Margshirsh Shukla 7 Vik Samvat 2068, Yugabda 5113: December 1, 2011

1. FESTIVALS:  Glimpse of Buddhist heritage: To celebrate 2,600 years of commemoration of Buddha’s enlightenment and to create awareness about Buddhism as a part of Bharat’s tradition, Global Buddhist Congregation 2011 in support with Ashoka Mission and Ministry of External Affairs, Government of Bharat organised a four day-long cultural fest “Buddhist Heritage Festival”, which was inaugurated on November 24 at the India Habitat Centre.
The festival brought together Buddhist art through a host of cultural activities including chham dance, butter sculptures, sand mandala by monks from Himachal Pradesh, a book fair with 2,000 Buddhism related theme books by foreign and Bharatiya authors, a joint photography exhibition, showcasing Buddhism in everyday life, a folk performance by a dance troupe from Nepal, and musical performance from Dharma Bums, a pop group from United States.
It’s the first time that the festival brought together 900 Buddhist activists and leaders from all over the world. The festival also inaugurated Global Buddhist Congregation 2011, followed by the panel discussion, talks, and seminars by these leaders as a collective response to resolve global challenges violence, environment degradation, science and technology. The festival concluded on November 30 with an unveiling of a coffee table book Sharnam Gacchami: An Album of Awakening by His Holiness Dalai Lama.
2. SARSANGHACHALAK VISITS CANNING ALONG BANGLADESH BORDER: RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat addressed a modest gathering of over 2,000 swayamsevaks and 8,000 general public at Canning Town in border district of South 24 Parganas in West Bengal on November 6. In his speech he stressed the need to undertake Hindutva as guiding philosophy for humanity in achieving world peace and prosperity.
He also called upon the swayamsevaks and the public at large to keep vigil on the anti-national forces from both outside and within the country.
3.  DATTATREYA HOSABALE IN WEST INDIES: RSS Saha Sarkaryavah Dattatreya Hosabale addressed the students and faculties of Medical Sciences at University of Trinidad and Tobaggo on ‘Role of Hindu Youth in current global scenario’ during his visit in Diwali this year. Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh and Movement for encouragement of Dharmik Services (MEDS) organized the event. Dattaji emphasized the role of youth in creative change, transformation and revolution adding that Rama, Krishna from Bharatiya epics, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela of 20th century contributed to the society when they were youth as this is the only age which has the courage to question the society and to work for it. Ganga Bisoon, President of Movement for encouragement of Dharmik Services (MEDS), welcomed the gathering. Dr Shivananda Nayak form Manipal Karnataka, Arati Pandit were present during the event.
4. COMMUNAL VIOLENCE BILL: A THREAT TO NATIONAL INTEGRATION: A seminar under the aegis of Social Cause (a registered society) and Pragna Bharati was held at Keshav Memorial Academic Campus, Hyderabad on 14th November 2011 on the proposed bill namely, “Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparation) Bill. The speakers were former union minister Arif Mohd. Khan, RSS Central Executive member Ram Madhav, former IPS Anjaneya Reddy, Andhra Bhoomi editor M. V. R. Sastry, and Prajna Bharati chairman Dr. T. Hanuman Chowdary.
Dr.Hanuman Chowdary at the outset questioned the sanctity of constitution of National Advisory Committee since it is not constituted under the law. He said that one danger of the proposed bill is that the Central Government can straightaway impose Rashtrapati Rule in a State not subservient to it under the pretext of any small communal clash  in any part of the country.
Ram Madhav said that the Government shirked its responsibility by outsourcing the job of drafting the bill to a committee consisting of 14 intellectuals with Smt. Sonia Gandhi as president who is permanent both in party and committee and that there is no chance of impartiality with this bill since as per clause 2(c) and 2(e) only majority groups will resort to communal violence and minority groups alone are victims.
Arif Mohd. Khan called the proposed bill as a vote-grabbing exercise while M.V.R. Sastry recalled the vision of Sri Shyama Prasad Mukerji who opposed the separate constitution for Jammu & Kashmir. Shri Anjaneya Reddy also spoke about the illegality of the bill.
