June-July 2003 issue
The Natural Ice-Lingam of Shri Amarnathji
from ‘Kashmir’ by Francis Brunel)
Who takes the Credit?
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
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.