Nazir Ahmad Nazir
The return of Kashmiri Pandits (KPs) to their homeland has snowballed into a major controversy in recent times. The controversy became crisis when BJP planned to settle the displaced community in exclusive townships across Kashmir. Instead of crying hoarse about this humanitarian issue, had Pandits visited their motherland time and again to keep the old age connections intact, this problem might have been solved by itself.
The migration of Kashmiri Pandits from valley has been one of the most unfortunate incidents. All the Hurriyat leaders have always expressed unanimous views viz-a-viz their return. The only reservation they have is regarding the composite townships – a dangerous game plan of the Union government which they have decided to oppose tooth and nail.
Before any solution is brought into light, all of us, especially the displaced Pandit Community need to ponder over and acknowledge the following facts with enormous patience:
One, that J&K state is a disputed territory between India and Pakistan and its fate is linked with the fate of more than a billion people. And the issue needs to be resolved as per the aspirations of its people.
Two, it is probably the fear psychosis that existed in 1990s that prompted KPs to flee the conflict hit valley. However, at the same time no one can deny the fact that the then Governor Jag Mohan, installed by then Union government, facilitated their migration to a large extent even when Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was union home minister then.
Three that the establishment of exclusive townships shall only create vulnerabilities and is bound to raise barriers between various sections of the society.
Four, that the true believers of Islam, who feel by conviction that the protection of minorities is their fundamental, mandatory, moral and religious obligation, should prove it practically rather than only claiming.
Five that the KPS being the affected party should without any prestige, or taking it any kind of diktat, take into confidence Hurriyat groups and the local populace in order to evolve a pleasant mode of return. Besides, for substantial financial assistance they definitely need to seek the support of both the state and the Union governments. Their rehabilitation is a prerogative of the ruling class. It will be expedient if they do not fish in troubled waters, but allow the two communities to assemble together and decide the issue themselves.
Six, that if the Pandit community is really serious, sincere and concerned about their return then they should prefer to live in the company of others in line with the age old connections and rebuild their cultural and traditional ethos. Nevertheless, if their leaders have some other intentions then frankly speaking they will not succeed.
And lastly, that the Muslim community as a whole including all the political organizations, need to reciprocate the move with an open heart, to counter the allegations of forcing the migration, levelled against them by the vested and communal elements.