silent plight

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 26 Nov 2017 11:33:13

THERE is little doubt that Central Government’s Special Representative to Kashmir Mr. Dineshwar Sharma must have sensed correctly the silent plight of the Kashmiri Pandit community as he visited one of the largest refugee camps in the State at Jagti area in Jammu. There is little doubt that Mr. Sharma could see the unshed tears of the members of Kashmiri Pandit community lodged in the very uncomfortable conditions in the refugee camp. And we are sure, Mr. Sharma must have felt enraged as well to know how no so-called human rights activists has ever worried about the flagrant violation of fundamental and human rights of the Pandit community not for a day or two but for decades on. 

It is good that Mr. Dineshwar Sharma thought of the Pandit community of Kashmir. It is this community that has made tremendous contribution to the glory of Jammu and Kashmir. The members of this community have proved to be worthy intellectuals, great administrators, writers, singers, poets, historians, businessmen ...! It is this community that dedicated itself to creating a vibrant Kashmir through its contribution to varied fields. And most unfortunately, it is this community that was hounded by the bandits and thugs of the separatist fold from its homes and hearths and farms and factories and schools and colleges. Countless members of the Pandit community were done to death, their women subjected to rape and murder, their kids as if thrown to the wolves among the separatists.

Lakhs of Pandits are have been rooted out of their safe perches and pushed out of their own towns and regions. They now live in abominable conditions in refugee camps in Kashmir. Countless many more have moved out of the State and are living sad lives across the country, picking up whatever jobs that are available to them.

And, there was no one to pick up cudgels on behalf of the Pandits. There were some political talks of trying to take the Pandits back to their homes. Yet, not one single human rights activists, not one single political personality, either in Kashmir or elsewhere, ever pledged himself or herself to restoration of the glory of the Pandit community. There is no sense of shame or sense of remorse at any level.

It is against this background that there is a special significance to the visit of Mr. Dineshwar Sharma to the Pandit community’s refugee camps. We hope desperately that he has understood the Pandits’ silent plight correctly. We also hope, therefore, that he will come out with some roadmap to restoration of the place and space of the Pandit community in Kashmir’s scheme of things. Minus any such effort, no effort in Kashmir can succeed. Of course, Mr. Sharma knows this. What is now important is that he tells the Government the truth without mincing of words. The Pandits deserve empathy but not pity.