Displaced Kashmiri pandits will be able to return to valley soon: RSS chief

Jammu, Apr 3 (PTI) Kashmiri pandits will be able to return to their homes in the valley soon, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said on Sunday, asserting that work is on to create a conducive atmosphere so that they are never displaced again.

He also praised ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie, saying it has created public awareness across the country and outside about the reality behind the exodus of Kashmiri pandits from the valley in 1990.

Addressing members of the Kashmiri pandit community virtually on the last day of the three-day ‘Navreh’ celebrations, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief said that the time has come for fulfilling the pledge of returning to their homes in the Kashmir valley.

“It won’t take many days for the fulfilment of our pledge of returning to the valley. It will come true very soon and we have to continue making attempts in this direction. Our history and our great leaders should serve as the guiding light and inspiration for all of us,” Bhagwat said in his over half-an-hour speech.

Referring to his participation in the Kashmiri pandit festival ‘Herath’ (Shivaratri) in 2011 in Delhi, he said the community had taken a pledge on the occasion that they will return to their homeland.
“Challenges do come in everyone’s life … We are in a situation where we were displaced in our own country three-four decades ago. What is the solution?” he said and added, “We will not succumb and see our pledge fulfilled by returning to our homes.” He referred to Israel and said the Jews struggled for 1800 years for their homeland. “Nothing much was done in 1700 years by them for their pledge, but over the past 100 years, the history of Israel saw it achieving its target and also becoming one of the leading countries in the world.” “We (Kashmiri pandits) have had to live in different parts of globe despite the fact that Kashmir is an integral part of India. We can live anywhere but we cannot forget our homeland,” he said.

Bhagwat said ‘The Kashmir Files’ movie has highlighted the reality of Kashmiri pandits before the world.

He said the removal of Article 370 “opened the way for the return of the pandits to the Kashmir valley”. “The time for your return to the valley as a Hindu and a ‘Bharat Bakt’ is approaching…you have faced displacement in the past but in future, nothing like this should happen with you,” he said.

“Work is in progress to create such an atmosphere where you will feel secure and live peacefully with your neighbours like in the past and nobody will be able able to dislodge you again from there.

“Anyone making any such attempt will not escape punishment. There are people (among the Muslim community) with whom you were enjoying good relations. We have to defeat extremism and live peacefully with everyone,” he said.

The RSS chief said it will take some time and “we will enjoy the fruits at the appropriate time which will facilitate you to return to your homeland on your own conditions”.