THE PARADISE LOST

The turquoise shimmering waters ,snow capped mountains ,dense forests and glorious flora and fauna of Kashmir –– the Paradise lost to Kashmiri Pandits, who were victims of ethnic cleansing from the valley by the Pakistani terrorists aided and abetted by pro Pakistani elements within the valley ,killing more than thousand of innocent Pandits way back in Dec 1989 and early 1990.

The phenomenon is repugnant of grave atrocities inflicting gruesome violence upon the women, thereby bruising and hurting the pride of the community .

The Kashmiri Pandits were left with no option than to flee the valley to become refugees in their own country.

In Jammu ,the Pandits were not welcome .

The locals feared that being upright and intelligent community ,they would usurp the jobs especially government ones of the locals.

When some migrant medical students ,numbering around85 , were re-admitted in the Jammu Medical college ,the locals grouped together and went on a flash strike supported by BJP. The strike lasted for two weeks.

The BJP local leaders declared that Kashmiri Pandits could live in Jammu as “Guests” only and issued a warning to the then Union Home Minister Mufti Sayeed and the Governor Mr G.C Saxena against the further influx of Kashmiri Pandits into Jammu.

Majority of Kashmiri pandits eventually settled in all Indian states .

However Maharashtra ,Karnataka were two states to welcome Kashmiri pandits offering admissions in professional colleges and with basic facilities for resettlement.

Delhi and other adjoining states followed the suite to receive and provide means to settle Pandits in large numbers.

 

Now after nearly 30 years of wilderness ,majority of     Pandits believe that their birthland ,Kashmir, a paradise , is lost for ever.

 

The National Political Parties are playing blame game and not paying any heed to the question of rehabilitation of Pandits in the valley.

The Parties like National Conference and PDP are in doldrums for their vacillating policy on the Kashmir impasse.

The move to boycott the Urban and Panchayat polls by both PDP and National Conference is defeat for both ,the centre and the main regional parties ,as the ultimate goal lies in fostering better relationship between Srinagar and New Delhi.

In absence of the main leaders ,Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti ,the centre hopes that new leaders may emerge from the grass roots to challenge the hegemony of these leaders.

A large number of Kashmiri Pandits in sheer desperation ,bitterness , and harbouring a feeling of being left out by the Congress in the hour of distress, inched towards BJP.

Reposing faith in the rheotrics of Prime Minister Narender Modi who addressed  a rally in Samba in December 2014,pledging to the settlement of Pandits in the valley.

 

There afterwards  Prime Minister Narender Modiji and his entourage Mr Amit Shah

maintained a stoic silence on the issue todate.

 

Consequently Pandits feel cheated and have no recourse to give vent to their feelings.

By now it must be clear  to all  that going back on the promises pledges made as hardly surprising.

The Pandits do not count a vote bank for any Political Party as such. The number is so minuscule to attract any attention.

 The question of rehabilitation was an easy trap to wean away Pandits from the strong fold of Congress.

It is foregone conclusion that BJP is going to use the same rhetoric for Pandits in the 2019 elections. as well.

The exodus Pandit Card is being used by the Central Govt to browbeat Pakistan in International forums like UN ,SAARC, Etc. and nothing else.

Conclusion;

 Pandit’s Dilemma

Much water has flown under the seven Jhelum bridges since 1989/90.

Apparently under the prevailing circumtances the situation is not conducive for the Pandits to go back to the valley.

All of us know that the situation is worse than what was in 1990.

The youth of Kashmir being radicalized by the masterminds of terrorism in Pakistan is posing a grave threat to the peace in the valley. The policy of repression followed by the Govt of India may have added more fuel to the rise of violence and need concrete  strategy to douse the fire of vengeance.

The lives of even reticent peace loving Kashmiri Muslim are  miserable who  otherwise are eager to seek peace and tranquility . They need to muster courage to stand up against the militants and help the Central authorities to thwart the   acts of violence.

 

Due to lack of definite policy,strategy The militants across the border have been killing both Army and the J&K police personnel in large numbers every day.

