|Kashmiri Pandits missing ‘Salam’ with Muslim brethren of Kashmir|
|Govt fails to rehabilitate KPs in Kashmir, promises fall flat|
|S TAHIR-UL HAQ|
EARLY TIMES REPORT
SRINAGAR, Feb 21: Though Mahashivratri was celebrated with religious fervor, but many migrated Kashmiri Pandit families feel disappointed as government has failed to rehabilitate them in their own motherland in Kashmir.
“I believe that there are almost 2500 Kashmiri Pandit families that are living across Kashmir valley on temporary basis and in Baramulla district, around 150 families were shifted to the Veerwan Pandit Colony, Baramulla, and that too under the Prime Ministers Package, while as sixty five thousand families are in Jammu only,” said a Kashmiri Pandit migrant from Jammu.
“We don’t have permanent houses in Kashmir; we are living there on temporary basis. Govt was hell-bent to rehabilitate us but its promises fall flat like cards and our expectations are very less now from the present ruling government,” he added.
He said that, there is no doubt that we were allotted few quarters in Kashmir valley, but they are pre-fabricated structures and are like tin sheds, there is step motherly treatment with us.
Rohit Pandit told Early Times that, “We are migrants in our own motherland”, because our parents are not with us, as they are living in Jammu. We are lacking many facilities, be it a drinking water, education and healthcare.” “Yesterday my kid questioned me that, where is our permanent house, how long we will suffer, even though a small kid of 5 years, he also feels that we were rendered homeless, after which tears rolled down from our eyes,” said Rohit.
He speaks about the Mahashivratri that is also called as Herath in Kashmir, it is a festival celebrated annually to honour Lord Shiva and also marks the day of the marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
Prayers held on the day after nightlong Mahashivaratri are called ‘Salaam’ in Kashmir. The festival is considered as one of the biggest for Kashmiri Pandits.
Another Kashmiri Pandit said that, “We are missing Salaam in Kashmir’ (peace and prosperity) our Kashmiri Muslim brethren used to wish us on this special occasion, whereas we still made special dishes for them like, Roganjosh, Kabab, Rista, all the Kashmiri Wazwan dishes, we are missing that harmony, we are very much connected to our Kashmiri culture.
Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Lt Governor G C Murmu also greeted people on the occasion and expressed hope that the festival will further strengthen the communal harmony in the Union Territory.