According to senior lawmaker Karan Singh, few Kashmiri Pandits are eager to return to their ancestral home in the Valley because of a pervasive feeling of fear and uncertainty.
Speaking at the publication of renowned cardiologist Dr. Upendra Kaul’s memoirs “When the Heart Speaks,” Mr. Singh said that most Kashmiri Pandits who could afford to leave had already done so and “settled for good”—either overseas or in other parts of the nation.
According to Singh, without Kashmiri Pandits, Kashmir would always be “incomplete,” according to Singh.
The sorrow that gripped the Valley since 1947 is sad said Mr. Singh, whose father, Maharaja Hari Singh, was the final Dogra monarch of Kashmir. “Kashmir is beautiful and bewitching,” he said.
Dr. Kaul and other Kashmiri Pandits who returned and constructed homes in the Valley were praised, but he remarked that “such examples are quite uncommon.”
Due to the trauma that Kashmiri Pandits have experienced, he added, “very few Kashmiri Pandits are doing it, and it will take a long time for that to disappear. I think they are not just prepared to face that again.”
“As it stands, everyone who could flee has done so. Many who may have settled in other regions of India have done so. Those who might relocate overseas have relocated abroad. Now, I think special care needs to be taken of the migrants living peacefully in Jammu since they came, and also of Kashmir Pandits who want to go back,” he added.
Rahul Bhat, a government employee, hired under the prime minister’s special package for Kashmir Pandits, and teacher Rajini Bala were assassinated in a series of fatal attacks in Kashmir this year against members of the minority population.
The migration of Kashmiri Pandits in the 1990s, according to Mr. Singh, was one of the most “sad and tragic” events to occur in Jammu and Kashmir.
He also praised the group, noting that much of what he had learned in life came from the education Kashmiri Pandits had provided him.
“I received all of my vidya (education) from this wonderful community, including BK Madan, Prof Parmanandna, Prof PN Chaku, Prof JN Bhan, Prof SN Pandit, and others I got from them. I must take this opportunity perhaps to place on record my deep and abiding gratitude to the Kashmiri Pandit community,” he noted.
Dr. Kaul, a well-known cardiologist, was praised by Mr. Singh for writing his book and being both an outstanding professional and a nice person. He remarked that his love for Kashmir and his patients is very inspiring.
In his final remarks, he cautioned that people are being subjected to unneeded procedures, examinations, and medications as a result of the relationship between doctors and pharmaceutical corporations.
Among those present at the book launch at the India International Centre (IIC) were Dr. Randeep Guleria, director of the AIIMS, and renowned civil rights attorney Prashant Bhushan.
In “When the Heart Speaks,” Dr. Kaul recounts his journey from his Kashmiri ancestral hamlet to becoming one of the country’s leading cardiologists.