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Kashmiri Pandits call for united political platform
While there was no diversity on the issue of economic and welfare packages for Kashmiri Pandits, a cross section of the community had different and at times contrary views over the participation of large number of Pandits in the recent polls
SHOWING A firm resolve of returning to their land with honour and dignity, Kashmiri Pandits on Friday discussed ways and means to achieve their desired goal of making their presence felt before the powers that be. The different ways to tackle the problem of unity among the Pandit community came up at an interactive session of prominent Kashmiri Pandits organised by Moti Kaul, vice president BJP (Kashmir province) in Jammu on Saturday.

While there seemed no diversity on the issue of economic, political and welfare packages for Kashmiri Pandits, a cross section of the Pandit community had different and at times contrary views over the participation of large number of Pandits in the recent polls. Because of the multiplicity of candidates, they lost the opportunity to have their representatives in the State Legislative Assembly.

While most people stressed on having a single platform, there was also consensus to create pressure on the government to pass the Kashmiri Pandits Temples and Shrine Bill, set-up an autonomous Welfare Board exclusively for the Pandits and preserve the culture and langue of the community.

During the session it seemed that Moti Kaul was gradually emerging as a Pandit leader to reckon with for he had a greater influence over a large number of Kashmiri Pandit organisations. Earlier, elaborating the purpose of this interactive session Moti Kaul gave detailed report of the recently concluded state elections and the challenges before the community due to changing political scenario in the state.

He emphasised the need for a cohesive approach, which would encompass both economic and political rehabilitation of their community. Kaul demanded a concrete action plan from the government, which would address acute unemployment problems faced by the community.

During the course of discussions a number of concrete suggestions were offered by the distinguished members. It was collectively agreed that all the organisations, be it social or political should vigorously pursue the agenda of passing of Kashmiri Pandit Temple and Shrine Bill and setting up of ‘Autonomous Welfare Board’ with statutory powers to look after all the issues confronted by the displaced Pandits. Moti Kaul assured that a blueprint of this Welfare Board shall be prepared and un-veiled in next eight weeks time.

During the course of discussion members complained about the political-administrative nexus in making voting process for Pandits extremely difficult. It was suggested by the members that BJP must take a lead and pursue it legally and administratively to get this injustice redressed. The members present, conveyed their satisfaction over the manner their community leaders fought the elections but regretted that in the absence of any consensus candidates they lost a fine opportunity to send an elected member to the Assembly.

Among the eminent persons who participated in discussion were Dr KL Chowdhury, Prof Aringd Gigoo, Shyam Koul, MK Bangroo, Predeman K Josheph Dhar, Dr RL Bhat, Lalit Moza, Prof AN Sadhu, Vijay Kashkari, KN Pandita, HN Tickoo, DN Kissu, Ajay Bharati, Veerji Kher, Sheila Handoo, Jawahar Lal Pandit and others.

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