There has been an old saying in Kashmir: "If one door gets closed God opens ten doors", but one has to be cautious and vigilant in moving through these doors, make right choice and judicious and proper use. Almost same thing has happened with the displaced Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley, especially in the vocational and economic fields. When after exodus the young and the healthy, sick and infirm, daughters and daughters –in-law were lodged in "migrant" cells , constructed over uneven land full of boulders and stones and surrounded by bushes , shrubs and thorns , to face the scorching heat of summer and suffer under the devastating sheets of water during rainy season turning the camps into flood hit localities, experiencing snake and scorpion bites , sun strokes and heat strokes unknown to the community and so on, it was quite heartening to see the young boys and girls of the community accepting the challenge with fortitude. Keeping in tune with the community's traditions and ethos of gaining education at any cost these young souls would be seen studying in these dingy unhealthy environs with determination. They kept the community's inherent tradition of seeking knowledge alive against all odds. Appreciating these young souls struggling against all odds to pursue their education it was remarked by an important person " How can this community die".
The exodus worked as an electric shock for the community and there was a gradual country wide awakening of the community organizations in various parts of the country to help the displaced population and put it back on rails as far as possible. Reverberations were seen at the global level even. Voluntary social and religious organizations and some with political affiliations too came forward to take out the displaced from the morass. A strong community feeling exhibited itself all around.
"Migrants" as a Class.
Gradually the word "migrant" became almost synonymous with the K.P. community , a term to be looked down upon as a separate category "Oh, he is a poor migrant". For some non-displaced K. Ps the term became a term of humiliation and degradation and would immediately retort "No, I am not a migrant, I have been here for decades" . How shocking and shameful that even in some matrimonial advertisements it would be mentioned "migrants need not apply". What an apartheid attitude! However, it was stopped after some protests and objections. Later on a distinction was made between pre-1990 migrant and the 1990 displaced at the social level, though the government never called these 1990 militancy victims as displaced or internally displaced lest they become entitled to certain benefits under the UN Charter, and never took cognizance of pre-1990 migrants as "migrants" as per its norms set up for 1990 displaced ( wrongly termed as migrants0. As some relief and other help started coming to the 1990 displaced the pre-1990 migrants brought in this distinction of migrants and displaced by claiming that they were the real migrants, just to use the term to their benefits. Personal interests surfaced predominantly. Surprisingly those very non-displaced ,migrant Kashmiri Pandits who looked down upon the 1990 displaced victims of militancy ( called "migrants" by the Gvernment) gradually started getting themselves registered as "migrants" for some immediate or unforeseen future benefits. Surprisingly the government practically recognizes only those few thousand displaced families as "migrants" who are putting up in the camps provided by the fovernment and are used as show pieces and exhibits for different political purposes. Others ( non-camp displaced ) living in rented accommodation do not exist for the government.
However, with the passage of time the distinction disappeared to a large extent ,and now after nearly two decades of exodus the community seems to be united on certain common agendas- most important being that the entire community should be declared as an internally displaced one as even pro-1990 migrants had to leave under pressure and unfavorable conditions and mainly due to economic reasons, and discriminatory policies of the government. This is evident from the recently made petition before the Honorable Supreme Court by the AIKS, in which it has been demanded that the entire community be declared as internally displaced. Also most of the community organisations in the country are headed by pre-1990 migrants. K. P. Community has now become almost a global concept, and , as long as the community continues to be in forced exile having the status as "migrants" and the Government does not take concrete measures to rehabilitate it properly, problems of some sections will continue to haunt it seeking attention and demanding remedy.
Education, as is well known, has been the hallmark of the K .P. Community; though at times it became a cause for jealousy, envy ,anger and even its victimization. A K.P. would literary go without food , good clothing , sell family gold or borrow money, but would not risk his children growing uneducated and illiterate. It was education which came to the rescue of the community from time to time, and after each exodus, to rise and flourish , including the present one also, supposed to be the seventh during the past several centuries especially since the advent of Islam in Kashmir.
After the exodus of 1989-90, educating the young ones under unfavourable conditions was a big challenge for the community. Of course, here too hurdles were created at social and political levels in the admission process to the local institutions forcing the government to declare these displaced students under a different and separate category as "migrant". A new set up came up for the these displaced people. These "migrant schools" were set up and housed in camps where hardly any facilities were available. "Migrant" teachers and others were adjusted in these migrant schools and college to teach migrant boys and girls.
