Kashmiri Pandits in Telangana
During the exodus of 1989/90 some of us sought refuge in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Some of our people were here for business and some serving in central organizations like HMT. The twin cities welcomed us with open arms. Our people received lot of support from the local population. With passing time, more of our people journeyed to this part of the country to pursue their dream. Kashmiri Pandits in the twin cities are doing well in their fields. We have good presence in the IT sector, in the scientist community, in health care sector, doing business, etc.
Kashmiri Hindu Sabha Telangana (KHST) is a registered organization that strives to keep the community together and create opportunities of intra-community and inter-community interactions through various initiatives. KHST has struggled with finding ways and means to promote and sustain the rich cultural heritage of the community amongst its people to ensure our culture doesn’t get lost in exile.
Impact of exile on the community
Living in forced exile from ones homeland brings in challenges even in the most basic aspects of communities. Being scattered across geographies leads to lack of opportunities in pursuing our culture.
Our children find it difficult to pick our language as they hardly have an opportunity to converse with other people in Kashmiri. They pick up other languages far easier than their mother tongue – Kashmiri. We seem to be on a path to lose our language, unless we provide our children an avenue to learn Kashmiri and converse with other Kashmiri speaking people.
Rituals and festivals
It is a well-established fact that communities thrive on their festivals and rituals; and such festivals are celebrated in a group. Kashmiri Hindu Sabha Telangana (KHST) has been trying its best to organize events to celebrate our festivals as a community. However, they keep struggling with the ways and means to regularly organize such events. Many of our smaller festivals and rituals have already started disappearing from our lives as there is hardly any opportunity to celebrate them in the way we used to back home.
Kashmiri Pandits have their own unique food habits. However, since the community isn’t located at one place, there isn’t much business sense in local vendors to sell such food material. A common meeting point could provide the opportunity for specialized setups for making such material available, at least on special occasions. This will ensure that we experience our traditional food habits on those special occasions.
Shrines and historical places
Our children have very limited opportunity to visit our holy shrines or places of historical importance that connect us with our legacy. It is a very uphill, and impractical for each individual family to have means to introduce their children to such legacy. The community needs a common place where we can provide glimpses into such history to our children, and also to other local communities, to build awareness about the rich heritage of Kashmir and its people.
Kashmiri Hindu Sabha Telangana (KHST) as strived to organize cultural programs that help our community to keep in touch with our legacy. Prominent Kashmiri Pandit artistes have graced such programs in the past.