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Think Pandits - a letter - The Pioneer

K N Pandita, Jammu - Letters to Editor ()
19 November 1996

Title : Think Pandits
Author : K N Pandita, Jammu - Letters to Editor
Publication : The Pioneer
Date : November 19, 1996


Apropos of your editorial, 'Restoring Kashmir's ethos'
(The Pioneer, November 9), some perceptions with regard
to return and rehabilitation of the minority community
and their demand for homeland have to be corrected.

To talk of things like "bastion of Sufism", etc., is to
betray ignorance of Kashmir and its true history. It is
better not to dabble in that field. In the wake of 1947
outrages accompanying the partition, Gandhiji did see "a
ray of hope" in Kashmir. In 1932, Gandhiji is on record
as having said that "Kashmir is a Muslim state". Yes,
many from the majority community also migrated from the
Valley but neither their left-back houses were looted and
burnt nor were their properties illegally seized as is
the case with the Pandits. Besides, these "migrants"
have been visiting their homes during summer.

As for these "migrants" not registering themselves for
relief, it should be known that Muslim leadership migrat-
ed to Jammu or Delhi, had each submitted a list of Muslim
families migrated from Kashmir and enlisted them for
relief. One such leader is reported to be collecting
relief for about 51 families. These migrants were spared
the trouble of Pandit refugees who were unable to endure
the ordeal of standing in long queues for endless hours
in blazing sun. At the relief centres, some got exhaust-
ed and even fell dead.

Dr Farooq Abdullah should initiate a dialogue with the
genuine representatives of the internally displaced
Pandits who suffered all sorts of privations in the camps
while he himself was playing golf in London. The basics
of a dialogue with the Pandits is a territorial segment
in Kashmir with compact rehabilitation of the entire

This is what has been recommended by the Special Repre-
sentative of the UN Secretary General on Minorities to
the Human Rights Commission before which Dr Farooq Abdul-
lah placed his case at Geneva in 1994-95. The time has
come for him to shift from rhetoric Pandit return to
their practical rehabilitation.

K N Pandita

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