14TH SEPTEMBER - IT'S RELEVANCE
By Dr. Romesh Raina
For a Kashmiri Pandit 14th September is a response to a fact of the history dictated by the force of events of the day in 1989. This day is basically dialectic of history, which contains the tools of analysis for interpreting the societal developments in the aftermath. Its significance lies in providing the foundation of post exodus history of Kashmiri Pandits.
It draws its sustenance from the idiom of violence unleashed against us, triggering in the process a social evolution, a product of painful memories spread over 17 years keeping alive the fault lines of traumatic exile. The fact remains that turbulent events separated KP's from the land of their ancestors and changed the face of Kashmiri Pandits forever.
But it also meets the central challenge of our time, as it remains the vanguard idea of our movement and struggle. This day is a part of larger commitment to re-invent our social identity and the mutual desire to survive. Illustrative of this factor is the evolution of our society particularly those fundamental alterations that have occurred in the post exodus period provide the context in which the community's forward march is formulated and without which a meaningful appraisal cannot be made.
For us 14th September is not a mere narrative of events but it exemplifies the collective response and resolve of the community. It symbolises the regeneration and renaissance of our civilizational identity for it brings to the fore the ultimate quest for a dignified community life. Though the purpose also is to expose the ugly face of terrorism and its ill effects on the society, thus reveling the true survival instinct and inherent strength of the community in the process.
Our focus is the inheritors of this legacy that is second generation Kashmiri Pandits born here after migration. 1990 stands out as a year of profound significance for this generation. It is observed for the reason that it was during this year that a mass exodus was forced on Kashmiri Pandits. There is no doubt but the real significance of the historic events lies in the fact that it should live in our race memory. It reminds me of the presence of wailing wall in Israel where Israelis wail every year to let their successive generations know that the Jewish homeland was got at a great cost and that its history should live in their race memory. Thus what is conveyed in substance through 14th September is social injustice in its extreme form.
Infect survival imperatives emerge out of this day which is historically linked to the exodus. Indeed the major part of the history of exodus reflects our national concern and community concern. The swiftly changing political structure prompts Kashmiri Pandits whose spirits have been crushed and proud subjugated to determine the agenda. It assumes significance now than ever before to mobilise the public opinion in order to retain the impressions of turbulence and capture the imagination of the people. The agenda for the day for all these years has focused so far on Demonstrations, Protests and Dharnas but it has outlived its span. The Kashmiri Pandit world's current debate on what is the appropriate method of its observation is the core issue. What this means in practice is to choose the route of democratic dissent for its wider impact and that means community's social agenda needs some modification without turning the clock back.
In this regard 14th September 2006 was a silent departure from the past practices as the same was observed as a National Awakening Day and the year as National Awakening Year with candle light procession being led by the Deputy Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sh. Vijay Kumar Malhotra and renowned Public Figure Sh. Shiv Khera. Its impact was heard in Parliament when GOVERNMENT was forced to respond to the questions raised by Sh. Malhotra about K.P. Welfare and policies pursued towards them.
It has become a highly determining factor in our social calculus, a manifestation of deeper commitment. There are many aspects to it which serve as a wake up call towards the greater objective of achieving social regeneration and for that to achieve we need to start from where we left it last year.
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A nice writeup on a historical day for Kashmiri Pandits.
Added By Suresh Anand