A Hindu temple left in ruin in a central Srinagar locality but preserved by local Muslims in the absence of anyone to look after it has been formally handed over to a community group of Kashmiri pandits.
A statement issued by the Kashmir Pandit Sangarash Samiti (KPSS here said, "We at Kashmir Pandit Sangarash Samiti feel honoured by the stand taken by the local Muslims to save the temple. This clearly indicates that due to the few unscrupulous elements the whole community or society gets involved."
Who did they save it from? Terrorists? Others from the majority Muslim community? If it was left in ruin, why did the Muslims preserve it? Did they also preserve homes of the pandits? If they did, why is that not highlighted? And if they did not, then what is so important about the temple? I ask this because it is said that with assurances from the local mosque management committee some people have relocated “to the area to take the control of the temple”.
Who is this mosque committee and is it running the state? Who has given it the right to decide whether it can keep anything and anyone safe? What if it fails to do so? Will the strong pandit lobby again start on ‘Kashmiris and their Pakistani affiliation’? Does it take one temple to bridge a divide that was cleverly manipulated by politicians?
And is this organisation (KPSS) the representative of all Kashmiri pandits that it can ‘take over’ the temple? What if other groups want a share of the godly pie? What if they have a different opinion? Why is it emphaised in the report that the Muslims chose a Friday to hand over the temple? Because, it is an important holy day and there would be peole gathered for prayers and they wanted mileage. Simple.
It is all about garnering mileage. One pandit spokesperson even said:
“This will be known as the best example of the traditional bonds between the two communities have not fallen apart completely and there is hope and chance revive it completely provided.”
Is such a gesture evidence of a traditional bond? Do the pandits forget that many of their homes were in fact preserved, just as many were destroyed, along with those of the others? Do they forget that they got a not-too-bad deal from the respective governments? Do they forget that the Panun Kashmir group was separatist in nature? The bonds ought to be deeper than this exchange of temples and mosques when people are being killed everyday.
What has to be revived is trust and that won’t come with some fellows from either side playing footsie with various establishment types. The local population is a helpless witness in most cases. Therefore, I’d like to know who is manipulating this from behind closed doors.