Thursday, January 24, 2008

A land they once called, Home

After reading endless facts on the issues and listening to a few uncolored narratives of Kashmiri pundits, I felt it was inevitable for me to pen down my outlook on the issue which not hidden, but dormant.

The land of Kashmir lays numb under burdened headlines of a daily newspaper and manages to bounce as an issue of national concern occasionally on the national broadcasting units too. Wombing out of what many may call as ‘the burning paradise’ is another set of emotions, which were tied with time and buried deep under the coffin of past.

Kashmiri pundits are the offshoots of the same land that seems to have untied them with its identity. The Kashmiri pundits have a recorded history in the origin and life of the region. It was during the Islamic epoch of the valley, when the ire of the conquest destroyed numerous temples and paved the way for migration of the Kashmiri pundits to lands unknown. Sparing the pundits through conversion or killings was a known practice. As time blessed these people, they gathered their chunks of life and relived in their own land of Kashmir.

It was the black 1990’s that cursed their peaceful existence again and were ruthlessly targeted by the foreign militants and native Muslims. Reminiscence of those times bleed of hopelessness, a run into estrange lands and a feeling of being deprived by one’s own home.

The valley of Kashmir has earned its much needed mileage as a region where terror is a by-product of the Kashmiri life. This paradise has been the dog-bone for decades and continues to be a dreadful flashpoint for a lately expected world war (as anticipated by many).
Floating under the cloud of this heaven are several half-baked aspirations of some Kashmiris, who were orphaned by their soil in the yesteryears. The forgotten Pundits still have their sadly eventful past echoing between the mountains. The history of this territory has been a victim of umpteen numbers of overt and covert frictions that has wrinkled the sleeping mountains with agony and tears.

Swept away by the past are the unheard stories of Kashmiri pundits who have attempted to seed themselves in various parts of the country. For how long can one ignore or try to ignore the roots that remain embedded in their identity???
The worldy talks are still salted by the question over the claim of Kashmir, but how many words are peppered towards the pundits who were once an integral part of the same region. The disregarded past seems to be getting blanketed under every attempt towards the solution of Kashmir, as an authorized child of India or Pakistan.

Bhatts, Kouls, Zutshi'z are not just ancestral names of the natives, but the very identity of the people of Kashmir, the Hindu people of Kashmir. One can trace these names on online forums where many interact to share their commonalities and years of restless dreams that have become numb over years. Contemporarily, Kashmir has become ignorant to their existence but still hasn’t been able to divorce them from the very identity of a “KASHMIRI pundit”.

In a country, where secularism is the hallmark of its democratic setup, the government has failed to knit the fabric of secularism in the ‘much fought for’ state, Kashmir. Even years after the pundits being ousted, there have been minimal or almost no efforts by any government in power to highlight this problem. The unarmed Hindus were ousted by the passionate singers of Islam, who once practiced Sufism, but were attuned to conservative Islam by foreign militants. The Kashmiri Muslims were made to unlearn their indigenous culture and relearn the conservative interpretation of the religion by the militants and continue to preach so even today.
With this catastrophe in the area, the government slept covered under the sheet of diplomacy and in order to please the majority, sold itself to fundamentalists that threatened the very bedrock of peace in Kashmir.

While the authorities were slumbering in the ring of careless governance, different religions fought like immature kids and victory embodied itself in the fate of the kid who was poisoned by an unknown neighbor. The ultimate sufferer was the child whose mother did not come to rescue him. The child still sleeps without a mother and hopes to be in her lap some day.

It becomes very easy to breathe out one’s thoughts through text, but the dreams of thousand Kashmiri Pundits still remain frozen with the days, that marked their time of prolonged despondency and tear buttered nights …
As you read these lines, their night may still be humming the nostalgic tune of pain that they felt years ago, and would continue to do so even when you have flipped through this webpage to go to the other…


Anonymous said...

I have gone through ur article and was amazed to see that the kashmiri people are reffered to as 'Kashmiri Pandit'.Why is that so??? Are there only pandits in kashmir or your source of information is a "kashmiri Pandit". No offence .Neways the article was well written.

An Admirer.

AM said...


Thank you so much for ur appreciation!!

Its difficult to differentiate between a Kashmiri Hindu and Kashmiri Muslim bcz of the general perception that people hold about Kashmir and its native people.
I have instead not made Hindu Pundits synonymous to Kashmiri ppl. and have nor have i dont the same in reference to Muslims. Thus, in the whole article I have used the words, "Kashmiri Muslim" and a "Kashmiri Pundit" where need be. In the 5th last paragraph, I have referred to Kashmiri Muslims too.
Hope you understand y I used them!

Anyways thanks for ur comment. highly appreciate it..

Anonymous said...


Just one question. Are there only "Pundits" in Hindu community in Kashmir.It's not that I am against "Pundits", just that they are not the only one suffering from the catastrophe.I am not talking about Muslims either.Its the other casts.What my point was that you could have used "Kashmiri Hindus" instead of "Kashmiri Pundits".Never mind,I must say that I am pretty much impressed with your writing skills.You should write something on terrorism in African countries as you would find very few articles on them,of course if you do have your sources there also.

An Admirer

AM said...


First of all, a pleasure to know that you liked my writing. Regarding the usage of Hindu Pundits, I did make an attempt to delve into the statistics of Hindu (including the ratio of other castes in the braod religion) but was unablw to find any reliable source or data. I did not want to use the term 'Kashmiri Hindus' cz the statistics I have reffered to for the article is that about the Kashmiri Pundits. I really appreciate your question cz it makes me feel that there are sensible ppl. who can question such facts, but I apologize for not using a broad term, but I have my own limitations for that!

Hope to get your reviews back on further posts too. It helps me learn. Thanks!


Dare Devil said...

Nice attempt..

Paurush Singh

boulevard of confued mind said...

the post was awsm
as usual the analysis u did has been mind blowing and made me put on my thinking cap
three cheers to your =article