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The Abandoned Home

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Starting from 1846 when Kashmir was bought by Maharaja Gulab Singh and added along with Jammu and Ladakh to form the state of Jammu and Kashmir to its present day status of a Union Territory, the tale of Kashmiri Pandits and their mass exodus is often forgotten.

In the wake of the present day misinformation and fear mongering by the anti-India gang, here’s my humble attempt at a poem on the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits perhaps to shed light on the fact that, even after their banishment, lynching, forceful conversion and murder, they haven’t picked up stones or arms for ‘protest’. While thousands still languish at refugee camps, having fled from the Satanic raliv, ghaliv ya chaliv, several others have started from scratch, worked hard and have been hugely successful in their lives. The valley still bleeds, the mountains still cry, the Pandits and their resolve however, march on hoping against hope to return to their home, once again.

There lived a family in a twenty room home,
With walls unsullied yet colourful, as their lives
Their indigenous wisdom touched many a soul
Like the neighbouring mountains touching the sky.

The sheer lofty finesse of Martand’s Sun temple
In the years gone by, now a cold desolate ruin
Akin to their home, insignificant like a pebble
The wonders became wanderers; Fate, thou art cruel!

Everyone can be Shiva, they believed,
Disregarding caste & gender; woefully unaware
Of what was to come, having been deceived
In the name of faith, vanished into thin air

Raped, lynched, shot, burnt and banished
Their only fault – they were the others
“Convert, die or flee”, they’re ordered, homes ravaged
Treated like plebeians, their dreams smothered

With the country, now alive with dissent
For things trivial and significant alike
We’ve perhaps forgotten of their tale
As they’re hidden underneath their smiles

There lived a family in a twenty room home,
With walls, now battered yet firm, as their lives
Their steely resolve still touches many a soul
As the weeping mountains, helpless, watch over the sky.

Dr Anshuttam Mishra

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