President Desk

Sumeer Chrungoo


Dear Community Members,
The Nav reh pleasant effect has begun to my homeland, Kasheer, where my forefathers lived forfive millennia and more. The Kashmiri words nav reh stand for “new light” On this day a new light dawns on the valley. The darkness of the winter is over. The sun has started shining bright. Migratory birds have come to the valley. They are chirping everywhere, including on the windows of my house which I have been compelled to flee from. Teka Batin and other flowers have blossomed. So have the almond trees, in whose company my family used to have kehwa parties. Lotus stems are coming up in Dal lake, not far way from residence. Streams are flowing with water, which had remained frozen in the nearby hills because of winter snow and cold.
The sweet season began on April 13, the day when we had the thalas buth wuchhun ceremony in the morning, I pine to go to Kashmir and partake in this pleasant atmosphere there but I should not go. That is because the outside atmosphere, there, will be beautiful, but inside me I will be insecure and treated by the majority population, there, as a second-class citizen. Some Pandit friends of mine, who went to Kashmir, told me later that within ten minutes of talking to their old neighbours, the latter would ask them: “Pandit jee, when are you going back?” The majority population, there, want that Pandits should visit the valley, like tourists, spend money in purchases and when their purses get exhausted they should get out of the valley. The friends added that even the few thousand Pandits, still living in the valley, are unhappy and feel insecure. The friends noticed in the valley that Kashmiri Pandits feel more insecure in the valley than they do in any another part of the world.
That is the reason why I, and my organisation, Kashmiri Samiti Delhi, has, all along, been pressing upon the Government to allocate a Homeland to the KPs where the provisions of the Indian Constitution are implemented in letter and spirit. That will enable Pandits, too, live in a sense of equality, with the members of the majority community of Kashmir, as also with the residents of the rest of the country. In the existing circumstances, since the murder of an elected Pandit Sarpanch, last year, KPs do not have courage of filing nomination forms for competing in the polls. The only crime of that murdered Pandit was his refusal to join the ant-national elements who want only those persons to live in the valley as want the Nizam-e-Mustafa,               i.e., Islamic (and not secular} rule to prevail.
It is good that the Government is arranging delimitation of the J K Assembly constituencies. As these have been, during the past 70 years, these are not based on justice. Undue importance has been given to the Kashmir division, compared to the other parts of the erstwhile state. As a result, the other parts are supposed to have remained sub-servant to the Kashmir division. But, I want the authorities to keep in mind that new constituencies should not be formulated on the basis of names collected during a census after the Kashmiri Pandits had been driven out of the valley in 1990 and later. Before 1990, there used to be two constituencies where Pandits could get elected. These constituencies were. later, delimited in a way that no K.P. could get elected from these. The net result was that a K. P. could get elected from no part of the erstwhile state or the world. The 7.5 lakh KPs, who have come out of the valley, at different times, are scattered in different parts of India and the globe. They, too, should be shown as residents of Kashmir, so that they too, can vote. 
Similarly, the 7.5 lakh non-Muslims, who were forced to flee from the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in 1947, were not allowed to vote. Gujars and Bakarwals, numbering 25 lakhs, who live in the Jammu area for six months a year, were shown residents of the Kashmir division alone. After the Chinese attack, in 1962, some members, like those of the majority community of Kashmir, came from Ladakh and China. They are shown as residents of Kashmir. Some Buddhists, too, had come. They were driven away. They became state-less citizens. So my humble suggestion is that in the delimitation of constituencies, attention should be paid to these forgotten communities also.
Kovid-19 virus is spreading its tentacles fast. In one day of April 8 last, it affected 1,26,789 new persons. Till that day, the virus had affected 1,29,28,574 Indians. No country has succeeded in evolving a vaccine that is 100%^sure. Still, it is better to have an injunction than not have one. Simultaneously, we should have masks when we go out and we should not become part of big gatherings. Hakeemun key nuskhoon main likha hai kya. Ki parhez hai sabsey behtar dawa.
The Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir has said he has formulated a plan for bringing Kashmiri Pandits back to Kashmir. No details of the plan have been given. I would request him to have consultations with the leaders of this unfortunate community. I have faith that Shri Narendra Modi can solve the uncertainty and difficulties this community is facing. After him, no one can do that.

(Sumeer Chrungoo)
Email: Mob: 9810803164