Admission to P.G courses , professional and technical institutions was considerably restricted. Those aspiring for higher education were left to fend for themselves . With poor teaching facilities and restricted admissions to Kashmir University only there was poor progress in educational field at these levels.
The fate of Government employees was no better . They would not be adjusted in local offices and institutions , as this would "swell" up the number of staff and probably "effect" the "smooth" working and functioning of these establishments and even be a cause for conflicts. The "migrant" employees were treated on (forced) leave to enable them to earn their salary as "leave salary", ( by enacting some extra-ordinary leave rules, not otherwise covered under any normal state service rules.) Even for this they had to struggle a lot and are not still entitled to all the benefits, otherwise due. However, some employees were adjusted as migrant employees in some institutions especially in education Department . Surprisingly the government did not think in terms of adjusting/ transferring these Kashmiri "Migrant" employees to Jammu along with their posts, which would have removed most of the grievances and difficulties , both for the government as well as the employees. Instead they were forced to avail the so-called "leave salary" and the expenditure on account of this "leave salary" was to be met from the security related expenditure paid by the Central Government , thus leaving the State budget for those adhoc employees of the Valley who were adjusted/appointed against the "migrant" posts. While about 75% "migrant" employees have attained their superannuated during these years hardly a few have been appointed from amongst the 'migrants".
A Door Opens
Fortunately after a few years of exodus the Government of Maharashtra run by Shiv Sena under the directive from Balasaheb Thakrey came to the rescue of the displaced community when it offered admission to the "migrant" students in its technical colleges. Seats were reserved for the displaced to which admission could be sought without any entrance test etc. and with some other concessions This generated a new hope . It opened a new vista for the youth of the community An unexpected and unknown opportunity came forward and a door of hope was opened. Gradually the scheme was adopted by some other states also and eventually the Central Government too was forced to ensure reserved seats for the youth of the exiled community and issued directives to this effect to State Governments However, as the years passed it was not only the K.P. "migrant" students alone who could get such admission against "migrant quota", but students from other communities and regions became entitled to these seats as militancy had spread to other regions and people from different communities fell victims to the gun culture. Gradually seats in other professional courses and post graduate departments too were opened for the J&K migrant students . Slowly the benefit got extended and generalized and even those who were 1990 militancy effected displaced too managed to get themselves registered as migrants to get admission and other benefits. The quota came to be called "migrant quota" and was not limited to any particular community or region or group.
With this new fields were opened which gave a lease of life to this beleaguered community. It was a boon as young talented boys and girls engineers and professional persons were produced changing the total perception. The advancement in the information technology created a new sun over the horizon, as if it was in the nature's plan. Here the displaced boys and girls especially from villages of Kashmir which had remained in seclusion, isolated and backward and even somewhat suppressed as a social class , demonstrated their hidden talent , caliber and capacity to a very high degree. Proficiency bloomed , and an unimagined dream seemed to become a reality. These young boys and girls started getting lucrative jobs with good salary in an environment of freedom, positive and healthy competitive world and felt encouraged to face these tests . They could not visualize such a rise nor could they probably aspire for better. Obviously , new doors got opened for economic advancement and progress.
While it is quite heartening to see the young boys and girls having attained great proficiency in the fields of engineering, IT, M.B.A and some other professional courses during these years of exodus, but one feels quite depressed that there is hardly any boy or girl who goes in for competitive civil service examinations to qualify for I.A.S.; I.P.S. I.F.S., K.A.S and so on. The youth and their parents must think about these areas and related jobs as well. The community youth must strive to spread in every field and area as their future is related to these services and areas too. Though much has not been achieved in this direction, but it is never too late to venture into these fields as well. It is essential that the vision is not kept limited to the stereotypy, but other avenues and fields too need to be explored and captured. The community youth must aim not only to regain the position it had at the national level some time back but even advance more and aspire and visualize a role at global level for itself. However, in this euphoria the youth must not forget the soil where its roots have been nourished for thousands of years.
