facilitated their migration in secret, parting with tears. 

Another undeniable  fact is that the Muslims from the valley also  faced the entire brunt after the KP migration .Their predicament was  where to  escape , crossing the lines not  permissible,  coming this side of the Pir Panchal  was not a better  option, with a general tag they are the reason. Unlike earlier migration, this one  has an element  where  care for Kashmiri migrants was initiated and provided by the Government , in the shape of relief though a  nominal one  , government accommodation  for which colonies were raised ,   migrant status to the government Employees for the purpose of drawing salary and being treated on duty in absentia . Besides internal political migrants, the government allotted accommodation in posh hotels in Srinagar with migrant status,  incl  all benefits and that still goes on. And the Prime Minister’s package . 
 
Hasty adding there has been many gray areas in the deliverance sector of favoritism , nepotism, stinking corruption exploitation  incl baser  one. While as it has become a deep  introspection why Jammu  province migrants have been discriminated against. What can be sauce to Kashmir Migrants could not be  for  the  Jammuites.No Prime Minister's Package, no job reservation, no multistory colonies for them, no clusters at home for them to go back. When   both suffered   and migrated  for  the  same reasons . in comparison much more and sacrificed a lot , took guns to fight it, some with hand and even ladies with sticks. Suggested to form a Special Police officer, and youth took to guns to fight insurgency. 

Never cried  or  asked  for pity .Never asked in the name of exodus, that government should fight and protect them in every step of life and migrants shall only hold migrant cards for sops. Instead proved up to the mark   far ahead of others at the call of duty to protect sovereignty and integrity of the nation .Kashmiri Pandit migrants only beast the chest being Hindu they suffered ignoring all those who  also suffered far in numbers,  irrespective of  caste creed and faith, region.Yet parochial mindset on the part of those at the helm of affairs made them struggle every inch for relief on similar lines without much success.
 
It  needs  intense research , who and how the migrants were treated and helped to settle and start life anew under   unfamiliar land  in earlier six migrations. Kashmiri Pandit Shabas are a century old concept, what before that.
 
The recent migration referred by various names such as holocaust, genocide, internal refugees in their own land, ethnic cleansing etc has every element that the Government failed first to perceive it and second had either no intention to stop it to   project it as ethnic cleansing before the world. From the migrant camps in most pathetic conditions migrants were put. Deserve a threadbare discussion in the National interest.   Taking into the consideration the resources were there with both the State as well as that of the Government of India at that time  . Through a number of intrusions from across the border, firsthand knowledge about the loopholes in the defence network were well known,  perfected from time to time  as faced . 

First Pakistan –India war,  October 1947- December 1948 till ceasefire was declared. Another one called Guerrilla War, of 1965 when insurgent reached up to Batamalo, Srinagar, it was Late Ch, Ghulam Mohammad Chechi, of Dara Kasi, Tangmarg who was first to inform of the infiltration was awarded Padm Shri, had to pay price,  with death, murders in 1989, again it was 1971,  when Smt Mala  a  Gujjar lady informed Indian Army in Poonch sector was awarded Padam Shri. Again history was repeated when at a place called Hill kaka in Poonch where entrenched insurgent hard to eliminate were  liquidated by locals who also became migrant under the charged scenario.And the Kargil war.
 
To sum up those who migrated in any migration from valley never returned, this time  too is  may not an exception, unless proved wrong wish so, to those who cry or who lend ears both know the reality. Yet it suits both, the more you beat  the walnut tree more it yields    the sops    in return Politicians  project them as festering wounds  on Hindutavata  victimization to remain in power. In each of these conflicts right from 1947, 1965, 1975, Kargil,  migration has been    a regular feature for those who live on borders. fleeing  at  odd hours for safety under intense fire  has become  a way of life .  
 
The Kashmiri Pandits known for their brains world over and had created a niche because of it, in earlier migration , helped them to overcome the crisis,  ith it developed and maintained  a spirit to help each other. It no longer sees  the zeal to excel or carry the spirit of brotherhood. On the other hand migrants of this side of the Panchal without sops , produced scores of Administrative Officers,  in the Indian Foreign Services, Indian Administrative Services, Indian Forest Services, Indian Police Services,  and all India basis Service, besides JK Administrative Services.

Kashmiri Pandits migrants  have no such record to write home about.Kashmir Pandit self style leaders owe an answer.

 By- Bushan Parimoo
(The author is a Jammu based environmentalist, free lance writer of Art, Language and Heritage and a regular contributor to this Website .)
(Feedback at: blparimoo@gmail.com)


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