January-February 2004

Between Ourselves … M.L.Mattoo, President

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Between Ourselves

… M.L.Mattoo, President

It gives me immense pleasure to thank our Biradari members, who participated in the community Hawan on 7th & 8th Feb., 2004. This could be a good beginning for the New Year by seeking blessings from “Maa Jagat Amba”. I must say thanks to our young volunteers both girls and boys, who in large numbers, enthusiastically served “Naveed” to all present until last. This is possible only when you wish to make your presence felt particularly as this time the young girls did. These functions encourage interactions amongst the elders and the youngsters. Incidently, we, on this day had the presence of Smt Shiela and Shri Nand Lal Zutshi (from USA) erstwhile President of KPA, a person who made our “Kashyap Bhavan” possible. He lauded the function for presence of large gathering of Biradri members.
• I am happy to convey that we have received a letter from CIDCO having allotted us a piece of land admeasuring 500-600 sq mts at Khargar,Navi Mumbai and the site will be selected later for which an option has been submitted. This has now posed a challenge to us to be prepared to draw our future plan for this plot of land and also contribute our might. So my appeal to our community members is to come forward with their willing donations to fulfill our objectives.

• I am proud to say that one of our brothren Major General Tej Kishen Kaul GOC-HQ Maharashtra & Gujarat Area has been awarded ATI VISHISHT SEVA MEDAL (AVSM) on the eve of Republic Day 2004, for his 36 years of distinguished service. Our congratulations to him.

• Shri Anupam Kher, cine artiste and chief of Film Censor Board has been awarded Padma Shri along with others. Our congratulations to him also.

• Shri Sanjay Kaul, President Kashmiri Overseas Association USA, visited Kashyap Bhawan on 1st February 2004 and had interaction with our BOT members. The purpose was to explore the areas of cooperation and collaboration in preserving/ protecting/ promoting KP culture. After the discussions he was highly impressed by our “PROJECT ZAAN,” and other activities. In this meeting Shri N L Zutshi our past President was invited as special guest, who also gave a summary and laudable account of our Association from its inception to date.

• Navreh Mubarak to all.



Kashmiri Pandit NRIs

… P.N.Wali

Some time back we wrote about Kashmiri Pandits living in the Valley. The community, as it is now, consists of several geo-physical segments, besides those left back in the valley. Those in Jammu – migrants and non-migrants are segments in themselves, as are those living in Delhi and those living in other parts of the country. Another segment that has developed so fast lately, is of those living outside India – Kashmiri Pandit – NRIs. Considering the overall small size of the community, this segment has achieved a sizeable dimension. And their assertion in the community affairs, whether social, economical or political has achieved significance.

The NRI Kashmiri Pandits have always been in various parts of the world. These can be classified into those who migrated before exodus and those who migrated consequent upon the exodus and those who did so after the exodus but not necessarily as a direct consequence thereof. No doubt there are KPs who sought foreign shores on being displaced from Kashmir during 1990 or around. You can find number of these – who were professionals like doctors, engineers, teachers etc. back in the valley. You can find bigger number of our young men who migrated looking for better opportunities in foreign lands, as many enterprising people from whole of India have done during last decade or so. Those who migrate from India are usually of two levels. The upper crust i.e., professionals etc. and the lower level i.e. labour and technicians. KPs who have migrated are from the upper crust generally.

Though reason for migration is more often for greener pastures, yet it is a difficult step. You have to adjust to an alien atmosphere, adapt to different ways of work, and prove yourself better. Life is often tough and demanding – with very little of social support system we enjoy back home.

We must say with pride that KP young men and women who have found niche in foreign lands have done fairly well for themselves and made us generally proud. And above all they have generally not forgotten their roots. They make it a point to meet other members of our community and in almost all cases, formed their local associations, which form the nucleus of their social interaction. They continue with our customs and traditions. They observe our festivals, most often jointly. In USA they have a three day camp once in a year which is attended by people from different parts of USA (some times travelling more than a thousand miles). They savior our traditional cuisine and continue with it. Havans are jointly performed. Even marriages and yagnopavits have been performed. Interestingly some of these marriages have been within the boys and girls of our own community.

These people have shown remarkable understanding of the problems of the community as a whole. They have initiated actions. They have done a very good job in informing the international community about the realities of Kashmir situation, which even our government has not been able to do effectively. They have come with financial assistance for those back home who were deserving it the most. They have shown themselves involved in the affairs of the community as a whole. The websites run by them for Kashmir are an example of their intense interest.