Surprise And Shock
Those forces which had been feeling jealous of the community that it had usurped almost the entire bureaucracy and lot of Government jobs and had pushed the community out with the hope to liquidate it, were not only surprised but even shocked to see the community standing on its own in adverse circumstances and progressing well in all respects and rather more rapidly than it could do in Kashmir . Observing the progress and adjustment of the community vested interests stared floating rumours " how will K . Ps come back now in view of the economic progress and job opportunities". Well they may be correct to some extent as terrorism is not showing any appreciable decline in the Valley ,then there is not much appreciable change at the ground level to welcome the return of the displaced community with open arms and both the Sate and the Central Governments being confused about the situation have been apathetic towards this displaced community. Also the community is not sure about the economic avenues that can be made available to it once it returns However, all such elements must not forget that a K.P may not return for a job but he will return because Kashmir is his motherland, place of origin and birth the land of his ancestors . A Kashmiri Pandit will definitely go back to Kashmir in spite of his economic progress and holding lucrative jobs outside the State. He cannot give up his claim over he land of his ancestors; his roots. He will definitely return to rekindle the light of hope and regenerate the cultural ethos butchered at the hands of fanatics, marauder and murderers. He will again teach , treat and heal as in the yore. He has not lost the hope or faith in himself.
K.Ps. Who Stayed Put
A few thousand K P. families still living in the Valley are in no way better off. They, very unfortunately , receive scant attention from the government or even from the community organizations, though they are the proverbial eleven odd families holding not only the community flag but the flag of Indian secularism high in the Valley against all odds. They too have essentially been dislodged from their respective original places of living and are living scattered in comparatively secured zones mainly in Srinagar and deserve to be treated as displaced and given necessary relief and other job benefits lest they too are forced to leave the valley. Government must ensure their safe, secured and economically healthy continued stay in the Valley.
Issues of Very Serious Concern
(A) Inter-Caste Marriages
However, while the opening up of new job opportunities leading to economic advancement after exodus is a very healthy sign, unfortunately it has also proved somewhat disappointing to see the fall out. The community has suffered a lot as its identity and growth have been badly effected. In this process of educational and professional advancement a good number of girls have got married outside the community and the process is continuing. Though all express concern over the rate of such inter-caste and inter-community marriages in which the community is losing its girls fast yet no concrete measures are taken to give the process a halt. Some of those who think seriously about the problem even suggest that a situation may come for the community to get girls from outside the community fold for its youth to maintain some sort of balance., which in all probability would not be a healthy trend for the genetic tree of the community. Coupled with the decreasing birth rate on account of various factors including family planning and increased death rate, the community seems to be dwindling in numbers. This inter-cast marriage process has set up a serious trend, and already being a miniscule minority of a few lakh souls only it is likely to reduce its size further. Then being scattered throughout the country and even abroad , one cannot say where will all this lead the community to; this is an issue which the social scientists , thinkers, well wishers, leaders and the parents in the community have to think. A small community cannot afford such a loss.
There were cases in the past where inter-cast marriages did take place, but these stray cases were quite negligible which took place under special circumstances. Obviously no body took any serious notice of these , though most of them have subsequently felt sorry over the step. However the present day scenario looks quite disturbing , as the future of the community is in danger. If the community wants to save the situation it is essential for the parents to see that they do not contribute to the situation in any manner, even in the name of progress and advancement. Community organizations , its social activists and leadership ( if they have any real hold on the community matters) too have to play an important role in halting this process; in fact a reverse process needs to be set up and put into motion by getting girls from outside into the community fold as brides, especially when the community boys are doing so well. Even the sponsoring bodies who are involved in the process of selection for admissions and placement etc,. in vocational professional fields must see that the trend is stopped if they want to help the community to let it grow. The young girls who go out to study should be persuaded not to think of marriage during their study and avoid marrying outside the community, especially the non-Hindus; a trend which has very unfortunately increased with the connivance and within the knowledge of parents who feign helplessness after the damage is done. It has beeb reported that after these young boys and girls go for their education outside the State their parents , families hardly bother to visit them during the year and see how they are progressing. Perhaps they feel their duty is over after the boy/girl is admitted in a course and he/she will go ahead on his/her own. Parents have to ensure regular visits and communication and even a regular feed back from available sources how their wards are going on with their studies. If necessary these sponsoring bodies may take an undertaking from these trainee girls and their families to this effect. It appears that these girls , especially from poor families are lured to go in for such inter-caste and inter-community marriages by exploiting their innocence and credulous nature. Strong vigil and even some strong measures by parents and stern steps may become necessary.
It is essential to analyse and study the causes of these inter-caste marriages and role of parents, economy and other factors assessed Understanding the total scenario in all its dimensions is very important. It essentially needs providing an environment of love, affection, understanding, mutual respect and respect for the family values and one's culture. Though legally no one can stop these inter-caste or inter community marriages , and that is why people are not openly expressing any serious concern about these happenings, but a bit of social awareness, understanding and developing a sense of social responsibility, for social cohesiveness of the community can help a lot.