5. JASHODA SADAN; ‘GOKUL’ FOR CYCLONE-HIT CHILDREN: Man is helpless in front of the nature’s fury. However, the ability to recover every time from the extreme situations distinguishes a human being from other animals. It is, therefore, said that being human is more important than a human being. Jashoda Sadan has stood true to this fact by rehabilitating children hit by the devastating cyclone of 2009 that destroyed a number of lives in Orissa. Located in the city of Cuttack, Jashoda Sadan has a three storeyed building equipped with modern facilities that house 65 cyclone-hit children who earlier were left helpless to starve under a pitiless sky, without a roof over their heads and scanty clothes to cover their bodies.
All the children attend the public schools nearby. Festivals and holidays celebrated at Jashoda Sadan help the children learn about the history and culture of Bharat.
The children are encouraged to maintain a hygienic atmosphere in the premises. Children are encouraged to take initiative in creative activities like art, music and dance. Annual study tours and picnics are arranged twice a year so that the children can visit different places in Odisha. Along with the regular curriculum, vocational training is also provided so as to boost their earning confidence.
6.   Marching ahead -''It’s a quantum leap in missile technology.'': The successful launch of the Agni-IV missile from the Odisha coast has taken Bharat to the doors of the exclusive inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) club. Scientists and engineers of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and other agencies associated with the programme and the country at large can be proud of the achievement.
Though the working of the DRDO has generally left much to be desired, it has done good work in some areas. Development of missile technology is one of them. The development and improvement of missile technology has paralleled the progress made in the refinement of space technology which has helped the country to become a member of the space club also. This is no surprise because the technologies are related. The success of Agni-IV has set the stage for the launch of Agni-V, which is expected to be tested in February.
Agni-V will mark a quantum leap because it will be an ICBM with a range of over 5000 km. There has been a steady progress from a small technology demonstrator missile based on SLV-3 through various versions like Agni-II and Agni-III  to the present stage. 
Agni-III, tested in 2007, has a range of over 3500 km and Agni-IV is bigger and has a longer range. The proposed next version will not only have a longer range but will also have systems that provide better navigation and greater accuracy. Agni-V missiles can carry multiple nuclear warheads and can be transported by road and launched from mobile platforms.
All this makes it an effective deterrent. After Agni-V is tested, it will take about three years for it to be made operational and inducted into the armed forces. With Agni-V about to be a reality, it is sometimes noted that Bharat will have the capability to strike even the farthest part of China in the event of hostilities.
While this may be true this only has a theoretical value because no one expects a clash with China or any other country. Bharat has a nuclear doctrine which has willingly abjured first use. There is also a cap on the range of missiles in the present strategic environment.  But the missile programme, as it is envisaged now, is necessary to protect the growing economic and other interests of the country.  (Editorial, The Deccan Herald, 30 November 2011)
7. RAVIKUMARJI’s PRAVAS IN AUSTRALIA: During the recent pravas Shri Ravikumar ji, sah samyojak – Vishwa Vibhag participated and addressed many functions and visited several karyakarta houses.  HSS Australia - Manthana released a well studied book on Mathematician Ramanujam at a colourful function in Sydney on 4th November. It is authored by Prof. Dr. Srinivas of University of Sydney. Ravi Kumar spoke on Hindus contribution to Mathematics from the ancient Vedic period till today. Mathematics Professor Mike Hirschhorn graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and spoke about the ingenuity of Srinivasa Ramanujam wherein he highlighted that only two of the 400 theorems of Srinivasa Ramanujam has been solved by the world till date.
Diwali Mega Mela of over 10,000 Hindus was celebrated in Sydney. Ma.Raviji spoke about the significance of Diwali and Hinduism to the modern world in bringing peace. These festivities were attended by ministers and MPs belonging to both ruling and opposition parties of Federal and New South Wales State governments. This event is organised annually by "Hindu Council of Australia".