The recent gruesome killing of Policemen, Nissar Ahmad, and SPOs Firdous Ahmad, and Kulwant singh in Batagund and adjoining areas of Shopian

has shaken the 1.2 lakh strong contingent of Jammu and Kashmir police force, with six SPOs announcing their resignations on social media.

The abrogation of Article 370 may prompt Kashmiri Pandits to move to the valley for good.

But who has the courage and determination to do it.

The BJP, being in opposition hollered from the roof tops for doing away with the Article 370 ,but now in power for more than 4 years lacks the lion’s courage to implement it.

The muscular military policy persuaded by the Centre has yielded no positive results so far .

 

The truth stands only reconciliation on give and take basis between New Delhi and Srinagar can cement the relations permanently.

The wait for permanent settlement of Kashmiri Pandits seems long one, as very few acknowledge the pain suffered by them.

 

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MY STORY Journey Of challenges:

 

We live to die. A fact one cannot deny or decry.

Life moves on ineluctably thus cannot be arrested or released at will. Life is a journey of strife beset with challenges every now and then.

you need to cross over the boulders , overcome the hurdles and make it smoother by actions ,right ones, correct decisions ,and right attitude . Once faced boldly it becomes harbinger of happiness and prosperity.

A concerted effort making things to happen the way you would love to see your life moving with pleasure than pain.

Way back in early 1970’s I happened to work as Quality assurance Manager in a Glass company in Pimpri Pune .

One fine morning our M.D. Mr Agarwal called me in his office ,and after making me to sit comfortably, said softly

“ Kaul being my best man I need your help to straighten things in our glass plant at Rishikesh .”

After a pause for a second he continued “we are not getting good production there both quantity as well as quality .

Due to bad quality the consignments get rejected. With your expertise and experience I want you to proceed to Rishikesh immediately to set the things right.”

“ there is my Manager Mr Thadani he will give you all assistance .” He said with an air of finality.

“ I have some questions sir ” I said a bit nervously.

“Yes tell me” Mr Agarwal said firmly.

“Sir I have heard Mr Thadani is not a good man. Will he cooperate with me.” I asked timidly.

 

“He is my Manager .I have directed him to listen to you and your expertise.” He retorted angrily. “You will report to me directly and send me production quality reports daily through telegrams . I am giving you a letter and give it to Thadani. Do not worry. I trust you and God will guide you .”

“Meet Kane , Plant Manager in his office, he will do the needful for your travel etc” He concluded the meeting affectionately reassuring me about his support to me.

In a huff I went straight to see my friend Tapkir , Mould Manager and we discussed at length the pros and cons of my conversation with M.D MR Agarwal.

“ you cannot do much than to proceed quietly. It may open new vistas for your future. Who knows.” Mr Tapkir said confidently.

So mentally prepared I decided to move to Rishikesh .

On 16th july 1974 Pune looked gorgeous with drizzling all along and the green verdure on the hills surrounding the city, was really a delight to watch. I developed a strange close association with this beautiful city .Ipromised with myself if God wishes I would like to come again to reside in this city of love and compassion.

I boarded a Taxi for Mumbai with other three passengers from Taxi stand and we zoomed on in the wet rainy weather. The downpour was incessant since last night and the sky overcast with dark clouds. The Sun was seen nowhere .

The taxi driver was tall burly sikh , very affable but talkative. He was casting furtive glances intermittently, talking consistently .one of my fellow passenger warned him to drive carefully in this inclement weather.” Hello sardarji drive carefully as the roads are slippery” he said sounding scared and anxious.

“ no worry sir keep cool .” the sikh driver retorted back.

He drove off without caring a hoot for the aggrieved passenger.

The rains were profusely pouring and pouring ,the hill tops covered with green carpets exhibiting a bewitching spectacle all around. There were a number of waterfalls gushing water into deep ravines down.

No sooner we crossed the plains and moved into Ghat area the driver took a sharp turn to negotiate the bend ,lost control of the stirring wheels and inched down the ravine close by . The door flung open I somersaulted out on to the green patch some two three feet down from the highway.

