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Remembering Pandit Amar Nath Vaishnavi – Lalla Ji – Really a Real Karmayogi
7/1/2020 11:46:27 PM

Rajinder Premi

Some are born with God given extra ordinary abilities, creative acumen & talent, who by virtue of such sublime qualities give the world new direction. These people look & behave as ordinary citizens, but their intellect & sensibilities make them towering, to carve out a niche for themselves and make an everlasting impact, thus leave behind a great legacy. Lalla Ji, as we called him out of our love & respect, was one such legendary soul.
Shri Amar Nath Vaishnavi was born in Aug 1925, as a child his school days, he had developed Social, Political commitment which grew with the passing years. He had the inborn qualities of a prune Hindu heart and remained for his full life a devout Hindu.
Late Lalla Ji was interested in community-affairs from his infancy days, as a conscious Kashmiri Pandit and became to be un-challenged leader of Kashmiri Pandits and became the President of All State Kashmiri Pandit Conference (ASKPC). He was not only popular within his own community, but was also respected by the majority community of Muslims in Kashmir as well as Dogras of Jammu & Ladakhis also.
Vaishnavi Ji was appointed as a teacher in the State Education Department and was posted outside the Valley for most of service carrier.
Lalla Ji had his early education at Jammu, in Ranbir School, where it is said that Pandit Vaid Vaishnav Dutt was his classmate. His Fathers transfer took Vaishnavi Ji back to Srinagar, where he joined & worked in Bhagat Singh movement. It is said that many of his friends, Bal Ji Zutshi, Dina Nath Nadim, Jagan Nath Kaul & even his elder brother Ram Nath Vaishnavi were already connected with Bhagat Singh movement.
Vaishnavi Ji was much influenced by the Arya Samaj movement also, as he worked in DAV School Rainawari & later in Pathankot. He got connected with the Jan Sangh & RSS also. He worked actively as a Pracharak and was made Incharge of the ‘Shakhaas’ of the RSS. Vaishnavi Ji had also participated very actively, against the permit system & it was the Jammu Praja Parishad which launched an agitation against it, which also attracted Dr. Shyama Prashad Mukher Ji to the state, who finally laid-down his life for ending the permit raj in J&K. State Police arrested Late Vaishnavi Ji, under preventive detention Act & was charged besides other things for supplying arms to the agitators, from Pathankot.
It is said that after Supreme Court judgment in 1955 Vaishnavi Ji was ordered to be released, by the Chief Justice Bench, Mr. Vaishnavi was appointed as a Govt. Teacher. Vaishnavi Ji organized Janamashtami Procession in Handwara, a neighbouring town of the Indo-Pak border, a complaint was lodged & Pt. Vaishnavi Ji was transferred from here.
During Parmishori Agitation in 1967, the Hindu Action Committee lead by Mr. S N Fotedar was formed. Some known KPs including Pt. Vaishnavi Ji became a part of this committee. This Kashmiri Pandit Agitation, the only successful agitation of KPs so far saw a fortnight curfew. It also saw lathi charges, Police firing, police repression, deaths of so many agitators and it attracted nationwide attention. Then Home Minister Sh. Y B Chavan visited the valley aftermath of the agitation.
Post migration Pt. Vaishnavi Ji had been an inspiration for the younger generation. He took control of the displaced affairs of the exiled community into his hands at Jammu and worked closely with KP Sabha Jammu, which resulted into the setting up of tented accommodation, Relief-organization, adjusting displaced people in Schools or other Govt. buildings. He cherished dream of continuing Publication of daily ‘Martand’ a voice of KPs of Kashmir.
Late Vaishnavi Ji’s un-filching integrity and his love for his community can’t be forgotten by the exiled community. His untiring services to the whole humanity will always be remembered by all, as he had devoted his entire life for human cause, for which he remained a lifelong activist.
Since I joined the arena of Social Service, after we landed in Delhi in May 1990, after we were forced to flee from our homeland, Kashmir, in the backdrop of martyrdom of my illustrious father & beloved younger brother. I became the first Kashmir displaced to be associated with Kashmiri Samiti Delhi, where I was appointed as chief-co-ordinator in 1991 & subsequently became the secretary of KSD in 1992, when it was headed by Shri Chaman Lal Gadoo as President. During these 2 years of my stay in KSD we were coordinating with our Jammu biradari through Shri Vaishnavi Ji only.
My contact & rapport with Shri Lala Ji developed more frequently thick, when BJP constituted a Kashmiri cell in Delhi State Unit at 14, Pandit Pant Marg, under the chairmanship of Sh. C L Gadoo & I was made as founder General Secretary of “J&K Sangam”, when Late. Kidar Nath Sahni was President Delhi Pradesh BJP.
Late A N Vaishnavi would come to attend our meetings, Seminars and symposia directly from Jammu and would discuss all matters of migrant relief, rehabilitation & welfare measures. After our 3 years of stay in JK Sangam, I was advised by J N Kaul (Papa Ji) who came calling at my Lodhi-Road residence, on one hot humid morning of Aug month, desired me to assist him in All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS, of which he was recently then elected its President. He said we have watched you during your stay in KSD and recently in JK Sangam and I have been personally much impressed with your untiring services for the exiled community.
I vividly remember AIKS, under J N Kaul, visiting 1st time various migrant camps of Jammu, Nagrota, Udhampur and Batal Bali, so there would be a close interaction with Mr. Vaishnavi. I started understanding more about this leader.
Late. Vaishnavi Ji was a part of the delegation of the Kashmiri Pandits which was invited by the standing committee of Parliament Ministry of Home Affairs, to hear us in Parliament-annexe about our hardships, difficulties and problems being faced by the exiled community outside their homeland. The delegation was lead by Sh. M K Kaw President, AIKS. A joint community representation was made by Late Kaw himself which was unanimously prepared by all of us earlier. Shri Vaishnavi was very happy on our conduct and approach during the whole exercise.
When the standing committee prepared its report and submitted to Government of India, its recommendation, I took a copy of these recommendations to Jammu for Late Vaishnavi Ji, on seeing this copy he was much, impressed by my concern and respect for him.
• National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) was hearing us during the petition of genocide during the year 1993-1999 and during some hearings; Mr. Vaishnavi was also present on my request. He was much impressed by my documentation work and arguments, after which he came to my Lodhi Road residence to give me a pat for all this.
• It was only during one of the hearings at NHRC, when we were asked, as petitioner, to nominate one Kashmiri Pandit for the apex-committee for displaced People, to be constituted for the welfare of the exiled community, by the commission. Shri Vaishnavi Ji was a unanimous choice, although the NHRC wanted a KP petitioner for this job. As I, as a petitioner had been requesting the NHRC, to include a KP in the redressal mechanism, which the NHRC had earlier agreed on my continuous persuasion for formation of an apex committee at the J&K State Govt. level.
Besides this Late Vaishnavi Ji participated in most of the regional conclaves/meetings of All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS) held at Jammu in the year 1992-93, at Chandigarh in the year 1996, at Delhi in Year 2000, 2001, 2003 & Faridabad in the year 1997 & 1999, in Bengaluru in the year 2004 Dec & in the year 2006 at Calcutta.
Shri Vaishnavi has inspired the younger generation with the qualities of his head and heart. I pay my humble tributes to this great man, who has left an indelible impression on all of us with his honesty and dedication for the community welfare.
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