January-March 2002 issue
have a bad habit - nobody comes up to my estimation.” This was the caption
of a talk given from Radio Kashmir by Late Prof. S.K.Toshakhani in late
fifties. This is a trait sometimes attributed to Kashmiri Pandits. It is
believed that it becomes extremely difficult for us to accept superiority
of other person, more so if he is from amongst us. We can not laud the
achievements of our kith and kin, community members.
it that the trait to some extent or other is present. It takes its toll.
We often go on doing things individually, while a collective effort would
be advantageous. We even shun each other. We have seen it play when
we are looking for a match for our son or daughter. Many alliances coming
our way are rejected because we feel the other party is not coming to our
estimation till the boy or girl chooses his or her partner and most often
from outside the community.
tendency becomes more evident in our accepting some one as leader amongst
us. We do not allow anyone to emerge as a leader. How can he be superior
- as to lead me. If we can not find any fault with his actions, speaking,
associations etc., then we find it in his background, his ancestors, or
the place he hails from. Nobody can pass our test for being the leader.
Fault is not with him. But with us. If he were to pass the test, then we
shift the test still higher. If he still emerges, we will do anything to
neutralise him. If we can not do anything else, we will break the body.
Hence no leader, no unified action. Lament howsoever we may.
is the cause for this trait? Is this result of an ingrained inferiority
complex? Admitted that Kashmiri Pandits have not been affluent. The loot
and plunder of many centuries had left Kashmir and its inhabitants poor.
We might have been better off than the Muslims living there (with few honourable
exceptions). But after independence, we progressed along with others in
the country - more individually than collectively. May be this achievement
or lack of it might have left in its trail an inferiority complex. This
could be a post independence phenomena, but can not be attributed to earlier
times. Again this situation could or should change with the second generation
taking the centre stage.
our intellectual inclination have something to do with our not accepting
the superiority of the other. Is it to say rather strongly an intellectual
arrogance. May be. It goes without saying that wherever a KP goes, he does
outshine others. His sharp intellect and hard work makes him to stand out.
He is respected for his ability. His presence in any organisation, in whatever
capacity is taken note of. If he can not be a respected manager in organisation,
he will atleast be a popular trade union leader.
changed for us and around us. Does our propensity to underrate others remain
unchanged. I think not. Modern man is a more clear thinking individual.
He does come over his failings by understanding them and rationalising
them. And I think, so do we. We will accept that every body has his strong
points and his failings. No body is an ideal. And the problem of accepting
the other man is not his but ours. Again our intellectual acumen may help
us achieve this. And achieve, I hope, we will. We will not live with the
curse that Prof. Toshakhani had once diagnosed.
... P. N.