President Desk

Sumeer Chrungoo


Dear Community Members,
I wish you, your family members and well-wishers a happy Independence Day and auspicious Rakhsha Bandan. 
It is a welcome development that the Central Government has allocated Rs. 9,289 crore for the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory Jan Jiwan Mission for the financial year 2022-23. This amount is Rs. 6,412 crores more than of the last year’ s allocation. In the financial year 2021-22 the Centre had allocated Rs. 2,747 crores. That amount was four times more than that of the previous financial year (2020-21). 
The enhanced amount will help in providing safe drinking water to those citizens as did not have it earlier. It will, also, provide funds for setting up more power plants, hospitals and educational institutions. It will strengthen the polity of grassroots democracy in the area. Funds have been allocated in laying roads in areas that do not have proper ones. The increased allocations will generate employment opportunities. 
Since the area became a union territory, the Centre has been increasing the figures of the allocated funds for that region. So far so good. At the same time it pains me to observe that not even one rupee has been allocated for procuring and developing some territory in the valley where Kashmiri Pandits can live in a sense of security. As is happening, at present, some KPs, exiled by the terrorists, returned to their areas which they love much much more than the ones they had been living as migrants. Many of them were done to death by the Islamist fanatics who said they were sending a message to other KPs not to venture to come and settle in their homes where their forefathers had been living for several millennia. 
The condition of exiled KPs, who want to return to their homes in Kashmir, as also of the few KPs, still living in the valley, is like that of sacrificial lambs waiting to be butchered. While living in the valley when they leave their homes in the morning, they do not expect they will return alive back in the evening. When they sleep, they are unsure they will not be murdered during the night. 
Their condition is like that explained by Beerbal to Akbar. The king told his minister whether a lamb would add to its weight if given enough fodder. Beerbal replied that the lamb can, provided it is not afraid that it would be killed. Akbar thought that the minister’s thinking was wrong. Then, Beerbal brought a lamb to the palace and weighed it. He told the king to arrange giving the lamb enough fodder during time and in the evening a sharp knife, used in cutting the throat of lambs, be shown to it to give an impression to it that it would be butchered. This experiment was implemented for some months. Then the lamb was weighed again, it had added no weight. Akbar asked Beerbal: “Where has the energy, generated by the good fodder given to the lamb, gone?” Beerbal replied: “Sir, that was taken away by the threat of the sharp-edged weapon shown to the lamb ever evening. Today’s KPs are like Beerbal’s lamb.
In this regard I must appreciate Prime Minister Modi’s plan to bring to India members of the Afghan Sikh community, who are facing a KP-like situation in the country of their adoption. For three decades, now, places and buildings are being reserved in India for the Afghan Sikhs, fleeing their homeland in the face of rising insecurity and atrocities. Ass a result, 30,000 Afghan Sikh refugees are currently, living in India. In the latest batch, that arrived in India on August 3, is six-year-old Arvind, who has never been to school out of fear of persecution. His eyes lighted up when he was told that he will be going to a school in India. His teenage sister Jasmeeet goes alone to an Indian park, sits there for some time and reads books there. 
Seventy-five-year Gurmeet Singh who, survived a terror attack in Afghanisan’s Jalalabad, in 2018, and still has splinters lodged in his brain and his forehead, says: Kal pehli raat aram se soyey huin bina dar key (Yesterday, we slept for the first time without fear). His wife, Manmeet Kaur, says: “Today, I feel free for the first time. I went to a gurdwara, in India, without any restriction or fear.” The condition of such Sikhs is akin to that of Kashmiri Pandits. Such Sikhs can’t live in their homeland, with a peaceful mind. Kashmiri Pandits cannot live in the valley with a sense of security.