I think it is time when body like AIKs could develop a formal and permanent connection with these brothers and sisters of the community who live in the world at large, which is shrinking so fast in the light of modern communication. They are a part of us and an important one, for that matter. An international directory of Kashmiri Pandits will go a long way to strengthen character and oneness of the community.
• • • • • •

From the Pages of History

1947-48 : Indo-Pak War

... J.N.Kachroo

Many questions in connection with the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war are still shrouded in mystry. For instance, the reasons why India did not carry out the war into Pakistan, as she did in 1965, have often been debated. The arguements for or against the decisions or the actions taken then are generally based on the relevant military developments. But we have seen in the last Kargil Conflict how international diplomacy works and influences the actions of even the sovereign nations. Nawaz Sharief was called to Washington to listen to President Clinton. India declared that she would not cross LOC either to chase the invaders or smash the supply centres of men and material on the other side of the line. Balanced answers to such questions may be available if the role of the British government and the British officers holding high offices in India and Pakistan is considered along with the military developments.

It must be noted that the British government had a unique position at the time of transfer of power. Washington had accepted the leading role of Britain in the area of India and Pakistan. Britain had the political will and opportunity to safeguard its long term interests in the region. Above all, Britain had absolute control on the services and supplies (military) in India and Pakistan. Thus the British government had the power to influence the course of events in the immediate post-partition period which included the Junagadh crisis and more so the 1947-48 Indo-Pak war.

Without prejudicing the opinions of the individual readers, certain facts, some well known and others recent revelations are presented hereunder. It is hoped that they may help to find the true answers to the questions shrouded in mystery.

A) Policy/Objectives of Britain: The plan for the partition of India into India and Pakistan was announced on 3rd June 1947. Earlier the hopes were that India would be one country after the British withdrawal. The policy makers of Britain started thinking of the British interests in India after her independence. The following recommendations/minutes will make the intentions of the British clear:

1. In July 1946, the British Indian Chiefs of Staff Committee thought India would be an important military base because of her 'almost inexhaustible supply of manpower, rapidly growing industrial capacity and geo-strategic value'. The UK Chiefs of Staff added to the above observations.

"If the Indian demand for withdrawal were extended to include all British personnel including those in the services of the Indian government, the fulfillment of any of our strategic requirements would be improbable. It is in our view essential that the Indian Government should be persuaded to accept the assistance of the necessary number of British personnel."

These recommendations of the two Committees were forwarded by the then Viceroy, F.M.Wavel to Pathic Lawrence, the Secretary of State for India in July 1946.

2. In October 1946, the India office advised the Chiefs of Staff Committee: "If India were to split into two or more parts, the Moslem areas and the states would probably be anxious to remain in Common Wealth (C.W).

3. Basing their calculations on Nehru's Foreign Policy pronouncements, the India office (London) advised the Dominion office: "We think it unlikely that India will wish to continue in C.W. at any rate as at present constituted.

4. On 13th March 1947, at a meeting of the India and Burma Committee of the Cabinet, attended by Mountbatten (Viceroy-designate), it was agreed that the Viceroy (of India) should encourage any moves that might be taken by Indian leaders in favour of continuation of India within C.W.

5. On March 24th 1947, Nehru said to Mountbatten, "India wished to retain friendly ties with Britain but she could not stay in the C.W.

6. On April 11th 1947, Liaquat Ali said to Mountbatten, "Pakistan would want to remain in the C.W. and require British officers in her armed forces.

7. Jinnah said to Mountbatten, "You must realise that Pak is almost certain to ask for dominion status within the empire."

8. On 12th May 1947, the Chiefs of Staff came to the conclusion that: "From the strategic point of view, there were overwhelming arguements in favour of W.Pakistan remaining in the C.W., namely, that we should obtain important strategic facilities, the part of Karachi, air bases and the support of Moslem manpower in the future; be able to ensure the continued integrity of Afghanistan and be able to increase our prestige and improve our position throughout the Moslem world ..."

In June 1947, an agreement was reached between the British authorities, the Congress and the Muslim League on a plan for transfer of power to two independent states, India and Pakistan. Both the new states would initially continue to be in the C.W. with dominion status.

B) Security Arrangements:

Note: i) India was in the grip of unprecedented communal riots before the partition plan was announced. ii) Millions of people migrated across the borders of the proposed two countries. iii) Law and order was entrusted to armed forces commanded by a British Officer.

In the wake of the agreement for partition of India, the following security arrangements were agreed upon:

1) Field Marshal (F.M.) Auchinleck was the Commander-in Chief (C in C) of the pre-independence Indian Army. He assumed the post of supreme commander of India and Pakistan on 15th August 1947. He presided over the division of military assets between India and Pakistan. Also, he exercised administrative control over British officers serving in the armed forces of India and Pakistan.

2) General Lockhart was the C in C of Indian Army from August to December 1947, when he was made to resign.

3) General Roy Bucher was the C in C of the Indian Army from 1949 to 1951.

4) General Douglas Gracey was Chief of Staff Pakistan Army in 1947-48 and C in C Pak Army 1949-51.

