Kashmiri Pandits, staunch believers of Shaivism, enjoyed the privilege of being qualified and learned amongst the majority of illiterate Muslim population of Kashmir. KP’s from times immemorial have been part of the ruling elite and governance. A community adept in the art of political skills and bureaucratic know-how; served their homeland to take it forward in the fields of education, music, art and culture. Kalhana’s descendents are known flesh (neni) eaters and practice different brand of Brahmanism and culture and language which is more akin and allied to Muslims of Kashmir.
Turning the pages of history, KP’s have always ruled the roost and had an upper hand as far as running of the government is concerned. Be it invading barbaric tribes like Mongols, Khokh, Tungan, Jotha or later rulers like Mughals, Afghans, Sikhs, or Dogras; Pandits were always one up, though in small minority, enjoyed to have monopoly on education, better living conditions allowing it to live cohesively in a pack as well.
All these elite white collar KP’s like Chrungoos, Kauls, Tengs, Trisals are towing the line followed by Nehrus, Haksars, Dhars, Kotrus and many more to cry wolf though the problems created in Kashmir can be linked to them for their imaginary apprehensions about the majority community. During and after “peace-time” situation, an unspecified number keeping the roots intact, slowly moved out of Kashmir to get absorbed in their ‘Pamposh Colonies’ using bureaucratic and political clout even to have IPS and IAS conferred due to influential KP’s planted at key posts up and down the country.
Seeking knowledge, as previously thought, was a Pandit prerogative and Pandits would refer to non-Brahmans as “Zademond” a blockhead and Kashmiri Muslim would always be referred to as a “tangwol” a tongawala or “Hatoo”. Now that the tables have turned and they see their fellow Kashmiri Muslims, referred to by them as mussarmans (and not Mussalman) or shudra, become Doctors, Engineers, and architects, competing in print and electronic media or even excel in all the fields of science. The monopoly and the sole right to knowledge and education smashed to smithereens became worrisome and threatening.
Several KP organisations mushroomed to milk respective governments of India, and in the past Nehru dynasty was the main bait to fleece it right and left and now an average KP hurls abuses and curses at Pandit Nehru who they think is responsible for all their imaginary or self-created woes. Notable among these groups is “Panun Kashmir” a group controlled by the elitist group of Pandits who roll in money and power.
History is witness that Pandit Nehru was initially sincere in his relation with Sheikh Abdullah; and umpteen times did Nehru commit before the Kashmiris, in public and Sheikh Abdullah in a heart to heart talk that “we have not come to stay”. To that effect;
Jawaharlal Nehru in the Lok Sabha on June 26 and August 7, 1952 said:
“I say with all respect to our Constitution that it just does not matter what your Constitution says; if the people of Kashmir do not want it, it will not go there. Because what is the alternative? The alternative is compulsion and coercion…”
KP’s have now switched the sides and allowed them to be trapped and used by India’s Hindu fundamentalist forces, lke BJP, Bajrangdal, Hindu Mahasabha, Sang Parivar etc.
Drawing huge political mileage by black-mailing ruling and opposition Hindu fundamentalist forces; Pandits have also managed to reap the harvest to gain the following perks, though each one of them is finically sound with lucrative jobs those could be anybody’s dream:
1. Schemes like, Monthly Cash Relief.
2. Medical and Health Insurance.
3. Entitlement for Employment.
4. Provision for Merit-cum-Means Scholarships.
5. Grant of Minority Status (More benefits)
6. Protection of Religious Places In Kashmir.
7. Miniscule minority claiming all these benefits from other non-existent Pandit forums as well.
More Cash Relief for Kashmiri Pandits
Times of India reports [Aug 30, 2012] that Kashmiri Pandits are on hunger strike in order to demand an enhanced cash relief from Rs. 5000/- to a Kashmir government recommeded cash relief of Rs. 12,000 per month. According to the paper a total of 350,000 migrants, most of them settled in Indian cities or abroad, at the moment receive Rs. 5000/- per month as cash relief, alingwith facilities including health, jobs and accomodation. About 6,000 jobs have been reserved for the ones willing to return to the Valley. A township set up for Pandits on the outskirts of Jammu (province of Kashmir) where 4,218 newly constructed flats were provided, with hospital facilities, schools, parks and community halls, the Times of India added. It is also reported that more jobs would be created with age relaxation of three years to job seekers.
BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT THERE AREN’T ENOUGH PANDITS TO COME FORWARD OR THE ONES WHO NEED HELP.
The leadership of Kashmir and the people are pleading with them day in and day out to return and live comfortably like before. Kashmir is their home like it belongs to other majority or minority communities. The fact remains the night they left Kashmir en-masse; the whole population of Kashmiris were hiding in their mosques to escape the wrath from known quarters.
The caucus of KP’s the likes of Dwarkanath Kachru, Damodhar Bhatt, Dr Peshin, Kashyap Bandhu, Thokur Joo, Jia Lal Kilm, Shiv Narian Fotedar, Ram Chand Kaul, Shayam Lal Saraf, Amarnath Kak and finally that wire-puller DP Dhar and others to name the few; took Pandit Nehru for a ride and convinced him that 4% Kashmiri Pandits were unsafe in Muslim majority Kashmir. Even though carnage was taking place beyond Udhampur; Kashmir was on the roads marching with wooden simulation guns chanting “hamla awar khabardar, hum Kashmiri hain tayaar”.