Return of Pandits with honour, dignity on top of BJP’s agenda: Modi

Avtar Bhat

Dr K N Pandita submitting memorandum to Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sunday.
Dr K N Pandita submitting memorandum to Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sunday.

NEW DELHI, Jan 19: Maintaining that his Party is fully seized of with the problems of displaced Kashmiri Pandits, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today said that the community will only get justice fully when it is rehabilitated in its motherland Kashmir with honour and dignity.
Addressing a Kashmiri Pandit delegation at the sidelights of Party’s three day National Executive meeting here today, Mr Modi reiterated the BJP’s commitment towards this cause. He said the return and rehabilitation of Pandits with honour and dignity in their motherland is on top of BJP’s agenda as they have suffered a lot due to turmoil and mass exodus from Valley.
Adorned in a traditional Kashmiri Pheran and turban which the delegation gifted him on the occasion, the BJP leader said that it is our duty to take you back to your native land for which you crave for decades together as motherland can’t be discriminative against its children.
While sharing the pain and agony of the community on 25th Holocaust Day, Mr Modi said the nation was stabbed in back when the country was divided in 1947 on communal lines. “Though it was a cherished goal that independent India will live in peace and tranquility but 24 years back the nation was again stabbed on this fateful day in 1990 when the sons of soil were forced to flee from their homes and hearths in Valley. This (January 19) is a day of pain and agony for you,” he told the delegation.
He, however, reiterated that BJP is committed to their honorable return and recalled the sacrifices of Praja Parishad Movement led by veteran Jan Sangh leader Pt. Prem Nath Dogra. He said founder president of Jana Sangh Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee also laid down his life for national cause in Kashmir in 1953.
Reiterating that India believes in Sarava Panth Sambav, Mr Modi said that during the golden era of India when the nation was very strong it never attacked any nation to uproot its population or destroy its traditions and culture.
“But it is unfortunate that our traditions and culture was attacked,” he said, adding  that partition of 1947 and January 1990 tells a worst tale of it”.
He said the mass exodus of Pandits from Valley is not the attack on the sons of soil only but attack on an ancient civilization and culture of the country.
He however lauded the Pandits that despite suffering such a pain and agony over these years they always gave nationalism and patriotism a preference over every thing and it was the national spirit of the community that it bestowed honour to  him today.
Later on tweet Mr Modi said  “no words will ever explain the extent of sufferings KPs experienced. Justice towards the community remains our firm commitment”, he added.
The KP delegation was led by veteran journalist and a community think tank Dr K N Pandita. The various KP organisations which were the part of delegation included Jammu Kashmir Nationalist Movement (JKNM), JK Vichar Manch,  All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS), Kashmiri Hindu Conference (KHC),  Roots in Kashmir (RIK), Jammu, etc.
While submitting the memorandum, Dr Pandita said that over the years both Central and State Governments failed to redress the genuine problems of exiled Pandits. He demanded restitution of entire displaced Pandit community at a concentrated place in Kashmir Valley ensuring their non refoulement.
Dr Pandita also showed grave concern over delay in passage of Kashmiri Hindu Shrines and Temples Bill by J&K Government, enrolment of KPs as voters by streamlining the procedures, rehabilitation of displaced unemployed and overaged youth etc.
The delegation also presented  four books  to Mr Modi. Among them two books were highlighting the plight of KPs right from 1947 and invasion of Pak raiders while other two books were titled Kashmiri Pandit Bujstey Charag and Aborigines of Kashmir were also presented to him.