The Criminal Procedure (Identification) Act, 2022, that came into force on July 4 last, will help place a check on crime and terrorism. It allows collection of iris and retina scams, physical and biological samples, signatures and handwriting samples. Now, the National Crime Records Bureau shall be able to collect records and measurements from all law-enforcement agencies and store these in a digital format for 75 years. In the old law, prisoner measurements and photographs had to be destroyed if the accused was released without trial or acquitted. Now, records will be destroyed only after the prisoner exhausts all “legal remedies”. So, there will will be no deletion if the prosecution appeals an acquittal. The revised act will put a check on the money being distributed among persons indulging in propagating or promoting terrorism in Kashmir. 
In the valley Islamist extremism is under control to some extent, but not the safety of Kashmiri Pandits. Three years after the annulment of Articles 370 and 35-A, among the terrorist sympathisers, three is a fear of getting arrested. Among the families that support terrorism, the possibility of property being attached or losing a government job is acting as a deterrent. Still, the Government needs to take effective measures to introduce secular and patriotic ambiance in the administrative set up. The government has not been able to fully control the hold of radical Jamaat-e-Islami on the general administration. This hold has got reduced but continues to be there. The schemess of the Jamaat ideology are often preached in mosques and madrasas. Unless such roots are rooted out, insurgency will not go away. 
Results of the Central Board of Secondary Education are out. My organisation, Kashmiri Samiti Delhi, is keen on seeing that the wards of our community are able to secure admission in institutes of higher educational and technical learning. We have geared up our loins for the purpose. Wards are welcome to seek information from the Samiti about the facilities available for KP migrants in different institutions and universities. We will feel proud in rendering assistance. 
I, also, want to draw attention to one needed aspect of character building. Social and cultural changes are happening at a fast rate. Our young ones are exposed to a lot more than previous generations, to social media. As a result they are likely to, occasionally, get swayed to try new experiences related to physical intimacy, drugs and alcohol. These need to be handled sensitively and within limit. Some youngsters indulge in spending more screen time. This, too, needs to be kept within limits. Otherwise, it can help their mental make up and future progress.. You can fly a lot. You should, simultaneously, try to keep your feet on earth. Otherwise, one day you may be neither here, nor there – hanging like Trishankoo between heaven and hell. Intolerance and road rage are on the increase. People kill one another on trifles. Patience and understanding is in short supply There are multiple perspectives about situations. Most fights happen because we fail to see the other person’s perspective. 
We should try to find different ways for solving problems. In Kashmiri we say: Har kar, har kar, her vizi soer kar. (You have a right to fight, yet even at that time You should not leave behind your basic intelligence. Everything has to be within limits).
A Muslim lady of Pakistan has, this month, sent a rakhi to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Raksha Bandan ceremony. Mrs. Kamar Mohsin Sheikh has been doing that every year for the past 25 years. She treats Modi Jee as her bother. The Indian Prime Minister, too, treats her like a sister. 
Kamar came to Ahmadabad when Modi jee was the head of the Gujarat BJP. Her family had good relations with the then Governor of Gujarat Dr.Swarup Singh. When the lady was to fly back to Pakistan, Dr. Singh, himself, took her to the airport. Modi Jee, too, was travelling with Dr Singh. When Dr. Singh wished Mohsin Khan a happy journey, he told Modi Jee: “This lady is my daughter. Always take care of her.” Modi Jee replied: “When she is your daughter, that means she is my sister.” After that dialogue the lady started sending rakhis to the Indian leader. Along with this year’s rakhi Mrs Mohsin has sent a letter to Modi Jee wishing him good health and a long life. The letter adds: “There is no doubt that Modi Jee will, again, become India’s Prime Minister. He has all those attributes in him which entitle him to continue to be the country’s executive head. I pray to God that he continues as India’s P.M. for all time to come.”
I pray that the terrorism sympathisers of Kashmir take a lessen from the Modi-Kamar Mohsin brotherly-sisterly relations. In 1990 and later Kashmiri Islamist fanatics raped Hindu women and, then, cut them into pieces on saw machines, meant, only to cut wood or metal. If such fanatics cannot take Hindu women as sisters, let them, at least, take these as respectable neighbours.

(Sumeer Chrungoo)
Email:, M: 9810803164