Home > Articles > The problem of being a Kashmiri All about pride and inhibition of Farah Pandit FEEDBACK BY MUHAMMAD FAROOQ REHMANI

The problem of being a Kashmiri All about pride and inhibition of Farah Pandit FEEDBACK BY MUHAMMAD FAROOQ REHMANI

The problem of being a Kashmiri All about pride and inhibition of Farah Pandit FEEDBACK BY MUHAMMAD FAROOQ REHMANI
As a Kashmiri Farah Pandit’s article on America’s independence and statements about her experiences as an American, looked very interesting and left me musing from many counts. We hail from the same neighborhood in north Kashmir. While she comes from Sopore, I belong to Bandipore. Her parents left Sopore in search of a good career like many other Kashmiris, who are now well settled in America. I and thousands of Kashmiris like me left their towns and villages for Pakistan in search of freedom, peace and security of life. Still Kashmiris in Pakistan have not forsaken their love for Kashmir. They feel proud of being Kashmiris because; we have our ancestors in Kashmir, and our kith and kin, lands, orchards, streams, springs, Chinars, rose gardens, paddy fields and houses and what not. Moreover, Kashmir is beautiful—paradise on earth and the land produced great kings, scholars, saints, patriots and martyrs to make contribution to the history, culture and civilization of the South Asia. I do not grudge Farah’s American status and pride as a member of the White House. I believe that forty years of an immigrant is no long a span in ones life to cut his/her ties with the past. Therefore, hopefully the fascinating discovery of the state department will not harm the basic truth—love for motherland with universal good in her. Pandith Nehru the first Prime Minister of India was proud of his Kashmiri heritage. He writes, “Kashmir is written on my heart.” Dr. Iqbal the philosopher poet of East who influenced west by his thought showed enthusiasm over his Kashmiri roots. Nawaz Sharif the former prime minister of Pakistan is proud of being a Kashmiri. He says, “My parents came from valley (South) of Kashmir and even the parents of my wife belonged to the Kashmir valley.”
Unfortunately, Farah Pandit in her reference makes no mention of Kashmir, which I think may be her inhibition because of political reasons. However heavens would not have fallen on India by her Kashmiri root and reference. With her strong intellectual empirical and academic background Farah should not feel inhibited on Kashmir. Kashmir is an old known dispute in the world for the last 62 years under the terms of United Nations resolutions. Its future and status between India and Pakistan is still undecided and the cry of Kashmiris for freedom and human rights touches hearts and minds of many people in the world. Even people in far off continents look anguished to see the plight of Kashmiris under Indian rulers. Their urges and aspirations have been recognized supreme by the United Nations Security Council. Ironically, Farah Pandit has been asked by the United States to shoulder the responsibility of reaching out to the Muslims across the world. Regardless of her newly discovered status as an American envoy for the world of Islam in both majority and minority regions, how can she succeed in her mission if she failed to keep her hand on the pulse of two politically strong and articulate peoples of the Muslim world? I mean Kashmir and Palestine.
In her demanding task she should not take Kashmiris, Palestinians or other oppressed Muslim regions for granted. She has not only to listen but honestly and gradually revive and restore the confidence of the Muslim populations in a meaningful manner. In this process America has to choose between occupation, and aspirations of the people. The two can’t walk and live together. In her journey to create and nurture trust and cooperation between America and suppressed and underprivileged Muslims of the globe especially South Asia and Middle East, she should first of all try to demolish post 9/11 obsession in the United States. Obama’s reach-out program to Muslim peoples of all boundaries will be successful, if America severs ties with dictators, feudalists and helps the Muslim world to achieve true democracy and rule of law in every field—political, economic, social, industrial and agricultural. Modern education, progress and prosperity must not remain the prerogative of the exploiting class of politicians, rulers and capitalists. It must reach the door steps of unprivileged, down trodden and impoverished Muslims in every country. Again, America will do a great service to humanity if it withdrew its armies from Muslim countries and emphasized upon India and Israel to give freedom to illegally and forcibly occupied parts of Kashmir and Palestine. America has been making agreements of classified nature with those countries which do not respect rights of Muslims as human beings. This will not usher in an era of peace and prosperity in the bleeding Muslim world. The road to success lies in recognizing these hard facts of global tension.

(Ideas expressed are author’s own.)
(The writer is Convener All Parties Hurriyat (Freedom) Conference AJK Chapter and Chairman J&K People’s Freedom League.)
Published in greater Kashmir daily newspaper from Srinagar 16/07/09

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