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Memories remain (Letter to Editor)

Memories remain (Letter to Editor)

Author: Mohini Raina, Panchkula, New Delhi
Publication: The Hindu
Date: May 11, 2002

The advent of `sonth' heralds the season of blooms and colours in the Kashmir valley and we Kashmiri Pandits, prior to our forced exodus, used to throng almond (badam) orchards along the foot of the Hariparbat hill, Ramchandrun and even at times to Harwan on the festival days of Navreh and Zangtri. A decade and half has gone by, yet the nostalgic memories of the fragrance of `sonth' still lurk in the subconscious mind and the craving for these places has not died down. The visual memories are so vivid that it hurts to think of what we have lost. Lost without a murmur of protest. Yes, without a protest. No one bothered to protest, no one sat on dharnas. No parliamentary sessions were disrupted for the sake of the pitiful Kashmiri Pandits.

It is said, in Gujarat, Muslims were paid less compensation than the victims of the Godhra carnage and all hell has broken loose. I wonder how many Indians know that in Kashmir, whenever and wherever compensation is paid, Muslims are paid two to three times the assessed value while the Kashmiri Pandits are paid half the rate as per government orders. And this has been going on for the last 50 years.

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