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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri

Panun Kashmir


Symbol of Unity


Need for an Identity

As the world moves
into the golden age
of what we call the global village,
and national boundaries
slowly disappear
to merge into a new order
of a single government,
a world democracy,
isnít it anachronistic,
this assertion of my identity?

A Kashmiri Pandit now in exile
but labelled a migrant
for having been uprooted,
why do I stake my claim
as an internally displaced
or a refugee
in my own country?
Why seek a minority status
as a minority Hindu
in a Muslim majority state
of a Hindu majority India?

A jigsaw puzzle, I agree,
the legacy of a race memory,
a generational déjà vu
of persecution and violation,
an ongoing trauma of six centuries,
a sacred injunction
of exodus -stricken ancestors
for redemption,
for salvation.

Yes I will need my identity
so long as these walls
between caste and community,
between faiths and religions,
between races and nations,
are not pulled down completely,
and a true world order
defined in all sincerity.

Jammu - March 1998



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