Kashmiri Hindu Sabha Telangana organized a musical evening for the Kashmiri Pandit community of twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad today at Park Continental Hotel, Masab Tank. The event witnessed about 200 Kashmiri Pandits rejoicing and enjoying traditional Kashmiri music and songs.
Kailash Mehra sadhu ji, one of the most popular Kashmiri singers performed many favorite tracks of the community. Audience broke into spontaneous dances every now and then, and people of all ages seemed to be really enjoying the performance.
“This event is part of our regular efforts to organize events that help the community come together and bond with each in their life of exile from their own homeland. Such events provide a great platform for the community to recall all their memories of their homeland and for few hours feel like they are back in Kashmir.”, said Sunil Saraf.
Vikram Thaploo explained how the Sabha strives constantly to find such avenues to keep their Kashmiri identity alive – “Our children are born and brought up away from Kashmir. It is imperative upon us to find ways to keep exposing them to our culture and history so that they understand their lineage and real identity, and ensure we keep our community alive while we continue to be away from our homeland.”, said Vikram.
The event was further sweetened by the recent abrogation of articles 370 and 35A, and reorganization of J&K into two Union Territories. “This step by the Government has finally opened up a path for peace in our lands. Kashmiri Pandits obviously feel elated, and now hopeful of return to their own place. Not only does this step by the Government provide hope for the religious minorities of Kashmir, but even for the majority community there as they have been tricked and fooled by the separatists, and even the political leadership of the valley, and been deprived of any real development over these seven decades. A new Sun has risen for the valley.”, said Vinod Bhan.
Sushil Pandit, a prominent community activist from Delhi, and founder of Roots in Kashmir, also participated in the event. He expressed gratitude to the Government for the bold step. “Abrogation of articles 370 and 35A was long due. We have been striving for last three decades – educating all and sundry about the reality of the issues that plague the valley. Abrogation of these articles only needed political will, and the present Government has corrected the wrongs that have been root cause of the suffering of people in the valley. However, this is just the first step. Many more measures need to be ensured for the safe and honorable return of the Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland. We will present our demands to the Government. But, today is the day to rejoice and I feel the oneness with the my brothers and sisters who are leading their exile life in Hyderabad area. I thank Kailas ji for her soulful renditions that almost created Kashmir in this hall today.”, said Sushil Pandit.
About 300 families of Kashmiri Pandits live in Hyderabad/Secunderabad area. They are working in varied sectors like IT, Healthcare, Medical, Science, Teaching, and so on.