Monday, August 16, 2010

Red Fort Address of the Prime Minister - Aug 15, 2010... "...We also consider it our duty to protect the minorities..."

The Independence Day speech of our respected Prime Minister is a valuable indicator of the policies of the Government and highlights what the political party in power considers paramount in its opinion.

We are a secular country and a democracy too. Our constitution provides the philosophical framework and executive and judicial mechanism to protect the rights of the citizens of our country in general.

Article 30 of the Constitution provides that all minorities, whether based on religion or language, shall have the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.

Apart from this there is no significant constitutional provision in my knowledge that delineates specific approach to minority protection. However, it must be due to some very important reasons that our honourable Prime Minister has chosen to state so on an Independence Day speech.

I, after due thought have a request to make to the leaders of our country. In the light of this resolve on the part of the PM, kindly take up the issue of the minorities in Kashmir, i.e. the Kashmiri Pandits. The reason why the separatists have become so bold in demanding separation form India is this: our government could not protect the right of Kashmiri Pandits to live with peace in the ancestoral homes in the Kashmir Valley.

The Kashmiri Pandits indeed are a minority in Kashmir. They were inhabitants in Kashmir for ages and were forced to leave when terrorists threatened them with dire consequences and violence erupted in the valley with their homes and property burnt. They need protection and safe passage back to the valley and an atmosphere needs to be created to generate trust amongst them. I hope the Government of India (GOI) would work in the true spirit of secularism and take care of the sad plight of Kashmiri Pandits who have become homeless because of terrorist violence.

Once this crucial step towards normalcy of situation in Kashmir is taken up, the separatist forces would be forced to reconcile with the fact that the GOI is serious about ensuring the rights of its people irrespective of religion, and is particularly conscious about protecting the minorities, even if it is in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

I hope our honourable Prime Minister would pay heed to this logical corollary of his speech on August 15, 2010 from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort.

3 comments:

  1. Hope our leaders will understand that minorities word is not only for muslium but really for minorites like pointed out by you Kashmiri Pandit...leaders are silent on their rights and forcfully they and their families are living in exile with a hope to go back to their homeland..
    Tripta

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  2. On the evening debate on Times Now on 17-08-2010, there was a physician representing opinion of Kashmiri Pandits and there was a representative (one Mr. Bilal) from the Hurriyat. Issue was that Aisa Andrabi, the firebrand militant leader who has exhorted Kashmiri students to pelt stones and skip schools and colleges while applying for a passport to send his for higher studies overseas.
    Mr Bilal dismissively told-why this physician who practices in Jammu wants to comment-let him practice and be at peace. When this doc reminded Bilal that he has been forced out of the valley-Bilal, shocking everyone said-he represents mean mentality of Kashmiri Pandits.
    This chap was not at all ready to listen to any argument.
    One generation has passed and minorities in Kashmiri valley can't think of returning. And what's appalling is that their return has ceased to be an issue.

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  3. Its unfortunate that issues in India are given importance by the leaders less on the basis of the credibility and moral obligations of the issue and more on what they can get in return - vote.
    In the case of Kashmiri Pandits, two factors worked against them to ever make their issue a national issue:
    1)very small size which means insignificant vote count(state wide or nation wide) 2) Well educated - Kashmiri Pandits for long always believed in the importance of education and many of them opting to be teachers, engineers and doctors .This also meant that they started to diverse to other states even before migration and also with education comes the comfort of not voting.

    The idea of autonomy does give a lot of pain, being a Kashmiri pandit myself.But the question is who is going to rise up against this ..the kashmiri pandits who by now are spread across the world and almost accepted their new homes as their new motherland seeing no respite from terrorism in the valley or the people in the valley itself who might be more glad to make kashmir an autonomous states with no clue of further consequences...or the other communities of India who have their own agendas in hand.

    But one thing is clear, that until the issue hits the sentiments of the common man, our leaders wont even attempt to give back to KPs what they have lost!
    Hence i really appreciate the attempt in this blog to bring out the issue to the masses.

    Tiku.

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