Three-day programme on Kashmir Pandits at JNU

Hardship faced by Kashmiri Pandits after their exodus from the Valley was discussed at a panel discussion on the first day of the “Kashmir Before Our Eyes -- A festival of films, discussions, photographs and readings” at Jawaharlal Nehru University here on Friday.

The three-day festival was inaugurated by JNU Rector Sudha Pai and the opening film “Before My Eyes” of late Kashmiri filmmaker Mani Kaul was screened.

On the first day, there was a panel discussion on “Exile and Displacement” which saw heated exchange between the panellists and those in the audience.

Speakers including author Siddhartha Gigoo, Rahul Pandita and Chandrakanta, who all grew up in the Valley, took the audience to the environment of fear prevailing in the Valley which forced the exodus of Pandits.“After being dislocated from their land of birth, Pandits had to undergo a lot of hardship and suffering. People who have been an integral part of the State for the past 5,000 years were forced to abandon their ancestral homes and live in pathetic conditions. Pandits were kidnapped and killed. But today they are a forgotten chapter in Kashmir,” said Mr. Gigoo, whose film “The Lost Day” was screened.

Two other films, “Aatish-e-Chinar” and “Dairy of an Aggression”, were screened on the first day.

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