It is not only among those girls who study or serve outside the State that some of them are lured and marry outside the community, there are cases among other families even where these inter-caste, inter-community marriages are taking place. Keeping in view the total scenario it is very essential to identify such possible families and arrange necessary counseling to avoid future humiliation and harassment..
K.Ps are proud of their genes. It is being expressed that most of these inter-caste and inter-community marriages may be taking place under a well drawn out plan to avoid consanguine marriages in these communities and to improve their genes , as marriages within blood relations has not been found medically healthy.
The next issue which has become a cause for concern for the elders, parents and the society at large is the rate at which divorces are taking place in the community. What is despised even in the so-called advanced countries is being adopted almost without any remorse in the K.P. community. A divorce which was once looked down upon as a sorrowful event and considered a shameful act to talk about has to-day assumed disproportionate dimensions in the society at large and the K. P. community too has joined the race, it seems to beat others. It seems that the community has taken the increase in divorce rate as a matter of fact feat, a fate accompli, just like inter-caste marriages, and no immediate and effective steps are taken to stop this trend. Probably a sudden exposure to a new social milieu and economic progress coupled with equal education and equal job opportunities and parallel progress of both sexes too have added to the process of family breakdown and social disintegration. As after exodus families from different socio- cultural background have come into bondage due to various factors, including the marriage of their sons and daughters, these young boys and girls with different value systems and family background do face a lot of difficulties in their adjustment , which in absence of proper counseling and advice usually get mishandled by various elements including over-enthusiastic so-called social workers who may not be quite well versed with human psychology or social pathology or even by law knowing people due to their professional bias which sometimes can result in more controversies and subsequent divorces. Of course living separately as a nuclear family where there is only a little or even no guidance and help to resolve any friction , or even in a joint family with incompatible income structures, intolerance and lack of understanding too can be a serious cause for such a breakdown of marital relations.
Be it inter-caste or ,.inter-community or Inter-religious marriages, or divorces, both are, in their own manner, disintegrating the family and social structure of community which otherwise has been comparatively quite a well knit one prior to exodus. While exodus has already given a serious blow to the integration and cohesiveness of the community, inter-caste marriages, divorces and even political factors have effected its social structure very badly. It is very essential for the social scientists and social leadership of the community to come forward and save the situation. General guidance and counseling, marriage counseling, family counseling by professionally qualified and trained people can help the community. But unfortunately there are no such centers available in the community or the society at large, or even if there are any people have no knowledge or information about such help centers. And also, before such a helping hand can come forward the parties concerned due to ignorance , anxiety, fear and even shame , unfortunately, fall in the hands of the untrained so-called social workers , and legal advisors or even pirs and fakirs who capture the cases to gain name , fame, and money. Most of such divorce cases get spoiled by unwarranted interference of over-enthusiastic people and biased approach. There is an urgent need to collect full data of all such divorce cases and analyze these individually from social, psychological, economic and other related points of view for comprehensive remedial measures to save a family. Setting up of such a counseling centre is very essential, where qualified, matured, senior persons can help these needy families.
(C ) Sale Of Properties
While the government has failed to attract the displaced back to their homes by offering no economic avenues, employment packages or job opportunities or taking any other concrete measure for their rehabilitation and survival in the Valley, the land of their birth and origin, the community too has created a difficult situation for itself in this return process by selling the immovable properties. Of course, the displaced had scores of genuine reasons and causes to sell off their properties as these were either burnt down or were being illegally usurped by unscrupulous elements, encroached upon by miscreants or even illegally occupied by vested interests as the government machinery and local administration , which was responsible for the protection of the migrant property, had failed to protect the same . Perhaps a section of the displaced people could have saved the situation and avoided the distress sale, but did not do so. Most of the displaced sold their properties under duress, panic, force or even allurement and fear of losing it ultimately in case they failed to return. They sold their properties at throw away price and are now repenting over it. Though the government has enacted a law to stop this distress sale under the J & K Migrant Immovable Property (Preservation, Protection and Restraint on Distress Sales) Act 1997 but due to some loopholes in the Act a middleman can be arranged as an attorney to sell the property without any questioning by the administration. Thus the government has exposed its own mala fide in protecting and preserving the migrant property , by encouraging such a sale process through an attorney, as even today all these sale deeds are taking place through the very local administration via an attorney under section 3 of the very Act . In spite of several pleas government has taken no measures either to cancel these distress sales or improve upon the defective Act
Sale of properties has virtually closed the doors of the valley for the displaced and is a very discouraging factor in their return ; unless government takes some concrete and drastic move to reverse the process and restore the status quo as it existed in January 1990.
