PROFESSOR POOJA NEGI
Lal Ded, a 14th century famous Kashmiri poetess composed a beautiful poem which seems apt to describe the condition of Kashmiri Pandit: “...Like water in cups of unbaked clay I run to waste, Would God I were to reach my home!” Kashmiri Pandits are in search of their ‘home’. This home has multiple meanings- physical as well as psychological.
According to Indu Kilam,”Memory (for Kashmiri Pandits) has become a lens through which they see the present and acts as a foundation stone for them to pave new ways for themselves.” Their memories help them to look at the past and construct a better future. To explain in Salman Rushdie’s words, “an endless paradox looking forward by looking back”. Their identity as Kashmiri Pandits is associated with the pain and trauma which they faced in the valley. They consciously try to reconstruct their identities as well as their relationship with the political state.There is an attempt to retain some attributes of Panditness yet at the same time they are aware that the probability of returning ‘home’ is negligent.
“Some years ago, an elderly Kashmiri Pandi, who had migrated to Udhampur was on his death bed.His last wish was that he wanted to go back to Kasmir..He was a generation strongly connected to Kashmir...”6(Why Kasmiri Pandits may never return to Kahmir:Raj Moza)This anecdote reveals the yearning to return home. Though there is a misconception about second generation migrants.It is often