Whither Kashmiri Pandit Community
By Moti Lal Khar
A dying language and fading cultural
heritage, Kashmiri Pandit community as a whole at present are a worried lot.
After their migration from their homes and hearths in Kashmir valley more than a
decade ago, feel the strain of keeping their identity alive.
What bothers the community most is the
fate of their language. A dying language threatens the culture and heritage of a
community. The new generation in the community does not even speak and know it.
The community's sense of let down has been compounded by their own community
members who feel it below their dignity to talk or speak in their mother tongue
among their children. They adopt western style of life, ignoring the rich
culture of their ancestors, although the well wishers of the community are
worried how to preserve their traditions.
A deeply religious community, Kashmiri
Pandits worship all Hindu gods and goddesses and have established many such
temples like Hari Parbat, Tulmula (Kheer Bhawani) temples and other such
'ashrams' of the Valley, wherever they are scattered in the country and
elsewhere. Inspite of this, the fact is that they have westernised their lives
and have had too many inter-caste marriages outside their community, forgetting
their own roots of rich heritage. No doubt, their rituals are important but they
perform these rituals and other social customs with pomp and show and spent
lavishly even after migration, and in present distress, they ignore the moral
values thus damaging the image and identity of their culture and heritage.
Traditionally, Kashmiri Pandit community is an educated community having
produced executives, patriots, ministers and bureaucrats in the country.
Kashmiri Pandits were also known as great religious preachers, preaching
Kashmiri Shaivism. Kashmir was considered a seat of learning and literature.
Scholars from different parts of the country and from abroad used to come here
to learn.The community at present is on cross roads after their migration from
the Valley. Though patriotic and peace loving citizens, they have become
refugees in their own country. A leaderless and rudderless community, at present
in distress, is fighting for its survival. May God come to rescue the community
and its culture and identity.
The community should follow the path
declared in Rigveda as under:
'Meet together, speak together, let your
minds be of one accord - May your Counsel be coomon, your assembly common,
common the mind and thoughts of these united - Let your aims be common and your
hearts of one accord, and all of you be one mind, so you may live well