Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Muslim youths take out rally for return of Kashmiri Pandits

A social organisation comprising Muslim youths took out a rally asking for Kashmiri Pandits' return to the Valley. The organisation named--REASON--said that it had absolutely nothing to do with politics but wanted KPs back in their homeland.

The organisers said that the exodus of the Pandits hurt the composite age-old culture of the state and urged all the parties to take up the cause. The youths who had no political affiliation gathered in Pratab Park near Lal Chowk, holding placards that read messages urging the government to facilitate ther return.

I read about it in Urdu papers, however, I couldn't find any news item in 'mainstream' media. After searching through archives of papers and sites, I found a report in India Today.

"There is a widespread sentiment among Kashmiri Muslims that Pandits should return. We have decided to give voice to the popular sentiment," said Jehangir Raina, a software engineer, reports India Today's Naseer Ganai.

He said the campaign didn't have links with any political group. "Pain is pain, whether it is of Muslims, Jews or Hindus. We want to show solidarity with the Pandits who have suffered for years," Raina said, as per this report.

Though a rally can't undo the damages of decades, it surely has more than a symbolic value. Militancy is surely on the wane and if young Kashmiris walk on the streets of Sri Nagar, for the cause of Kashmiri Pandits, it does prove to some extent that the much-talked-about Kashmiriyat was not just a term. Certainly there must be more such voices and concrete action needed in future.

Kashmiri Pandits have been bitter as political parties haven't done enough for them. But news reports like these that present a positive news [of harmony and hope] should be highlighted in mainstream media. Ironically, this rally largely went unnoticed.