Kashmiri collective conscience rejects bigotry, terrorism & radicalized narrative: Thought leaders


The Kashmiri collective conscience rejected bigotry, terrorism, and the radicalized narrative, said a number of civil society personalities at the “Kaath-Baath”, inter-community dialogue facilitated by the Kashmir (policy & Strategy) Group (KPSG).

The dialogue was attended by a number of prominent representatives of civil societies from both communities of Kashmir. They advocated the doctrine of peaceful coexistence and promoting human rights values among the communities.

They stressed on the revival of the rich heritage, plurality, peace and human rights values and said that adhering to these is the befitting answer to enemies of Kashmir. They said, “plurality is the keystone of our proud heritage and we shall unitedly endeavor to save it and revive it with the societal unity and mutual trust and deep commitment.”

Chairman of KPSG and senior advocate, Ashok Bhan, said, “After three decades of death and destruction, suffered by all the Kashmiri communities, It is time to look beyond the blame games and seriously discuss the ways and means for standing up unitedly against demons of doom and save Kashmir by promoting our proud heritage of coexistence, societal cohesion and progressive narrative.”

“We all have to strive for democracy to enjoy the peaceful right to life. Peace is the sine qua non for democracy and the promotion of human rights. The strength of our civilizational ethos has defeated the evil forces that tried to thrust the alien socio-cultural narratives on the Kashmiri society,” he added.

Bhan said, “Since thousands of years, Kashmir has been the cradle of civilization, innovation, science and technology. No terrorism and radicalism will ever succeed to obliterate that.”

The former chief secretary of Jammu and Kashmir, Mohd Shafi Pandit said, “A peoples truth and reconciliation commission may further strengthen the doctrine of reconciliation between the communities which has fallen apart for variety of reasons and circumstances. Terrorism and exodus of Kashmiri
Pandits has sharply divided the communities and there is a dire need to bridge the gulf and unitedly rebuild our robust plural society.”

Political scientist, Prof. Irshad Ahmed, said: “Peaceful coexistence between the communities has been the pride of Kashmir. Any effort to bring back the glory of Kashmir more so unitedly by the Muslims & Pandits is always welcome and we are waiting to welcome our Pandit community to return back home.” He added that such efforts at some point of time would require huge political support across the spectrum.

Secretary of Kashmir Voice International, Javed Kakroo, said, “Kashmiri diaspora is in support of intra-communities engagement to build up a united approach towards bringing in peace in Kashmir. Kashmir calls for justice and revival of its age-old plurality, mutual trust and a life of coexistence. KVI is in touch with various NGOs working towards many societal issues and we should involve all the civil society NGOs and activists in promoting the KPSG initiatives.”

There is a perceptible yearning among the majority community to welcome native Kashmiri Pandits back home, said Dr.AQ Aashob, eminent oncologist. He added, “The initiative of KPSG for intra-communities engagement is
laudable. Other NGOs with which I am associated are also striving to build up a robust and plural societal cohesion.”

Civil Society activist, Javed Beigh, said, “Terrorism in Kashmir has devastated the societal and demographic profile of the valley. Consequently, social evils like casteism, strife between the haves & have-nots, dowry and drug menace have seeped in deeply. To help revive our plural ethos it becomes necessary to welcome back home the exiled Kashmiri Pandits. All religious leaders and youth leaders should urge and appeal to the Pandits to return and unitedly rebuild the healthy and prosperous Kashmir.”

Former vice-chancellor, Ashok Aima, said, “Communities engagement shall bring convergence in the public response to the situation. That can eventually help in the revival of plurality and coexistence which has had suffered the most in last three decades. The sense of insecurity that is now prevalent has to be defeated by a planned and uninterrupted dialogue between the communities. KPSG’s efforts deserve all support at institutional levels.”

Ashok Ogra, a journalist and author, called for the decentralization of the community’s dialogue to district-level civil societies and to the schools and colleges teachers.He said that the religious preachers at the local mosques should be urged to promote the doctrine of peaceful coexistence of the communities in accordance with religious mandate. “We must look towards an achievable goal, and not what appears to be desirable,” he added.

Former judge BL Saraf, said, “The yearning of the civil society of Kashmir to welcome the exiled natives back home is visible on ground and is encouraging. The people’s reconciliation committees or commission is desirable to put in writing the stories of the victims’ suffering. Kashmiris are also exemplifying high humanitarian values by according a warm welcome to the pilgrims headed towards Amarnath.”

The KPSG also showed it’s appreciation towards Kashmiris for their warm welcome to yatris enroute to the holi cave at Amarnath.