Diwali celebrations in Australian Federal Parliament, Canberra was also a proud moment for the Hindu community of Australia. Ministers, MPs from different parties and many prominent Hindus from different cities of Australia graced this occasion. Earlier similar Diwali celebration was held at the State parliament of New South Wales.
8.  BHARAT MADE AFGHAN RAIL LINK TO IRAN TO COUNTER PAK-CHINA NEXUS: Chabahar port on the Sistan-Balochistan province in Iran is being developed aiming to make Iran an important transit State for access to Central Asia.  Bharat’s shipping secretary K Mohandas will soon head to Iran  for talks with his Iranian counterpart. This will be the first high-level delegation to visit Iran over the port in a while. Sources also said Chabahar could be a “multimodal link” port as The Chahbahar-Bam Link that will help in establishing link to Russia via Iran.
Experts feel that in the backdrop of the Sino-Bharatiya rivalry in the Arabian Sea, the port will give strategic depth to Bharat in Afghanistan. With Beijing developing strategic Gwadar port, which is intended to give China access to the Bharatiya Ocean, Chabahar will connect Bharat to landlocked Afghanistan and counter the Dragon.
With this in mind, Bharat has also planned to construct a 900-km railway line that will connect the Bharat -built Chabahar port with Hajigak region of Afghanistan, which contains one of the world’s largest iron ore reserves. The move is set to distress Pakistan as the rail link will provide Bharat greater room for manouevering in Afghanistan.
9. Akaash tablets fuel global interests: With the government all set to initiate the process for acquiring 10 lakh more Akaash tablets priced at Rs 2,276 each, there has been an international interest in the low-cost machine.
Panama has approached the Bharatiya Embassy there to buy one lakh units of Akaash. Even Philadelphia - the sixth largest US state in terms of Gross Domestic Product - has shown interest in the product.
The ministry has written to vice-chancellors of state, private and central universities and state chief secretaries explaining the scheme, especially the fact that with 50% subsidy provided by the Central government, a student has to pay only Rs 1, 138 for a tablet. It has also asked all states to spell out their requirements. States have been told to give their suggestions on technical specifications, subsidy and distribution of tablets.
10.  A rich haul for bharatiya students at Rhodes scholarship: The highly-acclaimed Rhodes Scholarships programme has selected five Bharatiyas and five Bharatiya Americans for its class of 2012.
They are among 83 students chosen from about 20 participating countries across the world for the post-graduate scholarships to study at Oxford University, with each scholarship averaging about $50,000 a year.
The five students selected from Bharat are: Vrinda Bhandari from National Law School of India University, Bangalore; Akul Dayal from IIT Delhi; Nikita Kaushal from University of Pune; Amit Kumar from IIT Roorkee and Sujit Thomas from St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi.
The Bharatiya American students, who are among 32 selected from the US, include three from Stanford University: Aysha N. Bagchi, Anand R. Habib and Ishan Nath. The other two are Mohit Agrawal from Princeton University and Nabeel N. Gillani from Brown University.
11.  Vaman Drishti Mahashivir by Vidya Bharati in Indore: -“The people who have chosen the tedious path of social service, should not turnaround in midway; that is the rule of the game,” said RSS Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat while recently inaugurating a teachers training camp of Vidya Bharati in Indore. The two-day camp, Vaman Drishti Mahashivir, was organised on the occasion of silver jubilee of the Saraswati Vidya Pratishthan. About 11,000 teachers, who have vowed to teach the children in rural and Vanvasi areas for next few years, participated in the camp.
Addressing the teachers Shri Bhagwat said first you may face opposition and criticism. But the next will come praise. Recalling the triumph story of Vaman, Vishnu’s avatar, over the king Bali, Shri Bhagwat said Vaman did not ask for himself but asked for the society and the humanity at large.  
12.  HINDUISM SPREADS IN GHANA, REACHES TOGO: From just two dozen people in the mid 1970s to 3,000 families now, Hinduism is spreading fast in Ghana and has also made its way into neighbouring Togo. Hindu worship began to grow in Ghana after African spiritual leader, Essel ji, was initiated by Swami Krishnanda ji Saraswati into the Holy Order of Renunciation in 1976, the first ever Hindu monastery has been built in Ghana and it is from here that Hinduism is spreading. The monastery annually holds six weeks' training for those interested to become devotees.
