SECURING THE HOMELAND

The displaced Kashmiri Pandits have been observing martyrs’ day on September 14 every year paying rich tribute to the community members including leaders, academicians, judges, journalists, teachers, poets and bureaucrats killed by terrorists since 1989-90 till date besides those killed by the Pakistani raiders in 1947. The day is being observed since 1990, as it was on this day 31 years ago when Pandit Tika Lal Tiploo, a fearless leader of Kashmiri Pandits fell to the assassins’ bullets on 13th Sep night in the streets of Kashmir and the day has acquired a reverential status since then. While the day used to be observed by organizing multiple functions by the Kashmiri Pandits every year, this year the day shall once again be observed amidst the din of COVID-19, besides the strict adherence to SOPs and CAB sans any routine function. On this day there is a need to introspect as to whether anything credible has been achieved by the displaced community till date. It is pertinent to mention here that the main demand of the miniscule community as of today is its resettlement in Kashmir by addressing their geo political aspirations as envisaged in the historical Margdarshan Resolution in the form of a separate homeland with free flow of the Indian Constitution and without Art 370 and 35-A. Whether a coincidence or otherwise, the Articles 370 and 35-A have been already shown the door by the Indian Parliament, therefore the significant issue that still remains unresolved is the dignified and safe return of the displaced community to their aboriginal home i.e. Kashmir valley. Till that issue is resolved the members of this community all fully determined to conduct themselves in a manner that ensures keeping their culture and traditions alive, whichever part of the nation or the world these displaced people are living. At the same time the observance of this day as the Martyrs’ Day reminds the community of the historical facts regarding its ethnic cleansing in 1989-90. Since then in exile for over three decades the miniscule community has stood up to the forces of exclusion and persecution and despite odds pursued dignity, honour and excellence. Though the community leaders are working relentlessly from different platforms having been able to create a vision to reverse the exile completely and permanently yet the movement in this direction seems to be a herculean task given the political bankruptcy among those ruling the roost. History bears testimony to the fact that shattered communities in various eras including the much persecuted Jews were able to realize their homeland only after great dedication and perseverance and it is hoped that the degree of dedication to preserve the collective memory of the events leading to exodus and thereafter as the highest value, so as to create a new future with a profound commitment to preserve their identity, this miniscule community will undoubtedly realize its Homeland peaceful and secure as cherished by its members during the ongoing period of over three decades of exile in various parts of the nation and abroad.