5) A Defence Committee of the Cabinet (Indian) was constituted on 15th Oct. 1947, with the Governor General, Lord Mountbatten as its Chairman, ostensibly to prevent any misunderstanding or action by the British officers, wittingly or unwittingly. This Committee played a vital role during the Kashmir operations.

6) Military Supplies: For both India and Pakistan, Britain was the leading overseas partner in trade, industry, finance, military equipment, spares and oil supplies.

7) Britain was largely responsible to shape western opinion about happenings in the two dominions.

Role of British Officers Defined:

1) On 28/29 July 1947, the Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten addressed the Provisional Defence Council attended by Jinnah, Liaquat Ali Khan and Sardar Patel. He made the following points:

a) General Ree's force had been tasked to put down disturbances. b) British officers were in every unit of force. c) They (the British officers) were the best safeguards against attempts to subvert troops. d) Their presence would refrain troops of the two dominions from fighting each other, since under no circu,stances could British officers be ranged on opposite sides.

2) Immediately after the transfer of power, F.M.Auchenleck, the Supreme Commander issued the following order which was already approved by Attlee:

"On receipt of the code word "Stand Down", all British officers and other ranks shall cease forthwith to take any part in the command and administration od armed forces in India and Pakistan.

Keeping the above mentioned Imperial Objectives and Security scenario in view, we might find dispassionate answers to contentious questions such as: Why did India not march into Pakistan; or why did India accept the cease-fire, etc.
(To be continued)

Ref: War and Diplomacy in Kashmir 1947-48 by C.Dasgupta.


Kiwi Fruit

... T. K. Khushu, Bangalore
It was originally named 'Chinese Gooseberry'. The fruit was grown in China as a wild plant. Newzealand introduced Chinese Gooseberry in that country and cultivated superior varieties of this fruit and named it 'Kiwi Fruit'.

It is also grown commercially in some European countries. Kiwi Fruit plants have been introduced in India and is successfully grown in Himachal Pradesh. Results are encouraging in Ramban of Doda District in Jammu, where plant material has been imported from Italy. At present, four varieties are existing at Advance Centre for Horticulture, Govindpora, Ramban, namely i) Haywards, ii) Alison, iii) Tomuri and iv) Abbott. Out of this, first three varieties were received from Italy and last one from Himachal Pradesh. The Kiwi Fruit plant is uni-sexual and hence requires a pollinizer, and Tomuri variety serves the purpose. Multiplication of Kiwi Fruit is in progress at Horticulture Farm ,Ramban, and at Zainpora, Shopian in Pulwama District of Kashmir.

How to serve and get creative with Kiwi Fruit:

1) Since Kiwi by itself is such an attractive and flavourable fruit, the best way to serve it is by itself.

2) You can eat the fuzzy skin on the outside of the fruit. The skin is very thin and just needs to be rinsed and rubbed lightly to dry. Then, cut in quarters like an apple and enjoy skin and all. It can also be eaten whole with the skin, once the fuzzy is rubbed off. 3) Another quick and simple way to eat Kiwi Fruit is to cut the fruit in half and eat it with a spoon. 4) It is easy to peel Kiwi Fruit. First cut off the top and bottom ends, then peel down the sides with vegetable peeler or knife. Now just slice or quarter into bit size pieces and enjoy its refreshing taste. 5) The fruit can be sliced into wheels and can be used to garnish a fruit salad. The fruit not only accents colour, but also provides a contrast in taste to the other items in salad. 6) Serve sliced Kiwi Fruit with roasted chicken or cheese tikkas as for inviting appetiser. 7) Combine Kiwi slices with banana, apple and other fruits and top with honey and curd or cream for an exciting fruit salad. 8) Kiwi Fruit emerald goodness is simply beautiful as a topping for ice creams, cakes and custards. 9) Put 2 or 3 Kiwi Fruits in a blender and mix with your favourite juice. Orange and pineapple compliment it well.

One serving of two medium sized Kiwi Fruit is:

1) An excellent source of Vitamin C, offering sixty mgs per serving. 2) A good source dietary fiber with 4 grams per serving. 16% of recommended dietary allowance (RDA). 3) A good source of Potassium, containing more than 10% RDA. 4) A good source of Vitamin E, which is extremely hard to find in low fat food sources. 5) A patent source of Antioxidants, containing a wealth of Phytonutrients including Carotenoids, Lutein, Phenolocs, Flavonoids and Chlorophyll. 6) A remarkably good complement of Aminoacids, the building blocks of protein. 7) Very low in Sodium and contains no Cholesterol virtually no fat. 8) A significant source of Folic acid, copper, Magnesium and Maganese, all of which are limited in the Indian diet. 9) far more nutritious than apple, with fewer calories. 10) More than twice as much as Vitamin C as in orange. 11) Having far more Potassium than a banana or citrus fruit. 12) Contains an enzyme called Actinidin, which makes Kiwi Fruit a wonderful meat tenderiser.