I watched the taxi going down the ravine into the gorge deeper in a great awe.

As providence would have it I escaped unhurt not even a bruise anywhere.

The crowd came in twos threes ,helped me to safety on   the main road . one of them offered me water,the other a cup of tea, and said “ Thank God you are safe. Do you want to go to Mumbai.”

“ Yes I have to go to Mumbai to catch a train for Rishikesh”

I replied gasping for breath.

 

“My suitcase with clothes , bag etc gone . The ticket for onward journey was in my upper pocket ,lost somewhere ” I replied in a state of delirium.

I rummaged into my inner small pocket of my Pantaloon and found my money safe. “God is great” I murmurred to myself.

The good men arranged a lift for me to Mumbai in a private car and I reached safely Mumbai.

“ will you sir drop me near Railway station so that I could board the onward train.” I pleaded to the car owner.

“yes no problem. You also buy some new shirt as the one you are wearing is torn and dirty .” He said nonchalantly.

 

I went to the railway Manager explained the predicament I was in and he managed to issue me ticket to Hardwar , the nearest station to Rishikesh.

I boarded the Train finally for onward journey to my destination.

I had nightmares about the horrible accident ,woke up twice during the night ,crying. The other passengers looking surprised.

I closed my eyes determined to empty my mind of everything and went into a deep slumber at last.

Next morning the train chugged on to the Hardwar Railway station and I thanked God to be alive to live up to the expectations of my M.D Mr Agarwal.

Interestingly later on after a month or so  to my  surprise I received  an envelop containing letter from the Taxi driver  followed by M.O for Rs  65 / towards the  encashment of my ticket he managed to collect from the accident scene.

His  exemplary sincerity and honesty stunned me  but also felt proud to see India living  and thriving on due to the good deeds of  such noble unknown souls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE CROWS ON THE SEA

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The  Crows on the  Kapaleeshwrar sea

 

The Crows not in twos or threes

but in scores

bustling   hustling     over

the limitless blues

of Kapleeshwrar seas.

       mingling

 with the myriad hues

  Of waves rising falling

 With

  every strong gale

    Lapping up the pungent shore

      The crows crying spontaneously

  Caw Caw  Caw

Flying low overhead people

ambling on the beach

in a flash of fright everyone

stoops down with

screech

And the crows speedily slantingly

move

over the mesmerizing blues.

Leaving everybody in bewilderment.

The crows crying simultaneously

Caw Caw Caw

bustling hustling around

Some

walking playfully in a stately gait

     while others

Swooping on theShored dustbin feast

        for a sumptuous treat.

The crows bustling hustling

crying

Caw Caw   Caw

Caressing

The tidal waves

vanishing in placid

muse

over deep distant

blues.

THE WORLD AT A GLANCE

South Africa

 South Africa’s ruling party ANC (African National Congress) Chairman Gweda Mantashe supported the Party’s controversial plans to re-possess land from white farmers who possess land more than 30,000 acres individually , the excess land to be redistributed among the black citizens.

Speaking to south Africa’s News 24 ,Gweda further explained that the step is being taken as a conciliatory gesture in recognition of the Colonial oppression of black citizens under apartheid.

According to UK’s Express News , Mantashe said  a constitutional amendment will be required before enforcing the act of re-possessing excess land from the white farmers.

Currently black people of South Africa possess only 4% of the private land while 72% is owned by the whites , and 24% by other ethnic groups.

While some hail it as correcting historical wrongs , imbalances heaped on black Africans ,others fear that similar Programme in Zimbabwe destroyed its economy.

The issue of land distribution is very emotive over a period of two decades in South Africa after apartheid.

However AfriForum’s leader Ian Cameron warned the plans to seize land from farmers would spark “anarchy”.

AfriForum is an organization in SouthAfrica founded in 2006 to work for solidarity of trade union.

AfriForum leader Ian Cameron reacted angrily saying, “ we are heading for   state of anarchy if something does not change drastically .There are places where the police simply refuse to act. They do not know the law well enough or refuse to apply it to logical reasoning when it comes to defending people’s property.”