13.  Discuss security of Hindus in Pakistan, VHP tells CENTRE: -In the wake of the killing of three Hindus in Sindh province in Pakistan, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on November 18 asked Bharat Sarkar to take up the issue of the security of the minority community with officials in Islamabad.
The Pakistan government should hold a probe and arrest the accused involved in the massacre of three Hindu doctors at Shikarpur district, VHP president Ramakant Dubey demanded. He also criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for not raising the issue with his Pakistan counterpart Yusuf Raza Gilani at the SAARC conference.
14. YOUTH SEMINAR AT PANTNAGAR : Vivekanand Swadhyay Mandal and Sankritic Chetna parishad, G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar in collaboration with SEWA International are organising a two days International Youth Conference on Youth for Integral Humanism on 12-13 Jan 2012 in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, Bharat.
 The conference organised to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda is expected to attract about 400 scholars and youth, many from abroad. For details, please visit
15. INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR OF COOPERATIVES: Sahakar Bharati jointly with the Goernment of Madhya Pradesh and in collaboration with Rambhau Mhalgi Prabodhini is organizing International Conference as a part this International Year of Cooperatives. The Conference of Co-operatives will be held on 9th & 10th February, at Bhopal with the theme ‘Co-operatives for Economic and Social Change.’
Former Union Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhu will be the Mentor and the Chief Organizer of this Conference and Shri Rama Jois, a scholar and former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court will deliver a Keynote address on the topic – Bharat’s Contribution To Co-Operative Thought.
16.  Hind Swaraj ki Ananat Yatra RELEASED - Nation is still paying the price of Nehru’s blunders—KS Sudarshan: -“Nobody can question the role of Mahatma Gandhi in awakening the society. He exhorted people many times through his agitations. People thronged jails on his just one call. But his biggest mistake was to select Pt Jawaharlal Nehru as his successor. The nation is still paying a heavy price for Nehru’s blunders,” said former RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri KS Sudarshan while releasing a book, Hind Swaraj ki Anant Yatra, in New Delhi on November 19. The function was organised by Pragya Sansthan. Written by Ajay Kumar Upadhyaya the book has been published by Prabhat Prakashan. Senior journalist Shri Jawaharlal Kaul and noted Gandhian thinker Dr Ramji Singh were also present on the occasion.
17.  IIT-B to add Chinese to its courses: Students at the Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) will now learn to speak Mandarin. The premier institute at Powai is planning to offer a course in the language for its students. Not only will they learn the language, but also about the social set-up and work culture in China.Universities from China are showing interest in collaborating with IIT-B and the institute sees a growing opportunity for its students in terms of higher education, placements and business opportunities.
The international relations office in IIT-B is finalizing the course in collaboration with faculty from a university in Beijing.
18. Gujaratis learn Chinese, Japanese: In Gujarat, good economics decides which language Gujaratis speak. As chief minister Narendra Modi looks to China and far-east countries, including Japan, for investment, youngsters from the state are queuing up to learn Chinese and Japanese in big numbers. While private Chinese classes are running full batches for the first time, Gujarat Vidyapith has started its first-ever Japanese course, giving into its growing demand.
Lavanya Trivedi, one of few teachers who can give lessons in both Chinese and Japanese, says she has personally coached over 70-odd people in recent times Surat's diamantaires are mastering Chinese to acquire a share of the Chinese diamond polishing industry pie.
19.  Meditation can help school students beat stress: Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique can significantly decrease psychological distress in public school students, according to a new study. The finding suggests a simple stress-reducing meditation technique could be a viable solution to increasing stress among students.
The study, conducted with at-risk minority secondary school students, showed a 36 per cent reduction in overall psychological distress. Significant decreases were also found in trait anxiety and depressive symptoms.
