A 74-year-old Kashmiri Pandit returned to Srinagar after 29 years, and all his old trader friend’s happiness knew no bounds. Roshan Lal Mawa, a dry fruit businessman, left Srinagar in 1990 after he was shot four times in his shop in 1990, when the valley witnessed a significant rise in violence against Kashmiri Pandits, reported NDTV.
He was taken to Delhi for treatment, and later his family decided to settle to avoid such mishaps. In Delhi, he started a wholesale dry fruits business at Khari Baoli in old Delhi. Within a few years of starting the business, the business boomed. Despite being well settled, a sense of longing for his hometown always lingered under his skin. He yearned to return to his state. This desire was finally met after 29 years on May 2.
After his arrival to the state, he not only lifted the shutter of the shop where he was shot four times but also has started the dry fruit business. While speaking to news agency ANI, he said that he was overwhelmed by the way other traders and people greeted him on his return. He was elated by the way Muslim traders welcomed him with open arms. He said that he was both happy and sad at the same time. He was also honoured with a white Pagdi in a “dastarbandi” ceremony. Highlighting the headgear that he was honoured with, he said that this is the highest honour that he has received in his life and that over the years he never lost faith in the syncretic value of Kashmiris.
Speaking to The Times Of India, he said that he had forgotten everything that has happened in the past and he wanted to reopen the shop. Mr Mawa was one among thousands of Kashmiri Pandits who had to leave their homes and belongings as the terrorism plagued the valley during the 1990s. With a threat to life, they had to accept another state as their home. To help these Kashmiri Pandits to return to their native state, In 2008, Central government announced 6,000 jobs, but unfortunately, only 3,000 Pandits have got the promised job so far.
The Logical Indian Take
While people are leaving the Kashmir valley citing lack of infrastructure and educational institutes and permanently settling in some other parts of the country, this 74-year-old returning back to his hometown depicts what a hometown means to someone who hasn’t been on the native soil for long. Roshan’s return to Kashmir will definitely strengthen mutual trust between the two communities.
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