With the buzz of actor Anupam Kher’s seventh nomination to Rajya Sabha going round, the Kashmiri Pandit community does not sound pleased with the reports.
The BJP perhaps also thinks that his nomination would ease its position within the Kashmiri Pandit community for which it has hardly been able to deliver what it promised.
Sanjay Tickoo, president of Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti (KPSS), who resisted exodus and chose to live in Srinagar sees it as ambition politics playing at its worst.
“Kher does not deserve it at all. What has he done for the community? There are several other stalwarts who have worked hard for the cause of Pandit community. He has set his eyes for RS seat since last one year or so. But during that period he has done more harm. Spewing venom against any community does not fetch anything.”
“There are some 6000-7000 Hindus in Kashmir valley how he is going to increase their morale. We have done it alone so far. We rather feel insecure because of his speeches. How Kher can presume that any Indian not holding a tricolor is not a nationalist? Why does not he shift with family to the valley and see? Did he ever visit my home or any other family?” says Tickoo.
“I felt very sad when I saw him lampooning intellectuals. He lampooned great personalities like Krishna Sobti who is 90 years old, a freedom fighter and a stalwart in her field, when they returned the award. Sahitya Academy is the most respected award for any writer and it is not easy to return it but he made a mockery of it. I was very upset, it pained me,” says Raina.
Raina says that if Kher has some dignity left he should not accept the Rajya Sabha post.
“For his own grace he should refuse it or else he will have to defend the decision all his life,” says Raina.
Kher, however, has an admirer in Sunil Shakdhar, former president of Kashmiri Samiti.
It is to be noted that Kher lately has been at the forefront to defend BJP’s stand on intolerance debate – be it the return of awards by intellectuals or making Bharat Mata ki Jai as a symbol of ‘true’ nationalism or patriotism.