Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India


Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

  Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India

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January-March 2002 issue

Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

Table of Contents

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri


From the Editor's Desk

"I 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.

 Take 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.

 This 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.
 What 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. 

 Could 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.

 Lot has 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. Wali

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