A total of 106 secondary school students in Washington took part in the study. Results showed that over a four-month period, students practising Transcendental Meditation as part of their schools’ Quiet Time programme exhibited significant reductions in psychological distress factors compared to controls.
20. ADVANI CONCLUDES YATRA: Senior BJP leader LK Advani’s 40-day long Jan Chetna Yatra culminated in Delhi on 20th November 2011. Addressing a grand rally at Ramlila Maidan on the occasion, Advani targeted the UPA government on corruption, black money and price rise.
21. SRI EKADASHA RUDRA JAPAM: SYDNEY: Vishva Hindu Parishad of Australia organized Sri Ekadasha Rudra Japam at Shri Shiv Mandir, Minto (NSW), Australia on November 13, 2011 for World Peace and Harmony. Sydney Shiva devotees witnessed such an event for 3 years in a row at the temple premises.  On this occasion, more than 40 Rithviks participated and chanted Sri Rudram and Chamaka Anuvaakaas.  More than 250 devotees, alongwith Shri Chamu Krishna Shastry, the co-founder and Director of the Samskrita Bharati movement, witnessed the chanting event which was followed by Sri Rudra Homam and Abhishekam for Lord Shiva. Many students from Sydney Veda Patasala participated and chanted Sri Rudram.
22.  HSS NJ VIBHAG SAKHI SAMMELAN: This year Sakhi Sammelan was held on Nov 19th 2011 at PAL Center, Parsippany, NJ  The Parichay Khel, sampada, Sanghik geet "Sangh Kiran Ghar Ghar Dene Ko…" recited by Prasannaji, Yoga, Samata, Veer Ras kavitha based on Jhansi Ki Rani’s real life story, the pregnancy game, karyashala and subhashitham were attractions of the sammelan. In the boudhik session, Dr. Sai Patil, HSS national sevika pramukh, talked about how shakha for the women was started by Vandaneeya Mausiji and how she emphasized in developing the qualities of motherhood, efficiency and leadership to the sevikas by taking examples of Rani Jhansi for leadershp, Ahalyabai for effeciency and Jijabai for motherhood.
23.   MoEF to dish out free visas to bharat-bound foreign scholars: The foreign ministry has decided to grant gratis (free of cost) visa to all foreign academics and research scholars, including those from Pakistan and China, who are invited to Bharat by Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA). No consular fee is charged for a gratis visa.
Those seeking research visas have to apply at least six weeks ahead of the date of their departure to Bharat. As per revised guidelines participants from other countries can obtain conference visa from the Bharatiya mission concerned on production of invitation letter from the organiser, event clearance from the home ministry, administrative approval of the nodal ministry, political clearance from the ministry of external affairs and clearance from the state government and Union Territories concerned.
24. ANTI-BHARAT REMARKS: PIL AGAINST ARUNDHATI ROY: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by three Kashmiri Pandits- Vijay Kumar Kashkari, Ajay Kumar Bhat and Vir Ji Saraf was admitted by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on November 22 against writer turned activist Arundhati Roy for her anti-Bharat remarks made during a recent seminar at Asia Society in New York.  "Kashmir is one of the most protracted and bloody occupations in the world and one of the most ignored," she had said at the seminar.
25.  NRIs can invest up to $10 bn in IDFs: The Reserve Bank has said non resident investors will be allowed to invest up to US $10 billion in Infrastructure Debt Funds (IDFs), a move that will help in channelising funds for the infra sector which needs about $1 trillion during the 12th Plan period (2012-17).
"All non-resident investment in the securities would be subject to a lockin period of three years. However, all non-resident investors can trade amongst themselves within this lockin period of three years," the notification said.
26.  US REMOVES MAPS SHOWING PoK AS PART OF PAKISTAN FROM WEBSITE: The US State Department has pulled out from its website the maps of both Bharat and Pakistan, as they showed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as part of Pakistan. Under its A-Z list of countries, the website carries profiles and maps of all countries with which the US has diplomatic relations.
