An endless wait - Kashmiri Migrants
| ByRamesh Pandita
The water in their eyes has started drying up, but their wait seems to have no end, still, a hope in despair, that the day will come when they will be back to their homes and hearths again keeps them going, if not for living the rest of life, but definitely for the want of sharing incineration ground next to their forefathers.
This is what one can easily see in the eyes of my fellow feeble community men, who have grown old ahead of time, with backs turned bent, standing at the doorsteps of death and convinced that death God may least show mercy to them.
Kashmiri Migrants, yes, these are about whom I am apprehensive, and this is what life has actually chosen for them and they seem not to be the chosen ones of God. The way life has deserted them of precious years, it doesn’t seem life will embrace them again. Their lives would have been solely different, wishful or not, had they been in their homes all these years.
The fire of belly couldn’t be quenched for too long with the light purses the people ran away with, and the handful earnings forced many to tread the path, which otherwise angels really fear to tread. Since caught between the devil and the deep sea and in the event of choices one would have definitely curtailed to embrace death instead of life, as life can be deserted only the way the way life deserts, as no body loves to be remembered as good for nothing.
Helpless seemed those who stood to fight it out, as it too was bound to wait, a wait which seems endless and who knows this wait may even hunt their souls after they are gone. What I am afraid and skeptical most about is that this exile may turn into extinction of this particular community.
No body knows exactly what actually provoked Kashmiri Youth to take up arms, as was it really the threatening that their freedom was put at stake, as it’s now almost two decades and what we had been learning throughout is, the struggle is for freedom. But to be very honest, till date, most of us wonder & question ‘Freedom from what and freedom from whom’?
And the reply need to be sought from those who are active in the so called freedom struggle along with those advocators, who are voicing it from behind, whether in the name of moderates or various others.
Most of us would have loved to join this struggle, should have it been for the freedom from religious and regional bindings, from starvation, poverty, illiteracy, caste, colour, crime, corruption, nepotism, unemployment or the transformation of human into humane and all other ill will’s, of which our society and state is ridden off.
"Live and let live is the only hymn which every religion and community globally acclaim, which ensures the freedom of every sort and the one for which you
-misled youth of Kashmir- are crying stands no where. You (misled youth) will forget about your delusive freedom struggle ones you taste the real freedom and that is possible only by accepting the hymn “Live and Let Live”. Otherwise none in the Kashmir or any other part of the country has been barricaded from enjoying ones fundamental rights, which stand one and the same for all."
It is now almost twenty odd years in exile since the mass exodus and no body seems to be interested in addressing the pains of this particular community. From politicians to bureaucrats every body is coquetting with their sentiments, one proposing and another disposing and that too at the behest of one another for the simple reason, as none is unfeigned in working for the welfare and betterment of these innocuous people.
KP (Kashmiri Pandits) community from all sides is slewing and is clearly standing at the verge of extinction and what to talk about addressing their pains and problems. The community being pocket-sized has failed to please or lure any of the political party at any level, so that they (KPs) could be exploited in the name of vote bank, which in turn could have benefited community as well. And if we are encountering things contrary to it, we should not be surprised; this is what perhaps communities like KP deserve, because of being too small to echo their voice.
A salute the community deserves, especially elders, who always stood firm like Himalayas in the path of adversity. Since being too young at the time of migration to realize its curse, rather too callow to assess developments clearly, as running away from home was pleasing for many of my age, because every thing seemed like working for freedom, perhaps it was for not attending the school, which I believe pleases every kid during ones school days.
But these moments (of not attending the school) will live so short, I had never imagined, and to my utter surprise, very next day of our being in Jammu, we (me and other sibs) were send to a Govt. school, with a clear instruction, that this is for what we have left the valley’. And this is what I believe every Kashmiri Migrant did after landing in Jammu and other parts of the country.
Remembering very well the hardships through which KP community passed, as, at times it was difficult to even manage two square meals a day for self and all other dependent family members, but still the education of their children was their prime motto which kept them moving undeterred and unfazed. Pulling all their energies to earn from all small and petty jobs they did and still are doing tirelessly, a salute they really deserve for having such a vision which I believe should envision all younger generations of the value of education.
How will be we doing justice to our elders and children, where elders are crying to die in the lap of their motherland and the children on the other hand are at the brink of losing their identity, and the time is not far when we can find our children as saying, “that it is said we are Kashmiries’.
And this is not the case with migrated community only but of the whole Kashmiries including Muslims, as Kashmir can neither be justified with out Kashmiri Pandits nor can be without Muslims and the living of both the communities in harmony is what Kashmir is known for. Our elders despite living all odds of the life, which they had never imagined, still believe that Kashmir is their real place to live in and really want life to roll back as it used to be.
Two decades mean generations gap, a gap which neither can be bridged nor can be overlooked and the gap is still on its move to make it a big gulf, the young brood form both the communities can play a significant role in bridging it. Needless to say, that frequent interaction among young ones will hold the key which otherwise with the occultation of time may not prove easy for them to accommodate those whom they actually have never seen, nor even the kind of dwelling the people of two communities used to share.
The social unrest in the valley, since not being that far buried under the annals of Kashmir, but if not told timely to younger ones, the people and the region may have to pay a heavy price for it. Young ones can easily come to know about it from their parents and this gets better reflected by the kind of equation the elders of both the communities share and the joy of meeting one another or the desire to see one another before embarrassing death can be easily seen on their faces.
And if we people still fail to respect the wishes of our elders by not giving them the joy they deserve, our posterity may not forgive us, and at that time we will be rated and viewed as one of the most inhuman generation of times.
So let us help to end this wait by making the separated and wanting ones get reunited to lead their rest of life happily, otherwise this traumatic wait as of now seems to be an endless wait.
By Ramesh Pandita
The author can be reached at email@example.com