A tale of KPs’ plight

P L Koul, Budgamioul

Name of the Book : Kashmiri Pandit
Daastaneh- Daar-u-Rassan
Review by : Suraj Krishan Koul

P L Koul Budgami, a renowned social activist and writer has come up with one more book titled Kashmiri Pandit Daastaneh-Daar-u-Rassan dealing with the problems of Kashmiri Pandits. One hundred and twenty two page book can be divided into four parts for appraisal purposes. The first part is an introduction by acclaimed intellectual, scholar Dr K N Pandita and three more parts consist of the book proper.
The introduction is an exhaustive piece in itself set against the evolving back drop of five thousand year old recorded history of highs and lows involving the ab-origines in the totality of their living experiences. From acceptance of Buddhism with open arms to helping in creation of mixed traditions with advent of Muslims, compulsions of climate and Geographical limitations on life style, the low self confidence levels of Kashmiris in general and their trait of using others for seeking culminations of their cherished goals, mutual mistrust of Mansabdars and their eagerness to attain succour from conflicting sultans outside the state till Muguls finally occupied the territory, the Afghans, Sikh and finally the Dogra Rule, the learned professor has given an over-view of all this and much more.
Dr Pandita opines that the historical blunder committed by Nehru in excluding the influential Mirwaiz Molvi Yousuf family from any solution to Kashmir problem and keeping all the eggs in Sheikhs basket resulted in providing space to discontentment. Dr Pandita agrees with the author regarding the role of Late Bakshi Ghulam Mohmmad whom they both see as the real apostle of Kashmiriyat.
In his preface to the book, P L Koul Budgami wants readers to judge his book on the basis of his reproduction of series of facts and gives a right to differ or agree in their analysis or assessment. The first chapter entitled, Steps towards Jehad’’ describes the role of National Conference Leadership in rigging the election of 1987; conivance of the Central Govt and the ever eager role of Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence Agency to forment trouble. The role of multiple terrorist outfits and their over ground bed fellows in changing the behavioural patterns of the majority civil society, abdication of authority and responsibility by politicians as well as bureaucrats the details have been nicely captured and merged into a sustained and graphic narrative. National Conference has been distinctly accused of following communal agenda and negatively and subtly tampering with the social fabric.
P L Koul-Budgami laments how Late Sheikh Abdullah led his communal agenda against the minisicule Pandit Minority by branding them “Indian Agents’’, in his book “Aatish-e-Chinar.’’ The writer is presenting a counter view by describing late leader as the real mole and agent of Delhi Governments. Budgami opines that the precursar to gradual wahibization of Kashmir lay in the communal policies craftly followed by National Conference Leadership and supported by Congress regimes at the Centre. Kashmiri Pandits were feeling the suffocation much before the forced exodus of 1990 and the introduction of gun gave direction and speed to the agenda already in place because of the hostile political system and partisan-civil administration.
Return & rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits back into the valley is the story of the violently swinging rope and the hangmars pole, dreadful to look at but self explanatory. Highly disgraceful role of the National Conference Leadership and the Congress can be gauged from the fact that soon after Farooq Abdullah abdicated his authority and Jagmohan was appointed as the Governor of the State, the two combined to incite even the Prime Minister of Pakistan to address rallies in PoK for seeking the removal of Jagmohan as the Governor of the State.
Budgami believes that the off repeated slogan of return and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits with diginity and honour is the route to plunder central funds. The reality is the moment Late CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed entered into an agreement for creation of concentrated townships for migrants hell got loose in Kashmir and all the shades of its civil society rose in one voice against the decision. The writer is of the opinion that religion and politics have got completely merged in Kashmir and the kind of Arabization in thought and form is not only worrisome, but the horrible face of ISIS also seems to have its admirers growing at neck breaking speed.
Identity and security issues of Kashmiri Pandits demand answers answers from Indian state which has failed them in securing their life and liberty laments Budgami. He wants the youth of the community to look inwards for reform and continue to make progress in the open air and fetter-free horizons, achieved both by trial and accident.
The cover pages of the book has a terrible expression to offer regarding the actual plight of Kashmiri Pandits. Written in chaste URDU, the book presents arguments with facts. The paper and print is of fine quality. One may not agree with the writer in each detail he has to say, one cannot however, fail to be touched by the sincerity of his convictions. A must read book.