27. Sikhs can carry Kirpan into London Olympic venues: Sikh athletes and spectators will be allowed to wear ceremonial daggers into 2012 London Olympic venues, despite the intense security arrangements, as part of a multi-faith approach to the Games. Organisers have recruited 193 chaplains, representing nine faiths, to assist some 17,000 athletes and officials attending the Games as well as up to 200,000 staff and volunteers and 20,000 media. The International Olympic Committee requested facilities for five faiths - Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists -- but London 2012 organisers have added Sikh, Zoroastrian, Jain and Baha'i to the list.
28.  bharat’s longest distance train flagged off: Union Minister of State for DoNER (development of North Eastern region) Paban Singh Ghatowar on Nov 19 flagged off Bharat’s longest distance travelling train, Dibrugarh-Kanniyakumari Vivek Express at Dibrugarh Railway Station.
The weekly train (15905/15906) will travel a distance of 4,286 kilometres from Dibrugarh railway station to Kanniyakumari through the states of West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The train will reach its destination in about 82.30 hours.
29. PAKISTAN FLOOD RELIEF APPEAL: Devastating floods in Pakistan caused by torrential rains have inundated southern Sindh province and destroyed more than one million homes. Among 7.5 million people affected, more than three million are critically short of food. Death and despair lurk everywhere as no relief is in sight.
Sewa USA is working through Hare Rama Foundation, a local, registered non-profit organization based in Punjab, Pakistan. Registered with the Government of Pakistan as a non-governmental and non-profit organization, Hare Rama Foundation focuses on providing education in rural areas, creating awareness on gender and women rights and building interfaith harmony.
SEWA International seeks generous donations   for helping Pakistan’s flood victims. Sewa USA will match the donations it receives for this cause, dollar-to-dollar, up to 5000 dollars. For more info please contact
30. BHARAT BEATS CHINA IN UN ELECTION: Bharat's permanent representative to the UN in Geneva, A. Gopinathan, on Nov 22 defeated Zhang Yan, the controversial Chinese ambassador to Bharat by 106 votes to 77 in a straight contest to win a seat on the Joint Inspection Unit, the UN's oversight body, for a five-year term starting Jan 1, 2013. Bharat has served only once on the JIU, 35 years ago, from 1968 to 1977.
31.  Saraswati Samman presented to Kannada author Bhyrappa: Eminent Kannada author SL Bhyrappa was on November 16 honoured with the Saraswati Samman in literature for his epic novel 'Mandra', his musical take on the question of art against morality and other philosophies of life. The Saraswati Samman is given away by the KK Birla Foundation to a work published in the last 10 years picked up from among the works published in 25 Bharatiya languages.
SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Ravikumar, sah samyojak Vishwa Vibhag returned Bharat after his tour to Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Visitors: Shashi Bhushan Prasad, Shriniwas Penumaka - USA, Bhuvnesh ji – Mauritius.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. – Gautam Buddha

Jai Shri Ram


Vijay Kranti
Time is a great healer. But wounds left unattended, ignored and exposed can lead to unending pain and agony. The case of over two million refugees from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) residing in and outside Jammu & Kashmir is a sad, but perfect example. Despite being a part of the 12.5 million refugees who crossed over from other parts of undivided India during partition in 1947, they are still waiting to get their due identity and be treated as equal children of their home state.
As this community completes its 64 years of uprooting from their home towns of Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Kotli, Bhimbar and Dev Batala etc. of PoK on 25th November this week, its members have yet to be accepted even as 'refugees' by either of their two host governments, the Central government in New Delhi or the State government of J&K. They feel cheated more for the reason that despite Bharatiya and J&K governments' failure to depute police or Army to take possession of their respective towns,  it was this community who kept Bharat's flag high for over three months after independence in their respective towns in PoK till the last week of November. In this most unfortunate chapter of Bharat-Pakistan partition, this community witnessed a dreaded holocaust which left more than 50 thousand Bharatiya citizens killed at the hands of invading Pakistan Police raiders and their tribal allies. That too at a time when the heat of post-partition violence had long cooled down in the rest of country and the Indian government was in full control of the nation.
