Welcoming abrogation of Article 370, a Kashmiri Pandit body here on Monday said it was a momentous occasion for those from their displaced community, living in ‘forced exile’ in their own country.
Bharat Bushan Dhar, spokesperson of Kashmir Hindu Sabha- Telangana, said successive governments had not been able to take a concrete decision on abrogation of Article 370 and added that this move by the government would be a step forward in resolving the decades-old conflict in the region.
“About half a million Kashmiri Pandits over the past three decades have been displaced due to the forced exile,” he said.
Recalling his own experience as a teenager during the turbulent period between 1989 and 1990, Dhar said his father and about 40 relatives were asked to leave their village in Kupwara district in J&K and embarked on a journey to unknown destinations to save their lives.
Dhar, now aged 44, said he and his family went to Maharashtra as Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray then extended a helping hand to children of the community for education.
He said Kashmiri Pandits started settling down wherever they got jobs and other faculties.
Most Kashmiri Pandits are settled in Jammu and Delhi, he said.
“Imagine the situation…. We had no future in the land where our forefathers lived centuries together. We are a displaced community now.
And once peace returns to the Kashmir valley, we all want to go back to our mother land. We have a history of 5,000 years behind us,” he told PTI.
Dhar, who did his engineering in Pune and now works at an IT firm, said the Kashmir Hindu Sabha connects over 200 families in the city.
“We welcome abrogation of Article 370. In India, it was sort of two rules running… one for Kashmir and one constitution for the rest of India.
“It was alienating Kashmir from India,” he said.
He said the day was a momentous occasion for all displaced Kashmiri Pandits living as immigrants in their own country.
The Kashmir Hindu Sabha aims at promoting, preserve, and protect Kashmiri Pandits’ (Hindu) Ethnic and Socio-Cultural Heritage.
It also aims at providing the best possible assistance to individual families during tragedies.