The rhetoric about ‘Intolerance’ has definitely streams in a very selective manner in India. In past months serious attempts have been made to paint the image of the country in a negative colour just because of few stray incidents that can never be described as a sign of intolerance. Alas,such politically fabricated propaganda fail to address the plights of real tolerants.26 years now since Jammu & Kashmir(J&K) saw the beginning of the cleansing of the Kashmiri Pandits the indigenous inhabitants of Jammu & Kashmir, from their homeland was the first and the most evident act of Intolerance. The reason I termed the much hyped ‘’Intolerance’’ debate as a mere politically fabricated propaganda because the politically motivated ‘’Award Waapsi’’ gang seem to have adopted dual standards which is nothing but height of hypocrisy.
They have sailed and are still sailing through several tribulations but hope and tenacity have got them going for all these 26 years . India is the only country where our own citizens live like refugees away from their native homeland and infiltrators get the citizenship without any complexity still the majority is referred as ‘’Intolerant’’. One of the significant human tragedies since partition, a lost community and perhaps at one level a lost generation.
The Indian government must have a lucid approach on geo-political front. The issues of Pakistan, Kashmiri separatists and Kashmiri Pandits can’t be considered separately. In the process of appeasing the Muslims in J&K,the Kashmiri Pandits have been completely marginalised. Today this community is at the receiving end from both Terrorists backed by pakistan and Indian government who have constantly ignored them since the independence because of mere vote bank politics and lack of intent.
In 2008, the then Prime minister Dr.Manmohan Singh announced an employment package of Rs 1618 crore to facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandits, but out of 6000 jobs only 1446 took the offer. The reason for this low response was quite legitimate fear of security and safety. It is not easy to forget those gruesome incidents which drove life in exile. The present government led by Narendra Modi has failed to address the issue of Pandits The BJP is both at the centre and as an ally at the state, but the Kashmiri Pandits continue to live in a pathetic state in the camps. Despite being reduced to the status of a minority in own homeland, they are deprived of the facilities that minorities get.
President Mukherjee in his Joint Parliamentary Session stated, “Special efforts will be made to ensure that Kashmiri Pandits return to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihood”. The government has also announced package for the resettlement .But, the expectations are much higher from the present government in respect to implementation.
Need of hour is that the Kashmiri Pandits should get a respectable safe zone in Kashmir where they can practice their faith without fear, where they are not killed and raped. With fresh efforts by the central government , there is hope but amidst trepidation that the destiny of the displaced community may continue to hang in uncertainty for some more time to come.