Quite a few of them were forcibly pushed out to adjoining Punjab by the Sheikh Abdullah's government for the fear that these migrants would 'dilute Kashmiriyat' in the State. Many among this community of 'PoK Migrants' have melted away on their own to other parts of Bharat in search of better future. Some others have been able to develop fresh roots on their own in the Jammu region of the state. However, a few hundred thousand are still cursed to live sub-human life and are languishing in 39 shanty refugee settlements of 1947 era in Jammu and surrounding areas.
However, all three sections of this community are facing a perpetual denial of facilities and compensation that they should have received as 'refugees'. The main logic extended by the State government to justify denial of 'refugee' status to PoK migrants is that since Government of India considers PoK as an 'integral part of Bharat' hence these migrants from PoK cannot be treated as 'refugees' of country's partition. Further, referring to their 'non refugee' status the State government has adopted a policy of denying them any compensation in settlement of claims for their properties they left behind in their home towns and villages of PoK in 1947. Interestingly, the central government too has kept the PoK migrant communities out of the purview of 1954 Rehabilitation Board that was assigned to provide cash compensation for the assets which 8 million refugees from West and East Pakistan on the ground that it will dilute Bharat's claim over POK.
In 1966 when the World Bank sponsored Mangla Dam was constructed by Pakistan in Mirpur in PoK, the Mirpuri refugees in India were not allowed by the State government of J&K to collect cash compensation for their properties, submerged in the dam, which the Bank provided to all land and house owners of the dam area.
Interestingly, the State Government of J&K passed the 'Resettlement Act 1982' which gives legal rights to the Kashmiris, who had migrated to Pakistan in 1947, to return to J&K and claim their original properties and to settle in the State. This has obviously irked the PoK migrants. "The State government has all the heart for those Kashmiris who opted for Pakistan in 1947. It has even expressed desire to offer jobs and rehabilitation to pro-Pakistan Kashmiri terrorists who sneaked into Pakistan to take anti-India arms training in terror camps. But it has no word of sympathy for the Hindu and Sikh refugees from PoK," complains Mr. Rajiv Chunni, Chairman of SOS International, an organization campaigning for human and civil rights of PoK migrant communities.
Knowing the ground situation in J&K, a large majority of PoK migrants who shifted further to other parts of India, have practically lost their status as the 'State Subjects' of J&K. This section of the community sees feeble chances of returning to their home state some day in future. In the absence of 'State Subject' status they do not even qualify for elementary citizen rights like buying property, taking up state government jobs or voting for the State Assembly, municipalities or even a village Panchayat.
Such acts have only added credibility to POK refugees' allegations of communal bias against the State government and hence further deepened the communal divide in J&K. The State government's decision to keep 24 Assembly seats permanently vacant for PoK until its 'liberation' is seen by people in Jammu and Ladakh as a ploy of Kashmiri leadership to permanently hijack the State machinery.
No wonder the Forum of Migrant PoK Communities, a joint platform of PoK refugees living outside J&K, recently called upon the central government's interlocutors on J&K to advise the government to fill up these seats with representatives from the PoK migrants living in J&K and outside. "It is an unfortunate fact that anti-India bills like the 'Resettlement Act-1982' can be easily passed by the J&K Assembly on any day purely on the strength of a 'manipulated Kashmiri majority' in the Assembly", says the Forum's letter to the interlocutors.
The Forum has also advised the Central government to create a National Register of all the PoK migrants. "This Register should record all information about the refugees, their descendents, the properties which they or their families left behind in PoK and their present status. It will help the Bharatiya government to present its case on PoK at a proper time in the history," says Dr. Sudesh Ratan Mahajan, a convenor of the Forum.
Besides creating a hopeless environment for these refugee communities from PoK, this approach of the State government does not present a reasonable image of the State's Kashmiri leadership who are used to falling over one another to demand more and more concessions for themselves and Kashmir from the rest of India.
At the national level too, this unfortunate attitude of the only Muslim majority state of India towards its Hindu and Sikh minority subjects does not present a good example in favour of the Muslim community in the rest of Bharat. -- (Author is a senior journalist and a member of POK migrant community)