The Bold Voice of J&K

Kashmir is not Kashmir without Kashmiri Pandits: Dr Jitendra

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NEW DELHI: Union Minister of State PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh on Wednesday said that Kashmir is not Kashmir without Kashmiri Pandits and that Kashmir’s composite culture cannot qualify to be described as composite without the inclusion of Kashmiri Pandit.
Speaking as Chief Guest after releasing a book titled “The Last Queen of Kashmir” by Rakesh K Kaul at India International Center here, Dr Jitendra reiterated that Kashmiri Pandit is an essential stakeholder as far as Kashmir is concerned and therefore, any parley or any dialogue at any level to take any decision about Jammu and Kashmir must necessarily begin with a dialogue with Kashmiri Pandit representatives.
Whether it is Track-I or Track-2 or Track-3, he said, those who tend to ignore the Kashmiri Pandit viewpoint, will do so at their own peril because whichever be the “Track”, nothing substantial can move forward without Kashmiri Pandit being a part of the journey.
Dr Jitendra recalled, he had predicted at the time of Kashmiri Pandits exodus around 1990 that even as the displaced Pandit community had become
instant victim of the turmoil, but the turmoil
would also not spare the majority community left behind in the Kashmir
valley and that they would feel the pinch two generations later.
Ironically, he said, the prophecy has come true and today, the situation in Kashmir valley is so gruesome that education system has collapsed, eminent teachers from Kashmiri Pandits community have left the valley and now even the schools are being burnt down, one after the other, which has forced children and youngsters to come out on streets demanding opening of schools.
Quarter of a century has passed since Kashmiri Pandits left the Kashmir valley, said Dr Singh and observed that this has led to a dangerous cultural and social void in the valley. The post-1990 generation of the majority community in the valley has grown up with minimal exposure to outside world and have been rendered vulnerable to radicalisation. On the other hand, he said, the post-1990 generation of Kashmiri Pandits has grown up in alien environs in places as far as of Delhi, Bengaluru and abroad, as a result of which, they are also not fully in touch with their roots.
Making a strong plea for the restoration of the composite character of Kashmir, Dr Singh said, the so called Kashmir protagonists should withdraw themselves and leave it to Kashmiri Pandits community itself to decide the future course depending upon its priorities, dignity and security. Pandits have enjoyed the reputation of solving some of the India’s most difficult problems and certainly, they are capable of resolving this too, he added.
Earlier, Rakesh K Kaul, the author gave a brief account of the book which has been published by Harper Collins.

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