Why does not the government modify the existing Act and make it more comprehensive and effective by removing the loopholes in it or come out with an ordinance canceling all distress sale deeds made after 1990 and for future ban , at least for a couple of years, (barring some exceptional helpless cases which can be allowed after proper scrutiny and assessment of need etc.) all sales of the migrant properties even through an attorney ? and simultaneously making the concerned Deputy Commissioner of the District personally responsible for the maintenance, protection and preservation of the migrant properties, to avoid any illegal and unauthorized occupation of the property.
(D) Ignoring ,Kashmiri Language (the Mother Tongue)
Added to these above detailed factors which are effecting the community negatively, the impact of exodus upon its language and literature is obvious. After its exodus from the valley the community had to use local/national language for interaction and communication with non-Kashmiri people, who did not know Kashmiri. Gradually during the years the place and role of Kashmiri language in day to day interpersonal communication and relations ( which extended beyond the community circles) got slowed down, reduced and replaced though not lost. While initially it was essential to interact in local language /Hindustani, it almost became a fashion and matter of pride to speak in English, Hindi, or even local language if one could, and avoid Kashmiri. Gradually the trend developed strong roots. Children , because of their interaction with non-Kashmiri speaking friends, playmates and class fellows were forced to speak in Hindustani.. If today one asks a youngster if he/she knows Kashmiri, can speak it,, the usual answer is " I can understand a little but cannot speak" This is perhaps because the parents and elders do not try to speak in Kashmiri among themselves or with their children at home. ( Almost same is the position in the Valley too, where too speaking in Hindustani has now become a fashion) Even those who spend a lot of time and energy in promoting the cause of Kashmiri language have by and large failed to protect it in their own homes. They themselves may be speaking in Kashmiri but their children find it difficult to talk in Kashmiri or even answer a telephonic call in Kashmiri. Of course outside homes, there may not be much chances of expressing oneself in Kashmiri, but they can at least interact and speak in Kashmiri language at home, household and family and community functions etc.
Obviously, if the community in Diaspora loses its language, what is left of it and how can it claim to belong to a particular region and place ?
I am here reminded of a very interesting, though somewhat rough , incident which took place many years back in the office of a Deputy Commissioner. A gentleman had come to collect his State Subject Certificate from the office of the Deputy Commissioner of his district. He had returned from some foreign country after a couple of years and would use quite a bit English in his interaction with the people in the concerned office including the Commissioner. Of course, in between he would talk in the local language as well. The commissioner took a fancy over the mixture of language the gentleman was using.. He asked him to prove his identity that he was a local person. The gentleman was surprised and stressed that he was a local person and was speaking local language. Speaking in English he told the Commissioner "Don't you see I am talking in my own local language" Commissioner laughed. "No you are talking in English, but occasionally in local language" so I cannot certify that you are a resident of this place and a state subject. The gentleman was somewhat baffled. Talking in English quite fluently and in between in his mother tongue the local language , he pleaded that his certificate be issued. But the Commissioner would not relent. " You see if you do not know your own language , mother tongue fully you cannot claim to belong to this place. Any foreigner or outsider can learn this much of local language ( or any language) with in a few years of stay here. So how can I say that you are a resident of this place by birth. Give me some definite proof that you know the local language fully. The gentleman was amused as well as somewhat irritated. He asked him " Should I then use some typical words in local language ?" "Please, go ahead"; the gentleman smiled "Really!" and came out with some typical local foul and rough words, bad abusive and slangy language. The Commissioner was laughing, "Yes you have now proved that you know the language and belong to the land. Every language has rough, foul, words and there is a slang in every language. And obviously only he who is born, hears and is brought up in that language can learn these words along with the language. I was just testing whether you know and remember your mother tongue or not, because mother tongue is the only link a man can have with his place of birth and origin. If you forget your own mother tongue you cannot claim to belong to the land. Please have a cup of tea and do not mind my grilling. I was just testing you, as your uncle had already told me about your craze for English language. Your Certificate is already ready and signed". The Commissioner called the office superintendent and asked him to hand over the State Subject Certificate to the gentleman.