To Write or Not to Write

... J.L.Manwati

Over the years, Kashmiri Pandits' Association (KPA) has been embroiled in a Hamlet-like dilema 'whether to take a Political Stance or not', on a given situation viz-a-viz the fate of Kashmiri Pandits, particularly in the post-exodus era or to project its views about the political dispensation towards the community, because our Association is a Socio-Cultural Organisation and obviously a-political in character. Basically, all such welfare/charitable Trusts, Associations or Samitis have mandatory obligation, under the various Trust Acts obtainable in the country, to incorporate a provision in their constitution which ensures non-indulgence in any political activity.

When I took over as the President of KPA in 1998, the frequency of the violent outburst against our community had considerably ebbed down. But the massacre at Wondhama did send shivers down the spine of every Pandit wherever he was. The Kashmiri Associations/Samitis of all hues utilised all the avenues of protestation against the barbaric and dastardly act.

But, we at KPA Mumbai fettered by the Constitutional limitations couldn't give vent to our seething wrath in any vociferous form. The Association had to remain content with a 'Resolution' passed at its BOT meeting, no doubt with all consternation. Simultaneously, when I learnt that Kashmiri Samiti, Delhi (KSD) had made its presence felt on the issue by aggressive posture in the Capital, I asked Shri Gadoo, the then President of KSD as to how they transgress blatantly the constitutional limitations by taking such political overtures. In an obdurate manner he said, ' ...at such times, we shelve the constitutional provisos in the shelves of KSD office'.

It made me ponder. Are we Kashmiri Pandits in Mumbai more law abiding, or have we grown thick-skinned, or, are we a disillisioned lot? These thoughts kept perturbing me, till one day, I was invited by an NGO in Mumbai to be part of a 'seminar on Kashmir', where Director of Information of US Embassy in Delhi was the chief guest. Trying to unshackle myself from the constitutional fetters, I prepared a matter-of-fact and a hard hitting brief on the plight of Kashmiri Pandits diaspora which contained candid illustrations fully supported by media gleanings for its veracity, as to what brought situation in the Valley to such a sordid mess which forced Kashmiri Pandits to flee the Valley. A day before, when I was supposed to interact with the US Embassy official, I read out the excerpts of the brief to Shri Moti Kaul and Shri P.N.Wali, both Ex-Presidents of KPA to seek their opinion. Looking at Wali Sahib, Shri Moti Kaul, an ardent and vocal proponent of Panun Kashmir, remarked, "Wali Sahib, were we ever such audicious"? My soaring spirits hit the nether.

Now-a-days almost all the official organs/publications of various Kashmiri samitis do take liberty to write, discuss, debate and even pass judgements on the political situation of the State viz-a viz Kashmiri Pandits except KPA Mumbai, which keeps such contentious issues at barge-pole distance.

Let us deliberate upon this aspect. Do these write-ups, deliberations, political workshops/seminars contributed or organised by those Constitutionaly-appointed or self-appointed bodies make any dent on the thinking of the Government of India or the State Government. Or do such exercises help to ameliorate the conditions of KPs in any manner? Looking at the track-record, the answer is big 'No'. Such steps, however, one would agree, help to broaden the vision of thinking people but in terms of tangible results nothing substantial is achieved.

The most crucial and focal point of discussion these days within the community revolves around 'Whether the time is appropriate for KPs to return to the Valley'? There is no unanimity on the issue within the various Pandit outfits. Mufti Sarkar has already created a cluster of 300 flats in District Badgam for rehabilitation of KPs, which still continues to be No. 2 militant infested area after Pulwama/Shopian in Anantnaag district. The government is trying to allure Pandits with all sorts of baits so that it could claim even a minimal success in their professed rehabilitation plans. 35 KP families, it is said, have already filed their affidavits with the State government showing their willingness to return. Come March/April, Government may exercise pressure on the government servants who are recepient of Migrant Salary to resume their duties in Srinagar in the first place. But the government itself is wary if their policy would have the desired effect. It is unfortunate that KPs do not have an effective and united political outfit which could have taken initiative and discussed thread-bare the pros and cons of the 'Return' with the government. Our dissensions within our community is our bane.

Panun Kashmir (Agnishekhar) and Panun Kashmir (Chrangoo) factions hold almost similar views to the 'Return Phenomena', yet, this site attitudinal differences at the implementation level. A slogan 'Clandistine Reversal of Exodus' has been thrown up by Dr. Agnishekhar. But isn't Dr. Agnishekhar concious that the fissiparous tendency within the 'Panun Kashmir' as such, has encouraged the Government to engage its agents to rope in Kashmiri Pandits disillusioned with their leadership.

I think KPA Mumbai is better off remaining a-political in its character; for, politics in general is murky and let KPA refrain from making it murkier.

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