The South African President   Mr Cyril Ramaphosa however refuted the fears by saying “there is no need to panic and start beating the war drums “.

Chile

Chile is lately surging with the influx of immigrants — 4,60,000 in 2015 to nearly 2 million last year as per voice of America.

The figure is more than double what Germany had in 2015 when refugees poured in .

In Chile the immigrants form 7% of the population.

It may sound intriguing a bit , but Chile, Continent’s wealthiest per capita country is home to the largest Palestinian community outside the Middle East.

As US President  Mr Trump blew the bugle to curb immigration ,the other Latin American richest country opened its arms to welcome the region’s poorest migrants with full gusto.

The Chile’s ageing population and the age old cultural of readily accepting newcomers ,thereby assimilating them  in the mainstream, are some of the factors that made Chile to welcome the migrants without rancor or remorse.

The Palestinians by dint of their hardwork have risen to be extremely prosperous and influential ones both in politics as well as industry.

Chile has been the fast growing economies in Latin America in the recent decades. Reduced poverty from 26 %% to 7.9 between 2000 to 2015.

Due to decline in copper prices the GDP fell from 6.7% in 2015 to 1.6% in 2016.

But as copper prices increase again GDP is expected to be on its proper rail soon.

In order to reduce its dependency on the copper exports Chile is diversifying its immigration policy to be technological driven in order to be technical hub in south America

Hence Chile new visa system for technocrats and enterpreneurs make the country more attractive.

Thus just to hedge its bets by diversifying its economy the START UP Chile began slowly in 2010 and now has gained more traction for 2017. As a result more than 1300 STARTUPS already in operation in different fields in eight years.

The President of Chile, Mr Sebastian Pinare is determined to invite the US giants Apple ,Google ,Amazon to make investments and help  build up Chile an economic giant of South America.

 

THE MISTY MORNING.

                  20180812_123011                                                   

I like the misty morning.

Dewy dusky

engulfing the prospectus all

around

groping my way in the dense waves

so profound

I stumble against a myrtle

twirl twist turn turtle

scramble ,squinting and crouch

to gather myself

   I   stride along slowly on to

my walk.

Crimson beams hover over the distant

 horizons

The Sun gleams through the

dense haze

tearing apart the mists

into

a dazzling myriad hues

Promising a clearer day.

The wind

Spinning the verdant leaves.

Shimmering words flow

Unintentionally

my lips move

to

sing a soulful song.

I like the misty morning

Dewy and dusky

Cool and creepy.

THE COOL SUNSHINE

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The cool crimson Sunshine

beckons me

   to a bracing walk in the

verdant woods.

The rustling leaves listening to

the cacophony of singing birds

howling animals

purring waters of brooks

flowing across

The cool crimson Sunshine

Invigorating me

sway swirl and swish

                                                                                to

the curling landscapes

with determination and will

I climb up the hill

to a panoramic view

of

limitless blue sky.

The cool crimson Sunshine

Warms me

to

tread upon the untamed

Verdure forest deep

into realms of immense beauty.

A group of virgin belles

gaily giggling

Strode along

Twirling their skirts

coquettishly

revealing bare legs

taking my breath away

 standing gleefully on a big stone

I

Murmur in undertone

Love is lovely

and

is lovely.

I LONG TO BE WITH YOU

I long to be with you

My daughters pretty

Petite ones

for sometime nay a long

time

gossiping giggling galloping

over

the hill tops with emerald

verdure

gliding down the slopes

into deep forests

with the rhythm rhyme

of

golden time.

Come now my daughters

for

Some time nay a long

time

frisking frolicking rolling

rocking

into the arms of your

papa mummy

 I live your childhood memories

Whenever I get time to

roam about

in my thoughts

           your mummy is equally lost

in memories dear

ones

     winning the gold medals for

interschool games

local papers screaming

with banner headlines

“SISTERS BAG GOLDS ‘’

come my daughters

for

some time nay a long

time.

to drive along the Boulvard

road

listening to the Kashmiri

folk songs

while skiing for

hours

on the placid waters of

    Dal lake.