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Kashmiri Pandits And Kashmiri Brotherhood

To help develop a better society, we surely need to create an atmosphere of religious and social bonding between the communities and a good work culture

Post by on Tuesday, March 29, 2022

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Undeniable fact is that unity in diversity of religions, castes, socio-economic classes is balancing and sharing divinity on one plate. To help develop a better society, we surely need to create an atmosphere of religious and social bonding between the communities and a good work culture.

Every time I meet a Kashmiri Pandit, I feel delighted to hear the unforgettable memories they used to have with Kashmiri Muslims before migration. The response is full of saddened sage and a joyous past. A Kashmiri -- whether a Muslim, a Hindu or a Sikh – every face denotes a unique charm, the way a Kashmiri is known throughout the world. Many families are still living in communal brotherhood they used to live since long. To be more precise in the article, I would like to share some experiences that I had with Pandits of Kashmir. 

To exemplify it, I remember way back to my MBBS college days, one day I was in Jammu city, randomly I met a Kashmiri Pandit at some stationary shop in Kachi Chawni. While I was having some discussions with shopkeeper I could see an expression of ‘grief filled with love’ on the face of KashmiriPandit who was sitting on a chair on my side. Suddenly, he asked me that whether I am a Kashmiri, I replied ‘Yes Sir’. He asked me about my profession, address, present place of residence, birth place and about my family.

Surprisingly, he used to live in Anantnag before migration. Now the shop-keeper, a Hindu from Jammu, my friend whom I used to visit often, also took part in our discussion on Kashmiriyat. Anyway, the man in question, Kashmiri Pandit asked me about diverse diaspora of Kashmir and I could reply to him with lot of respect and humbleness. He told me that he could have immense pool of memories shared with Kashmiri Muslims while he used to live in Kashmir prior to 1990’s. He impressed upon code of brotherhood that Kashmiri citizen is blessed with. I could feel emulated by his commendable sayings and the love he expressed for Kashmiri Muslims. He is a well-lucrative government employee and at last he puts an invite before me to visit his home anytime.

Couple of years back, I had some moments with another Kashmiri Pandit at an event in Jammu University. He is a well-known poet and philosopher, M.K.Santoshi sahab, surprisingly a native of Mattan Anantnag before migration, who might have written many books on Kashmiriyat since past-1990’s. During a discussion with him, he cited some examples of Kashmiri brotherhood. After the conclusion of the event, he offered me a book on Kashmiri Culture and tradition-mentioning their memories in Kashmir, brotherhood scenes, love for Kashmiri Muslims and some part emphasizing the reasons for their exile.

 

Some time back while I as a doctor on duty, a concerned staff nurse accorded to a patient, called me to check the patient (who was undergoing blood transfusion) if there is any kind of transfusion reaction. I went to the patient and discovered NOT any kind of reaction but the patient was highly anxious, heart rate almost touching 140. I asked the patient “what happened? Are you alright?”. It was late night, the patient kept on insisting me with anxiety- enriched confident voice, “Dr sahab please discontinue the transfusion and let it continue tomorrow morning please”. I kept on motivating the patient in view of the protocol of the hospital/ guidelines to blood transfusion. But the patient kept on same note. After a while the attendant with the patient found me as a Kashmiri. She puts a hearing aid in patient’s left ear and told me to speak then. I told the patient “Ba chus akh kashur doctor ( I am a Kashmiri Doctor)”. On listening to my voice in Kashmiri language , the patient at a moment got upright and relaxed, with heart rate normalising at once. The patient said to me “Bas Waen Chun Mein Kehn Parwa, meh aao wen panun Kashur doctor. Yael waen blood transfusion poure gache tele, waen Chun Mein Kehn Parwa kehn fikr (Now I don’t need to worry for anything, I would now patiently let for transfusion to end”). The patient happened to be a Kashmiri Pandit and offered me unconditional blessings and love.The above story immensely validate the healing power of our mother language besides exemplifying the uniqueness of Kashmiri brotherhood.

A story of my childhood that is still touching my mind and inspiring me; I was just 9 years old a student of 4th or 5th class. We did own a black and white TV that time run on an Antenna for Srinagar Doordarshan Channel. Since we did not own a battery, so we could watch TV only when the time electric bulbs would glow. It was around 12.00 noon when two famous TV serials were telecasted on Sunday on Srinagar Doordarshan Channel popularly named as ‘SHAKTIMAN & SHAKA LAKA BHOOM BHOOM. The time when the power supply would be disrupted, I along with my friends used to went the house of a Kashmiri Pandit family in our locality. This Pandit’s house I remember had a battery to run a black and white TV that time in our Mohalla. We used to watch these TV serials there on battery as we were crazy. Anyway, the love and care that Pandit family could extend towards us is in itself an indication of the love and brotherhood that prevailed in Kashmir those days.

In conclusion, I would footnote a line that there are innumerable experiences to share that reveal the love of Kashmiri Pandits for Kashmir. They are always part of our diverse culture and will remain. And are always welcome back to Kashmir with dignity and honour.

 

(Dr. Tasaduk Hussain Itoo is Physician/Educator/Columnist. Chairman/Founder/Director: J & K Innovative Foundation for Transforming Society (JKIFTS). Founder/CEO: Dr. Tasaduk’s Medical Foundation (TMF). Email: drtasadukitoo@gmail.com)

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