If the K. Ps are serious to return to Kashmir, progress and prosper and maintain their identity as a community they will have to reverse the trend of forgetting their mother tongue. The elders have to ensure that the young ones learn Kashmiri . Also the younger generation too should be eager to learn Kashmiri language if they are serious in putting their claim upon the culture, ethos , land and history of Kashmir.
(E) Script and Language
Unfortunately, while talking about language one more disheartening and discouraging feature in this regard has been the script. While the official script for Kashmiri is what is called Nastaliq ( used in Persian/Urdu languages) K. Ps by and large do not know the script, and find it difficult to use it. While some percentage of K. P men do know the Nastaliq script and can read and write it, the women folk of the community are completely ignorant about it. The younger generation finds it all the more difficult rather impossible to use this Nastaliq script because they have not studied it at all . This way while on one hand the younger and next generation of K. Ps will miss the pleasure of reading Kashmiri literature and poetry ( being produced by Kashmiri writers mainly in Nastaliq script), they will not be in a position to help its promotion and advancement , for its expression is limited to particular script alone.
It is a matter of great pleasure that the community has produced a lot of literature during these years of exile , which probably it would not have been able to do in the valley. There has been almost an explosion of writers, poets and journalists. Whole scene and shape of the literary world has undergone a sea change. These writers are using English, Hindi in Devnagri script as well as Urdu in Nastaliq script to express themselves, which has made Kashmiri literature quite rich. However, it needs efforts for its expansion and increase in its readership.
Some time back when K.P. writers and others who write mainly in Devnagri script demanded that Devnagri script too may be officially approved as an additional ( second) script for Kashmir language , so that the Kashmiri literature is made available to those readers who do not know Nastaliq there was a hue and cry against the demand. It was quite a logical demand which would mean expansion of Kashmiri literature and poetry and help it to reach those corners where Nastaliq is not much known , but Devnagri script has a hold. Thereby not the K.P. community , but Kashmiri literature and poetry and ultimately Kashmiri language itself would gain a lot. But unfortunately, the move was opposed to the extent that it took almost a political shape with latent communal vibrations. While majority of the K. P. women writers use Devnagri script only for writing in Kashmiri language , Kashmiri Muslim women use mainly Nastaliq script , not because it is the official script but because they have been taught it to read Urdu language to facilitate the reading of Holy Quran , in Arabic language.
Obviously , any unbiased reasonable person with an open mind can well understand and appreciate that a language can progress , flourish and expand and its literature reach different corners if it is presented in different languages by translating it , or reproducing it by presenting in different scripts of the same language . After all when we translate great works of literature , poetry ,prose and dramas or even other scientific or non-scientific subjects what do we actually do; use different languages and scripts. This makes literature richer and is helped to reach different societies, countries , cultures and so on. This way we expand the literature . These translations or reproductions do not in any manner damage or harm the original manuscripts, publications and works .What is Kashmiri language and literature going to lose and how we are we going harm the great poetry of Mahjoor , Srukhs of Nund Rishi or Vaakhs of Lala Ded if we present these in both (officially accepted scripts ) Nastaliq as well as in the Devnagri; how does Jyanpeeth Award winner Rehman Rahi's poetry, or other works suffer or Hamid Kashmiri's writings suffer if these are made available in officially approved Devnagri script too to those Kashmiris ( and non-Kashmiris)also who do not know Nastaliq or is translated into other languages including Hindi where Devnagri scrip is used. And how can Kashmiri language and literature be damaged or harmed or importance of Nastaliq reduced if Devnagri too is accepted as an additional official script along with the Nastaliq? Those who oppose the use of Devnagri script as an additional script must rethink and change their mindset. Any controversy over the script can lead to a lopsided development of the language which cannot be a healthy sign for it. Language is for communication, conveying ones , ideas , thoughts experiences, sentiments and even feeling and emotions etc and literature is a means to carry it to different corners. Let the language and its literature flourish in as many forms as possible as a means of communication. Languages or the scripts evolved over millions of years of evolution and progress do not belong to any community, country sect or section of society alone. These are for universal use and means to communicate and express. One can only hope and pray that this confrontation and opposition is not on account of any fellowships, awards and prizes, which might get shared and divided if both the scripts are officially accepted and used or because of any communal and political bias that would be too narrow minded and immature approach) . Let not the issue of script limit the expansion of Kashmiri literature, poetry, drama etc and thereby limit the language itself.
Also if the Kashmiri Pandits want to really help the Kashmiri language to develop they must learn both the scripts – Nastaliq as well as Devnagri.
Part2- To be continued in the next issue of Shehjar