Taking a stand

A very well written article by Ajay Raina ("What's wrong with Anupam Kher becoming the dominant voice for the Kashmiri Pandit story"). As Kashmiris, we have always had issues as far as leadership is concerned. We cannot follow anyone. If a known face like Anupam Kher takes up the cause of the community, we should feel happy. Why are we worried about Kashmiri Muslims? They have a very strong network and can highlight their own plight. Let us support a person who is well known and can speak for us at an international forum. Pamela Mirza


Thank you for the beautifully articulated piece on Anupam Kher. Your thoughts mirrored mine after watching the television spot where he sounded very arrogant and angry.

As it happens with any good Indian with a political career, Kher has become almost a spokesperson for Hindutva and the government awarded him for the same.

Irrespective of political concerns, I felt sad about the way he projected the issue on television. Sidi


I fully understand the position Ajay Raina has taken, and do feel sad about the positions that Anupam Kher – one of India’s finest actors and a great humanitarian – has taken with regard to the so-called “tolerance” issue or the motives of people returning awards. However, I still feel that Kher is only guilty of omission.

He should/could have mentioned some of the things Ajay Raina talks about in the beginning of the article. On the other hand, I do believe that the issue of Kashmiri Pandits fleeing from the Valley has not received the attention it deserved. Kher has perhaps stepped into a vacuum created by the negligence of the secularist/progressive spokespersons in public affairs.

The negligence may not have been deliberate – it could only be a matter of “moral fatigue” – but it exists in the view of many. When was the last time the liberals and progressives in New Delhi gathered near Jantar Mantar to demand that the Kashmiri Hindus should be made to feel safer in Kashmir? CM Naim


I am very sure that Anupam Kher is from Shimla, and not Kashmir. Does being a fair-skinned person allow him to drape himself in this new avatar? Please check if he is really from Kashmir. Dr Vivek Pandit


The article was well articulated and discussed in length about how “my pain versus your pain” is not a good strategy for finding real solutions to the age-old problems, especially when the problem deals with religion and its ill effects.

However, I would like to add a few points that the article was missing, while driving home the point that the specific Anupam Kher video did more damage than good.

The article missed out on discussing the content of the video where the “performer” dangerously walked on the fence of calling some militants who happen to be Muslims responsible on one side, and terming Muslims/Islam as the appeased lot and holding them responsible for the sufferings of Pandits.

People like us charge Kher for being a BJP agent as his wife is an MP and then dismiss whatever he says. But this reason is not entirely convincing. There must be more to his sudden rise. I am at loss to explain in detail how Kher is an agent/flatterer of the existing government.

When Anand Patwardhan makes Raam Ke Naam or Arundhati Roy talks about Naxalism in a new light, a need is felt to discuss the issue in detail. We tell the other party to speak about exploitation if they feel it. But the reality is that there is no other side which can write or make films because the other side only shouts.

Do you not think that to really influence the mindset of the general public for good, we who can speak and write must go into real detail and talk about everything so that every stakeholder in society can trust us? Vijay Dahiya


May I pay my humble tribute to Ajay Raina for his honest and correct analysis of the current mess in Kashmir.

If only we as Kashmiris, and not as Hindus or Muslims, could find a platform to come together and jointly address our mutual problems, without interference by any communal forces, I believe we could yet again save our heavenly place.

If our Kashmiri Pandit brothers could agree on a formula of full autonomy or even independence with security guarantees from India, Pakistan and the United Nations for our state, we could bring back our lost paradise. Kashmir has always been an independent sovereign country through the ages.

Once again, may I say how impressed I am with such a brilliantly constructed analysis of Kher’s sudden move to jump on the bandwagon of Kashmir, after absenting himself from the untold misery and suffering of both communities ever since 1990. Bashir


I have the following to say to Ajay Raina:

1. Kashmiris do not know Ajay Raina

2. Kashmiris do not even know a Jagmohan

3. Kashmiris know Anupam Kher

Pandits have endured 25 years in silence and our question to every Muslim brother or sister is about their silence when the exodus happened and thereafter, not about the acknowledgement of “their wrongs “.

Jagmohan was flown in in January 1990 to save Kashmir and was never instrumental in helping us in any way. Now, Anupam Kher speaks for me.

Ajay Raina is at best behaving like a pseudo-secular individual who either feigns ignorance on the subject matter or is biased by choice.

I think it would be best for him to read more and educate himself before writing or opining like an ignorant person. Arun Kaul


Lately, I too have been put off by Anupam Kher. He is being misled into politics with oodles of attention that he never got as a "hero" in Indian cinema. Power can turn any man into saying anything and doing anything and getting away with it.

A very well written article with excellently chosen words and no dramatics or begging for sympathy from your side. Dimple Mannshahia