Mangaluru, Nov 28, 2021: No regional or national mainstream political party has an agenda to mitigate the sufferings of Saraswaths of Kashmir, rued Padma Shri Kashinath Pandit, former director, Centre of Central Asian Studies, Kashmir University. The parties have also not shown any inclination to take these Saraswats back to their 6000-year-old homeland in Kashmir, Prof Kashinath Pandit, added.
Delivering the keynote address at a one-day conference on ‘A Confluence of Saraswaths Worldwide’ organized by Vishwa Saraswath Federation on Sunday, Prof Pandit said the genocide and complete ethnic cleansing of Saraswaths of Kashmir took place in the 1990s. This was when Jammu and Kashmir remained an ‘integral part’ of secular democratic India according to powers that be in New Delhi.
This has resulted in a situation where nearly 4-lakh Kashmiri Saraswath Hindus are living as refugees in their own country for the last 32-years. The present situation calls for introspection among the scattered Saraswath community, which must unite and contribute to national identity. The Saraswaths are inheritors of a great civilisation and this civilization must be taken forward, he said.
The 4000-year-old Hindu Kingdom of Kashmir decline and fell to the Muslim adventurers around 1339. The sultans replaced the rajas and ruled over Kashmir from 1339 to 1819. The only task that these Kashmiri Muslim Sultans including the Mughal, Uighur rule during 1586 to 1751 was to destroy all traces of ancient Hindu civilization of Kashmir and decimate the Saraswath Hindu community, he said.
The process that started around 1339 reached its tale end in 1990, Prof Kashinath said, adding that it is in this background that the Saraswaths must know their true identity like never before. The community is a big economic and social if not political power, he said while exhorting the Kashmiri Saraswaths not to be bogged down as a minority, but as part of a vast majority of Saraswaths across India.
The task before the entire Saraswath community of India is also to understand the plight of their Kashmiri fraternity expelled from its homes and hearths at the point of the sword of Islam in a secular India. He exhorted Sri Samyamindra Thirtha Swamiji, head of Sri Kashi Math to constitute a 5-member committee to examine and analyse the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri Saraswath Hindu community.
The committee so formed should also suggest at the community level, remedial measures of alleviating their suffering and facilitating their restitution in the Kashmir valley, Prof Kashinath said. The Saraswaths as a community are dynamic, entrepreneurial and move from place to place and from country to country. It is this community that should assert its identity, he argued.
Earlier, Sri Samyamindra Tirtha Swamiji released Saraswath Awakening, a pictorial representation of his recent visit to Kashmir, which is Saraswath land. The yatra acted as a unifying bridge for an emotional connection between the Kashmiri Pandits and the Saraswath community. The Swamiji also released the conference theme song – Saraswath Sajjanna Saar Bharit Jeevana on this occasion.