Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India


Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

  Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India

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January-February 2004 issue

Swami Vivekananda at Kshir Bhawani, Kashmir 

Table of Contents

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Kashmiri Pandit NRIs

P. N. Wali

Some time back we wrote about Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley. The community, as it is now, consists of several geo-physical segments, besides those left back in the valley. Those in Jammu migrants and non-migrants are segments in themselves, as are those living in Delhi and those living in other parts of the country. Another segment that has developed so fast lately, is of those living outside India Kashmiri Pandit NRIs. Considering the overall small size of the community, this segment has achieved a sizeable dimension. And their assertion in the community affairs, whether social, economical or political has achieved significance.
The NRI Kashmiri Pandits have always been in various parts of the world. These can be classified into those who migrated before exodus and those who migrated consequent upon the exodus and those who did so after the exodus but not necessarily as a direct consequence thereof. No doubt there are KPs who sought foreign shores on being displaced from Kashmir during 1990 or around. You can find number of these who were professionals like doctors, engineers, teachers etc. back in the valley. You can find bigger number of our young men who migrated looking for better opportunities in foreign lands, as many enterprising people from whole of India have done during last decade or so. Those who migrate from India are usually of two levels. The upper crust i.e., professionals etc. and the lower level i.e. labour and technicians. KPs who have migrated are from the upper crust generally.
Though reason for migration is more often for greener pastures, yet it is a difficult step. You have to adjust to an alien atmosphere, adapt to different ways of work, and prove yourself better. Life is often tough and demanding with very little of social support system we enjoy back home.
We must say with pride that KP young men and women who have found niche in foreign lands have done fairly well for themselves and made us generally proud. And above all they have generally not forgotten their roots. They make it a point to meet other members of our community and in almost all cases, formed their local associations, which form the nucleus of their social interaction. They continue with our customs and traditions. They observe our festivals, most often jointly. In USA they have a three day camp once in a year which is attended by people from different parts of USA (some times travelling more than a thousand miles). They savior our traditional cuisine and continue with it. Havans are jointly performed. Even marriages and yagnopavits have been performed. Interestingly some of these marriages have been within the boys and girls of our own community.
These people have shown remarkable understanding of the problems of the community as a whole. They have initiated actions. They have done a very good job in informing the international community about the realities of Kashmir situation, which even our government has not been able to do effectively. They have come with financial assistance for those back home who were deserving it the most. They have shown themselves involved in the affairs of the community as a whole. The websites run by them for Kashmir are an example of their intense interest.
I think it is time when body like AIKs could develop a formal and permanent connection with these brothers and sisters of the community who live in the world at large, which is shrinking so fast in the light of modern communication. They are a part of us and an important one, for that matter. An international directory of Kashmiri Pandits will go a long way to strengthen character and oneness of the community.




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