Settlement of Displaced Kashmiri Pandits – plan with trouble

Settlement of Displaced Kashmiri Pandits – the plan spells trouble already.
Dec 1, 2014
In India, the longstanding mission of Bharatiya Janata Party regarding the resettlement of Kashmiri Pandits is becoming a national priority. Jammu and Kashmir’s Chief Minister Mr. Omar Abdullah, has apparently detailed the plan that calls for allocating 840 hectares (approximately 2075 Acres ) of land in various parts of the State, for the construction of securitized “satellite colonies” for those forcibly displaced in 1989, due to the rise of militancy in Kashmir Valley.
The noble goal of resettling those displaced, two decades ago, seems good in theory, but what is wrong is the following:
Any plan to bring back members of any ethnic community, especially those forced out by members of another ethnic group, should focus on reconciliation and co-existence of both communities in the new setting.
The plan to house the returning families into the newly built securitized colonies, defeats the purpose of reconciliation and overcoming of hostilities. Such a plan is not a solution, but rather it will make the returning families a target of renewed attacks. Separate settlement exclusively meant to house this community is encouraging communalism, a form of structural violence.
In addition, those returning will never enjoy the feeling of having ‘come home’ to their ancestral lands. The unintended consequences of such a plan are enormous, just like the consequences of having kept them in the Mini Township in Jagti camps. The narratives of my research participants suggests that having been isolated from the mainstream Jammu had deprived the displaced community from socio-economic opportunities, enjoyed by the Jammu residents.
Sudha Rajput
Dec 1, 2014

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