Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India


Lalla-Ded Educational and Welfare Trust

  Kashmiri Pandits' Association, Mumbai, India

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June-July 2003 issue

The Natural Ice-Lingam of Shri Amarnathji

The Natural Ice-Lingam of Shri Amarnathji
(Photo from ‘Kashmir’ by Francis Brunel)  

Table of Contents

Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



… P.N.Wali

Who takes the Credit?

P.N. WaliWho takes the credit? This is a question that every KP and every KP organization is constantly exercised about, particularly when it is a social issue. People are busy hogging credits for things done by them or with which they are remotely connected, and denying credit to some others. The exodus provided more opportunities for this tendency to flower. May be this is an outcome of an ingrained inferiority complex or just an urge of ‘one-up-manship’. Whatever it is, it is prevalent.

Take the case of reservation of seats for students in professional colleges in Maharashtra. Every body has a pet theory, a pet leader or a pet party to give credit to. It is high time that facts are put on record and controversies are rested. At the time of exodus, Shri Sharad Pawar headed the Congress government in Maharashtra. Shri V.P.Singh headed the government at the center. The two were far from friendly to each other.

Immediately after the exodus started, the KPA Mumbai approached the CM Shri Pawar for assistance. He immediately sanctioned a sum of rupees five lacs from his relief fund, both in cash and kind, to be disbursed by KPA. He also allowed the students of Srinagar Medical College to migrate to colleges in Maharashtra (which according to him was against the wishes of then Home Minister Shri Mufti Mohd. Sayed). He also directed his secretariat to find places for settlement of KPs in various districts of Maharashtra outside Mumbai. This of course never materialised.

Although BJP was not in power at that time, KP leaders of Kashmir (Shri Vashnavi and others) and of Delhi (Shri Gadoo etc.) were in touch with the party, particularly Shri Kedarnath Sawhaney, who was in-charge of Kashmir Affairs within the party. BJP was in power in the state of Delhi at that time. That is how camps were set up in Delhi and Tahbazari rights were given at the Superbazar and Lajpatnagar area of Delhi. Our leaders were constantly drilling the fact that KPs need educational facilities the most.

In the meantime the KP Association at Pune was able to get reservation for KPs under Pune University. this worked for a year but was closed next year, partly due to quarrelsome nature of some of us who made life difficult for the university officials.

Around this time, elections took place and BJP-Shivsana combine came in power in Maharashta. It may be mentioned that large cotingents of KP boys and girls toured many states, effectively canvassing for BJP (most of them are now found in one or other faction of Panun Kashmir). At this stage BJP Kashmir Coordinator Shri Sawhaney initiated steps for reservation in professional colleges in Maharashtra with his people in the state, particularly Shri Gopinath Munde, the Deputy Chief Minister. Though it was a BJP move but consent and support from Shivsena and its leader was essential and readily forthcoming. The state civil service was very helpful. It created a mechanism by which seats could be reserved without effecting the admission chances of local students. During the whole process, there was one person who followed it relentlessly. It was the then President of Kashmiri Samati, Delhi, late Shri N.N.Kaul. He, inspite of fragile health, took several trips to Mumbai at his own cost. He met every body including Balasaheb Thakray. If ever credits will be distributed, Shri Kaul's name will appear prominently.

For the last two years, we find the reservation of seats for KPs being offered by many other universities in the country (particularly in north India). This has happened with the pro-acrive action by the Ministry of Education at the Centre. This Ministry had none other than Shri M.K.Kaw as its Secretary. Hence no bets for who made this possible. Shri Kaw is now the President of All India Kashmiri Samaj (AIKS).

KPA Mumbai, took its own role in the admission process in Maharashtra. It took care of those who visited Mumbai for counseling and admission all these years. First year was very demanding. The migrant students and their parents knew next to nothing about Mumbai or Maharashtra and still less about colleges and the courses. They had to be guided at each stage. They had to be accommodated. Kashap Bhawan was thrown open to them. This was discontinued next year due to bad fallout. Alternative accommodation at nominal cost was found. This has been done all these years.

Other jobs KPA has been doing is, liaison with the Dept. of Technical Education and the concerned Secretary of the govt. It is they who issue instructions every year. KPA has been sending forms to Jammu and Delhi at a considerable effort, sometimes at its own cost, to be reimbursed later. KPA is always present at counseling centers giving help and guidance. But it must be said to the credit of the officials at these centers, particularly of those at Vivekanand College of Engineering, Chambur that they do an excellent job. They are helpful and sympathetic. They leave very little to be done by us at the center. We often wonder what the so-called delegations from Jammu and Delhi, which every year come without fail, do at the center. They move at the center with lot of self importance with nothing to accomplish.

Now having narrated the story of last eight years of reservation of seats for migrant students, I leave it to the reader to decide the credits. All are keen to have it. One thing is of course clear that KPA has never shown the inclination to claim it. Kashur Samachar coming out with its credit list each year seldom mentions its name. Perhaps KPA is too mature or self confident as not to hanker for credits. It follows a style of its own. Or is it a non-attention to PR, the modern buzz word? It is for you to judge.




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