Plight of Pandits

It is heartwarming to note that The Hindu chose to highlight the plight of Kashmiri Pandits (Editorial page, “Thirty years on, still no spring for the Pandits,” Jan. 22). All the more so when political parties across the spectrum and many media outlets have been conspicuous by their deafening silence. Most damning is the silence of public intellectuals from all shades of political ideologies. Today, protests both peaceful and violent rack the country on citizenship and displacement. There is much anguish and hand-wringing with respect to the Constitution, secularism, democracy and minority rights. In this scenario, let us also spare a tear for displaced members from the community who, as the article terms, are “a persecuted Hindu minority, from a Muslim-majority State, within a Hindu-majority country.”

Ravindra Ramarao,


The article has shone the light on the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits who were forcibly exiled from their homes three decades ago only to live as refugees in their own country. It is a poignant retelling of one of the dark chapters of India’s post-independent history, and a damning indictment of the hypocrisy of the liberal class that looked the other way and chose to mouth platitudes about Kashmiri syncretism when a brazen assault on India’s pluralist ethos was unfolding in its plain sight. The drumbeats of secularism were conspicuously silent, and the streets did not teem with the Preamble-readers.

The Kashmiri Pandits have no illusions about returning to their homelands even if political normalcy is restored in Kashmir. They know it is impossible to live safe and dignified lives in the region where the popular imagination is in thrall to extremist indoctrination so much that most people believed the conspiracy theory that the Indian government orchestrated the mass exodus of the Pandits from the Kashmir Valley.

V.N. Mukundarajan


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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 3:38:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/plight-of-pandits/article30628855.ece

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