Kashmiri Pandits in Lucknow celebrate scrapping of Article 370
“None of our three generations (father, myself and my children) could ever live in Kashmir. But now it feels that the dream of owning a small property in the Valley and living there as a Kashmiri may come true,” said Prof AP Tikku, former president, Kashmiri Association in Lucknow and senior faculty KGMU, who’s father had left Kashmir during partition.
His father Capt Puran Prakash Tikku left Lahore in 1947 and came to Kashmir. But a few days later, he realised that he might be compelled to migrate further as he was not sure about Srinagar being a part of India or Pakistan.
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“My father joined the flying club of Maharaja of Jaipur and then came to Lucknow, where I and my two brothers were born. Similarly, my son and daughter too are born here. Neither of the three generations lived in Kashmir,” said Prof Tikku.
“Whenever I went to a college in Kashmir as an external examiner, I felt I was not in India. I believe things will change now,” he emphasised.
Anuradha Chak, an academician who hails from the Valley but lives in Lucknow, said: “I am absolutely ecstatic over the scrapping of Article 370. Now, we will be looked upon as Indians. We feel that our dignity has been restored and our refugee status has gone. We will have a place that we can call our homeland and can purchase property there.”
“The government’s decision gives us reason to jubilate. May there be everlasting peace and prosperity for all in Kashmir. The government should grant on priority, land at subsidised rates to all Kashmiri Pandits who suffered losses during various stages of migration,” said Sudhakar Adeeb, retired PCS officer and writer.
Deepak Kachru, a Kashmiri businessman here, said there was a big celebration at his house in Mahanagar that was graced by other Kashmiri Pandits based in Lucknow.
MUSLIMS FROM VALLEY WORRIED ABOUT KIN
Muslims from the Valley living in Lucknow did not seem happy over the development, saying the government’s decision was arbitrary. Many claimed that they were unable to get in touch with their kin in J&K as mobile and Internet services had been jammed in that state.
“The foremost duty of the law makers is to protect the people of the state. Reducing J&K to colonies and passing order on Article 370 by house arresting Kashmiri leaders is not a solution,” said a Kashmiri Muslim residing in Lucknow.
“The BJP can make announcements, but what about those whom they have put under curfew?” asked a Muslim woman hailing from the Valley.